Saturday, 29 December 2012

Magatha Christie and the case of the missing keys

It began on a dark and rainy Friday evening in the depths of the sober lull between Christmas and New Year. After shuffling the children off to bed I reclined on the sofa, settled the dog snugly on my lap and prepared to watch Restoration Man.

My gentle slumbers close attention to George Clarke's erudite commentary was rudely interrupted by the telephone. Brian answered because he was awake nearest. I paid little attention until the words "no, it's no problem, we'll come and get you" were uttered.


It turned out that Mum, who had nipped out to her meditation group in Nevern, had become parted from her coat and in that coat pocket was her car key. Ah ha.

It also turned out that "we'll fetch you" actually meant "Maggie will fetch you". Ah ha ha.

I dragged myself out from underneath the dog, threw on my coat and valiantly charged out into the stormy night in my 4X4.

I splashed triumphantly into Nevern, to be greeted with the words, "have you got my spare car keys?" Oh expletive deleted I'd forgotten them. Ah ****ing ha.

So I drove my parent back over the Preseli Hills through fog and rain and wind while she explained that her coat had inadvertently gone home (to a deepest darkest somewhere south of Lampeter) on the back of a gentleman who had mistaken her smart Berghaus waterproof with its pocketful of car keys and sensible torch for his moth-eaten coat which had the grand total of nothing in its scruffy pockets. Mum was wearing the latter (because it was raining) looking moth-eaten, scruffy and car key and torch-less.

We left Mum's car (according to her) tucked in neatly at the side of the road or (according to me) parked in the middle of the road blocking her hosts' car neatly in its driveway and causing a small obstruction to those negotiating the picturesque but narrow bridge over the river Nevern.

The night passed bringing more rain and the morning subsequently arrived with news from Mum's hosts that her car was parked near the river and the aforementioned river had just burst its banks. Ah.

We had visions of a little silver Hyundai Getz appearing on news reports bobbing down the river to the sea and causing a hazard to shipping.

So we splashed over the Preselis again, this time double-checking the presence of the spare key, passing through two floods and dodging others and successfully rescued the car from the clutches of the river Nevern.

The coat, the keys and the torch? Well they're still somewhere in the deepest darkest depths of the countryside south of Lampeter. The apologetic gentleman says he'll return them. Eventually. Case closed.

* Incidentally, Maggie isn't really short for Magatha, but I think it would suit my surname better if it was!


  1. I loved this, typical of life story.

  2. You've just reminded me that as a child I sang in Nevern church! I was in a visiting choir. I think our choir master had connections locally and we sang there and at a couple of other churches. It may have been Nevern where we had to get ready over the road and walk across to the church.

    Hope your mum gets her coat and keys back soon!

  3. Ahhh Magatha, you've told this story well. I wonder who's meditating now?

    Happy New Year to you and yours. xo

  4. What she didn't say was that actually I must take most of the blame for the leaving behind of the spare key, since I had discussed it with mum-in-law and then promptly forgot it in the debate over who was going to sally forth on the mission of mercy. Sorry darling.

  5. While I truly have every sympathy with you , I have a sneaking fellow feeling with your Mama .
    So easy to do ... which is why we ladies of advancing years are so glad to have such splendid daughters .

  6. Well. Mis-advetures all round. But you lived to tell the tale, at least.

    Speaking of rain, I saw a video of a seal who somehow got 50 miles inland, through the rivers and flowing fields. Seal might have been in worse shape than you. And maybe not.

    I stuck out my snout, and discovered it is still winter here across the pond. Back to hibernation.

    Blessings and Bar hugs to all.


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