Sorry no blog post today. Instead I drove. And drove and drove and drove and drove and drove. Tomorrow is the test. I am just in bed now, entering into a state of profound preparatory relaxation. Ha.
But I am… almost confident. I feel I’m a far safer driver than last time. I’m a lot clearer about what you’re supposed to do with a car. But there’s still the worry that in one moment of inattention I could make a simple error and blow the whole thing.
One such error of course would be to sleep late and fail to turn up. So… Wish me luck.
So late last night, I left the house because I heard strange sounds and found what I recognised as a neighbour’s car burning in the road outside.
Disorientating. This is a quiet village, crimes don’t happen here; I don’t know when there was last even a chimney fire. But now I’m looking at a car engulfed in flames, surrounded by sleeping people.
And of course, I had no way of being sure whether the guy who owned it was still in there or not. The heat – indeed the light – made it impossible to see if there was a body inside.
I won’t keep you in suspense, he wasn’t. But it was a long time before I knew that for sure.
He hadn’t left it here of course. It had been broken into and pushed a little way from the house, we guess so they could start it out of earshot. When they found it wouldn’t start they must have torched it to hide any evidence. It wasn’t the sort of car you’d steal for resale, and it’s not probable that someone would come way out here to find one for a joyride; most likely they’d wanted a random vehicle to carry out a robbery.
Intriguingly, another car was torched shortly after only a mile or so away. It must have been the same people, this isn’t the kind of place things like that happen ever, never mind twice a night. Maybe that was a second attempt to take a vehicle that refused to start.
I hope so. We’ve a way to go before we get to the bottom of this, but I like to think the cars of my neighbours helped foil a crime last night.
Well that upset my plans. There I was just polishing my rant about the Vatican (coming later now) when I heard a bang. Of course, you hear bangs in the country. But two in the morning is a little unusual. Also, it wasn’t a bang I recognised. Curious, I turned down the TV.
Another bang. That was definitely strange. I got up and went out of the house. It’s a fairly dark night, but I could hear a strange noise. Again, not something I could put a finger on. Sort of fire-like. Out on the boreen (lane), I saw a light coming from just where it bent behind my aunt’s tractor shed. A… fire-like light. Also the smoke was kind of fire-like too. I was beginning to suspect this was definitely something fire-like. Like a fire. It was just that it was coming from a place where fire didn’t belong. The middle of a little country back-road?
Yet I wasn’t quite prepared for what I saw as I rounded the corner. A fire, with a car in it. A car. On fire. There was a car on fire in our boreen.
It looked like a neighbour’s one, a little Peugeot in an ugly shade of bluey-green. It didn’t look like he was in it though. If he was, it was too late – the car was engulfed.
I called these guys.
More of the story later this evening. It’s 5 a.m. now.