The most heart-wrenching thing EVER…

I had a discussion with a VW technician man who was (finally) sent to our house to fix the emissions problem (read ‘emissions fraud issue’) on our VW Passat.

“Can’t fix it as there’s an MOT engine management issue showing.”

“But it had it’s MOT yesterday” [Translation for international readers: annual compulsory mechanical safety check].

“Yeah, it’s nothing to do with an MOT.  It’s an engine management issue.”

“So what’s the issue?”

“It’s an engine management issue.”

“OK, but what is it?”

“It’s an issue to do with your engine management”.

I replied (you’ll be proud of me, Dad) as follows:

“That’s just using the same words in a different order”.

It transpires that there is some ‘advisory type warning’ showing, which he did not have the equipment to a) diagnose, or b) do anything about, and which needs to be fixed at a garage (which may or may not be possible at our local ‘non-VW-accredited-to-rip-you-off-every-service’ garage… he didn’t know).  The emissions update couldn’t be done while this was showing.  That, he did know.

It has taken 12 months to get them to finally come and fix the emissions fraud issue.  And it is not fixed.

How is this relevant to the arctic, I hear you ask….

Many of you may be following my fellow intrepid trekker and friend Olivia’s blog (if not, do yourself a favour and click here ).

Her most recent (excellent) post is about lists and, in particular, crossing things off lists.

Well, here is the relevance.


This had been on my list for 12 months (if not on my many cycLISTS, environmentaLISTS, or reaLISTS, then definitely on my mentaLISTS… see aforementioned blog to understand….)

And once the man confirmed he was coming to do the upgrade, I crossed it off my list.  I know, it was wrong.  Foolish.  Mad.  You NEVER cross something off until it is independently adjudged to be completed.  That’s just the law.

Now it has to go back on.  Can you imagine the distress?  If you say “no, I can’t” then you are a heartless sociopath.

To put something BACK on a list, especially something finally crossed off that had been on it for so long, is one of the most heart-wrenching things ever.

But (cue the serious part of the post), there ARE a few things in this world more heart-wrenching.

CHAS is one of them.  It stands for the Children’s Hospices Across Scotland, and it provides care, support and – yes – joy, to children with life-limiting illnesses and their families.  Can you imagine the heart-wrenching moment of realising you need CHAS’s help?

Those who have lived this moment – and the many moments of interaction with CHAS after – will never be the same again.

But, there is something even more heart-wrenching.

Can you imagine a moment of realising your child has a life-limiting illness, and NOT having access to CHAS’ help, support, and facilities?  CHAS estimate that they are currently able to help 1 in 3 children and families who need them across Scotland.  I – and they – say that that is just not good enough.

This is one of the only ‘serious-type’ posts I’ll do on this blog.  I’m not doing the trek so you put your hand in your pocket – I’m really not.  But if you want to put your hand in your pocket click here  (Note: even though it has Olivia’s name there, it’s my donation page as well.  She’s just trying to steal all the limelight.  Typical.)

And a final note…. The next post will continue a much-loved, very popular, and vital trek theme: snacks.  I will update you on my essential fact-finding tour of New Zealand (famed for their ‘scroggin’), and my resource-collecting trip to Australia (if you think I’m going to the arctic without Cherry Ripes, you’re just crazy).  I might just have the perfect ‘snack-mix’ finalised.  Keep an eye out for my next post and you can be the judge… Excited, much??

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