Glasgow to Edinburgh, via the RAC

Rich Olyott and Jane Saunders in Glasgow
Rich Olyott and Jane Saunders out in Glasgow last night.

What a difference twenty minutes can make.

Yesterday early-evening I accompanied Jane over to Glasgow where she had to hand in her latest MBA essay on marketing within the voluntary sector at Glasgow Caledonian University before 5pm. That we managed with plenty of time to spare.

With the car parked, essay in, library book returned we turned our attention to finding Borders bookstore on Buchanan Street where we’d arranged to meet with our lovely Welsh friend Rich Olyott.

My knowledge of Glasgow is restricted to two specific areas: The Barrowlands concert venue and The Garage concert venue, so I was glad to have Glasgow-born Jane with me as a guide.

We were sitting chatting over a warm drink at Borders’ in-store Starbucks when Rich arrived. A short while later we left Jane at the table reading a novel that she’d brought with her, which made me wonder that if people are allowed to bring their own novels to the Borders’ branch of Starbucks, are customers then also allowed to bring their own flasks to the books sections of Borders?

After dinner — at Bibo Cibo — we parted company and headed back along the M8/A8 to Edinburgh. At least that was the plan. Twenty minutes after leaving Rich:

Jane wrapped in a travelling rug standing beside our broken down Astra
Jane wrapped in a travelling rug standing beside our broken down Astra on the A8/M8.

Somewhere east of the Showcase Cinema, near Coatbridge, our car had a tyre blow-out. It was the rear, drivers’ side one, thanks for asking. Jane, who was driving, quickly and ably pulled over to the hard shoulder where we assessed the damage. Deciding that neither of us really wanted to risk changing the wheel on the side of the car as the traffic we called the RAC; which is, after all, why we pay our subscriptions to them!

It was a long, cold wait, with Jane wrapped in a travelling rug as we retreated into the road-side trees to find a little more shelter. (It is, of course, unsafe to sit in your broken-down car on the hard shoulder just in case another car piles into the back of you. Some people have been killed as a result.)

RAC van comes to our rescue
The Royal Automobile Club comes to our rescue.

Of course, when our wonderfully-friendly RAC saviour came to the rescue, about 40 minutes after we’d called, he had the wheel changed in about two minutes and we were soon on our way back along the A8 towards Edinburgh, with the heater on full.

Praise the Lord that this wasn’t a more dramatic blog post than it could have been, and that the car handled itself very well on only three good wheels!