I'm no' sure I believed her but when the waitress at the Little Chef in Spean Bridge told us we were the talk of Fort William, it had a certain air of plausability. Four days previously, we were effectively marooned by a Landie which decided that it didn't really fancy the long drive to Skye after all.
We sat in the Little Chef and considered our options; we could press on and risk catastrophic car failure in the middle of God knows where, call out recovery and go home or phone a garage and try and get it fixed.
These options were further limited by the fact that this was after lunchtime on Hogmanay and most of Scotland was effectively shut.
Praise be then to the wonderful folk who live up that way. Crissy the waitress offered to call out her man who was a mechanic & the manager of the LC gave us the numbers of a couple of local garages.
Charlie of Heathercroft Motor Engineers came to the rescue. He took the car for a quick spin and came back looking rather sad. It was, he said, "sick" and advised us to go no further. He could take us on to our destination but couldn't promise that the insurance company would pay to get us all the way home again, or he could just take us home.
Perhaps prompted by our sad wee faces, he then suggested a hire car. The place was shut but he knew the owner and might be able to persuade them to lend us something. It wasn't a long phone call but but it felt like an age. There was a glimmer of hope; the lassie in charge lived across the road from the showroom and was willing to meet us there. So I hopped in the van and Charlie gave me a hurl doon the road to Fort William. Holly of Ben Nevis Motors turned up shortly after Charlie had dropped me off and headed off to rescue some other poor unfortunate.
A quick DVLA check, a cash transaction and I had the keys to a shiny Ford Focus. Result! Back to Spean Bridge to pick up The Future Mrs D & The Boy and we were back on the road. 90 minutes later, and about 4 hours after we'd hoped to be there, we pulled up ootside our wee home for the next 4 days. It was awfy stressful and more than a tad expensive but ultimately worth it and everybody had a grand time.
Let's hear it for the nice folk who go that extra yard when they really don't have to.