On Monday the Vespa garage near where I work (it's called Londinium Scooters, is run by Italians and has a mural of a Roman centurion riding a scooter on the back wall) said they could do the work the next day. After they had the scooter, though, they rang me to say a gasket was gone and they couldn't get a spare till the day after, Wednesday.
Yesterday afternoon I got my baby back. The part that took 24 hours to replace cost £1.69. This morning I took it back to my local garage for a retest (half price) and joy! it passed. And in the nick of time, too, because I finished work at Holborn yesterday and tomorrow I start in Barking.
Barking. In Essex. An easy 40-minute drive versus probably around two hours on public transport - overground train into Central London then fourteen tube stops. And the public transport route is the one the agency assumes you'll be taking. Madness.
It doesn't look like much written down, but the whole wretched business has been uppermost in my mind and occupying most of my time since Saturday. Motor vehicles: they're time-consuming, expensive and a big worry. But the times when they're working, fully taxed and insured and you can just bloody well go out for a drive make it all worthwhile.