Je vous ai dit l'un de ma femme, trois chattes, deux poissons et une camionnette? (part trois – France)

A strange and alarming noise roused me from the trance of deep concentration, necessary to negotiate the traffic around Paris.

This time it wasn’t Mia; she had kept up a constant and increasingly pathetic wild-cat-yowl for the first two hours but had gradually settled down. She would occasionally remember that she was annoyed and would mew for 30 seconds or so and then stop.

This noise was the sort of noise you don’t want to hear when you are driving around the Paris ring road at 7pm, six hours into a twelve-hour journey. It is not the sound that fills you with joy if you happen to be driving a van stuffed with belongings, an injured wife, dying (or dead) fish and three rather pissed-off moggys.

No, this noise was van-related: this was the sound of a mechanical fault.

A scraping-gear-box sound. Problem was I wasn’t changing gear.

Heart thudding, I took my foot off the accelerator, I changed the gear, put my foot back on the accelerator. It’s ok. I breath again.

Two minutes later the noise came again and a fine sweat broke out on my forehead.

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