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  • Mel

In Omnia Paratus!

I know it’s been awfully quiet on here for almost a month now – I do apologize for that. May this year had been one of the most difficult months for ourselves and for the business. It may have been quiet on here, but it definitely wasn’t here, at the workshop. We’ve been extremely busy with the orders from you – and for that, we’re most grateful!

Life however (or the Universe as I call it), sometimes has this funny (not!) tendency of sending distractions, as if to see if the participants will get distracted. And this time we got hit really low – first, about two days after we’ve returned from another (successful) delivery trip, our Rita got ill. I followed in her footsteps right after. I haven’t been properly ill for a really long time, so that really knocked me out.

In the meantime, we’ve lost one employee, which meant that we were left with much bigger workload than we could handle, and considering that I was still a zombie, it was a bit tricky. Add power outages, stir and you got yourself a disaster. But positive freaks that we are, we carried on! In omnia paratus – ready for anything!

My wise mother-in-law once told me that after every storm the sun comes out – and it did eventually! Once again, we packed the van with the orders and off we went to Scotland! For the first time, might I add. One of our lovely clients called this journey of ours epic – I must say, there’s no better word to describe it.

The drive was going well, the car was finally fine, and so were we. We only got stopped twice – once by the customs police in Germany. As always, Maciej was dressed up nicely for the occasion – he was wearing his t-shirt with “Cocaine & Caviar” printed all over it. Best charity shop find ever 😉 I was pleasantly surprised, because for the first time the officers had a sense of humour. Also, they both spoke Polish – truly mind-blowing! We talked, they let us go and not much later we got stopped for the second time, right after we’ve crossed the border in Holland. Another nice small talk, and we were free to go.

We’ve arrived in Folkestone around 1.30 am on Friday, so we’ve only had 8-9 hours of driving ahead of us left. We were planning to get to the first client around 10 am. The other two addresses we were going to visit were about 1,5 hour away. The plan was to complete them all and go right back to our workshop. But you know how to make God laugh, right? Tell him about your plans! Respectfully, but I believe He was laughing his arse off big time that day.

About 4 hours away from our destination, I sat behind the wheel so that Maciej could get some sleep in the back, next to Rita (our 5 year old daughter). It was my second attempt to drive our LHD van in the UK – for the past six months I was still traumatized from the first time back in November, when turbine fell apart. You can read all about it in my previous story if you haven’t done so just yet. Anyway – once again, it didn’t pan out! I started driving through the lovely British countryside around 5.30 am on Friday. I drove for about 5 miles, and then it all started.

On our previous trip, the car seemed to be finally cured – the smoking had stopped, no fumes coming out of the exhaust pipe… Life was beautiful. But that Friday morning it all came back and at full power! It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact, that the engine started to choke, losing at least half of its power.

The indicator lights started to light up, and it all came back to me – the trauma, the sadness, the feeling of powerlessness.

I screamed that something was very wrong, and once again, I landed back in the passenger seat, thinking: “oh no no no no, what if I broke it? AGAIN?”. The angel of a guy that he is, Maciej reassured me that it definitely wasn’t my fault. And then something strange had happened. For the first time in my life in a stressful situation like this, I chose a completely different attitude. Normally I wouldn’t shut up for a LONG time and I would go on worrying, stressing and crying that I actually did break the car.

This time, I just knew I didn’t. Actually, I knew I did everything exactly the way I was supposed to. I also knew, that it was all going to be just fine, that all of our clients will get their beautiful parquet delivered at the best possible time, and once they do, that floor is going to make up to them all that went not exactly as it was originally planned…

It’s going to sound like I’m completely mad, and I probably am – with peace came joy. I figured that the only way we’re going to get through all this, will be if we manage to maintain the good mood and positive attitude we’ve had thus far. And we did!

We got to a filthy service station, which looked as if it was haunted – according to Google, it was opening at 9 am. While Maciej was getting his hands down the rabbit hole (under the hood), I got high on the fresh morning air or something – I started talking about the Universe testing us, and that this situation was a carbon copy of the previous one in November. This time, however, we passed the test – by reacting differently.

I did, however, predicted at least this one thing: I said to Maciej, that now that we’re at the petrol station, a white crafter van should appear to rescue us, just like the last time.

It wasn’t a crafter, but a mercedes sprinter (same thing, different brand) – and this time we’ve managed to get moving on our own. But can you see how amazing it is?! Whenever I notice those things, big or small, I just feel grateful to be alive, and to get to experience all these things.

Maciej’s inspection showed what went wrong – crafter was at the garage before we left, and Maciej gave the mechanic a list of things to do, clean and check. He hasn’t. But we couldn’t help it at that point.

So we went to a car parts shop to get some cleaning products we knew could help. We never got there, not to that specific one anyway. While we were driving on the A1 (M), Maciej noticed something else wasn’t right – and then he saw it in the mirror. The rear wheel! Something was very wrong there.

We jumped out and rushed to the back, and when I saw it, I started to laugh even more. Never in my life have I seen anything like that – which isn’t that much of a shock, since I’m still only a young girl. But Maciej, being an experienced guy and having done at least 1,5 million km as a driver – he’d never seen anything like that before either! What happened? One of the wheels cracked. NOT the tyre – it was intact. The actual steel wheel. Obviously, we couldn’t go on. Very slowly, Maciej had brought the car to the parking bay, which ironically was about 50 m ahead of us.

It was 7.30 am. The baby was still sleeping in the back, while Maciej started unloading the car, in order to be able to lift it and change the broken wheel. Even in a crisis situation I was not allowed to lift any of the packs. So I just stood there, still in my ‘happy place’, genuinely not being worried about a thing. Fun fact: the first car that drove past us when we pulled over, had “UFA” on its number plates. And that word in Polish means “he/she/it TRUSTS”. It was a sign! To trust the process. I get those a lot, so I know one when I see one. I boosted my trust by saying “we’re being looked after. It’s going to turn out just fine”. Seconds later, a fire engine stopped right next to us, and four fire fighters jumped out of it, asking how they can help!

That was too much. I was completely shocked! I mumbled the words: ‘but… I didn’t call for you at all…” Now, here goes the highlight of this whole trip; I was told that someone saw our van surrounded by clouds of smoke (while we were driving, by the way!) and they got scared we were on fire… so, naturally, they rang for the fire brigade!

Two minutes after they’ve arrived, a police car stopped right behind crafter with Maciej underneath it.

All of these men were absolutely lovely – they were kind and truly concerned about us. Unfortunately, at the same time, they were completely useless to us, since they couldn’t do anything to help us out.

Before they left, I’ve asked them to take a photo together – as a great souvenir for the next generations to come! If it isn’t here, on this page, it’s on our Instagram page.

It took nearly two hours to change it, but Maciej managed – as he always does!

A good few hours later, and a few tyre shops and car parts shops visited, we were finally on the road again.

The car was weak, but it kept going. We arrived in Scotland, delivered the first one late that evening, and went to sleep, finally – after having almost no sleep at all for the past 48 hours. I kid you not.

On the next day, we delivered the remaining two, spent the night in a castle-like hotel, as Maciej promised Rita we’re going to sleep in a castle like a prince and princesses.

The next day we went to Hull, in order to catch a ferry to Rotterdam in Holland.

And we did! The car made it! We made it! And right on time, too.

From there, we went to Trzcianka (where our warehouse is). We arrived around 1 or 2 am this Monday.

And now here I am, sharing this with you – proudly! Crafter is at the garage, getting the proper care it needs, and we carry on working on the next orders.

I just love happy endings, don’t you!?

Now, you might be wondering why I’m sharing all this on here. Mainly, because I want you to better understand everything that we do here, in this business. And of course, in this life – I believe that the more you know, the better decisions you make. I’ve been applying this “rule” in every area of my life, and it never failed me.

I want you to know, that we always give 300% out of ourselves, no matter what happens – I think that this story and the other ones prove it.

I want you to know that even when things aren’t going just like we’ve all imagined, it’s all going to work out for the best anyway – because it always does. HOWEVER. Only if you let it.

Well, that’s it for now – I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this. At first I wanted to write a bit more, but my battery is really, really low. It’s nearly 2 am here, in Trzcianka. It’s also Polish Mother’s Day today! The 26th of May. I am tired as FUCK. Sorry, not sorry :D

I wish all the Mothers, Mums, Mommies all the best – and know this: you are absolutely AMAZING!!! Now go enjoy yourself, or get some sleep. Or both 😉

Until next time!

With Love and Gratitude,

Mel xxx

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