WE ENJOYED AN EVENTFUL Christmas in Ireland because it combined loving joy at home in Clonmel and a festive feast of home cooking with cousins in Drogheda with a session of hand-powered windscreen wiping in between.
We got off the motorway 10 miles later and tried to figure out what happened. A quick Google search revealed Nissan Qashqai owners had talked about windscreen motor failures but our fuses looked fine and the rear windscreen wiper worked. Plus we could hear the front motor assembly humming. While under a covered petrol station forecourt, Ruth tried to reach inside an access panel to reattach a loose metal arm to the underside of the wiper assembly but that didn't work. And when we discovered our go-to used car salesman was in the hospital with a heart attack, we dug into our tie straps to see if we could manually create a solution.
Within a few miles, front seat Mia started pulling the smaller wiper blade towards the left and back seat Dad pulled the bigger blade across Ruth's field of vision. When co-ordinated, the overall result meant we could hit motorway speeds with a small clear space on the windscreen.
We kept the rhythm for 72 miles and then clouds blew away abeam Ballbriggan for our easy descent into County Louth. That meant we wiped our way through Tipperary, Kilkenny, Laois, Kildare and Dublin to record a special moment for Christmas 2016.