Well now....I am quite sure that you all agog to know whether I got my car back and went to work today. The short answer is "yes".
The longer answer is that I got my car back yesterday when I was told that I could get the bill today as he hadn't had time to do the paperwork. So, as soon as I got home yesterday I popped the bonnet (hood for the benefit of Sam I Am!!) just to make sure that everything was as it should be after my disastrous trip home last week when I discovered that the garage had left the cap off the coolant tank.
Everything looked as though it was in it's rightful place - I even gave the previously loose hose a quick tug to see if was now firmly in place! However, the now fixed handbrake was tighter than a.....perhaps I'd better not go there!! That's a good however, but I felt as though I needed two hands to put the brake on and then I was worried about pulling it too hard and snapping it!! (probably not very likely, but that's what it felt like).
So....when I went back to the garage today to see if they had the paperwork ready and of course, I had my fingers crossed behind my back that the bill wouldn't be too horrendous. Anyway, the mechanic first sent someone to check on the fluid levels and to loosen the brake a bit when I said it was too tight. Then he gave me the good news....they were only going to charge me for parts and not labour!! Which came to £50 instead of the probable two hundred it could have been.
I didn't even push for a discount or complain about the problem, but I do think that they were feeling guilty because they left the tank cap off and of course, they had failed to spot the two potential problems (wearing brake cable and loose heating pipe) during the service of the car (and MOT). And, of course, they wanted to make sure that they kept my custom.
Nevertheless, the very low price certainly compensates for all the hassle I have had over the last week, even if my ankle is still swollen!!