It is a lifestyle? Or a life sentence? Having even the smallest of lifestyle blocks can doom the unwary to a life of unruly sheep, petulant pigs, downright despicable chickens, unfortunate episode involving electric fences, and water pumps that break down on the Friday evening of long weekends. Rachel Wise tells it like it is. Mostly.

They say it never rains but it pours.

That's "them" for you - always butting in with some trite little saying instead of doing anything useful!

I could have done with a bunch of "them" last week when my vehicle conked out on the side of the road. "They" could have pushed it home for me.

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Because, in the true spirit of raining and pouring, my Jeep ceased to function at the most inopportune moment.

I blame myself.

Partly because it was my fault.

I really should have got it checked when it started making a funny noise.

But also because I had tempted fate by hoping - out loud - that the birth of my fourth grandchild would be completely uneventful.

READ MORE: Rachel Wise: Adding to the family ... it's a waiting game

Fate gave me a couple of days of blissful uneventfulness before unleashing on me.

Monday: Pregnant daughter with rapidly approaching due date rings to tell me about her midwife visit. Midwife has said things could happen quite quickly so "be prepared". This includes advice about putting towels and blankets in their car "just in case".

Tuesday: Same daughter - still equally pregnant but with due date now even closer, rings to inform me her fiancee has slightly crashed their car as a result of someone pulling out in front of him. It's not driveable.

"Be prepared" now involves us driving her to the hospital when baby decides to arrive. I rush out and fuel up my Jeep.

The baby's due and I'm on transport duties. No problem, right? Wrong! Photo / 123RF
The baby's due and I'm on transport duties. No problem, right? Wrong! Photo / 123RF

I start to run in circles gathering armloads of linen, but the daughter concerned seems ... unconcerned.

She's showing what I feel is a foolish amount of confidence in my ability to function under pressure.

Wednesday: Jeep won't start.

Of course it won't.

Why should it, when it has a full tank of diesel and an important job to do?

I phone the garage to come and drag it away and fix it, and I start to rummage in the shed for my bicycle, in order to ride it to work.

It's been a while since the bike has been out of the shed, it seems. Or maybe I was trying to hide it, as it's behind the ride-on mower, the barbecue, the fertiliser-spreader-thing that you tow behind a quad bike that we don't have and hence have never used, and six other bikes from toddler-sized through to grandfather-sized and including one you tow.

Which is interesting since there are only two kids and one adult who cycle.

It's also under a set of golf clubs and some croquet mallets. No-one's played golf in our family since the '90s and we've never played croquet.

A bunch of cobwebs and I cycle to work, where I get a phone call from the garage to say they can't fix my Jeep as it needs to go to a diesel specialist. Of course it does.

Wednesday: Jeep won't start. Of course it won't. Why should it, when it has a full tank of diesel and an important job to do?

In the meantime, they have it started and I can drive it home.

No, it turns out, I can't.

What I can do is drive it partway home at which point it stops altogether and decides it will hang out on the side of the road for a bit.

I should have packed my bike.

At least it's not raining.

I phone my eldest daughter and tell her that the role of transporting her sister to the hospital "when the time comes" is now hers.

Yup, just what I needed, for the car to break down - make that two cars. Photo / Getty Images
Yup, just what I needed, for the car to break down - make that two cars. Photo / Getty Images

She starts to panic and run about gathering towels, then remembers her car is packed halfway to the roof with children's discarded clothing, toys, scooters, lunchboxes and footwear and she starts to panic about that instead.

I leave her to it and go shopping for emergency transport for myself, while the Jeep awaits repair.

Thursday: I set off for work in my new mode of transport ... a Mini.

It's a chilly morning so a coffee is in order and I pull in to my favourite coffee-spot and make my purchase, get back into my Mini and...

It won't start.

It really, really won't start.

So I get out of my newly purchased mode of transport, pick up my coffee and walk to work.

At least it's not raining.

Friday: Mini fixed, but I discover it's hard to find in large carparks. Daughter still in one piece.

Saturday: Mini still fixed. Daughter still in one piece.

Sunday: Daughter rings at 7.40am to announce she's in labour. Much rushing about ensues ... me not her, she's still fairly unconcerned.

By about 10.30am she's a bit more concerned so we go in convoy to the hospital.

By 11am she's quite concerned indeed, but it's all over by lunchtime.

Baby girl, six pounds eight, mother, father and baby all well, grandparents recovering.

Told you it would be uneventful.