a small victory

I still haven’t related the Thaga of the Thaab. It blew up in an embarrassing fashion when we were on our way to Malton on 19th April with a bunch of Morris Dancers as passengers (we were going to perform at the Malton Folk Festival). The oil light came on just as we came into Wetwang (yes, that’s a real place), and within two minutes, the engine … stopped.

We were in a sort of convoy, and two more Rackacars pulled in very shortly. The Morrisers, myself included, were distributed and squashed into them, and Pete remained behind to await the RAC man. Who pronounced the head gasket gone, and organised a recovery back to Hull. To cut a long story short, the garage said about £850 to fix, plus at least another £200 to get the car through the impending MOT. So we decided to scrap it. The local yard offered us £250, and then one of the mechanics at the garage said he’d give us the scrap value, and fix it for his dad, so we did that, and the last time I called in at the garage (see below) the Thaab had gone. Fixed. Which is really nice. Especially as we’d bought it three new tyres and had the tailgate fixed three weeks before it died [snarl].

Still, such is the way of things if you do what we do – buy old cars, and run them until they’re too expensive to repair. So for its replacement, we asked advice, and everyone said “get a Mondeo”. So we did – a diesel estate, 2002 (first car we’ve ever owned with a new-fangled numberplate), automatic, and Ghia, so bells and whistles. 140k on the clock. And Just In Case, I purchased a six month warranty for £100 from the dealer. For various and complicated reasons, we didn’t pick up this car till mid May, so I thought I might be safe until November.

The last couple of times we’ve been out in it, the speedo and odometer stopped displaying, but pulling in and rebooting <g> fixed it. And we thought “must get that looked at”, and would then forget about it. And the car only goes out about once a fortnight.

On Saturday we went and put some diesel in at the Great Satan, Tesco. We don’t shop at Tesco, but a friend gave us a voucher for 5p a litre off, and it seemed rude not to avail ourselves of the opportunity to cost them a few pennies. As we drove away from there, along Hall Road, the speedo went again, so Pete pulled in to restart it. And … nothing. Silence. Not even a click. He unplugged and replugged the battery. Still nothing. We called the RAC.

They turned up pretty quickly, and diagnosed a dead alternator. So he charged up the battery, and followed us back to the garage to ensure we got there safely. Nice Greg the Garage was there, and quoted us £230 to fix it. Given we’ve just paid a huge vet bill for Lilith, this was not in any way good news. And then I remember The Warranty!

So,, phone call to the insurance company on Monday. Could I please get the garage to phone them with details? I could. They did. Could I please get the dealer who sold it to me to fax proof of service? I could. They did. I rang them again on Tuesday – they’re paying the claim! Which means, for the first time in my almost sixty years, I am making no loss on an insurance claim, and am actually £130 ahead! A small yay!, I think. But I don’t have the money yet …