totes amazeballs (as I believe they say)


Pete and I nipped (or popped) over to Beverley this week, to pick up a couple of things from the Lakeland store.  We parked at the top of Wednesday market, photographed above, but on the other side. Strictly speaking, it’s for pedestrians, but there are always cars there, and we knew we wouldn’t be long.

We popped (or nipped) into Boyes for a quick gander on the way back to the car, then Pete whizzed off to Marks for something (oh, OK, then – for a wee). And as I loitered outside the fishmongers, I saw him.

Cue shrieking violins, Psycho style. Only a blimmin’ traffic warden. With notebook in one hand, and pen in the other. “Is this your car?”, he quoth, and I confessed it was, and said  “there were lots of cars here when we parked”. He pointed out there weren’t now, probably because they saw him coming. And then he asked if I were about to move, and I said “oh yes”, and he said “off you go, then”. Boggle.

Thankfully, I had a car key, and got in as slowly as I could, as Pete was still, presumably, in the M&S facilities, but he hove into view quite quickly, and I gesticulated madly. And we made our escape!

And I thought the days of nice parking wardens were gone …

a wheel at each corner

The gas struts in the Saab’s tailgate failed, oh, in December, I think. Or possibly November. It was mildly inconvenient, but not hugely so, and after a bit we got round to buying some replacements online. Then we realised we didn’t actually know how to fit them, so we bought a Haynes book of lies. And then we were a bit  nervous of doing it, and kept putting it off.

When I put the old treadmill up for sale, I blithely said “will deliver within 20 miles for petrol money”. And then we realised that it would be well nigh impossible to get the treadmill into the car without a third person (or a prehensile tail, or a trunk), as the tailgate had to be held up. So I phoned the local garage and asked if they could do it, and they said “of course, pop it round – it’ll only take a couple of minutes”. So we decided to pop it round late morning today, and have lunch on Newland Ave. We got in the  car, drove 25 yards up the road and realised it was making a sound it shouldn’t, and not driving as it should. Pulled in, and front off side tyre flat as a pancake. And as it had been filled less than 2 weeks before, that was a bit of a worry.

Pete footpumped enough air into it to get us to the garage on Prinny Ave, then he filled it with their airline, and checked all the others too. One was OK, but two others weren’t great. So we trundled down Springbank to the tyre man, who took them all off, and pronounced three out of four knackered. £207. thankyouverymuch. And when they’d fitted them, the car wouldn’t start. Dead as the proverbial dodo. Seems that the battery was pretty flat, and the five starts in ¼ mile was too much for it (outside the house, further up our street, garage for airline, parking at the tyre shop, and then (not) coming out of the workshop). The battery was completely dead. They jumpstarted it, and suggested we took the car for a long run, but I felt safer buying a new battery. Another £76. Sigh.

Then we drove to Richmond Street, where they realised that they couldn’t do the gas struts, because they had to take the roof lining out (I could have told them that), so it has to be booked in, and they couldn’t tell me how much because the boss wasn’t in, so I’ll have to phone them tomorrow.

We did finally get to Newland for lunch at about 2.15. Bacon sandwich and coffee, not really what I was hoping for 🙂

things come in threes, don't they

I hope that’s true, and that our run of bad luck with things mechanical/electrical is over.

  1. The web servers, requiring us to spend a frantic weekend and bursts of frenetic activity over the next few days while we built new ones
  2. Followed by the car which, as detailed here, shat itself spectacularly at its MOT, with repairs costing pretty much the same price as we paid for it, and meaning we bought a new* one (well, new to us, but 12 years old)
  3. Yesterday, the boiler overheated (are they supposed to do that?). We turned it off for safety’s sake, and to let it cool down, and now we can’t light the pilot, so it worketh not, and it’s bloody cold. I can cope without the central heating – there’s a gas fire in the living room, and we have plenty of blankets and so forth; but there’s NO HOT WATER, which is just horrible. And Pete is off to Finland this morning for five days, and I’m just miserable. And cold.

Could someone please make it stop?

weekend 12/mar 08

Lazy, by and large. We found a tub of goose in the back of the freezer that we didn’t know we had (more on that project later), so half of it was stir fried on Thursday, and most the rest was shredded, and turned into a goose and leek rissotto. The balance went in the soup pot.

The car has been playing up – we don’t use it enough, and the battery tends to run down. So on Saturday morning, perlmonger went out with his trusty jump starter, planning for us to go to Sainsburys, so I could do some shopping, and he could sit in the car with the engine running. I spotted a flaw in this plan, but went along with it. Of course, the bloody car started quite happily, so we both got to go round the stupormarket – how I hate them. Came back via the farm shop, bought chicken and cheese and stuff. Back in the car – nothing. Zilch. Engine wouldn’t even turn.

Considered contents of boot. Considered bright sunlight. Removed ice cream, chicken, milk, cold meat, etc, distributed it round bags, and walked the mile or so home, leaving the rest in the car. Then phoned the AA, who gave us an ETA of 60-70 minutes. Pete trudged manfully back to the car, while I did some work, and the AA turned up on time, and said the battery was shagged, and not taking a charge. Arse – new battery today then.

Having picked upI made the dough for hungarian fennel bread on Saturday night, then got up at ridiculous o’clock on Sunday to knock it back. It was worth it – gorgeous. perlmonger went out on his velocipede yesterday afternoon, and I made a carrot cake. Supper was roast chickie! with roast spuds, and courgette and kale stir fried with some tamari, and the carrot cake with a rather splendid blood orange compote, and vanilla ice cream.

Six (I think) episodes of West Wing consumed too.

And now it’s Monday again.

don't be alarmed …

our neighbours went off across the Pond for the festive season – California, Colorado, Tennessee, and god knows where else. They left us a set of keys to the house, so we could pick up the post and so forth, and a key to Andrea’s Mini – because the builders who did their recent utility room conversion had failed to organise the removal of the skip from their driveway, and they thought we could move it in there when it went.

on the Friday lunchtime before Xmas, we realised that the skip guys were unlikely to turn up, so we popped the car into the end of our driveway at the back. And left it there until yesterday morning, when we returned it to where it had been on the road.

imagine my horror when it was gone this morning – could they be back without telling us? Or had some bastard nicked the bloody thing? Thankfully while we were making lunch today, Matt turned up in his car, and said that yes, they’d got back yesterday afternoon, but were too knackered to speak to anyone.

thank $deity – trying to explain to Inspector Knacker that the car had been stolen while we had a key was making me just a tad nervous.