Tag: car

You couldn’t make it up!

On Thursday we received a letter from the DVLA confirming that we were no longer the owners of our X-Trail from 27th August. Now, this came as a bit of a shock as I had just got out of it and had definitely sold it. Within the letter it stated that I would get a refund on the road tax in due course. Because the car did not have road tax on it, my insurance would not be valid, and had not been valid for a week. Basically, I had been driving illegally and if I had an accident my insurance would not cover me, I could lose my driving licence, my car could be taken from me and crushed, and if in an accident possibly go to prison.

I made lots and lots of calls to find out what had happened, who was responsible for this and to get it all corrected. The top and tail of it was that no one wanted to take responsibility for the mistakes. The car dealer was blamed at first as we are getting a new car and should have had it delivered on 1st September, but due to COVID and Nissan factory shutdown it was running late in production. I was told that because we were trading the car in and the new car was late the dealer should have updated the dates and it would not have happened. I was not happy with this and argued that if that was the case then date from DVLA would have been the 1st and not 27/8.

In the end, I was told that something has gone wrong and that it would be fixed within the next week. WHAT? So how were we supposed to get about, and me go to work etc? I wanted a car and that was that. This was nothing to do with me, so whoever it is needed to sort out a car immediately. I was told that a car would be with me within 4 hours and the car hire people would call me to make sure they send a suitable vehicle. 3 hours passed and no call, so on the phone I went only to be told that they don’t have a car for me as the place up north is closed. In the meantime whilst a hire car was being found I was given a taxi account to use until it was sorted. But as with everything else in this, it was not that easy.

There are two places that do the car hire, one 30 miles south and another 35 miles north, and wouldn’t you know, neither had a car available. The place north of here is under COVID restrictions and is under lockdown. Understandably I did not want a vehicle that is sat in the middle of a rising city pandemic and made my feelings known. I was promised that my request would be adhered to, but promises are never kept. The southern branch I was told would call me and get it sorted, and again, this never happened.

Friday comes and I get a taxi to work. After 4 hours in work (11am) I call again to find out what’s going on and am told that it would be sorted out today and not to worry. Finally at 1:15pm I get a gall to say they have a car and it will be not he way soon, but it was coming from the branch in lockdown. I did not want to take it, but at this point in time I had not choice as I needed a car. 4pm it was delivered, a Vauxhall Crossland X, which is not big at all, and I think I could fit it into the glove compartment of my X-Trail. A quick spray with the disinfectant spray and crossed fingers that all would be well.

I spoke to the dealer after and told him what had gone on and he filled me in with what he had been told, almost sounding sceptical about it all, especially that he was blamed initially and that I was not blaming him. We have bought 4 cars from him over the past 10 years and never had a problem. I now have this car until it is all sorted out with DVLA, and my car is sitting on the drive doing nothing.

I told you, you could not make it up.

6 weeks later…

I keep meaning to do a post, and then something comes up, and later I realise that I didn’t do my post, and think I will do it now, but manage somehow to get myself sidetracked and BOOM! Forgot to post again. I do not know what is going on with me. So, forgive me for my tardiness!

Fish…

Since last we “spoke” as it were, I finally got rid of my large tank in the lounge. Part of me was glad to get rid of it, and part of me was sad to see it go. The fish love their new smaller home and my Cameroon shrimp seems happy too. Although it was a great tank it took up quite a lot of room, being so massive. We have a unit that we moved into one of the halls when we got the tank, so that is now back in the lounge. My thoughts for getting rid of the tank was to move the smaller tank onto the said unit and get another small tank and finally do a nano reef tank. However, the cost of doing a reef tank is high. I have found a nano tank I like which is £150, but then I need a skimmer and a heater so that’s another £90. Add sand, live rock and all the other bits I need to get it started and I am close to £500 without even adding fish or coral. So, before I take the plunge I have downloaded and printed a book on the subject and intend to read it in full before I decided on what to do. Having spoken to a few people the jury really is out. Some say it is easier than tropical, some say get a large tank as a nano can have problems being small, and others rave on about nano tanks, so there is no real help chatting to others LOL.

I bought an external 12-litre canister filter for my other large tank which works like a treat, but today I added on an extra 2-litre filter canister to that. In essence, water is drawn out of the tank to the small sub canister then passed into the large canister and finally put back into the other end of the tank. I did manage to make a bit of a watery mess as I had not fastened one of the inlet pipes properly oops! I had lost a few fish over the last few weeks, so thought the canister filter would help sort the water quality out. It has UV inside so sterilises the water as it filters. The lighting I have on the tank also decided to die, only 6 weeks after it being exchanged after the first one died after 4 months. Thankfully the aquatic centre where I get most of my equipment and livestock were very understanding and spoke to Fluval who admitted there was a problem that they have now sorted out and to exchange it for me.

Dogs…

Harper with her Birthday monkey

It was Harpers 5th Birthday on Sunday. As always we took them to McDonald’s for hamburgers, then to the pet store so Harper could pick a toy, which this year was a rather large monkey, and two packs of balls. Needless to say, they both had a great time.

Knitting…

Thought about it, even mentally made a pattern for a hat for winter, but that was it, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?

Books…

I was reading The Massacre of Mankind which is a sequel to War of the Worlds and in the end, I gave up as it was so slow and the author was trying to write in the style of H. G. Wells but failed page after page. As most of my readers will know I love classical literature, so have no problem with ancient writing and old English, but this bad, if he had written it in current English it would have been a good read.

Outings…

I went to a joint Christening and Communion party a few weeks ago, got very drunk and had a ball.

Last week we went to Delamere Forest again, which for some reason driving there we managed to take all the wrong turns. I came off the motorway/highway onto the expressway in order to go over the Mersey Gateway Bridge, which when you get to the end of the expressway is straight over the roundabout, however, when you follow this, you end up in an industrial estate and nowhere near the bridge. It would seem the directions for the bridge do not exist, and when you get to the end of said expressway you turn left and ignore the signs. But as I managed to turn the wrong was we ended up back on the motorway heading in the direction of home. Time though was on our hands. My satnav said we would get there at 11:15 when we left home and although I managed to go on a long diversion of 20 minutes we got there at 11:22 thus proving that time travel can be achieved.

Education…

The degree is now on hold. I was so undecided about doing it that I thought it best to put the thought to one side until I was 100% committed to doing it.

General…

After returning from Ireland I had tests and a cardiac assessment done. My blood results came back reporting a lack of vitamin D, which is about right living so far north and the general lack of sun. But I also did not have enough of the good cholesterol either, but this could be due to coeliacs disease. The doctors’ office suggestion was to take vitamin D tablets and eat more oily fish etc. Luckily I found a company that sells vitamins on Amazon and they do a vitamin D that is 4000iu, and when you buy a product they thank you by letting you pick another one for free. I decided on Hemp oil tablets as they are for omega 3 and 6, so that’s the bloods sorted.

The scarecrow festival came and went, and I managed to take exactly zero photos of it. I mean, what is the point of having a great camera, living in the country, and having festivals if I do not record it? Answers on a postcard, please!

We bought new garden furniture, namely a table, chairs and a parasol, just in time for the monsoon season to hit us. Yes, my luck/timing really is in at the moment.

I have managed to have a few barbeques lately, between showers that is.

I finally took the leap into meditation after dipping my toes off and on into it over the last few weeks. I have joined Headspace for a year, and am finding it quite good and just have to add it into my daily routine.

In other news, I had a puncture in one of the rear tyres on the car.

So, how are you all?

Wet arse!

I went with M to the home to see his mum. The dogs were with us as his dad had gone out, so I was not going to leave them alone in the house. Whilst at the home I left the girls in the car, the double sunroof left open to its full extent, and of course the windows down half way too. After ten minutes M’s mum wanted to see the dogs again so I brought them in, leaving everything open.

5 minutes pass inside the home and I happen to look out the windows, and the heavens have opened and all of a sudden it was monsoon season again. I ran through the home to the car park, jumped in, started the engine and closed all the windows and roof, but the inside was drenched, and so was I. Whilst sitting there waiting for the roof to close I had sat in the rain-drenched seat, leaving me with a wet arse. The passenger seat got the worst of it due to the direction of the rain, but all the same, everything was soaked. I mopped up what I could with the cloth I had in the car, then when back at the house used three towels to try and dry it all, but I think we are set to have wet bums for a few days.

Deep joy!

Decorating, again…

You would think that we would be happy with the house by now, but there is always something to do, and indeed paint. Sometimes it feels like we are doing the Forth Bridge or Goldengate Bridge because as soon as we get to the end we seem to start again.

Last weekend I changed the colour of the chimney breast in the lounge and the fireplace. The colour on the wall was a soft green, but I got sick of it quite early after painting it. The fireplace was a light fudge colour.

I had started this post 6 days ago, and for some reason got carried away and left it. Anyway, the lounge is finished now, and all the touch ups have been completed. Next is the kitchen, so far stripped of most of the things on the walls. Filling and fixing next, then this coming weekend I should be in a position to start painting it. I am looking for a new ceiling light though as I really hate with a passion the tube lighting we have in it. It is bright, but so 70’s retro. I am looking for an LED light, but we have no real lighting places here. There is one in the village, but it is horrifyingly expensive I would not purchase anything there, also there are a lot of ugly chrome looking items, so just not my style.

Hue Cher LED Light

There is a lighting place in Liverpool, but last time we went there we were followed about the store as though we were thieves, so will not go back, why give our money to people who look down on two guys shopping for lights. Ikea has some good lighting, but nothing suitable. I like a bright kitchen with backlighting. Currently, we have the striplight and LED backlighting and under cupboard lighting, so when not cooking etc., the lighting is subdued with just the back and under cupboards lights on. I have Hive & Hue lighting about the house, so everything is voice controlled apart from the bathroom, and I want the same in the kitchen, but god forbid, can I find anything suitable? No sir. The closest I can find is a Hue Cher ceiling light (above), but being a pendant puts me off. It is 3000 lumens, so bright as a 200w bulb or a 50w strip light, so should do the job, but as with everything, comes with a hefty price tag, £195. On saying that, there are lovely lighting in John Lewis for £750, so I guess £195 is a little better, but all in all a hard pill to swallow.

This week we painted the garden fencing, got rid of the last of the junk accumulated over the year, installed brushwood screening over the fencing, then erected the gazebo for the BBQ area. We only got a small gazebo, but when it is up it seems quite large, but we can and will live with it. The neighbours are blocked from gawping in now too, which is a bonus. I am sure I have told of my odd and freakish neighbours in the past, but all in all, we would like to be left in peace to enjoy our garden, and not deal with the hillbillies.

One think about taking accumulated rubbish to the dump is that one forgets to check things, and indeed this was the case when I put the parasol in the car with the fittings, that although seemed okay were full of water, stagnant water complete with old seed from the birds and god only knows what. The result was the contents spilling all over the back seats of the car, and giving off an aroma of what can only be described as vomit and rust. We have an industrial carpet cleaner with attachments that do furniture etc., so I had to get that out today and clean the seats within an inch of their lives. I just hope that I have done enough to rid the smell from the car and will know tomorrow when I go out in it. Fingers crossed.

The Beast is Back…

I took delivery of my car yesterday, and not before time.  Just a week of not having it, and I did miss it.  The hire company Europcar were a right pain in the arse if I am honest.  My car was delivered to work, so as my insurance only covers me for my car, or a hire car whilst mine is being repaired then I could not legally drive both.  I called the hire company at 10:15 when the repair centre called to say that they had completed all the works including a full valet.  They said they were just carrying out a few last tests to ensure it is 100% safe they would deliver it on a transporter and should be with me in the next two hours.  My car arrived just after noon and I parked it up and transferred the dog’s bed and their water etc from the hire car.

2pm arrived and I had not heard from the hire company so I called them only to be told that they were sorting it out and would be there soon to collect it.  4pm arrives and nothing, so I called again and was told they were having trouble getting to me and may have to do it today.  I explained that the industrial area that I was in that day may not be safe for the car to be left, in all honesty, I could just drive it down the road to where the houses are and it would be okay there, but I decided that they had had enough time, so screw them.  I could also have left it in the compound, however, my friend who owns it said that it would be entirely on the heads of the hire company and not her.  They declined and said they would come back to me and asked if the car was at my home address.  This was now growing tiresome as I knew they were just fobbing me off, and using any excuse.  I told them that I had already given them the details at 10:15, and could play back the recording if they wanted.  4:50 pl came and no call, so again I called and told them that they either get it collected this evening, or it stays on the street as I have off-hired it and it was no longer my concern.  With a huff and puff he decided that he would come and collect it himself after he finishes work at 6pm, so I knew he would not be there till 7pm.  I told him I was going home and he was to call me 30 mins before he got there and I would drive back over with the keys as I had no intention of hanging about.

7:15 he arrived and took the keys and with a rather pissed off tone in his voice said thanks and off I went laughing to myself at his bad attitude.

Bastards…

Last night my car alarm went off.  I got out of bed looked out the window to see nothing, the lights were not flashing and the alarm had stopped, so I thought nothing of it after several minutes looking out.  My car alarm has gone off in the past, and it was due to the air vent causing atmospheric changes in the car, yes it’s a little sensitive, to say the least.

This morning I got up and slowly got into my day, and about 9:30 am I decided to take the dogs, went to the back of the car opened the back to let them in and closed it.  M then said “Stop!  Look at the car” which I did, only to discover that some little shit had broken into it, smashed my door window, damaging the surround and stolen my satnav and all the cables.  Glass everywhere!

To say I am pissed off is an understatement, and if I knew who did it I would quite happily take a hammer to their head for all the damage they did.

At 9:45 the calls and messing about started.  I called the Police and went through everything with them and got my crime reference number.  The Police were a delight to deal with an he was very nice and agreed that we should be able to have snipers protecting our valuables.  Then I had to call my insurance and go through lots of things with them.  Next was to speak to the repair centre and arrange for my vehicle to be booked in.  Next RAC to get my vehicle collected on the back of a transporter and taken to the repair centre.  Then car hire, which is not as easy as you would think, trying to get a large car the same day almost seems impossible, however, I have had to go with a Vauxhall Zafira as this was the biggest I could get.  So far the car has been taken away, but will not be looked at until Monday at the earliest, and of course, they have called to take a deposit payment so they can start the repairs.  It is now 5 hours since my first call and I have been on and off the phone during the whole 5 hours and still trying to sort out the hire car.

Fingers crossed this is the last problem I have to endure or sweat to god I will end up killing someone.

Ouch…

Things happen when you are on holiday, it is inevitable, but usually, it is something small, like being charged for something you did not have (bread on table in Europe), or having a meal that you did not really enjoy (that was my lunch yesterday), but sometimes it is something really big, like missing a flight, losing luggage, but since we drove here that has not happened, but this did…

Yes, on Tuesday something hit my bumper, stoved it in and scratched and cracked the bodywork below the lights and took the trim off from around the driver’s side wheel.  So needless to say, I was not a happy bunny.

Even though it does not look like much it will cost thousands of pounds to get back to new as apart from the new parts including the front bodywork and bumper moulding, the paintwork needs doing, body clips need replacing, everything needs realigning.  I spoke to my insurance yesterday and they said they would sort it out and I only have to pay my excess which came as a relief.  My car is a Nissan X-Trail T32 2017, so only 1 year and 5 months old, so I am sure you could imagine how pissed off I was with it, but what can you do.

Back in 2009 I had just bought a Peugeot Sports and had it all of a week when someone went the wrong way in my work carpark and tore the whole back end off it.  Luckily there were witnesses and van driver who did it was working at the office next door.  I gave the insurance all the details and the witnesses contacted them too, but the guy denied it all, even though his red paint matched that all over my car.  The insurance fixed it and went after him as they had lots of evidence, but he denied it all the way to the end, his insurance buckled and paid out in the end.

Oh well, onwards and upwards as the saying goes.

Car Service…

First Service of my car, it seems like only yesterday when we bought the car, but a Year has passed in what seems like the blink of an eye.

The weather outside is shockingly cold and the ice like winds off the river would freeze the most hardy of people. So with that I have decided to sit in the showroom and wait for the hour or so to pass in the warmth with a cup of black decaf coffee, thankfully I have my kindle and they have WiFi here too, so all good.

One of the things I dislike about being here is that I see brand new cars and want to get a new one. That is what happened last year. I was looking at the latest X-Trail and quite honestly drooling over it as it was gorgeous. My car at the time was only two years old, in perfect condition and was a great car, but temptation took over and a few days later I drove out the showroom with a brand new X-Trail. Obviously I’d love a new one but we are going to keep this one for now, but mid to late next year we will look at getting a new one.

Sunday Limbo…

I am sure I am not the only one who thinks of Sunday as a bit of a limbo day.  I find Sundays a real pain in the arse.  The shops open their doors late, and close early, there is bugger all of the worth on the TV, and if feels like a wasted day, and by the time we get to bedtime, most of the day has been wasted from being busy doing nothing.

I like to relax on Sundays, but for some unknown reason that only the gods seem to be privy to, I never get the chance.  Today is no exception.  After waking at just after 5am as the dogs wanted to go out for toilet duties I ended up quite literally coughing my guts up, which went on for close to an hour.  After coughing, blowing my nose and retching and being close to vomiting, I eventually managed to go back to bed for a few hours sleep.  My sleep was broken yet again by the dogs, namely Mazikeen, who thought it was a good idea to lie on my head and pillow and promptly lick my face.  I endured this for a few moments, then got up and let her out in the garden for 5 minutes.  M was still in bed, so I decided to let him sleep as he had his sleep disturbed by me coughing.

I ate breakfast at my iMac whilst reading blogs and trying to keep the dogs from making too much noise as they played rough and tumble.  When M got up we had a brew and took the girls out for a walk.  That was followed by going to get the car washed.  I would do it myself, but it is a big car, and it is cold, so the high-tech automated car wash did the job for me.  The car is sprayed down and pre-jetwashed by a man, then the car goes onto the roller tracks and gets all its foam, wax, shield treatment and finally drying.  This we are used to as I use this from time to time when I do not get it valeted, but I forgot that Harper hates the jet wash and is quite aggressive towards the windows when it hits, and Mazikeen had never been in a car wash before and was totally terrified as she sat on M’s knee.  Needless to say, I will be going on my own next time.

When we got home I cleaned out the inside of the car as it badly needed it.  There was so much muck from the forest and sand from the beach that really the inside could have been considered outside.  I was not up for doing it after the bad night sleep and this cough that seems to be plaguing me, but, I had to do it as it is going for its first service on Tuesday as it is coming up to being a year old.  I do treat my car as a workhorse and the last time it was valeted was September before going to Ireland.

Next on the agenda was cleaning the house, then a big bowl of scouse.  For those who do not know, this is like a stew made from beef, potatoes, swede, carrots, onions, water, salt and pepper, it can be made with lamb too.

I had planned to sit about watching movies, sewing my sweater and generally relaxing, but that just has not happened.  Again, only the gods know why I cannot do what I plan to on a Sunday.  It is now dusk and I have not managed to do what I wanted.

On a more positive note, my diet is going okay and I have managed to lose 2 pounds this week.  Fingers crossed it keeps going that way.  It turns out that having no sugar is not that hard.  I have had decaf coffee and tea.  However, I have had some milk, a touch of skimmed in tea and semi-skimmed on my cornflakes this morning (along with chopped up banana and a drizzle of honey), but the point is, no refined sugar.  I did think that I would have lost more than just two pounds as I have cut out so much, but I am sure being early days it will keep dropping off me.  I still feel fat though!

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