I like my local garage….

I wandered down, wandered in. Four guys all standing round having a cuppa in the office. I explain my predicament and suggest that I could roll it down the hill, but don’t really want to. They volunteer to collect it. I give them the key and go home. They collect it (silently … I looked outside and my car had disappeared). I get a phonecall four hours later. Car fixed, battery changed, and they’ve charged me less for labour, recovery etc. than the cost of the battery itself!
My double glazing is being done tomorrow – downstairs was done today, and the frames for my windows are waiting outside my door.


Gaah! Boy Racer = Money Pit

Car won’t start. Long-range diagnosis from Dad is that ‘the battery’s probably dropped a cell’. Currently puzzling how to get it to the garage, given that I have broken down at home (and thus not roadside I think). I could probably push it to the garage. It’s not big and don’t think that it is particularly heavy. It does mean that I will need to go down the hill which is quite busy, negotiate the slalom posts (traffic slowing measures) and a road hump or two. Ho-hum…..

Repeat after me…

I must never, ever go anywhere in The Boy Racer without MrSatNav. Not even to church (only 6 miles away). Even after last week’s little dither (turned the wrong way leaving the Rotherhithe tunnel, ended up in London Bridge…) I’d not learned my lesson.
So, when I got to the Blackwall Tunnel approach this evening (having marvelled slightly at the unusually clear traffic) and saw that it was closed off due to a collision, and then noted that the westbound traffic was queuing back well onto the A13, I might have been able to take a wiser route.
Getting to the Dartford Crossing was OK (although further than I anticipated) and only took about 20 minutes. However, from there onwards, it was only down hill. I needed to get to Jn 2 on the M25 (from which point it is about 15 mins drive to my house). However, the M25 seemed to jump from 1a to 3, so I got off at 3 and then found myself on the M20 (it did promise an A20 to Lewisham, but didn’t seem to have a slip road)…. ten minutes later I jump off at Junction 2 of the M20 with signs for Brands Hatch. I eventually found a layby (opposite a dark, slightly ominous country pub) and checked the map (PTL!) that I keep in the car… of course this means that i had to open the door, as the light doesn’t work otherwise (note to self – pack a torch in car, to reduce fear of random assault by passing ne’er-do-wells) then worked out how to turn round and get back (which seemed to be much quicker than getting lost in the first place).
Total miles – 53 (as opposed to 6)
Total time 1h10 (as opposed to 20).
My only comfort being that I still think it was quicker than queuing for 2 miles in stationary traffic for the Rotherhithe (which was also having problems…)

Testing, testing

In two different senses

The Boy Racer has failed his little MoT test, because his exhaust is about to fall off ;-(, the brake pads and front tyres are also close to the legal limit ;-(. So I have to work out whether the exhaust is covered by the warranty or not (I don’t really speak ‘car’ very well… so need to speak to Dad later on).

Am also being harassed by debt collection company on behalf of British Gas who supplied electricity for about 2 months to ‘The-Flat-Which-Flooded’ (so now is vying with my first flat in London as being the worst place I have ever lived…. – actually – it probably wins hands down). After approx 3 hours on the phone to the company, BG and Npower I’ve established that Npower didn’t transfer over the supply when I asked them to. That is, the ‘National-Record-Keeping-System’ says that BG were supplying me with electricity throughout the entire period to August 2006. However, I was was paying Npower during this time. BG helpfully suggest that Npower could refund me and then I could pay BG. I pointed out that the reason that I switched from BG in the first place was that they were too expensive, so I was hardly likely to do that. Phoning Npower, their systems are all down today and will be until Monday, so I have left a message with a nice young lady. Hopefully things will be resolved soon (at least a ‘hold’ has been placed on the debt collection company).


Still – seeing Miss M. this evening which will be great fun.