Well, 2010 hasn’t been an annus horribilis, overall it’s been OK, but I think I’d rather rerun December and do most of it (apart from submitting the thesis) somewhat differently. After the drama of the burst pipe the other week, and my ominous noting that Dudley (the car) wasn’t sounding too good, we headed south to see family on Thursday only for Dudley to suddenly sound considerably worse. We were pulling into a service station at the time, luckily, so at least had toilets, tea and (relative) warmth, but it did mean that we were then not a priority for the recovery services, which meant we had to wait a very very very very very very long time before we could get a tow to our destination. We have had to say goodbye to Dudley, who will soon be heading for the great scrapyard in the sky, just as soon as we can get our paperwork down to our brother-in-law (in whose parking space Dudley is currently). In the meantime we have had to hire a car to get us back to Scotland, but dates and availability means that we have had to put off our plan to visit my family as well as HD’s, and we will have to rectify that later in the new year. We’ll keep the hire car just over a week, I will try and have as many admin days at work as I can manage (as I won’t be insured to drive the hire car for business purposes) and try to get a lease car from work. I have put off the lease car option up till now for a number of reasons: (1) you have to commit to 3 years and I never wanted to be that long in the job (2) I have never had a financed car before, I’ve just saved up and bought one outright, and I feel a bit funny about having to pay out monthly (3) up till now we had a perfectly good car. But having sat and worked out the finance options, it will actually work out no more expensive, and in fact will probably be cheaper, than what we had spent on Dudley, his repairs and insurance etc. And for that I will get a brand new car which is insured for both of us and will benefit from free repairs (well, free to me anyway). It’s a bit of a no-brainer really. The 3 years thing isn’t ideal, but could be worse.
Anyway, apart from all that drama Christmas has been fun. I was sad not to be seeing my folks, but as there wasn’t anything anyone could do about that I have just had to make the best of the situation, and have enjoyed being with HD’s family. We have been given so much chocolate I won’t be able to start dieting till the summer (!). The car we have hired is the smallest we could get, unfortunately I have eaten so much the last couple of days it may mean the car struggles to get much beyond 2nd gear as the load is too heavy. If you see a lawnmower chugging up the M6, that will probably be us.