Since leaving my job at the end of February, I have started my one-day-a-week working at another health centre to maintain my registration and stay on the nurse bank. On Tuesday I had parked the car outside the health centre after my morning visits, but when I came out after lunch to go on my afternoon visits I found a long scratch along most of the passenger door, continuing into the rear bodywork. I called the police to get a crime number (though as it happens I can’t claim on the insurance as the eventual quote is nearly the same as my policy excess), and filled in an incident form, and today went to the repair place to see about getting it fixed – the scratch is deep enough that if left I could see it getting rusty, and as it is a black car it is really visible. The guy said that because it covered two panels it was hundreds of pounds worth of work, but said that given the circumstances he could do it for a couple of hundred pounds less (which suggests to cynical me that it is really a couple of hundred pounds less worth of work but he was trying to make me feel like I was getting a bargain. How sad to be so cynical). Which is more than I will earn not just for the one day but for the whole month.
I am so cross about it, and really grumpy now. I just can’t understand what anyone could get out of mindlessly keying someone’s car. I mean, if they’d broken in and nicked the stereo, at least they’d have something out of it. But this – pointless. I have seen people on the telly before saying that they burgle “because they’re insured so they can get it back”. But that doesn’t cover a. the excess, b. the waste of time (as well as getting the quote today we’ll be without the car for two days while it is fixed so HD will have to add a couple of hours onto his usual day using the train, and what if we’d had plans for Saturday?, plus I need to try and put in a claim at work given that the damage was caused during the course of work duties and that process moves at the speed of a glacier on a go-slow), c. the sense of fear – I have to go back there for the next month and a half, why would I want to park my car anywhere near?, d. the fact that whoever did this doesn’t even have anything to show for it – the whole thing was totally pointless. I am struggling to be cuddly liberal about them I must admit. Grrrrrrrr.
So we started the year with a new car and are now ending it with another one. I hope this one lasts a bit longer!
I haven’t shown many Stirling views yet, so here’s one to rectify that. This is the view across the Forth river up to the Wallace Monument. We’ve had a dusting of snow today, it was too wet to settle much but now it’s getting cold so I wouldn’t be surprised if the melting slush freezes overnight. That’s something to look forward to! (not).
We have bought a car, and pick it up next week. I was hoping to borrow a friend’s car for this week, but she phoned this afternoon to say her car is making worrying noises so she has to take it to the garage tomorrow. I am beginning to think I am the Angel of Death to cars! Might have to take some previously unplanned annual leave this week ….
We’ve been having seriously good weather for ducks. Glasgow had well over half its monthly average monthly rainfall in less than 24 hours, and don’t forget that in the west of Scotland we already get plenty of the wet stuff. Stirling was even worse.
I drove through a great big puddle too fast and gubbed the electrics, so we broke down just after we turned onto the M8 on the way home. This was taken with HD’s phone, and is of the car while we waited for the man from the RAC to rescue us. Of course by the time he came the car started, but he dried it out and sprayed it with industrial amounts of WD40 and it got us home OK.
I liked the morning sky colour here.
This clematis is by our front door. It’s going to look lovely in the summer.
This (very zoomed) view is not far from our house. As you can see the hills got a dusting of snow.
Confession: I totally forgot to take a picture on the 24th, so I took a picture of white nothing on the 25th. Whoops!
These carnations are left over from the bouquet I got from my colleagues (see previous photo) (actually they’re still alive a week later on the 30th too!).
I had an interview in the afternoon for a reduced-hours health visiting job, I didn’t get it (though they said I interviewed well), but it did give me the chance to hang around Queen’s Park before it got dark while waiting for HD to finish work. I tried lots of close-ups of the swans, got quite a few pictures I liked. This one had just had its head in the water, hence the dripping.
The best thing about moving house! 🙂
This is our local parish church (which coincidentally has the same name as our church in Glasgow).
This is the best takeaway we’ve had yet here (the Indian and Chinese have been a bit disappointing).
Tonight’s dinner. It was yummy 🙂
I was thinking how posting a photo a day means I don’t need to post much of any great substance. But I realised today just how tired I am, so for the most part insubstantial is about all I can cope with right now.
Today I had my introductory session at Uni #6 (the sexual health nursing course) and I suddenly thought “I just can’t do this now”. I am now seeking to withdraw – the programme leader is leaving at the end of this first module and there is apparently no guarantee that the other two modules will be run at all after she has gone. There is another university locally which does a similar course, it’s not as convenient but is doable, but I think I am going to have a break and if I still want to do it apply there for September. I was annoyed that we hadn’t been told till then that the other modules may well not run, and also that when I got there I discovered I was supposed to have received a ton of stuff from them with information about how to register, join the library etc and I’ve not received a single thing of those. The whole thing has been so farcical I have really lost all confidence in them, and I also found myself just thinking where on earth am I going to find time to revise for my PhD viva? Faced with the reality of it all, on top of what I’m already doing, I just have to be realistic. I am just so very very tired. I feel very relieved at the decision.
In other news, I have had a bit of a stressful time with the car. Having bought it on Saturday, yesterday it wouldn’t start and was making rather alarming noises. The bloke from the RAC jumpstarted it and charged the battery, and I took it to a garage who gave it a new battery. It drove home absolutely fine, only this morning when I went to drive to work it was dead as a dodo again. I was NOT happy. I left it for the garage to pick up again and had to walk to the subway to get to my clinic (late), only for the garage to call me about half an hour later to say there was nothing wrong with it! It turned out I hadn’t put it correctly into ‘park’ mode (having never owned an automatic before I had no idea this was an issue), and when that’s the case they don’t start. Luckily for me the garage didn’t charge me anything today! When I told HD later he looked a bit sheepish and said “oh yeah …” (his last car before we got married, Bessie, was an automatic and the same thing had apparently happened to him once). I wish he’d remembered this morning before I called the garage! Anyway, it meant that the grand naming has been delayed, but I’ll decide by the weekend.
So there we are. Nothing of major import, but my world right now. I am running on empty a bit, but other than that am fine. I have applied for another OU tutoring position, and have spotted a part-time job which is a way away but doable-commutable so am going to apply for that. I think not being a health visitor would help my tiredness a lot.
This is the new addition to our lives, bought earlier today. It is such a relief to have a car again – funnily enough my workplace still expect me to visit people, so not having a car was mildly inconvenient to say the least. This car is an automatic which will take a bit of getting used to. It is a couple of years older than Dudley, but seems to drive really smoothly so hopefully it will keep us going for a while.
I’m inviting suggestions, here and on facebook, for possible names 🙂 (I am not yet sure if the car is a girl or boy).
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.
We were meant to be going to York for the weekend to see friends, but unfortunately Dudley (the Saab) has a little problem with one of his wheels so we can’t drive until it’s sorted out, and it was too late to get a train ticket that didn’t cost a fortune. So we shall have to think of something else to do instead.
HD gave me a present today. He had originally planned on giving it to me tomorrow, but as it’s possibly the most unromantic present ever he thought better of it and gave me it today instead. It’s a really cool present though (don’t click if you’re of a sensitive disposition) – one of these. I could really have done with one of these on Cumbrae the other week, it was far too cold to drop my pants behind a random bush so I had to hold on for ages!
Whoever said romance was dead?!
I nearly forgot – I met the car this weekend, and it’s a boy. He’s called Dudley.
We were up in town spending some of the vouchers we were given as wedding gifts today. It was fun! We have all sorts of exciting gadgetry to play with now, mainly of the kitchen variety. It made me really appreciative – we aren’t exactly flushed with money right now, but thanks to the generosity of others we were able to treat ourselves without being anxious about the cost.
HD suggested we call the new car “Jamie”, as King James followed Good Queen Bess(ie). I think it’s a silly name for a car though, and besides I haven’t seen it yet, I don’t even know if it’s a boy or a girl. This is all a very new experience for me – my two previous cars have both been called “Car” (capital C) – a very useful name that covered both sexes (the Polo was a girl, the Renault a boy. I think). But after Bessie we can’t possibly have an unnamed car, and I think two Cars is enough, it’s time for a change now.