A tale of 3 cars.
Hello people, it's cold, wet, and windy outside, but warm, cosy and calm inside Bracken.
Graham and Jaq picked me up this morning and we drove down to the cafe at Barton Marina for breakfast. Good food, nice surroundings and good company, what more does a body need!
At the end of my last post I asked if any eagle eyed people had noticed any obvious change in the past 12 months. A bit evil of me really as I didnt give any clues so I will 'come clean'.
Originally, when I came to live on Bracken I drove a VW Polo. This was the vehicle I used as a school car when I was working as a driving instructor and it had done in excess of 150,000 miles in its short life so didn't really owe me anything.
(If you look at the heading picture of the blog you can see the Polo parked in the parking area.)
It was a very basic model, no electric windows, no remote central locking, as I say very basic but it served its purpose which was to teach pupils to drive.
What started this story was, my brother changed his vehicle, he had a two door pick up truck and changed it for a Honda CRV what is referred to as an SUV, electric everything, full of bells and whistles and gadgets and so comfy and all for less than a grand!
So I thought " I'd like some of this"
So, I started looking at Auto Trader, and Ebay and found lots of similar vehicles for sale. My criteria for the vehicle was, it had to be red, (I love red vehicles), Automatic, ( always loved autos but needed manual for the job), with a large enough boot for my electric buggy for shopping. And primarily it had to be cheap! Found a CRV in Birmingham, went to see it, bought it and drove it home. Lovely!..... Kind of.....
Yes I know its old, but its Red, and its Auto, and its got electric windows!
Ok, sometimes you have to wait a few minutes for the immobiliser to disarm otherwise it wont start, but thats the point of having an immobiliser isnt it? OK, maybe sometimes it takes more than a few minutes for it to disarm, OK perhaps its better if I have the immobiliser removed, there, now it always starts!
Lovely vehicle to drive, smooth relaxing, and if I had any Cassettes I bet the stereo would sound good, unfortunately I no longer own any cassettes, just CD's but never mind the radio works.
I enjoyed the Honda, went down to Kent and back and was surprised how well it did on fuel economy, not a lot more than the old Polo would have done.
Knowing the MOT was due at the end of December, in November I got my local garage to give the Car a look over as I was aware of some rust round the rear wheel arches.
The mechanic was very apologetic when he said he wasn't able to lift the Honda with the hydraulic jacks as there were no jacking points on the chassis, they had rusted away to nothing along with the majority of the chassis rails, both sides!
I was quoted approx £750 to have the chassis rails rebuilt to MOT standard, so I scrapped it and went looking for a replacement vehicle.
The moral to this part of the story is, I would never again buy a car privately, from a man of 'Eastern origins' (who leaves a copy of the Koran in the glove box).
We live and learn.
Still on a learning curve, I found a Car sales in Ashton Under Lyne with a Red Auto Renault Scenic for sale.
After a long conversation on the phone during which I was assured the vehicle was in mint condition underneath, mechanically sound and with a long MOT, and after much perusal of photos I drove up to the car sales with the intention of buying the vehicle.
On seeing the vehicle, initially I was disappointed, it was filthy, inside and out, the rear door on the drivers side didn't shut properly and as the salesperson didnt have any trade plates he was reluctant to let me test drive it, instead he drove me around the town at what I felt were scary speeds. In fact I eventually insisted he slow down so I could feel the auto gearbox change up and down, and also get a feel for how the vehicle handled without having to cling on for dear life!
The salesman assured me the water pump and cam belt had been recently changed so we adjourned to his office to complete the paper work.
On line I taxed the vehicle using the green slip from the registration document provided by the car sales so I was now the registered keeper of the Renault
On the way home I found the drivers door electric window didn't work so that was another job to sort out.
Imagine my surprise when I rang my insurance company to notify them of change of vehicle, when relating the details to them I realised the green slip I had used to tax the vehicle did not belong to my car! It belonged in fact to another red Renault Scenic with a different registration number!
I had in fact taxed and registered someone elses car in my name.
In the interest of cutting a long story short, I now have the correct registration document for my vehicle, it is taxed and insured in my name but I am still trying to convince DVLA that I do NOT own the other vehicle!
Despite several letters and phone calls to DVLA I still receive letters asking me to clarify the situation.
One of the first things I did over the next few days was to remove the seats from the Renault to clean it thoroughly.
Put a couple of kids in the back of a vehicle, give them a couple of bags of crushed crisps, some chewy toffees, a bag of broken biscuits, some coloured crayons, oh and make sure they start with muddy shoes and you end up with something like the condition of the car.
A good vacuum and a strong cleaner for the plastics and door panels made a big difference to not only the appearance but also the smell too.
Bro and I re-aligned the rear door so that shuts perfectly now and cleaning up the switch contacts got the drivers electric window working fine.
I put the Renault in my local garage for a full service and to give the mechanic chance to give it a good inspection, all ok so far (fingers crossed).
February seems like being typical weather, forecast was for an Arctic blast with possible snow, so I bought in extra coal and tinned supplies and after a couple of frosts, and ten flakes of snow they now say temperature in double figures next week.
|and next day!|
|also Feb 7th|
|Yes it was chilly, but what a bootiful day!|
Lately the pontoons have been very slippery, a combination of dirt, tree sap and leaves left them quite slimy so the grounds men in the marina have been scrubbing and jet washing all the pontoons during the days when its not been freezing and its made a terrific difference and so much safer to walk on.
|rotating brushes and pressure washing....|
|.....makes all the difference.|
Well that brings us up to date I think, so bfn people.