Nothing very exciting to report so I’ll just tell you about my week.
It’s been cold, and at times rainy, but today the sun is shining, the garden forsythia glorious and I have my car back after a frustrating few days. It was recently subject to a manufacturer’s re-call to deal with an issue with the clutch and brake system. This was the second part of a two-stage recall. It was booked in to the local dealership for Wednesday at 8.30am for the 10 hour job. I was asked if I required a replacement car and declined since it was unnecessary at that time. However, with an appointment to attend late on the afternoon of Thursday 14th March, I requested that I would be able to pick it up at 3.30pm. This was written clearly on the service sheet by the receptionist. My telephone number was taken ‘in case of any problems’. No phone call was forthcoming. On Thursday 14th I arrived to pick it up only to be told that it was ‘nowhere near ready’. It transpired that the work had only just commenced. Had I been called to warn that it wouldn’t be ready, I could have made alternative arrangements. As it was, my husband had to rearrange his own plans in order to drive me.
I asked that the car definitely be ready for the following day by 11.30am as I needed transport at that time. I was told that it would still not be ready and was offered a replacement car through a rental company, but it carried an astonishing £1,500 excess! I eventually received my car back shortly before 9am this morning (Saturday) with a verbal apology and an explanation that there had been a communication problem. I might accept this more readily if it was not for the fact that when I took the car in for the first part of the re-call in December, on picking it up it reeked of cooked food. I was assured that no-one had been eating food in my car but that a curry had been cooked on the premises. It was necessary to leave the windows of the car open for several hours.
I’ve sent a letter to the General Manager expressing my disappointment at the level of customer service.
The upside of this little story is that on Friday morning I had to ask my friend L for a lift back from the gym in her sparklingly brand new, very luxurious Mercedes. Truly readers, it is FABULOUS. My green eyes were a touch greener!
In other car related news this week, I got held up on the M40 for an hour and a half following an accident. I was visiting a garden centre in Banbury, meeting my daughter who is technically living with me for a few months but in reality is rarely here (i.e. her belongings are here, she has a shelf in the freezer and her post pops through the door). The ‘would we or wouldn’t we’ on-off journey (I’m not going to make it/Oh yes I am/Well, I’ve turned round now/ Ok, I’ll turn around again) meant that we were later meeting than planned but it was good to see her. Our breakfast meeting became more of an early lunch and we had less time together than we would otherwise have done. It was frustrating but I remember the words of a manager of mine when I apologised for being late for a meeting because of a ‘damned accident’ on the M6. I shouldn’t be annoyed, he told me. “That is somebody’s parent or somebody’s child. Be grateful that it’s not yours. ” I’ve never forgotten those words.
The garden centre was small and not terribly interesting but I liked these metal garden ornaments though I’d not buy them for my own garden. Liking something but not wishing to own it is a concept I’ve had to explain to my husband at times. I point something out saying that I like it. he says, “I’ll buy it for you,” and I respond with, “No, I don’t want it.” Sometimes he’ll say, “But I thought you liked it.” Is this something that other people understand?
A new telephone system was installed at work at few weeks ago. For the first time when I went in on Tuesday morning, I could see that the red light was flashing which meant that I had a message. Not sure how to access it, I dug out the guidance booklet. It is 52 pages long. FIFTY TWO pages! It’s a phone, not a rocket! I need a phone that rings when someone wants to talk to me, and that I can use to talk to someone else. Simple, effective, does the job. When did things get so complicated? I eventually accessed the messaging system and guess what – all I could hear was a shuffle of paper and no message after all.
My brother came for dinner and bought me some beautiful tulips. I cannot capture the colour accurately; they are less pink than they look here, a deeper red, not quite carmine. I love tulips cut down and placed in a goldfish-style bowl. They’re probably the only flowers that still look good as they start to droop a little and hang their heads.
One evening during the week I opened a drawer and found a whole lot of forgotten about knitting wool and decided that it should be used up so started crocheting a blanket. I used to crochet quite a lot. I like the way it grows faster than knitting and I do a little in the evenings when I’m watching TV. I’m not sure who the beneficiary will be.
One afternoon I met with a friend for coffee (and cake) at a local craft centre where I’d meant to take photographs for a blog post but I reached into my bag only to find that I’d picked up my book from the coffee table instead of my i.pad! We worked together for years and left the company, both taking voluntary redundancy at the same time. It’s nice to reminisce and catch up.
On Friday lunchtime I met up with an old acquaintance of 27 years with whom I’ve recently become friendly. We talked non-stop for almost three hours – books, politics, family, all sorts. I chose a whipped goats cheese salad to eat, seemingly hooked on it at the moment. I’ve eaten it in restaurants three times and made it at home twice in the past few weeks. Maybe I’ll have it again for dinner this evening. I don’t often cook a roast on a Sunday though we’ll sometime have one in the week. I love to eat out a lunchtime and nowadays rarely do so in the evenings. We’re out with friends this week for lunch on Friday, but also have a voucher left from Christmas which Husband and I need to use up so we’ll perhaps plan to use that next week.
A couple of weeks ago I bought some black thread as mine had almost run out. On Saturday I wanted to use it but couldn’t find it anywhere so, not wanting to go into town, I popped to Asda to buy some. They had every colour bar black. The assistant told me that they kept ordering it but it never came in. In Morrisons I was told that they have stopped selling sewing accessories altogether and Tesco appeared to have none either. I gave up and came home. The hem on my black coat will have to wait.
And now I need to go and do some ironing. I like to start the week knowing that everything is ready for when required.