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Took the Clio for service, and retrieved it with no unexpected expenditure.

Did a bit of shopping for tomorrow's feasting and mead-tasting.

Cold has become a headache with added sniffles, but a decent night's sleep and some tablets have helped, as has a long period of Doing Nothing and reading "Dodger".
That's a very good book, BTW. Pratchett does Dickensian London, though if it hadn't been clearly labelled you could have been forgiven for thinking you were in Ankh Morpork - no, not implying that he gets London wrong in the slightest, more that it's now even more clear where A-M got a lot of its inspiration.

So far I've only managed two of the required Birds for the day - I've boned and skinned a chicken and a guineafowl, ready to be assembled tomorrow. I think I'd better do the goose tonight as well, otherwise it'll never go in the fridge overnight, and even then, I'd better retrieve all the stock bits and get them going in the slow cooker overnight, simply because they won't go in the fridge. If I also do one of the quails, that's my four birds, though I hope they don't start "calling".
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It is now 2011, and that means the '11 plates are available - assuming of course that you buy a new car to put one on. Or maybe not? Maybe I could buy one and save it? Or something?
The attraction here is the fact I noticed when buying the current car - the KA prefix is a local one. So, KA11YRS would spell... yes, I'm sure my Gloranthan friends can see where this is going.
So, I went over to the DVLA site and found out. Yes, I can indeed buy it, for £400. I can save it for when I have a car new enough to put it on (you can make a car look older than it is, but not younger). £400 is quite a lot of money, without also replacing the current car earlier than I need to, or waiting several years before I get to use it.

Are there alternatives? I looked up common substitutions of numbers for letters, and did some more searching. Too many theoretically possible options aren't available, and some prices are incredible (1 ALL will cost you £90K!), but I could, if I wanted, get V7NGA for £326 - and that could go straight on the current car. K666LYR is available for £185, but that isn't really all that close.

No, I haven't even bothered looking for variations on "Jane". I suspect that's a common enough name that others will have been there before me.
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Stuck behind a learner for part of the way home yesterday. Driving school car - but an Audi A3??? Nice.....
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I won't be picking up the new car tonight after all. The salesman rang - he'd done one last check and noticed that something was missing. The air conditioning.....

We'd looked at the controls last weekend and seen air-con-like things, very similiar to those in Dave's car. It turns out there's one rather important button missing, the one with "AC" written on it.

So.... either we take this car (knocking £500 or so off the price), or he gets back to the factory and tells them to build another one and this time get it right. The result will arrive in March: next year's plate, slightly better wheels, more miles on the car I'm trading in, but the same price. We're waiting till March.
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No more work. Well, a few hours between Xmas and New Year, but this is basically a break now.

The "Classic FM Christmas" double CD is good. All the "classic" carols, done by definitive performers (lots of Kings College Choir), all the descants I really like, and used to sing as a treble. Some great soloists, too: Bryn Terfel is one of my favourites, and Aled Jones is if anything even better as an adult singer than he was as a child.

Little Car got two new tyres this morning. The cheapest available - Pirellis. Ouch... That was 8am, and the market was open, and so were the shops. Got the veg for Xmas, did some clothes shopping (jeans, warm top for Switzerland).

Switzerland - the tickets and so on have come through. Detailed itinerary, guide books, maps.... starting to get all excited about this now! It's nice to have these few days "off" to do the anticipation, for that and for Xmas.

We're sorting and tidying, so there's room to do Xmas prep on Monday. I don't mind "clutter", really, but it'll be nice to have that bit more space.

Tomorrow we'll be driving to Norfolk to pick up Dave's latest Ebay purchase. A car seat, to be adapted to go with his new steering wheel for driving sims. The seller is very close to Letton Hall, so we know where we're going.

I have vague ideas of setting myself a little writing challenge - a story for each of the twelve days of Xmas, to be released on each day. Well, I've done the code that displays each on the right day.... will I write the stories?

And harking back to work, the Careline "Secret Santa" this year presented me with.... not quite a "My Little Pony". Maid Marion, on horseback, wielding broadsword. Costume not bad, sword and pose looks fine to me.
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Little car gets traded in for New Little Car in January (New Car becomes available while we're away, so it'll be latish January before I get it). One thing they mentioned while valuing it was the state of the front tyres, and they're quite right. Legal, but.... not that I corner hard or anything, you understand.

Tyres for an Audi A2 are not cheap. I do NOT want to buy a pair for a car I'm about to sell, not when they won't increase the value.

Tuesday, right front tyre was observed to be soft to the point of saggy, and the gauge read 18, not 30. There's a difference... and its done this before. I'm keeping an eye on it, but a very slow puncture is a possibility.

The route I use to work is fun, scenic, and free of traffic. The last half is also ungritted in winter. Driving that on slicks, when the flooded bits freeze, is probably not a good idea.

Last night, it turned foggy. Patchy fog, but thick. Bits of that road were still safe to do 80 along (not that I would, I obey the 60 limit, naturally!), other bits had 5-yard visibility, with not much warning of the change. Little Car had front fog-lights once, but after too many Pyrric victories over pheasants, we stopped replacing them and just tidied up the bare holes.

The weather is not improving: this morning was very scenic heavy frost on trees and road, mist, and fine snow in places.

I'm beginning to think about taking the Wimp Route to and from work :(
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There's a TV program called "The Used Car Roadshow". It's just done a comparison of used super-minis: and the Audi A2 won!

Ah, yes, this would be the super little car that I'm about to part-ex for a new one.....
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... and old Astra, or something like that. Something boring. 60 limit, I usually do about 70, it was doing about 50. Until we got round the next corner, and it in turn got stuck behind a Landrover doing 40. B***y Landrover drivers.. :)
So, knowing that there were no more places where I could do a double over-take, I sighed and settled back for a slow journey home. Then dropped to third gear, as the convoy had dropped to 30. WTF? The Landrover was now stuck behind some sort of classic lorry - I know nuffin about lorries, but I'd guess it was from the 1940s. Lovely condition, polished, shiny. Probably heading towards the steam fair at Shuttleworth over the weekend. But I can't take photos while doing 30 :(
Up to the T-junction at the top of Old Warden, and the original Astra turned right instead of left, while the rest of us carried on in a steam-fair direction. One less... And then we ground to a near-halt. The lorry was stuck behind something even slower. We'd found a traction engine.

Fortunately at this point the traction engine pulled in, the lorry pulled in behind it, and overtaking occured, peeling off from the back first. I never saw any of them again, despite stopping beyond Old Warden to take photos of Shuttleworth House across the fields. But, heading towards the final roundabout, I did have to pass a huge yellow tractory contrivance.
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First night hotel has "high speed" internet (via ethernet cable) in the room. We're here. The clock says 10pm, my body says 3am. But I want to adjust to local time, so sitting here on-line instead of sleeping.

assorted trivia behind here )
Dave's turn on the PC. He wants to research the car we actually ended up with. Good night LJ.
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Been de-stressing and hence not updating much. So a catch-up, with multiple cut-tags.

Weekend - Pete and Shirley came round for Saturday afternoon and evening.

Read more... )

Sunday, caught up on some sleep. Read more... )

Sunday afternoon was Summer, Read more... )

Monday... work, the usual. Helen's birthday, and I now have a really nice source of E-cards, so I used it. It had been a couple of days since I last did a note/card to Enid, so Read more... )

Should have gone back to slimming/exercise class in the evening, but still feeling tired (and achey from the gardening), so skipped it. Instead, pulled out the fabric for Dave's new cloak. Read more... )

And then, late at night, I did a final check of email/LJ, and found Vaurien's post saying that Enid had died. Oh. Oh, various words that won't be appreciated by filters. Yes, it was expected, yes, it was as he says, in many ways a relief, yes, she went in the best way that could be expected under the circumstances, but even so... Didn't wake Dave to supply hugs, it's not fair. Bears are perfectly capable of soaking up tears. I expect I'll drivel on more about this over the next few weeks, I'm just starting to realise how much she meant to me. Dave did the sums - I'd known her for 18 years.

Ah well, on to more cheerful topics. Tuesday night, I went back to back-swording class for the first time for far too long Read more... )
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Audi sent me a note to warn me, I've phoned them, and they'll come and pick it up next Thursday from work. All I have to do is leave the keys at reception. I just hope it doesn't work out to be a repeat of last year.

Edit: it wasn't. All is well, and it's on its way back to me.
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The A2
MOT and service. Those boring things that you check it in for, and take for granted. Yes, the service on an Audi is a bit pricey, but the FSH is important, and you can't hand an A2 over to the little mechanic in the back of town, he hasn't got the kit. Anyway, Audi at Bedford pick the car up from the work car park and bring it back again, and it comes back cleaned inside and out. A very expensive car-wash, Dave says.

Boy, was he right.

My service representative, Richard, phoned Dave then me to discuss what had been found. There were a few little jobs that needed doing. Brake pads. Discs. Brake fluid. Antifreeze. Two new front tyres (who, me, eat tyres? No, I drive sedately, honest...) None of these items cost anything really excessive (by Audi standards), but it added up. It added up to four digits. Ouch!

We tried to get the tyres at least cheaper elsewhere. Not at that kind of notice, and only a £15 saving anyway. In fact Audi phoned me back later to say they couldn't get the Pirelli's they'd quoted for, only some (much nicer and more expensive) Dunlops, for which they would of course charge me the originally quoted price. Ah, well, a slightly silver lining, maybe.

They didn't replace the missing front fog light (the one that had lost an argument with a pheasant) - the part hadn't come in, and it wasn't an MOT failure anyway. More expense saved.

The little car did indeed come back beautifully clean. But over £1000 is a lot to pay for a car-wash.

Maybe we won't take it for a fortnight touring Europe after all.....
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We test-drove the Doblo as planned, and while the handling is about as crap as I expected, it's still better than the Picasso. I can drive it, I can reverse it, and it can carry tons of stuff. Just don't ask it to go round corners, or to accelerate.

Ordered. 10-week delivery. And we got what we wanted for the Picasso in part-ex. The rest is 0% finance over 4 years.
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Took a half day and Dave picked me up from work, then off to "The Original Reenactors Market". Not that we needed anything, as such, but.... Dave got some new boots, I got some horn spoons (better for early period than my pewter one), there were beads, there was a book about Confederate uniforms that was illustrated with pictures of, well, us... and while I did spend over £50 on fabric, it wasn't for me. Got a useful picture for the Scavenger Hunt. And found a nice looking (and sounding, more importantly) little harp that might do Saf (follow the "other harps" link). Also a harp book for me - easy medieval music, Mel Bay.

Then on the way home (4:30 - escaped early!) remembered there was a new Ikea at (or at least, near) MK. Pulled out PDA and Googled for location - yep "somewhere near" is right, but their web site had a map. And we wanted some shelves for the computer room. So, a trolley-load of things we hadn't realised we needed and a nice meal later, we headed for home. Tired, but a very satisfying day.

Now Saturday morning, Dave has gone to work, I've loaded a couple of Scavenger pictures to Flickr, and once I've updated this, will walk into town, pick up a letter that someone didn't put enough postage on, and see if I can find some "Multi-colored graffiti" to take a photo of (Scavenger item 18). I'm sure there were other things on the to-do list, too.

This afternoon we get to test-drive his chosen new car - a Fiat Doblo. Based on a van, so will carry just about anything, but also comfortable and fast. He says. We'll see.

I'd like to get more done on the army and stronghold for the May wargames event, but may run out of time. Still, quite a bit of it I can do while sitting watching TV this evening., Yes, me watch TV, I know, this comes as a shock. But there's a pile of DVDs we intend to watch, so we have a diary booking for the purpose.


Mar. 18th, 2006 09:10 am
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I said I'd update afterwards, I didn't. Well, I did, but not here.
Painting figures up to the last minute, then dropped them (and all the bits I'm delivering to other people) in the car Saturday morning, drove south.
traffic whinge )
Ah well, once there it was good. Muswell Hill Golf Club, wargaming in what I think is usually their dining room. A campaign day, where you bid for troops, go on magical quests for power, negotiate with allies (and enemies), and fight battles, all set in my favourite fantasy universe, Glorantha. This was the second one I've been to, Glory Day '05 got me back into wargaming. As before I spent lots of time looking at other people's miniatures and going "ooh!"
You can see some of them here.

Details of the campaign, battle and so on won't mean a lot unless you're heavily into Glorantha (those who are, and who know me, will appreciate the fact that I got Kallyr's faction), but I did do an in-character writeup of the day. Summary, and a very surprising one: I won.

Then down the pub (Maid of Muswell, does a wonderful range of beers - but I was driving!) and on to an Indian. Good food, good company, generally a great evening. And the traffic had cleared, so I was home just before pumpkin hour.


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