Hello Fabia

As previous mentioned, Important Job #1 for 2011 was 'buy a new car'.

Today, I have done just that - waved goodbye to my little green polo (bit sad to see it go, actually), and driven away in a very clean and shiny Skoda Fabia.  Of the estate variety.  So basically, a newer bigger polo with a different badge on.

54 Plate, diesel, and only 37,000 miles on the clock :)  It's also got all sorts of fun things like heated seats and a trip computer so I can obsess over how many miles per gallon I'm getting.  Gadgets, yay

It's quite ridiculously... continue reading »

a weekend in Birmingham

Well, I've had a really good and busy weekend :)  And as it turns out, also quite an expensive one.  bah...

Friday evening was a UBKC polo tournament.  Current teams vs old gits (I chose to just spectate, hah).  We then went for curry, which involved consumption of far too much wine.

Bit of a lie in on Saturday (and more than a bit of feeling quite ill).  Then off we went to Llangollen, for a quick bash down the Dee :)

Back to Birmingham and time for more socialising - pie party, then pub, then sitting about watching random films for a... continue reading »

I dislike the phrase "extreme sports"

If I hear the phrase "extreme kayaking" mentioned again this week I am going to start hitting things.  Yes, some people ran the Llyn Brianne spillway. Wow.  Not like that's never been done before, and it's hardly the first time anyone's put photos/video of it on the internet either...

Actually I'm more annoyed by all the idiots who immediately react with "oh, extreme sports should be banned beause they're dangerous and the NHS has to pay when someone injures themselves blah blah blah waste of taxpayer money blah blah".  Ahem.  Ever heard of insurance?  Oh, apparently that only exists for skiing... continue reading »

"Please purchase free ticket"

Gloucester's park and ride system is confusing.

For starters, they've decided against having something simple like a single payment for both parking and riding (which I thought was the point of park-and-ride?).  Instead you pay parking, and then pay bus fare.  hmm.

Anyway, even that's not so straightforward:

How exactly do you purchase a free ticket?  All the machine would let me do was put money in and buy an all day ticket, despite it being 14:00 and therefore very much after 10.  grr.  Probably would have been cheaper just to park in a normal car park in the city centre.

So what was... continue reading »

car insurance

My car insurance is due next month.  Oh joy..  More worryingly the MOT is due tomorrow, getting done on Thursday and I reallyreallyreally hope it passes because my tax is due at the end of the month (so the weekend) and I'll be a bit screwed otherwise.

But yeah, insurance. Last year's cost £620.  That included no no-claims of any sort, and Alex as a named driver.  But I did live in the middle of the countryside and had a garage.  So not too bad.

Had the renewal quote through - £660!  OK so that's for the new address which is... continue reading »

driving and tshirts

Well, the inevitable has happened.  One week before I'm supposed to move out of this house and I've finally managed to drive through the lanes to the A458 without getting lost.  Bloody typical! 

Getting out of the lanes heading North has never been an issue, but heading South...  Previous attempts (generally when going to either Ironbridge or Bridgnorth) have ended up with me going all over the place then finally appearing somewhere completely different to where I thought I'd be, having driven several more miles that I'd have liked.  Same with going back, as I always miss the turning.

Today's trip... continue reading »

60,000 miles

Yes, I am sad enough that seeing things like that make me smile. Even better when it ticks over just as I'm coming into the village, so I didn't have to take any dodgy camera phone pics whilst driving (like the one of 50,000 taken at 40mph...)

1337 o'clock always amuses me too. And 1024, 1234, 2048, 2345 etc etc. Ooh, and any time that make pretty patterns on my binary clock thing (which is actually quite often)

Incidently, 50,000 was June 2nd, so a tiny bit over six months ago. Have I mentioned recently that I spend... continue reading »

middle lane

Apparently it's been a while since I've driven on a proper motorway (the M54 really doesn't count)
Went up to Worcester yesterday, which involves small amounts of the M5. Which, unlike the M50 and M54, has three lanes and therefore a middle lane.

Seriously, why do people sit in the middle lane all the time? It's really stupid and really annoying. But quite fun when the middle lane is full of traffic and doing about 40 and the fast lane is going at 50 and I'm the only car in the slow lane and I'm happily going past everyone... continue reading »

Wind in the willows

Driving home tonight I turned off the A49 (as I always do), got to the little humpback bridge that is best not taken above 30mph, and almost* went flying into the back of another car that was stopped there with its indicators and reverse lights on. oookay then.

At that point I also noticed a large tree - looking slightly more horizontal than trees usually do - about 3m above the road. Plenty of space to drive underneath it, but I figured this guy must have stopped because there was other stuff blocking the actual road. So rather... continue reading »

Snakes in the Slow Lane

Well, today has been a bit crap.
First off, I overslept. This resulted in a bit of a mad panic so I could leave for work in time. And when I did finally leave the house, I was greeted with this lovely sight:

A massive lorry (two trailery bits) full of hay completely blocking the gate.
No sign of the driver, naturally. No idea what it was doing there, obviously we do kind of live on the farm but you'd think they could have at least driven into the yard rather than 'parking' in the road (not even pulled... continue reading »

Birds and rocks

Whilst sat in a massivly huge traffic jam on the A49 yesterday evening, I heard the distinctive sound of a small rock landing on the roof of my car. There were some kids wandering around, probably trying to get a look at whatever was causing the traffic jam (big crash), so I assumed it was them throwing stuff. How rude.

I somehow managed to get home without it falling off (mostly because I was only doing 25 miles an hour because of the traffic), and a quick inspection revealed that the rock was absolutely covered in bird poo. ... continue reading »

The Car Radio

My mother once told me not to listen to music whilst driving, as it's too much of distraction. I took no notice of her (sorry mum!), and always have the radio on if I'm driving somewhere on my own.

Things that interrupt my enjoyment of AM radio during my drive to and from work:

thunderstorms the weather generally power lines trains Church Stretton

And also occasionally the car itself, which I find slightly odd...

The crackle and fuzz was so bad on the way home today that I could barely hear the music, then eventually realised it was some crap by my least favourite whinging ex-soldier, so... continue reading »