Wanna Buy a New Car?

I’ve ranted on here once or twice (!) about our rubbish car.  The one that comes back with more faults than get fixed every time I take it to get something fixed.  Sometimes that’s the garage’s fault, other times it’s just the stupid car falling apart.  Example, and here too

Well, the same old Carnold Lark who gave us such grief last year have been trying very hard to mend their ways.  We got a letter through the door last month offering us a free check-up and tweak service.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course they’re going to find stuff to fix, eh?  But I was struggling to find time to check and top up oil, or find the manual so I could figure out how to open the bonnet so I could fill the screen washer*… So I figured it would be worth doing next time I’d be in town for a few hours anyway.

* I am actually ashamed that I drive a car most days and don’t know how to open its bonnet or do basic maintenance on it.  But things have changed a lot since I first drove a Ford Escort and could do most of the maintenance myself with my trusty Haynes manual and a lot of swearing and banging and desperate hoping.

ANYway, sure enough, I was advised that the front brake discs and pads needed replacing for costalotta.  I reported this to The Boss who merrily announced that oh yeah, they’d said that at the last service.  Sheesh.  As he forgot, I delegated to him the task of phoning around for quotes and beating people down on price.

Carnold Lark did their best and actually came up with a good price.  Even more importantly, they were happy to drive me and Mini Minx home after dropping the car off with them, then delivering the car to our house afterwards, free.  Brilliant! So after a lot of toings and fro-ings, it was all set: we had a date and time when they could shuttle us around and could get the job done between nursery runs.

I pitch up with car, baby and big car seat, gratefully get driven back home again… to get a phonecall. “We can’t find your locking wheel nut”.  Oh pants.  Quick phonecall to The Boss, who insists it’s where it’s supposed to be and has always been.  He calls the garage and describes its location.  Garage call me back: “We’ve searched everywhere and can’t find it.  You’ll need to rebook”.  Cue incredible amounts of apologising and grovelling from me for wasting their time.  Mr Very Nice Man drives the car back to me, I apologise to him, then greet The Boss on his return home that night with a dark look.  He returns the dark look with a murderous one, when he produces the locking wheel nut from precisely where he said it was located.

We *could* have called Carnold Lark back to moan about their blind mechanic, but och, I gave up.  I am beaten.

A week later, I jumped through a hundred more hoops to get the car dropped off and the brakes etc. replaced and get it delivered back ‘in time’ for the nursery pick-up run (only an hour late… GRRRRRR!) 

If anything else goes wrong with that stupid car I shall attack it with a sledgehammer.  I own one, I like its heaviness and I think I would enjoy pounding hell out the blasted thing very much.

What will happen to the Grumpy Old Trout’s car if it fails her one more time…

PS Photo taken from an interesting blog about 2 travelling airline employees – click on the photo to go there directly.

Three Years Old and Counting

Jelton Bohn

I got da "Go To Bed Blues" real bad...

Midi Minx may well be 3 now, but even big girls have to come into their mummy’s bed at night.  I should be flattered that my arms are obviously irresistible.  Midi can barely tear herself from them when I drop her off at nursery.  Or every single time I sit down to breastfeed her baby sister.

Mini Minx, on the other hand, absolutely refused to leave them all day.  I mean ‘All Day’.  Every time I put her down she went ballistic.  She fought sleep constantly, and roared and shrieked like her leg was being sawn off.  I tried every trick in my arsenal: peek-a-boo-Mummy’s-still-here, sit in the playpen in a sleeping bag with one toy in hope of drifting off, lie in the buggy, potter about her bedroom while she’s in the cot, do the hoovering, lovely long booby feed, lovely big real food feed.  I tried everything.  She was having none of it.  It was hard to let her cry while I did essentials (like go to the toilet, answer the door) because she sounded so stricken, but I couldn’t carry her round all day long.  Predictably, she fell asleep as soon as I put her in the sling and walked down to the Post Office.  Equally predictably, she soon woke up when we got back and set off the clingy screaming.  Even when The Boss got home, although she was delighted to see him, she started hysterical shrieking every time I left her sight.  I finally got her to sleep at 2300hrs after a 2 hour breastfeed (she’s 10 months old, for goodness’ sake!).

After settling her in the cot, I checked on Maxi and Midi Minxes, who’ve been very quiet and subdued today (though they perked up to gobble down macaroni and cheese – will they ever go off it?  It’s wonderful to hear Midi mumble “Yum-yum, brilliant, I love it” through mouthfuls, though).  I got such a fright to see 2 empty beds.  Before I joined Mini in a scream, I looked round the door a bit more.  Maxi has been tent-building.  She and Midi were curled up between the cupboard, the chest of drawers, Midi’s doll’s crib and the easel.  Both were cuddled up with Bagpusses and dollies, and Maxi had artfully arranged some blankets around them.  I’m not going to let them sleep there all night, but they look so peaceful!  And I must admit I’m pretty impressed with my 4 year old’s tying-up ability, both with knots and with the aid of some hairbands.

Indoor camping

Mummy get the hint: the mattresses are too thin and lumpy even for the teddies


In other news, both the Glasgow and the local office of Carnold Lark phoned The Boss today to grill question him further on a questionnaire they sent him about the recent service on the car.  He had stated that no, he would not recommend them to a friend.  They wanted to know why.  However, whilst the silly sod told them all about the appointment mix-ups, it totally slipped his mind to tell them about how the car previously went in to them for 2 separate bits of work and each time came out with other (flipping expensive to rectify!) things wrong.  See here and here .  Maybe I should write them a long rant?  And ask for a refund, seeing as it’s almost a 4-figure sum?  <grumble, chunter>

Tangent time: my mother-in-law is English, and although I try to speak properly when she’s around, I guess I do still use some non-English-english words.  Like ‘chuntering’.  It did amuse me to hear her use that word this weekend, which she must have picked up from me.  She didn’t get the context quite right, so I guess she doesn’t understand what it means, but a full 10/10 for effort.  Bravo!  I wonder if Mini’s screeches are because MIL went home today?  First Daddy went (to work), then Grandma.  Maybe Mini’s frightened to let me out her sight in case I disappear, too?  We’re all a bit down and low today now she’s gone.  Maxi gave me a hug when I said I missed Grandma, too.  Och well, she’ll be back up next month.