Is it that difficult …


I’m moaning talking about driving. Not Formula 1, Moto-Cross or one of the myriad of other motor sports, I just mean everyday driving. Commuting to work, taking the kids to school or the weekly Tailgatingshopping expedition. I would like one of those cars that do not have to obey the legitimate speed limit. I don’t mean the emergency vehicles, no the ones I’m ranting ‘talking’ about are  those cars whose driver seem to think that because their car is bigger and more expensive than mine, they should be in front of me. They tailgate so close, just waiting for the opportunity to overtake. Half the time, I will end up catching them when they get to the next traffic lights or junction. Are these people so important that they have to always be the first in the line. I tend to liken it to bullying “Get out of my way, I’m better than you!”

Then there are the ones that have not adjusted their headlights to the correct angle. They always look like they are using full beam. It can be really dazzleSpeed Humpng when they go over a speed hump. While I’m on the side-subject of speed humps, why do some people like to speed-up between humps? I may have griped mentioned about this before, but there seem to be an increasing number of drivers that have an aversion to switching their lights on when it is raining. It can be so difficult to see a dark grey Volvo on a dark grey tarmacked when the light is poor and the rain in falling. Just because they can see others does not mean the opposite is true.

But a vehicle I would like to drive, is one of those vehicle that have the ‘Highway Maintenance’ sign on the back of their vehicle. I’ve seen the sign on the back of small vans,Highway Maintenance flatbeds, transit vans and even a few cars. I may be totally wrong about them, but most of them seem to be the worse for wear and look like they have not seen a MOT test in years. Most seem to have no regard for the rules of the road and drive like complete idiots (my opinion). They also appear to be able park anywhere they like, regardless of the danger to other road users.

Now the above does not apply to all the users mentioned, but it does in my opinion, apply to a great number of them.

<><><><><><><>

So that’s motorists out of the way and I spouted  talked about cyclists some time ago, so my next road diatribe discussion may be pedestrians. Possibly the most dangerous aspect of the outdoors experience.

Scary times …


That has to be the scariest 30 seconds for years.

K**h has a Mini Cooper Countryman car. She has had it since 2016 and loves it. Last week, CarSaturday to be precise I noticed a chip and a crack in the windscreen. It was very low down on the driver side and it was only by accident that I saw it. She phoned the Insurance explained and they said the price taking into account the excess and arranged for the replacement to be done today. She is at my son and his partners house today and left me in charge for when A**ogl**s turn up.. He arrived just before 11:00 and the first thing he told me was that the car needed to be turned around.

Arghhh

The problem is … I have never driven this car … ever. I tried when she got it, but I was not comfortable and found it very i10 Classisdifficult to actually see where I was driving. As a result, I simply haven’t attempted to drive it. So when the engineer said I had to turn it around, I nearly died. My car is a small Hyundai i10 which I have no issue with at all, but these days driving anything else scares me. But … I did it … I managed to reverse it out of the drive, drive it into the small parking area and then reverse park it. All in all it was about 20 yards in total but it was the scariest 20 yards/30 seconds in years.

So am I more confident in driving the Mini? Possibly. Will I drive it again? Maybe. Did I enjoy driving it? No.

Some people …


I normally park my car in the small parking area across the road from the house. We have a drive and a garage, but like many garages it’s more of a storage area than a place to park a car. So K*** parks her car on the drive and I use the parking area. K*** is out today so the drive is empty. I had a bit of shopping to do and on days like this, I would tend to park on the drive, just unload the shopping.

As I approached our house, I noticed a car parked on the road, but directly across the drive. So I i10 Classisparked in my usual place and got out of the car. I was a bit bemused as to who this mystery caller was so I tapped on the driver side window. The lady wound the glass down and I asked “Can I help you?” To my surprise, her reply was “No, it’s okay, I’m just waiting for a phone call.” A little taken aback, I asked her “Could you please wait somewhere else?” Before I could explain that wanted to use the drive she came back with “I’m not going to be long, and there are no parking restrictions so I can park where I like!” Now I worked in the Parking industry for over twenty years, so I do know a fair bit about the rules and regulations. I politely explained that as there was a dropped kerb on both sides of the road, it was technically an unmarked crossing area and technically  she was breaking the law. She then muttered something about me being childish and proceeded to drive further down the road. Amazingly, her next parking spot was directly opposite a junction. Thankfully she must have received her important call because after a few minutes, she drove off. Strange person.

Road Bullies


This is going to be a bit of a rant, so if you’re not interested then look away now!

I have a small car. It’s a Hyundai i10 Classic. It has a small engine (1000cc) but it is ideal for short to medium journeys, which is all I do these days. Top speed is 85 miles an hour and that is with the wind behind me. I tend to mostly not exceed the speed limits when driving, but sometimes  I drift over slightly. So it really annoys me when big cars pass me by exceeding the limit. Today was no exception. The road was a single carriage way, with the National Speed Limit (60mph for those not familiar with UK speed limits) and I was motoring along at around 50 – 53 mph. The reason being was that it was a mainly twisty road with many sharp bends. Now I remember my driving instructor telling me that I “… must drive to the conditions of the road …” which basically means that on roads like the one I was on, the 60mph limit is an aspiration not a mandatory fact.

To get to the point, still driving at around 50mph, I had in my rear mirror a large passenger vehicle. A discovery I think, but he was that close to me, that if I had to brake hard he would have completely written my small machine off. He was that close, that I could tell where the sandwich he had on his dashboard, was purchased. He kept pulling towards the centre of the lane as if to pass, then dropping back as he realised there was not enough room. Eventually, he did pass and pull in front of me, only to maintain the same speed as before due to the vehicles in front do the same speed I was doing.

What he was basically trying to tell me and anyone else is that, as he had a bigger, more expensive car then he ought to be in front of the cheaper, smaller car(s). I call that a form of Bullying. It is the same as when you were in the dinner queue at school and the bigger, older kids pushed in front of you. Bullying!

Rant over.

It’s been a while …


It’s been a few weeks since my last post. No particular reason except laziness really! I tend to post when I have something I want to get off my chest and usually wait until there are a couple of things that rile me. Well there has been some things that have ‘annoyed’ me somewhat, but I’m wanting to break away from the rant style post which may account for the ‘laziness’ I just mentioned. But until then …

I just about survived Christmas, as usual. Saying that, I wasn’t well from Boxing Day to the 29th. I had what I thought was a variation of the Norovirus. I did not have the sickness, but had all the rest. The one thing that seemed to floor me was the lack of energy. On the Friday, I spent the whole day in bed, most of it asleep, which is unusual for me. Lost about 8 pound in weight (sadly not permanent), but by New Years Eve I seemed to be a lot better and by the 2nd I was nearly up to my pre-Christmas weight again!

K*** and me had a trip out to the Designer Outlet at York on Friday. R*** was on respite and was due home that day, so K*** wanted to get out whilst we could. The weather was terrible. One minute it was raining, and the next it was foggy. K*** was driving as I had driven to Harrogate on Wednesday and wanted a rest from it. You know I lost count of the number of cars/vans/lorries that did not have any lights on. Many didn’t even have sidelights switched on. It’s no exaggeration to say that most of them were grey vehicles. So that’s a grey vehicle on a grey road on a grey day! I was told by my driving instructor that those types of day need headlights. I saw one police-car on the whole 25 minute journey and he was at the side of the road eating some food. What cay I say to that?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

K*** (or more accurately, me) has been having issues with her email. She does all her stuff on her iPad which suits her as she has not been much of a fan of my laptops. So ever since the latest update the iPad Mail App has been playing up. Emails have not been showing up when they arrive (as they did before) and I have tried to get it sorted. The problem is that I’m not an Apple expert so I have had to hit Google a lot. The problem was exasperated by the fact that her email client is Sky.com or the be more precise Yahoo! It did used to be Gmail until a couple of years ago and it’s not been the same since. Don’t get me wrong, when Yahoo works, it is very good, but when it doesn’t work there is noting worse. It seems to be a little better now, but she now has to refresh the app and wait until the emails appear now instead of them being there when she opened the app. It also does not help that she never deletes any emails. Still, Yahoo tells us that she space for another 54 million emails, so ‘she’ is not too worried. I may have to do a clear out for her at some point.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, in the spirit of blog posts to come (hopefully). Happy New Year

Some good, some not so …


I took the car in for service and MOT on Friday. All passed without any problems. Tyres might need a check before Christmas but other than that, all was goo. Eldest lads car went in at same time. His, not so good! He needs new tyres again. That will be the second lot in three years. Driving style, road quality and luck are the most likely culprits,or so the service department said.

As I was off for the full day, K*** thought it would be a good time to go into York whilst we waited. So we did the ‘Park & Ride’ which was a first for us. The garage dropped us off and promised to pick us up and it cost £2.80 each for a return ticket. A bargain, I thought.

We had a nice lunch, and then did a tour of the shops. That is were the ‘not so good’ came in for me. I’m still looking for a couple of pairs of lounge/jogging pants (mainly lounge as opposed to jogging) and we started to look in the obvious sports type shops. Ridiculously expensive for both the brand names and the unknown and nothing in my size. I was now starting to get a bit fed up. We then went into one of the major well know high street stores. I won’t ‘name and shame’ because they are all the same really. Found a pair that were exactly my size, and I totted off into the changing rooms to try them on. As usual, the size on the label bore no resemblance to real life. I asked the assistant if there was a manger available and I explained to her the problem. You see I have an inside leg measurement of 29”. The pants I picked up said they were a 29” leg. I asked if she would measure the pants. She reluctantly agreed and to her amazement they actually measured 34”. Apologies followed and she went looking for more styles. Five more 29” pants were measured, with the sizes ranging for 31” to an amazing 36”. To make those fit, I would need armholes instead of a waist band. This size problem seems to be an issue in many stores, and I’m of the opinion that the leg size is just an estimate or possibly an opinion.

===============

Well today is Bank Holiday Monday or as it is now called the Bank Holiday Weekend. In fact Bank Holiday now start around 15:30 on the Thursday before and lasts to around 08:00 Tuesday morning!

This weekend saw the annual Leeds music festival, more commonly known as “Leeds Fest”. It’s held in Bramham Park, which is literally just over the road from where we live in Bramham village. Apart from the traffic disruption as thousands of people descend on the park, it has little effect in my opinion. There is the noise issue, but if the wind is in the right direction we hear very little. We hear more noise from the A1 (the road I mentioned earlier) which seems to have a continuous drone with the amount of traffic.

Because of the location, Bramham is allocated a number of weekend VIP tickets and residents can take up the tickets with a donation to the various causes in Bramham. These tickets are at a extremely discounted price and go very quickly.

I’ve been the festival twice, in previous years and seen fantastic acts such as Sea Sick Steve, Madness and the first year I went, Ed Sheeran was a new and upcoming musician.

The line-up this year was not to my particular taste, and there was no-one I was particularly interested in watching. Maybe next year.

Quick update on the car issue…


As I mentioned, the car was going in to have the ‘knocking’ noise looked at. Knowing my luck, I was expecting it to be expensive.

It had to be in the garage for 10:30 and we got it there for just after 10:00. It was booked in and we were told to go have a complimentary coffee, and they would let us know what was happening. I could see my car from where we were sitting, and by 10:45, it still had’n’t moved. Then around 11:00 I saw it being driven down to the service area. “Not long now” I said to K***.

Just after 11:45, K*** went to see if they could tell us how long it was going to be. We both thought, that they would have a look and come and tell what it was, when they could do it and more importantly how much it was going to cost. The answer she got was, I thought just the bog-standard ‘they’re working on it now’ answer.

Another 45 min later, and K*** was up and asking the question again. After about 5 minutes, I went to see where she was.

Found her talking to the Service Manager, who had the job sheet for my car (saw the registration, so that’s how I knew). She was nodding and almost smiling, so I thought it can’t be that bad then. The manager explained that it was one of the ‘suspension’ rods had broken, and that was causing the noise. I stood there, waiting for the bad news. It never came. There was no charge. It was covered. I bought a 5 year extended warranty when I bought the car, but stuff like this is never covered. Never covered! I drove home with a smile on my face that is still lingering!