Week 68

4th April, 2010

What a way to start Easter Sunday – at the church of QuickFit. At 5.00 pm on Easter Saturday I was checking my car tyres ( normal pressure 30 PSI) and found one to be 14 PSI. We had a quick check and found a nail head in the tread. We have had new windows and doors fitted in the past fortnight so it is possible a stray nail fell on the drive. The problem was that I was taking a banquet over to Pauline’s Mum’s flat to share with her and Pauline’s sister, Phyllis and her husband, Colin. Driving across the Pennines on Easter Sunday with a nail in my tyre didn’t appeal but what to do?

I checked the QuickFit site and found they had closed half an hour ago. There was no chance of them opening on Easter Sunday. I phoned to see if there was a message to tell me about Bank Holiday opening. A cheery voice answered. “I was just going home.” he said. He told me I didn’t have to wait till Monday. They would be open Easter Sunday. I couldn’t believe it but by 9.30 on Easter Sunday morning, with a copy of The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph on the pasenger seat, I drew up outside QuickFit in Huddersfield. Five cheery blokes quickly arrived and opened up. Half an hour later I was paying £180.00 for a new tyre and was on my way to the car washers. I was certainly impressed with QuickFit.

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5th April, 2010

Received a very unpleasant email from Caroline. It was disappointing to find my little sister could find such bile in her heart.

Never mind. Move on.

6th April, 2010

Happy Birthday to me! I can’t believe I’ve managed to live to 59. That is ten more years than Dad. It is more by luck than judgement. I have certainly indulged myself more than Dad ever did and stressed myself far less.

I received best wishes from Jane 1 earlier in the week. I received Birthday wishes from Sue Wilson in Australia and Malcolm Pritchard in Birmingham via Facebook. Ruth did that too but also sent me a lovely card:

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From my darling wife, Pauline I received a card with a black and white cat very reminiscent of our ‘Flossy’ who died in 1980 and from my Mother-in-Law I received lovely words:

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From Pauline’s sister, Phyllis and sister-in-law, June I received:

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7th April, 2010

Had people sitting outside our house in their car this morning. Maybe the price drop really has helped.

Today we packed up a wide screen television for its journey to Greece. We are running out of food because the freezer is now totally empty. Tonight it will be pizza or Chinese. (Chose Chinese but had forgotten how mediocre take away food can be compared with home cooking.) Just five days to go. We bought another £1000.00 of Euros this morning to get us through our journey. The rate this morning was £1.00 = €1.14, the highest for quite some time. Have you tried these suppliers – Travel Money Services?

8th April, 2010

Glorious morning this morning. A delight to be alive. My next door neighbour has agreed to take over all gardening duties including lawn mowing for six months while we are away. That’s a wonderful feeling and why I arranged and paid for the cowell to be put on her chimney at the same time as ours. However, it does mean I’ve got to tidy the shed out so she can easily get at the lawn mowers and strimmer.

Another person ‘cruised’ the house this morning in a Mercedes. It looks like that price cut has actually sparked some interest. Why is all this happening just as we are going away? I’m already checking flight prices from Athens to Manchester in case we have to return to exchange contracts in a couple of months. Actually, we have 62000 points in our Natwest Points scheme that will just about buy us Easyjet return flights in June. We had a professional oven cleaner in this morning so that the oven, which is eight years old, looks as good as new. Two hours of his time and equipment feels like £55.00 well spent. We have it done twice a year for the past eight years. £400.00 for an £800.00 cooker is reasonable value.

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9th April, 2010

Lovely Spring morning. Off to Hepworth Honda for a Summer-Holiday service. We have bought a new car from them every year since 1984 apart from the current one which we’ve had for three years. We’ve done 39,000 miles in this which is 25,000 more than we’ve ever done before. We have always used the same salesman – a lovely chap called Chris Wood. Over the past twenty five years we’ve got to know him and his family well. We never haggle; never question the price; always have our car serviced with them. We have always had the most brilliant service from them. Since we bought this last car in February 2007, we have always gone in for our ‘Driving to Greece’ service and they always provide it free and make sure we have bottles of free engine oil to carry with us

It is a wierd feeling not to be driving a new car but we made a conscious decision three years ago to buy this one and keep it for four or possibly five years. Chris Woods told us we wouldn’t need to trade it in for twenty years but that seems excessive. A large, 4-wheel drive is ideal for carting large amounts of stuff acrosss Europe and for driving on the less than perfect roads of a Greek island. (Actually, they are rather better than those in Huddersfield at the moment.) It has leather seats and climate control. It is an automatic which is essential for driving long distances. It has the brilliant, Honda Satellite Navigation system built in. It has a huge load capacity. It has automatic lights and wipers. It will do 125 mph without effort and can be set at that on its cruise control which takes so much of the effort out. All the controls – radio, cd, dvd, blue tooth phone are controllable by switches on the steering wheel or by voice control. These are the joys of a Honda.

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There is one downside of our car. Its petrol consumption is poor. Automatic gears, 4-wheel drive, air-conditioning permanently on gives us only 27 mph which is expensive nowadays but it is a small price to pay.

10th April, 2010

You can feel the summer coming even in England. Another lovely morning with a forecast of 18c in Leeds – not much in Greek terms but it will do at the moment – especially with three days to go. We set off early for Huddersfield General Post Office with three parcels containing stuff we will not be able to fit in the car. The boxes weigh a total of 50 kg and will cost £120.00 to get there but these parcels will arrive on the island about the same day as we do. It may not be strictly cost effective but it does the job.

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