Monday, April 27, 2009

RIP little car....

Our car is dead. The past few weeks it's been steadily worsening: loud rattling noises in low gears, clutch deteriorating to the point of being unable to get it into 1st or Reverse without turning the car off first, struggles to get it into any other gear.... We'd worked out how to get around these "quirks", but we didn't expect it to completely die tonight from another issue!

When we drove to Paris in November, Geoff said he thought the clutch would die in about a years' time, and that it would take a few months to fully die at that point. Um, not even 6 months.  

Brendan had just dropped off his carpoolers at the railway station when it died, so it didn't need to be towed too far home. Thank you insurance company!! The tow truck driver said it was the starter motor. (He also said, "Your clutch must be really ****ed if we can't hill-start it.")

The unfortunate thing is that it chose to die tonight. I have two meetings on Wednesday afternoon, in different parts of the country. I can't make it between them by train. So I immediately jumped online and booked a rental car. Between the cost of trains for me, and Brendan needing to take a bus/train/bus down to Winchester, the price actually works out to about the same. 

As soon as our flatmate gets back from Poland, he promises to help us find a new car. He has some sort of Polish car mafia contacts. Or something. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Today Brendan was home sick for the second day running, so he felt the need to go to the supermarket and buy junk food from Iceland. Like neopolitan icecream bars for 75p. (It's kinda funny when he tries to talk, and only a whisper comes out.)

Presenting: Kia Ora orange squash. Not orange juice; orange squash. It's quite bitter. The name, though, is hilarious: for non-NZers, "kia ora" is Maori for "hello". So it's "hello orange squash"? Also, I feel as if it contravenes some indigenous copyright laws. Much like the Lego Technics debacle a few years ago.

(Here's a photo of a walkway near our house. Our new house in Chineham is much nicer than our last one.) 

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Spring has arrived!

After losing our internet for a month, and then regaining it, we've been a little slack on the updates front recently. Also, trying to upload photos from our small camera is not a happy thing, because it eats batteries. 

We're enjoying our new flat in Chineham, which we're sharing with two crazy Polish guys. We do occasionally manage to escape Basingstoke (once you get a few miles out, it becomes much more interesting!) so here is a list of posts which are currently under construction, either in draft form or in my head:
  • The British Pub Experience (with Tony)
  • Winchester/ Hursley (with Martha)
  • The search for Watership Down
  • The Forest of Dean Half-Marathon (plus road trip!)
  • The Welsh Border and Cardiff
  • Newbury with Gareth and Elizabeth
  • The 'Inas do Bristol
  • Vyne walk
The weather here has improved significantly. It's raining today, but we had a solid run of about two weeks of sunshine. Amazing! On roadsides everywhere, the trees are starting to green (or pink, or white) and there are daffodils. Mmmm.*

*Not that Brendan notices, since he is currently obsessed with the Playstation. ;)