New Shed

As part of the deal with the property developers building houses around us I was promised a concrete slab. I initially started out asking for a 5x5m slab or smaller. But in the end I thought a 6x6m slab would be more useful for a workshop. So I pegged out roughly where I wanted it.

This puts it towards the end of my garden but with an area behind it for fires, compost heaps, general garden stuff.

Then the builders came along with their digger.

At this point I was confused why it was so deep
A good solid base
Rebar, naturally

Finally the day came and they poured the concrete. Proper bunch of perfectionists, they did a much better job than I ever could have – but then again they’re builders rather than…well, whatever I am. They had levels and machines they looked through to make sure it was the correct height and everything.

Now I just need to buy some bits of wood and build a workshop.

Broken Car

Once again my car has broken down. This time on the way to visit Herr Howarth. It was the coldest day of the year thus far and everything was going wrong on the motorways. My windscreen washers ran out of fluid so I stopped at the services to buy more but they’d sold out due to everyone running out. I ended up just buying a bottle of water and dumping that into my washers…which immediately froze and was simply cock all use. After refilling my washers with ice the car absolutely did not want to start. Finally it kicked in and the engine started but it freaked me out so much that I didn’t want to stop anywhere again until I got to the relative safety of Jason’s house.

Due to my windscreen being incredibly difficult to see through and my sat-nav being an utter bitch and trying to take me to Jason’s via the toll road I missed the A500 exit from the M6. Then my car started chugging when idling which is always a bad sign. Then it properly stopped on the toll road with a massive puff of smoke out of the exhaust and I rolled onto the hard shoulder.

This is where the fun properly began. I have AA cover via my Nationwide account. So I called the AA. Twenty minutes later they didn’t pick up the phone. So I dropped that call and phoned Paul who was coming down the M6 behind me. I arranged for him to rendezvous with me to try and work out what to do. Having arranged the meeting with Paul I got back onto the phone to the AA. Twenty five minutes later they hadn’t answered so I hung up and spoke with Paul to talk him into my exact location. Paul eventually arrived and I hung up an unanswered call to the AA for a third time. Wankers. In the end I just abandoned my car on the hard shoulder and jumped into Paul’s nice warm car and we went to the pub for lunch.

Fast forward many hours and I eventually managed to get through to the AA. I told them to pick up my car and tow it back to my house. They were absolutely adamant they couldn’t tow my car unless I was there. I was thirty miles away…and drunk. So that wasn’t happening. In the end I properly lost my shit with them, the AA person hung up on me and I went to bed convinced the police were going to impound my car.

I awoke the next day and my first thought, the very first thing that entered my head was where’s my car now. How am I going to get home! To cut a very long story a little shorter I won’t go into the range anxiety that Paul and I suffered due to him not being able to charge his car overnight. But we eventually made it back to my car. I hopped over the fence to the motorway and ran down the embankment to my car armed with a Lithium Ion battery charger pack hoping to kick start my car. Amazingly 24hrs after abandoning it at the side of the motorway it was still there. The hazard lights were still going and everything. I was hooking up the battery booster just as the police turned up. Literally 3 minutes had passed between me getting to the car and the cops turning up wanting to impound it! Because I was there they didn’t impound it and after 40 minutes on the phone the AA answered the call [ again wankers! ] and arranged someone to come and rescue me. However, the AA weren’t going to tow me home. They arranged for a 3rd party recovery company to come and get me and tow me to the nearest services where at some point in the distant future another truck would come and get me. In a massive piece of good fortune the recovery company had a car due for pickup up North so it made sense for them to take me home and get the other car.

After four hours waiting on a freezing hard shoulder this was an epic sight

I was still thinking that the problem was the battery so I got the car dropped off at my local garage with the intention of them replacing the battery. However, because it was so close to Christmas everything was just crazy. It was Christmas eve before they took a look at it. Declared it wasn’t the battery and was probably something much more serious, possibly requiring a new engine! Which as one can imagine was a shit bit of news. Very fortunately Paul is friends with a mechanic who he overheard discussing a Porsche Cayenne issue with another friend that was exhibiting all the same symptoms as mine. Paul sweet talked the mechanic [ Alan ] into taking a look at my car and so in that lull between xmas and new year Paul came over and towed my car off the garage forecourt

It was properly cold as we were sorting all this out

As I write this it’s now over a month since I last drove my car and our current working theory is that an injector failed. Hopefully this is the case…it’ll be the third injector that has failed in two years which is a bit annoying but at least I’ll be back on the road. I’ll drive it for a few months and then treat myself to an EV of some description for my birthday,

However, the message I want you to take from this blog post is that the AA are a proper bunch of wankers. Absolute cunts. Fuck the AA.