Saturday 7 February 2009

Ka trouble

Poor Henry.

(You know, since I'm calling the car by its name, that the news is not going to be good).

He'd been stranded at home for several days, what with all the snow. This morning, I went out with a few of my neighbours and we spent 2 hours shovelling the packed ice and snow off the road and into the wheelbarrow, until we'd cleared the end of the cul de sac, and then a couple of other people came out and cleared tyre tracks down the road, and an enterprising neighbour who'd raided the grit bin round the corner threw about 2 buckets of it down, so Henry was liberated.

Still, I made Mr Z come to Asdal with me this evening, partly because I wanted to get him food for when I'm on holiday, partly because I was being wussy about driving in icy conditions.

I'm glad he came with me.

And after I'd just wiped the numberplate, too.

We were sat at a temporary traffic light, not two minutes from home, with a carful of groceries, when there was an almighty BANG! from the front passenger side. I thought it was a tyre. It was not (although it is now...) Mr Z tried to drive it, but there was an awful grating, rubbing noise, so we just had to stop. halfway through the temporary traffic light system. Great. Seems that the suspension, which the service garage told me LAST WEEK would be OK until my next service, picked today to collapse.

I am grateful we were stationary when I happened, though.

The RAC came after about 2 hours and towed Henry to the local garage, where the tyre was popped during the lifting-back-onto-the-road process. The garage are going to try and sort it out tomorrow, bless them - just in time for the next dump of snow, rendering the roads undrivable, again.

Off topic, I can't believe Gloucestershire council is using table salt to grit the roads. It's just beyond a joke. Though it is effective - I used up half a tub on the road last night, and judging by the completely bare salt shelf in Asdal, many others are thinking the same. Unless South Gloucs is trying the same trick.

In a positive piece of driving news, I got a solicitor's letter on Thursday with details of my claim for October's accident. It is a sizable sum. All that complaining I did about having to see an independent GP suddenly seems unecessary. Obviously it's not an actual figure yet - but even the lowest estimate she gave me will cover almost all of the cost of flights to the US this summer. It seems a LOT of money, but then when I think about the amount of trouble it caused me, between not sleeping properly for days, to being unable to mark any coursework because of the neck pains, to having to get Mother & Father Z to schlep me around while Henry was getting his MOT, it seems about right.

I'm getting a bit sick of the snow, now. I had Tuesday off because I couldn't get the car out - and school closed at lunchtime anyway. Then school closed on Thursday and Friday too. I got all the History coursework I had here - well over half - marked, and a lot of knitting done. I'm a bit fed up with the snow now, though, and I REALLY don't want to be snowed out early next week too, as I need my laptop, which is locked in my classroom desk drawer. I didn't think to bring it home. I thought it would be one snow day at the most. Then the deputy head warned me it might be Monday and Tuesday too, when she rang on Friday morning.

I suppose the world will keep turning, but I have things I must do before half term.

I took lots of pictures on Thursday, with my new camera that goes underwater and can be dropped and sat on and stuff. I had dithered about the camera for a long while, as it was quite an expense, but finally I decided to just go for it. I've got a bit of the audiobook money left, and no pressing expenses (apart from a new suspnesion strut but I didn't know that then...) Really pleased I went for it. There's a Flickr set of the snowy results there, but here's one to be going on with.

This camelia is bizarre - after a day covered in snow the buds had actually started to open. !!

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