Monday, 5th June, 2023

[Day 1176]

Today was always going to be a ‘car dominated’ day and so it proved. Meg was not feeling too well this morning so stayed in bed for an extra hour or so. In the meanwhile, I gave the car interior a tidy up and then took it down to my local Kurdish car washers who have done a good job for me in the past. There I requested a good clean inside and out but I was informed that I would have to leave the car with them got a couple of hours. The newspaper shop is just around the corner from the car washing outfit so I collected my newspaper and then walked to my local Waitrose. As Meg was not with me, I availed myself of the free coffee that is provided for card holders and bumped into the long established member of staff who is going to leave our store soon and go to her local store which is so much closer to her home. When I informed her that Meg was not feeling too well this morning, a bunch of roses was immediately forthcoming, armed with which I decided to walk home. On the way up the hill, our Italian friend was just leaving the house in her car so she opened the car window and had a good chat. I actually found it easier to kneel down rather than to bend down and passers-by might have regarded this as strange, not that I care a lot. Then our son who was working in our house this morning gave me a lift down into town and I drove my newly cleaned car home and Meg and I had a lighning repast of cheese and biscuits. This was because we had an appointment at the garage from which we buy our new cars and as this dealer was in Solihull, we needed to leave quite early. When we got to the car dealers, there was a certain amount of waiting around but we were supplied with free coffee. We had decided to come to the dealership today because we were informed by a telephone call last week that we needed to get a new car order in because the wait was probably of the order of some four months. We had taken down a file with a variety of documents in it most of which we did not need but I did remember to take with me my driving licence which was needed for the dealer’s system. The replacement car when we get it is going to be a hybrid battery and petrol model and I have never driven an automatic car in my life. But the salesman drove us some miles down the road so that we could appreciate the ride and feel and then we swopped over so that I could drive back with the salesman beside me. This whole experience turned out to be a lot easier than I might have expected. In the first minute or so, my left hand wandered vaguely in the direction of the non-existent gear lever but afer all I am trying to break the habit of more than fifty years of driving a geared car. But I got used to the new system pretty quickly and drove back confidently and safely. When our present car was new, the reviews indicated that the technology and displays within the car had a slightly 70’s feel to it even then. But the new version of the car has a completely redesigned electronic display and SatNav system, all of which looked much more the part. I do not place a great dal of store by car reviews but the one or two I had glanced through showed that the motoring journalists were much more impresssed by the new models ‘Infotainment’ system and I am sure that the new vehicle will suit us down to the ground once we get it. I am pretty sure that I will enter my normal system of being ‘new car neurotic’ when I first receive the new vehicle which always means parking as far away from other vehicles in a supermarket car park as it is possible to get in case a wide flung open door causes damage to one’s new vehicle. But I am very pleased to have got our new car order ‘into the system’ and also ensured that my savings plan will fall nicely into place to cover the appropriate costs.

It was a pretty warm afternoon as we motored back from Solihull so we dived into the house to treat ourselves to some ice-cream. To make this slightly more exciting, we add a sprinkling of apricot halves to which we treat ourselves practically weekly, together with a scatter of walnuts, some yogurt and a little drizzle of honey. All of this might sound a little exotic but we enjoy it. Meg and I had a fairly light tea this afternoon and we only had a rushed cheese-and-biscuits type of lunch but I am sure that a slightly lighter day, foodwise, is probably quite good for us. Our next door neighbours kindly donated some apple pie late on yesterday evening which we accepted and consumed with alacrity, supplemented by a little yogurt of which we always have plenty in stock.