Sunday, 16 January 2011

And isn't it ironic, don't you think?

Well this week bought with it another string of setbacks & challenges, but it also bought some good stuff too.  It didn't bring good weather though but luckily we're finding the gentle rocking of Delores in the wind soothingly soporific.

Large pond at Alston Hall
On Thursday I was working at Alston Hall, another gorgeous old stone manor house in the middle of breathtaking countryside.  I needed the car so rather than leave Steve stranded he drove me down there, with the intention of taking off into the hills for the day and picking me up at home time.  The first part of the plan went well but at lunchtime I got a text saying "car packed up".  A quick call to Steve reassured me that he wasn't, as I first thought, stranded on a remote moor but was in fact somewhere near sunny Preston.  Luckily we're covered by Green Flag and a very nice man towed him to another very nice man in a dark & oily garage.  After much sucking of air over teeth a part was bought, replaced & Steve was on his way.  Unfortunately it wasn't the right part and the car drove as if it had four square wheels and refused to go much over 40mph.  It took us over 2 hours in thick freezing fog to nurse it back to the campsite where it collapsed into a crunchy pile of expensive looking smoke.  Exhausted by the events we collapsed into the site bar and got stuck into two excellent home made pizzas.

On Friday Steve became acquainted with the village garage who promised to mend our little car and have us back on the road in no time, but that was all we heard on Friday.  We were worried as we rather needed it for the viewings we had lined up on Saturday, plus we had hot tickets for the Village Hall cinema on Saturday night and didn't fancy the 40 min walk each way in a the howling tempest that arrived during Friday night.

Over breakfast we got the call and legged it over to the garage to collect the car.  £76 to change something important and reboot the on-board computer.  It's a 9 year old Ford Focus, I'm impressed it had something more sophisticated than "Speak & Spell" on-board.  With minutes to spare we raced north to Kendal in time for our viewings.

We're definitely becoming disenchanted with Kendal, parts of it are lovely but it has some enormous sprawling housing estates and most of what we can afford is in the middle of them.  Definitely not what I envisaged for our 'forever home' in Cumbria.  But on a brighter note there's a few places come on the market in Arnside so we went to see one of those in the afternoon.  The house was smaller but with bags of potential, which is the polite way of saying it's shabby and needs a serious lick of paint, but the most encouraging thing was that the guy showing us around is a self employed IT consultant who may well have potential work for Steve - you just never know what's around the corner.

And so we made it, with fully functioning car, to the big cinema night out in Silverdale.  So, what's so ironic about this whole tale?  At the end of a week overshadowed by expensive car repairs the movie for the evening was "Made in Dagenham".

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