As the end of my two week break creeps closer, the weekend arrives to what would normally be a cheer, but at best all I can work up for it is a sigh. We’ve had a good run, it has been two weeks of spending time together, and getting out seeing people. There has to be a time to relax at home though, its something I am not very good at remembering, I am all too eager to try and make arrangements to get out and do things or see people. I know Clare is always grateful for a day at home where we can either just relax or get things done around the house that we don’t have time for when we’re out seeing people.
So today was one of those days, and not going anywhere was helped by the fact we didn’t have a car for the morning, due to it being in for an MOT and new brakes. I don’t like or trust the local garages, and have been using the same mechanic for a number of years now. Originally a friend of a friend, and preferable to use as he was a mobile mechanic. It didn’t take me too long to see how efficient, reliable and thorough he is, on top of the fact his prices are impossible to beat. He now owns a workshop, which isn’t exaclty on our doorstep, but is definitely worth the trip to make sure the car is properly looked at. The only problem with this is getting home again when I have to leave it with him. What do other people do? Does everyone just get taxis all the time? Do people just use the closest garage and hope for the best?
I have been ripped off by enough garages now to know how cheap and lazy they are. I’ve had shoddy work done, incorrect parts put on my car, cheap parts used, and personally would be very happy if I never had to use a different garage ever again. Just before christmas we had a problem with the car, where the door handle broke onthe drivers door. We could get in, but not get out again without lowering the window and using the outside handle, not ideal in a crash or emergency, and the wife wanted it fixed urgently. She was right, it needed doing quickly, and my mechanic is often too busy to see us without at least a couple of days notice, so the wife took it to the garage around the corner from where we live. They needed one part, a cable, and said they’d order it and get back in touch. Ten days later we rang them again to be told they still didn’t have it yet and would chase it up. Four weeks had passed without a word, we had heard nothing, and so I called up my mechanic. Not only did he quote us half the price that the garage did, he had it fixed (even though he had to order the same part) in five days, and then informed us about the mess the garage had made of our door when they took the inside off to have a look at it, and how he’d done what he could to sort it out once the handle was fixed. So not only had they tried to fleece us, they failed to order the part, failed to call us back, and made a mess of our door panel. This is why I dislike garages, and then they even had the nerve to send us an MOT reminder in the last couple of weeks, I snorted with derision, and tossed it straight in the bin!
I’d decided for this particular garage visit that I’d be sticking my bike in the back of the car and riding home once I’d dropped the car off. I could just as easily throw the bike back in the car once I’d gone back to pick it up. It was a sunny morning, and I needed the exercise after all!
The sun stayed out all day and so we spent some time in the garden, doing a little gardening, and entertaining the girls. It was a good way to spend a day. Good, honest old school fun, no tv or electronic devices required. Just a bit of fresh air, vitamin D, and exercise. If we can have more days like this in the summer I will be very happy.