Slow and Steady

The day I should have stayed in bed

Posted on: July 19, 2009

You ever have one of those days that start bad, and never get better?

OK 1st things first, when  my doctor gave me the pills to experiment with, he suggested I use them in place of my normal sleeping pills. I’ve been using them for the past few nights, and have woken up as soon as they’ve worn off in a bit of pain, so I was cranky to begin with.

As I said in my last blog post, I’m going to be  changing my car. Now one thing that is really frustrating me is that I cannot arrange test drives myself because if I drive my manual car to the showroom, I won’t be able to give the car a proper test drive as I’ll be on the thresholds of my pain barrier.

This means I have to wait on others to take me to showrooms. The fact that they are prepared to is lovely, but every one has their own lives to live, and the people who I know that drive are all really busy at the moment.

Yesterday, a friend had a last minute cancellation so could take me around car showrooms today from 12 until 3pm. It doesn’t sound long, but  these tests were for me to see a few things:

  • Is the seat position right?
  • Are small engines autos that much slower than manuals?
  • Can they manage hills? (I live in a hilly area and have been told many a time that I’d need at least a 1.6 auto)
  • Do they scream going over 40mph?

She told me in the evening so I fired up autotrader to see what cars are in the area for me to test drive. I found 4 of 5, and wrote down the opening times and numbers.

I woke up after 5 hours, and tried to go back to sleep but I couldn’t get comfortable to sleep more than about 20 minutes each time. I got up after 2 hours, thoroughly pissed off.

When it finally got to opening times, none of the original 4 were available to be test driven. The reasons?  Not being open (even though there were opening times for Sunday on their site), the car being sent to a garage to be cleaned (err, it’s in a garage isn’t it? That particular one has a service section), being the only one in the office so not able to do test drives, and an unanswered phone.

So I scrambled back online to find something I could test drive as there is no way I can do any this week as everyone is busy. After talking to a few that had been sold, and another one that was in a garage miles away (even though it said it was in my local garage), I managed to find a Yaris and a Fusion to test drive. Most of the garages opened at 11 and my friend was coming for 12 so it was quite frantic phoning round. I took down hasty directions for the Yaris garage literally minutes before my friend pulled up.

The Fusion seemed ok, but the area didn’t have any hills to test out, which is something that I need to know the car can do.

As we drove to the Yaris garage, the directions weren’t making sense even though I took them down exactly. My friend didn’t have an A-Z as she has a hire car at the moment.  We were both really cranky by then. I rang the garage and he got a turning wrong so it took ages to get there. Long story short, we got there and the battery of the car was dead.

I was not amused.

In hindsight after none of the 1st ones were available I should have just forgot about it.

Anyway the Yaris is coming to mine tomorrow, and my friend is free all day next Sunday so I’m going to book all 5 test drives for that day this week.

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My tenant moved out today. I went through the walk round with her, and she has cracked a mirror and the chipped some of the wood on the bedroom floor. She broke a drinking glass and bought back a whole set which look a lot nicer than the cheapie Ikea ones I had! I’ll be deducting the mirror from the deposit, and she’s going to get her uncle to move damaged slat to where the bed usually is so you can’t see it, that’s fine with me.

She was really upset bless her, and when we were leaving she looked like she was going to cry and asked if she could lock the door one last time. I know that feeling well… Very well. It’s funny how much you can fall in love with a place isn’t it?

One thing I’m quite proud of is after I left my flat, I automatically headed to Co-Op for my guilty pleasure: Lemon Cupcakes. I cannot tell you how lovely they are.

Anyway I parked up, and sat there and thought about it. I realised I wasn’t hungry and was craving cupcakes because I wanted comfort. I sat there for a while and said ‘the answers will come soon, and either way you’ll deal with it’. Then I drive off.

Thanks Paul McKenna! In his I can make you thin book, he says sometimes cravings aren’t for food, so if you aren’t hungry, think about what it is you are really craving. Even though I have read the book, put the eating rules in place most of the time, and listened to the cd,I haven’t been doing the mind techniques. That was my first time, and I am pleased I did.

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Back to cars for a moment.

I found a great guide to buying used cars and it says before even going for a test drive, look at the insurance groups, find out how much a service is from the franchised dealers and how much a range of parts are to see how much it could cost you in the long run.

I was so shocked when I checked the road tax prices of the cars I’m interested in. My car at the moment is insurance group 3 and it’s a 1.2.

A wonderful friend reminded me that I don’t need to pay any road tax until 2011, however I’ve read road tax is due to rise again in 2011, and so am taking it into account as I will have to pay it eventually.

The insurance was all pretty much the same which is funny as the cars range from 1.0 to 1.4. It came to about £400, with me having novoluntary excess, and points on my license.

Here are a short list of the cars I’m thinking of and their insurance groups and tax prices from 2010.

Toyota Yaris 1.3 group 4 for all except the top spec one which is a 5. The 1.0 hasn’t got a proper auto box, it has a clutchless manual is group 3, but rubbish. I tried one last week, but after reading reviews that the old yaris is better than new one, I decided to put it back on my list. Road tax: £125

Daihatsu Sirion The biggest shocker for me, the 1.3 is insurance group 8 (WTH?) and the 1.0 is group 5 Road tax (1.0): £125

Ford Fusion 1.4 is group 5 Road tax: £155

Hyundai Getz 1.3 is group 4-5, the highest specs. Road tax: £155

Citroen C3 1.4 the most popular one is group 3, however it has the worst write ups of all the cars. Road tax:£155-£180

I think the Sirion is going to have to chopped from the list.  OK the road tax is decent, but the lowest engine size, yet one of the highest to be insured?

The closet one to test drive is miles away and there is only 1 franchised dealer in a 30 mile radius. I really like it though because everything usually classed as an extra is standard, and it’s the only manufacturer still building in Japan, and they are so sure their cars are great, all the new ones come with 5 years warranty and breakdown cover. I think it’s one of those cars that will run forever, but is expensive as hell when it goes wrong. I’m hesitant to strike it off just yet.

I’ll be calling round for service costs and parts this week. I need to go now, I’ve got an awful headache, I hope I’ll be able to sleep!


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