As mentioned in my last post, the car had to go for it's MoT last Wednesday. It wasn't quite so straightforward in order for it to pass as the garage (D and A Autos in Mount Farm), rang during Wednesday to tell us that it had failed on one or two minor points, one being that it would need a couple of new tyres. I have mentioned the rather strange running of the car's engine, the times it has cut out and the juddering we have experienced as we'd driven along in it. They told us it would need to stay in their workshop overnight to have the work completed, and the total bill would cost around £400. A bit of a shock, to say the least, but we had some idea that it was going to need quite a bit of work done in order for it to pass it's MoT. Also, the car needed it's Road Fund Licence and we weren't going to get this done without an MoT certificate and the licence had run out on 31st March. As Carol was on Easter holiday we were planning to go back to collect the car on Thursday evening after the garage telephoned to tell us it was ready to collect. We said we'd collect the car on Friday morning as the garage would be closed at around 5.30 when they rang. The next morning at around 8.30 I rang for a taxi on my mobile and we soon got our lift over to Mount Farm. The taxi company has a 'text-back' system, provided you phone them from your mobile, which tells you the registration number and time the taxi will arrive, quite good idea if you are unsure which is the right vehicle coming to give you a lift to wherever, particularly for late night taxi rides. An added security for all concerned. The taxi was very quick to arrive and we soon got to the garage in Mount Farm. Having paid the bill for the work on the car we then had to drive to Swinton's office in Bletchley to get the replacement insurance certificate (having looked in vain for this document in our usual places for such documents and not finding it.) We had rung on Thursday to say that they would be able to print off a copy for us to collect. Having managed to collect the insurance document we then went into the Central Post Office in Milton Keynes (it has moved from it's original place in the Central Shopping Centre to the Theatre District recently, meaning we could park the car nearby in a free parking space. We were then told that we wouldn't need the insurance certificate after all, so all that running about was actually for nothing. We got the licence disc and managed to fix it to the car windscreen. Apparently you will no longer need to buy a licence disc as the Government has said that this is no longer a necessity. So, if that is the case, how will the Police be able to check which cars are licenced or not? Presumably using some sort of check on car registration numbers or something, and no doubt using number recognition software. No doubt they will have a list of car's registration numbers which aren't licences or at least, up to date with their licence payments. Perhaps it's a good thing as it will mean less paperwork, but I have to say it will be odd not having that little disc of paper stuck to the inside of the car's windscreen. Although it will be great not having to run about from pillar to post whenever it runs out. Although we have bought the licence on-line and it makes me wonder how they check the documentation, although it is done from data stored somewhere 'in the cloud.' Another area of technology which I just don't actually understand but I have to say, having paid for this on-line, it is the most efficient and easiest way to buy this.
Yesterday, early,Monday morning. Carol has a further week off for Easter. We haven't been for a swim for a couple of weeks so we decided to go to D.W. early. We were there a little before 8 and it was great that the place was virtually empty except for a couple of people. One of the jacuzzis was ou of action for repair but apart from that it was really relaxing and I did around 25 lengths of the pool. We were in there for a good hour and a half. It was strange coming out and it was sunny and bright as we usually go in the evening which means we come out when it is quite dark outside. We had to go to Sainsbury's as Carol had a repeat prescription which needed collecting and at the same time we needed some shopping for the evening's meal. We noticed that in Sainsbury's they have been altering the homewards department and so we had a look around before buying things for our meal as well as picking up the prescription.
I have mentioned the creative writing course at Milton Keynes Art Centre I did in November and that I had been signed up to do a ten-week course which was cancelled when the lady who was leading was taken ill. I am somewhat disappointed as I was really looking forward to this and still await it being re-sheduled but at the moment there seems that this isn't going to happen. I have been looking around to find something elsewhere but with no success but I have now signed up to an on-line daily writing email which sends me a daily 'prompt' so that I can do a ten-minute writing exercise. This I have been doing for around the past three weeks. The idea is that you get the 'prompt' by email each morning and you have to use that for a piece of writing which you mustn't spend too much time thinking about and not stop writing until the ten minutes is up. I now have quite a few of these ten-minute pieces, some good and some not so good but it does at least mean I get into the habit of writing something, very much in the same way writing this blog is a writing exercise.
Having got the car sorted we now have to contend with a house inspection. Smart Move, the rental agency, rang yesterday morning (Monday) to say they wanted to do an inspection on Wednesday. They said they would come at 2, then rang back to say could it be 3, and then rang again to say they'd come on Thursday at 3. I jut hope they do arrive as the landlord was supposed to come for an inspection several weeks ago (more like months) one Saturday but they never turned up, after we'd made a lot of effort cleaning he house and having it ready. So we're going to have to spend the next couple of days cleaning and tidying the place.