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Saturday, March 05, 2016

MoT'd Car and Snow

The car had been booked in for it's annual MoT on Friday at O.K. Garage, which is where  Mick the mechanic who repaired the car after we broke down on the M1. worked. It's only a short drive from Eaglestone to Peartree Bridge. We walked back along the Redway once it had been left and we got a call at around 10.30 to say it had some work needing doing, a ball-joint on one of the wheels or something, nothing too expensive to fix and they did the work and we returned just after lunch. We have got it booked in again for next Friday as we're having a couple of new tyres fitted before we go away on holiday.

Considering the state of the roads around Milton Keynes, it's no wonder the ball-joints on the car need repairing or at least replacing. You may recall (that is if you follow these blog posts.) that back in the early part of 2015 we had a problem with the car when we drove home after visiting Ascott, (a National Trust property on the road towards Aylesbury and close to Wing village.) We drove over a pothole in the road which, in turn, set off an alarm in the car, because the E.S.P. (Electronic Stability Programme) mechanism was damaged. This has since been repaired, under our insurance, although we had to pay the excess on the insurance ourselves, a hefty £350. When we were driving the other day (and, actually, most times we are out and about in the car and on local roads around this area.) we seem to spend a considerable amount of time attempting to avoid potholes. The road surfaces in and around Milton Keynes are considerably pot-holed, although, to be fair to Milton Keynes Council, they are attempting to re-surface a great deal of the Grid Roads, but still the roads are in a poor condition, which is really appalling considering that Milton Keynes is a modern city and no more than 40 years old. So it's no surprise that our car, or any other car for that matter, should have the suspension, tyres and the ball-joints in need of replacement and repair. Every time you drive over any of the speed bumps around here you are putting stress on not only the car's suspension but wear and tear on the tyres.

Early this morning it was snowing heavily as I looked out of the window. The car had a layer of snow on it, but it didn't last and by mid-morning it had completely disappeared. We had considered going out in the car for a drive, but as Carol has been off work for the past few days with a heavy cold and wasn't feeling too brilliant, we decided instead to go into the city centre so parked in the multi-storey carpark near Debenhams, arriving before most of the shops had opened. We walked through the shopping centre and found that there was a handmade and vintage market on in Middleton Hall, just outside John Lewis. We were intending to visit Lewis's, but the store wasn't due to open for a good half hour or so, which meant we had time to go into Cafe Nero and have coffee and croissants and then returned to browse the market which had a lot of interesting stalls. Monday is Carol's birthday so we wandered along the malls and went into the Disney store. The music was excessively loud, that awful song 'Let It Go," if you can call it a song, from 'Frozen', was being played, which put me off and if it hadn't been for Carol, I would have left. She saw a toy from a new film 'Zootopia' a sloth, and I bought it as a birthday present. We've seen the trailer for this animation film and the sloth had a prominent part and Carol had said she'd like to get the soft toy if one was available. We then walked along to H.M.V. and bought D.V.D.'S of "Jurassic World" and "Suffragette" and then went to Marks and Spencer's to buy food for this evening's meal and then to Debenham's to browse in the men's clothing department and finally back to the carpark and home.

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