Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Cars and Cats

Haven't written for a few days. Major hassle on Friday evening. when I got off the train, my car wouldn't start again. Exactly the same problem as earlier in the week. Major pain in the arse.

Anyway, Jacqueline came and picked me up, and I was resigned to having to spend hundreds of pounds at the garage after all.

Saturday, it was Alice's school fair, so we headed off there for a hour or so, long enough to see Alice dance. Then, we headed back up to the station in Salisbury to see whether my car would start. No joy. So when we got home I had to phone the garage to tell them, and arrange for the RAC to come and get the car.

RAC were really helpful, since although my car couldn't be dropped off at the garage until Monday, they got their people to come and pick the car up on Sunday. This was a big help since on Sunday the station car park was empty - on Monday it would have been full and impossible to load the car onto a truck.

Spent the rest of Saturday tidying the house and sorting out photographs. I've been really lax with the family album, haven't updated it since last September or so, so there were photos from our holiday in Wales, our weekend on the Isle of Wight and of course the recent Centerparcs trip, all just sitting there.
Sunday I drove up to the station, early, to meet the pick-up guy. Of all the bloody things, the car started right up! So I looked like a complete dick to this guy. The only thing I could think of was that it was a temperature thing (last Monday, Friday and Saturday were hot, whereas on the Sunday morning it was decidedly cool).

But even though the car was running then, I still made the guy take it since the ignition is obviously unreliable, and that's not really acceptable.

Back home, all done very efficiently since there was no traffic on the roads, where we awaited a visitation...
One of the things we've talked about, now that Barney has gone, is getting a pet for Alice. Well, you know, a pet for all of us but one that Alice can feel is her responsibility. Maisie is lovely and we all love her, but she's sufficiently smart that she never lets Alice get anywhere near her. We talked originally about a rabbit or guinea pig or something, but to be honest both Jacqueline and I would prefer something more self-sufficient, and so the question of getting a kitten came up. Fortunately, Alice went for it hook, line and sinker, and of course Jacqueline and I both love cats to bits. So, I contacted Cats Protection, and despite the fact that we'd had Barney and Maisie from them, they wanted to do a home visit. No problem, and it was arranged for Sunday.
Unfortunately the visit never happened - the woman's car had broken down.

Still, not to be thwarted, I took everyone out for Sunday lunch at the Old Beams in Ibsley. Excellent roasts, but you need to get there early to get a table. Thereon to Ringwood, where we did the weekly shop, and where Jacqueline took me for a Fathers' Day coffee.

Finished the photographs also on Sunday, am now completely up-to-date.

Monday, back to work, although of course I am reliant on Jacqueline to pick me up and drop me off, something which she does quite cheerfully although I can tell it is a burden for her. She'd arranged for the Cat Woman (for want of a better description) to do the home visit at 6 o'clock, and yet again they didn't turn up.
The Home Visit finally happened yesterday, obviously when I wasn't around. When I talked to Jacqueline about it she was very negative about the whole experience. Despite everything I'd spoken to the Cats Protection people about - and I'd been very specific explaining that Maisie still had to feel as if she were the Number 1 cat, and that for Alice's sake we wanted a kitten - the woman said that for starters it is their policy only to home kittens in pairs. Not at all what I expected - they could have told me this over the phone and we could have all saved each others' time. Very disappointing.

Anyway, Jacqueline had had forsight enough to go into the pet shop in Downton and to take down the numbers of a couple of kitten adverts, Plan B if you will. We phoned the first one and very spookily it turned out to be the woman who used to childmind Alice when she was a toddler, and whose boy goes to the same school as Alice. Almost seems as though it is fate.... She has kittens who will be ready very shortly and so when I get back home tonight we're going straight around there to take a look.

Have heard nothing from the garage about my car. Poor show. I'd have thought thay'd have at least given me a courtesy call, even if just to say that they'd got the car but had not had time to look at it yet. When I phone them, the people I need to speak to are either on the phone or with customers. You feel almost as if you're interrupting them.

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