My van had its MOT test back in March and all went well as it passed the test. On Monday (18 th) it was the day for E to take her car in for the test too. I had an interrupted night’s sleep and wasn’t feeling that good when I finally came downstairs for breakfast. E had just finished hers. I could have been much earlier in coming down but I had fallen back to sleep after the third time of waking. I really must have been tired but despite my lethargy I remembered that E’s car was due for its test that morning. She had however forgotten! She wasn’t dressed and had forty minutes or so before the car had to be at the service station. I was to follow her to pick her up and having done so decided a short break at Dobbies garden would be a good idea so we drove the short distance and parked up. A nice cup of coffee each didn’t cost us a penny for they were free. I am allowed two cups of coffee each month at no cost because I am a member there. We found a couple of lounge chairs next to the panoramic windows and sat there in comfort chatting. Outside was a guy with a large female Alsatian dog. He had picked up the large drinking bowl set there for dogs and was walking about seemingly looking for a water tap (faucet) with which to fill it. Eventually someone went outside with a jar filled with water and it was poured into the bowl for the dog who immediately drank from it. It must have been an oversight that the bowl hadn’t been filled by the staff though they had probably been too busy. We also noticed the little Robin flying here there and everywhere stamping his mark on his territory. A couple of times he came and sat on the table on the other side of the window and eyed us up too. When we had finished our coffee we went outside and walked around the garden centre browsing the plants but we didn’t purchase anything this time. While walking about we noticed several large plant pots with large plants in them lying about here and there. They must have been blown over during the recent storm over the weekend but no-one had bothered to lift them up. In fact there had been very few members of staff at all outside. We left and sat in the van for a short time while E called the service station to see if her car was ready for collection. Over her phone I could hear the mechanic say that the car had passed its test and we drove there to collect it. Before we returned indoors on arriving home we went next door to visit our neighbour for a while before lunch. I rested up in the afternoon watching more football on tv.
I was sitting having my evening meal on Sunday and had almost finished when i received a phone call from a lady living a half-mile away and for whom I had worked twice previously. She told me that she had lost power to her lighting circuits and cooker but that all her power outlets were still working. I didn’t think it sounded like an emergency as she did have some power but I decided to drive there anyway. As is usually the case in many homes she had to empty out the space to enable me to get at the distribution board. I don’t know why people do that but it is often the case that they do. As I was removing the front cover in order to check all the connections the lights suddenly came on. Obviously there was a loose connection of some sort and I discovered that it was the connection between the main switch live conductor and the bus-bar it supplies. That meant all the circuit breakers connected to the bus-bar would be without a supply. I tightened the terminal screw and all was fine. I went back on Monday morning to find out why her fridge wasn’t working and discovered it was switched off!
I had no other work scheduled for the day and indeed for the week at that point so I donned a pair of overalls and did some repair work on the bedroom ceiling and then I patched up the walls where I had channelled in the power cables to the outlets I had installed a week or so ago. E did a little painting. Progress is slow but rolling along in the right direction at least. In a couple of days time we hope to get the ceiling painted and some of the walls as well as nailing down all loose floorboards, though one or two will be screwed down where access to cabling might be required some time in the future in order to make lifting them easy.
These last couple of weeks has seen me rather less active at work than I would like but it appears from what some of my acquaintances say, there isn’t much work to be had anyway. Strange as it may seem the beginning of the year has been quite profitable for me over the last few years despite people generally having spent a lot of money over the Christmas and New Year breaks and indeed January has been the same this year too even though I didn’t return to working till after the first week had passed. February thus far at least hasn’t been so good so I am wondering what the week ahead has in store for me work-wise that is. Today, Tuesday I have to take my van for its MOT early in the morning so I shan’t be available for a couple of hours. I am hoping it will sail through with no problems. We’ll see. On Friday I arranged payment for my road-fund licence or road tax via the Internet and on Saturday I received the reminder and a new proposal for the van’s insurance cover, which as it happens is actually about £65 less than it was last year! That’s a bit of a bonus isn’t it? The proposal was £409 for the fully comprehensive cover I normally take out (I pay the first £100 of any claim) and naturally I have accepted. I paid that over the Internet on receiving the proposal the same morning. To be honest I was expecting my cover to cost me more for two reasons, one, nothing ever usually drops in price and two, I had wondered if the new legislation to level-out male and female insurance contributions might have had an effect on mine but it appears not. The reason it went down I think was that my agent (Autonet, who specialise in commercial vehicle cover) decided that my previous insurance company wanted too much money so they found me another. It would be great if my van’s MOT could be done over the Internet too but of course that will always be impossible. So here I am almost ready for another year with my little van to do some more electrical work. I wonder if I’ll get any?
Update: The van passed the test with flying colours and just as I got back home I had a call to do a job which covered the cost of the test with plenty over. I’m just happy I don’t have to repeat all of this until next year!
At this time of year my thoughts turn towards the tasks I have to do annually. These are, ensuring my subscription to the AA goes through even though it is supposed to be an automatic affair, arranging for a date to have my vehicle checked for its annual MOT test, arranging to continue my vehicle insurance and having my road-fund licence renewed. Thankfully this year my advertising renewal payment has been offset a little. Having cancelled a few weeks of the current block of adverts I have 13 weeks still left. The treadmill of life keeps turning and we go through our annual journeys of events trying to keep up with it all. Falling foul isn’t an option if we wish to stay above the law but thankfully we do get reminded when things require our attention. I remember one year though when my bank failed to pay the AA their fee for my membership and I hadn’t routinely checked if they had received it. Later that same year I had the misfortune to be locked out of my van’s storage area in the rear as the door lock had broken. I needed access because I was in the middle of carrying out some electrical work in a client’s house. I called for help and that was when I discovered that my membership had lapsed. They came out to fix the problem of access but I had to pay my renewal fee first. This is where having a credit card comes in useful. As we get older there is a greater tendency for some of us to forget to do things so it is good to be reminded. It is the time of year when I need to remember that certain things need my attention.