Gearing up for a fight

Our battered Peugeot 307 two years ago after a lorry scraped past it; no, the driver didn't stop and leave his name and address.

Our battered Peugeot 307 two years ago after a lorry scraped past it; no, the driver didn’t stop and leave his name and address.

A car, like life, is just one damn thing after another.

If it isn’t paying through the nose to get the car through its MOT then it’s seeing another dent and scratch on the side by a clumsy/malicious driver or a vandal.

A car is an expensive lump of metal worth its weight in woe.

Recently, our car’s clutch/gears have been playing up. Sometimes the clutch pedal sticks and at other times first and second gear won’t engage, which makes for tricky driving.

My wife popped the car into the Peugeot garage at 7.30 on Tuesday morning and they said they’d let her know what was wrong later that afternoon. Oh, they wondered if we’d like to buy a new car (no), and then informed her that the diagnosis fee alone would be 120 euros.

They didn’t get back to my wife until this afternoon (Thursday), despite her phoning twice before on the previous days, and told her that they thought the trouble might be in the gearbox (I could have told you that, you French muppet). But just to open the gearbox would cost us 370 euros. What?!

My wife asked what might be wrong and how much it might cost; we have an old car so a big bill wouldn’t be worth it. The man replied that he couldn’t tell her that.

My wife asked what causes had been discounted but the man replied that that was confidential. What?! CONFIDENTIAL – it’s our car for a start and, um, it’s a car, not a patient in a hospital.

Anyway, the man would not budge so my wife said she’d come and collect the car tomorrow and pay the 120 euros for them doing nothing. She also wanted a piece of paper stating what had been done. The man haughtily replied he couldn’t do that.

I know where I’d stick his petrol pump.

Musical Monday: Buckethead

Musical Monday: Humble Pie

Down my way

Fontenay scenes 31 March 2014 H

Fontenay scenes 31 March 2014 J

Fontenay scenes 31 March 2014 A

Fontenay scenes 31 March 2014 D

Musical Monday: Mogwai

He’s leaving home . . . bye, bye

My son, far right, with his three mates who helped him move into his new home.

My son, far right, with his three mates who helped him move into his new home.

It’s been a Big Day today for my son Brainbox – and his parents too – who has flown the nest.

This morning we drove him with a lot of his worldly goods to his new home. It is an unfurnished studio apartment on the eighth floor.

In fact, we needed two runs in the car to transport all his stuff.

It’s a strange feeling seeing my son leave the family home; a mixture of sadness/loss with a sense of pride and of life going on.

His new drum, which has a stunning panoramic view of Paris including the Eiffel Tower and the Tour Montparnasse, consists of one room, a separate shower and toilet plus a little alcove with two electric rings to cook and a fridge wedged there. A perfect first-time home.

Three of his chums turned up to help unload the car and carry the various boxes up to his apartment. Luckily, the apartment block has a lift.

A great view of Paris from his eighth-floor studio apartment.

A great view of Paris from his eighth-floor studio apartment.

We have donated sets of crockery and cutlery and a mattress and towels etc to start him off. We’ve also told him that he’s always welcome to come home to eat and for us to do his laundry if he so wishes.

Did he want Sunday lunch with us tomorrow? “What are you cooking?” he asked.

Chicken. “I’ll be there,” he answered.

My wife also mentioned our son’s departure on Facebook:

C’est fait: l’oiseau a quitté son nid, et sous un superbe soleil! Il vient quand même manger au bercail demain midi.

Robert Neelly Bellah, the American sociologist, said: “Leaving home in a sense involves a kind of second birth in which we give birth to ourselves.”

Whatever Bob.

Good luck my boy!

Musical Monday: Amen Corner