Holiday hoopla

Ever waited so long for something, it seems almost an anticlimax when you get it? No, I’m not talking about my PhD. I’m talking about my car.

Lost my old (old) one to mechanical failure and old age, bought a new (old) one on 13 December, but never got behind the wheel until yesterday. Hopped, leaped, crawled through an unexpectedly large number of hoops, all the while having to take a two-an-hour bus in gale-force weather:

    Day one: goes to bank to re-work my loan
    Day two: goes to bank to sign for loan; told can’t get a cashier’s cheque without my chequebook (I still haven’t figured this one out)
    Day three: goes to bank with chequebook; bank is closed until further notice due to electrical problems; this is the only branch in miles
    Day three: pays the garage with the cheque; could have done so on Day Two
    Day three: goes to tax office to get car taxed; forgets insurance documents are necessary to get road tax
    Day three: phones insurance company to check when the documents will arrive; around five working days, i.e. in the middle of next week
    Day next week: nothing in the post; mail likely held up by severe fog and many cancelled flights and deliveries in the UK
    Day following week: Christmas is nearly upon us; resigns to nothing else in the post
    Christmas Eve: insurance documents arrive, along with a stack of Christmas cards; too late for anything but Christmas carols and mulled wine
    Christmas Day: am invited to Christmas dinner but can’t get myself there; friend comes to get me from the country; we have a nice roast duck and watch bad TV (confession: I rather like Doctor Who)
    Boxing Day: watch more bad TV; thankful am without the means to take me to the sales
    Day after Boxing Day: garage is closed; I later learn for the whole week
    Days between Christmas and the New Year: teach myself three new software programmes*
    Day three into the New Year: goes to the tax office with the insurance documents, finds out inspection certificate is out of date; feels stupid
    Day five after New Year: car passes inspection, but it’s a Friday and will have to wait till Monday
    Day Monday: gets the car, drives it through awful weather to the office, all the while wishing I could just go home and have a nap.

What have I lost? Not much. What have I gained? New software skills to organise and simplify one’s life* (no, the irony is not lost on me), and hopefully be less stupid the next time as to buy a new (old) car two weeks before Christmas.

*Have to say, they’re pretty fantastic and worth recommending (no, am not selling nor an employee of the companies): OmniOutliner, Devonthink, and Sente. Wish I had these six years ago.


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