Ups & Downs.

Today has been topsy turvey. Got up disgustingly early (6.45am), as we had both a lesson with Barbara and taking our car for an MOT (road-worthiness) test at 9am. I just knew the worst was gonna happen with that. I didn’t want to think it, but I just knew. It’s a long story…but I’ll try to make it brief…

Right: MOT tests are a yearly thing in the UK. Each year your car has to be tested for road-worthiness…the only time it doesn’t is if it is less than 3 years old. In the UK a road tax disc displayed in your front window is also required. You can’t have one without the other. At the moment, our car’s tax disc expired as of September 30. Our MOT certificate expired before then, so to get a new tax disc we need a current MOT. We had to pass MOT. We put the car through a test but it failed on exhaust emissions. Colin (Em’s brother) deduced that it was due to a problem with one of our cylinders we had been having. One of the 4 cylinders in the engine was blocked and dirty and although we could still drive the car, it was running on three cylinders and not exactly fuel efficient. So Colin has been working on our car the last 2 weeks getting the cylinder repaired and the engined cleaned. We’d had the MOT test done through Luton Borough Council as we didn’t want a garage involved due to potential rorts – that is the garage having some “cock & bull” story about this needing fixing, and that needing fixing and giving us a bill for a few hundred quid. So the council testing centre was good and tried several times to get the car to pass, but the emissions were just too high so it failed. Once Colin had finished the repairs he said “take it to a garage”. He still had reservations about that, but on Colin’s say so, we took it to a local garage this morning – and, well guess what? It failed…not on emissions…surprise, surprise, but because of some hole in the exhaust?! A hole in the exhaust – but it still passed the emissions test? Does that sound fishy? Also, firstly the hole was at the front end of the exhaust, and then (miraculously) it had moved to the middle?! Here’s the predictable bit…£120 to repair with a free re-test if we had it repaired there and then! Seemingly, as of 4 weeks ago a new law came in stating that a free re-test could be giving as long as the repairs required were carried out within 10 days without the car being moved off-site!! In other words…the garages have a licence to rake it in!!! It defies belief!!!! We just ended up having to pay for the test (that was £45 thank you very much), so even better, the garage basically got £45 for nothing. Bastards!!! More time without our car…and a valuable lesson to be learnt…go with your gut instincts!

As for the lesson with Barbara that went really well. She’s picking stuff up really good. Oh, why do people STILL insist on using PC’s and Windoze [sic]??? I can’t tell you how much easier I think it has been for Barbara because she is using a mac as opposed to a PC. I just thank the lord she didn’t take that option, because we DID give her the choice.
It was a full day for a change…and now it’s a new day (just gone midnight) and I MUST go to bed.