Tag Archives: fail

Twitter Collapse

It’s that time of year when SMS, email, phone networks and so called social networks all grind to a constipated halt, just letting out dribs and drabs of messages  in flatulent bursts….

With that in mind, I hope that this WordPress blog entry gets out to you all!

From all in the Black household, be that human, hen, cat or horse….

….. We wish you all a…

HAPPY NEW YEAR

2012

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Farnham Carriage Company and the AA FAIL

Following on from THIS DISASTER STORY

In short, from the latest breakdown:

The Fiesta overheats. Chris pulls over. AA are called.

He  removes the thermostat which has broken – this allows Chris to get home.

Oddly, this was previously replaced with a new item by Farnham Carriage Company when the head gasket blew 10 months ago… or not. You see, the failure of the thermostat was caused by a fracture piece of metal, and the only way it could have received the damage was if it had been REMOVED incorrectly.

Now, you can’t damage the thermostat FITTING it… only removing it… SO Farnham Carriage Company had actually REFITTED the faulty thermostat (damaged on removal) and not replaced it with a new item as they had said. Yeehaw cowboy.

A few days later Chris goes to buy a new thermostat. When she starts the car to come home it makes a very serious noise. She stops the engine and  the AA are called out.

The AA roadside mechanic tells Chris that the big end has gone. Writes a report saying the very same thing.

There are two choices, the AA man says: A new car or a new engine.

Bugger… that’s the advice from the most respected experts there are – Not a good result.

Chris asks our neighbour if he can swap the engine out. He’s a good guy and has helped us out a lot with cars, heating and  plumbing. He says no problem, he can put some time aside to do the job. He also suggests a new clutch whilst the engine is removed as it would be well worth it. Nothing really in it for him as we would supply the parts – so no ulterior motive.

After a few weeks the engine arrives, the new clutch and new gaskets are purchased. We’re looking at about £300 in parts.

A couple more weeks go by whilst we wait for a window to get the job done. All of this time the car has just sat doing nothing. It had’t been started as there was no point, and anyway, we left the starting of it to the moment we had to move it into the neighbours garden  – a last few minutes of running for the dead engine just enough to move the car… we hoped…

He starts it. We both look confused. The noise is not a big end failure – not by a long shot. The noise is from the top of the engine and our neighbour says “Stuck valve”…

The rocker cover is removed (4 small easily accessible bolts).

Straight away our neighbour spots the problem. A push rod has slipped from the rocker. This happens in older cars where the adjustments slowly drift. The popping, tapping noise was simply the gases building up and back firing.

The adjuster was loosened easily, the rod popped back into place, the adjuster reset. The cover put back on.

10 minutes work.

The key is turned and the engine runs sweet as anything.

Nice one you AA “Experts”…. we almost scrapped the car on your advice… but instead paid £300 for spares we didn’t need and had no car for 4 weeks whilst all that was required was A TEN MINUTE ROADSIDE FIX to be carried out by our “handy man” neighbour.

Just because they are the AA it doesn’t mean a damned thing – They are cowboys under a respected badge, but still cowboys.


Don’t Bloody start on me 2010

Remember THIS? which came from THIS….

Yup…. good…

Guess what has just died…. two day before servicing….

Go on.

Guess….


Things can only get better…

Do you remember the heady delights of my recent past ? I certainly do. Such memories!

Things slowly levelled out once I got my new job. After ending up with all cards, accounts and overdrafts maxed whilst trying to keep our heads above the water line I thought things were finally working out….

Sure, we’re living one month to the next whilst getting back on our feet, but we are in a position where we (thought) we could see light at the end of the tunnel – Oh how I laugh!

You see, the Almighty (must be one, because blind bad luck just isn’t this constructive) took me saying “At least it can’t get any worse…” as a challenge. As per usual, the Omnipotent one has been playing with a marked deck….

I got a trip to America recently with the new company – It was business, but so cool too! A new experience for me. On the weekend of my return some numpty idiot driver decided to try and drive through a solid object… that object being my wife and Alex in Bernie  (The Berlingo….. not my idea…).

That wrote the car off, so we had to get another car…. bear in mind we live from month to month with no spare cash…..

During the time the claim was being investigated we were supplied a courtesy car – a rather lovely Golf TDi… We were told that once the claim was settled we would have the car for 8 days after receiving the money so we had time to buy a new car… 8 days… that’s a bit of a push!

The Golf TDi... I want one!

The Golf TDi... I want one!

After the fuss of claiming for the car crash (the other party admitted it all) we finally had the cheque sent to us… BUT we were then told that the courtesy car had to go back 8 days after the claim was settled…. which means settled – post cheque – 3 days -, clear cheque – 5 days, have money to buy car… 8 days after settling… HANG ON… that’s the day we give the courtesy car back! We have just one day to buy a car!

I dropped Chris at work last weekend and my Mother in Law came up to help look after Alex as we toured car lots looking for cars. I didn’t want to go private as I only had enough money for a deposit until the cheque cleared, and I also wanted some warranty – so trade sales were the way forward.

As I only had the day to buy a car, I decided to look for 2 types of car. A long distance car for me, or a town car for Chris. We need two cars, so at least if I could get one of those I’d be in a better position – and it gave me double the options on my 1 day shopping trip…

The first car I looked at was okay… the place it was being sold from was okay…. and then we checked out a list of other cars throughout the whole day…..

Each new place had a dodgier car and dodgier sales people…. it was futile! We ended up at some guys house. He had three cars in various states of dirt, grime and rust… and a big old scar on his face…. he seemed honest enough, I’ll give him that, but I just didn’t feel this was right… not from his driveway instead of a sales lot!

A Cowboy yesterday

A Cowboy about to sell a car yesterday

So the day ended with me planning to go back to that very first car… much like a lady going shoe shopping….. Spend all day and then choose shoe number 1….

All the places had shut, so I would have to go back to car number one the following day. All that was left to do was to pick Chris up from work.

On the way back from her work I decided to take a 2 minute detour to pass a place I knew from years ago – a place I had bought a car from before….

YES!!! You are right!!! There wasn’t one available.

We drove off……

… only to find Farnham Carriage Company on the same road… a place I didn’t know existed…a supermarket car park sized lot full of cars!!!

It was closed, but unlocked so we took a walk around. Nothing…. until we realised the cars carried on around the corner of the lot and into the distance… and still nothing…. until we saw a small purple Ford Fiesta…..

57,000 miles on the clock. Spotless interior. All original. Engine bay was spotless – even the fabric wadding under the bonnet was in mint condition! All that for £995…..

I called the guy and said I’d be back….

We pick “Filbert” up tomorrow….

“Hurrah!” I hear you cry! Things are working out for you! A random chance at a random place and you spot a car! Bravo….

Yes… you’d be right to think that…. but the wise would think that this must just be a part of a greater plan to set me up for a fall… Offer me a chair and then whip it away as I sit down…

Thursday night We settle down to go to bed. I have the Doctors the next day as I have a really bad ear ache (5 days, getting worse… lots of pain – silly to go to work as I was dizzy and really not thinking straight – but I work through stuff that isn’t contagious.. if I can).

At 1.30am Chris notices the bed is wet… and it isn’t either of us (yet) or the mental pussy cat that sleeps at that spot…… a glance at the ceiling shows it bulging down a good 4 inches… dripping away….

Trouble - The Mental Pussy Tat - (Blergh)

"Trouble" - The Mental Puddy Tat

OH CARP!!!

I quickly go into the loft (for the first time in ages) and see sodden wood frames and a dripping ball cock valve… I quickly wrap tape tightly around the valve to stem he drip… but really… this little drip is nothing…. it’s the time it has been dripping that was the problem…

Chris calls out that she needs to change buckets (as she was on bucket duty in the bedroom… drip catching). She says severla leaks have started… it only takes a slight touch and another leak appears…. the ceiling is on the very edge of letting go…

I run to Alex’s room, tip all of his toys from a huge toy bucket (half a bath size.. lots of noise, yet he carried on snoring!) and put it under the massed holes. Chris held it as I went rapidly stabbing the lowest part of the bulge…

A good 15 Gallons of dirty, fibre glass, wood, nails and plaster brown stinking water rushed out of the golf ball sized hole….

Further inspection in the loft showed that it was a matter of seconds before the ceiling would have collapsed… the whole panel was sodden and pulp.

Swollen Wood

I shut the water off outside (we didn’t have a tool at first…. then realised that last year the shut off was changed to a modern unti that can be done by hand….). Flushed the toilet, let taps run… released as much weight and water from the loft as possible.

Chris called up the Lloyds TSB Premier customer hotline as we have emergency cover with them….. they couldn’t get a guy out until 8am!!! NICE! That’s emergency for you….

I felt rubbish. It was 3.30am, I was coughing due to the damp and fibreglass. My ear was pounding…Sleep was near impossible so I chatted a while on Twitter whilst Chris got some shut eye. The wonderful ShoeGal007 chatted with me for a while and kept me sane. Twitter is such a lifesaver at times. As I’ve said before, it’s like a big social gathering of friends, colleagues and the Yellow pages! If you want to know something, then you just ask – or you can just chat away!

I got to sleep and shortly woke to go to work… but it didn’t take long to realise that that wasn’t going to happen. Admitting defeat I called in… I wasn’t happy.

A further call to Lloyds TSB and we found the next emergency plumber would be available after lunch, and not at 8am…. so I cancelled him. I had seen where the leak was, and knew it was a two minute job.

See…. It can’t get any worse….

We went out and brought a 12p washer…. and the job was done. All that was left was the wrecked ceiling, sodden storage boxes in the loft and the mouse poop….

WHAT? Mouse poop?

Yup… after the flood I noticed nibbled boxes in the loft space…. and clucters of mouse poop everywhere. Of we went to get mouse traps and sonic repellents to try and fix that problem…

No idea yet as to what the next move will be. We have insurance assessors due to look at the damaged ites, and surveyoys to check out the building itself, but then I don’t know…. I’ve never been here before!

I’ve never claimed any insurance before in my life until the last 3 weeks….. then house and car come along at once!

I’ll tell you what though – I’m not even going to hint at “Things can only get better…” because I’m sure some all seeing being will just take me up on that challenge….


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