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Wheels within wheels

June 20, 2016

The new car was duly delivered on 31st May but I waited until the following day to tax it, otherwise I would have paid an entire months tax for one day. This is a recent change which doesn’t allow unused tax to be carried with the vehicle to the new owner and you only get full unused months in refund. A really stupid scheme which would be far better if replaced by an additional fuel duty; that way no-one could avoid it, less administration and the tourists pay as well. What’s not to like? Anyway for exactly the same reason I decided to sell the Hyundai on the 31st and reached an agreement with a car buying service. I drove it to Norwich, kissed it goodbye and took a taxi home. The DVLA can be amazing – I received the refund check and the acknowledgement of change of ownership within two days. However, when I spoke to them about a possible personalised license plate they said it can take up to two years!

Anyway, on the 1st I taxed the Lexus, loaded it up with all my personal bits & pieces and took it for a drive. Just what I expected from my previous experience, rides like a magic carpet, comfortable and quiet; goes like the proverbial off a shiny wotsit and it is in superb condition. There are one or two minor issues and I booked it into Lexus Norwich for a check over. In the meantime, I have bought a new mapping DVD for the sat nav, some internal bodywork and carpet clips (which were missing) and a set of floor mats so as to protect the originals. The floor mats went back as they didn’t fit and were not a good colour match. The new DVD apparently has a software upgrade which removes the lock on the sat nav – it used to prevent any data entry or phone use (apart from Speed Dial) if the car is moving, even if only at two mph. Very annoying if you need to change route for traffic or call a number not in the speed dial. I took it out and tested it – the lock on the navigation is removed but the phone lock is not. It’s not a big deal really, just annoying if you are delayed and need to call someone you are on the way to meet and the number isn’t in the speed dial. There is another way to fix it but it involves removing trim panels and snipping wires.

You can tell we had a bank holiday and school half-term – the weather was AWFUL. Gale force winds, torrential rain and cold. BBQ was not committed during the week however it finally relented a bit at the weekend so we were able to cook outside but the wind was still too cool for comfort and gardening was postponed until it all dried up a bit.

Just to add to life’s little excitements, our chiming clock decided it would be more fun if it chimed continuously rather than just the count for the hour. This would be mildly entertaining if it did it during the day but not at midnight! I found a local clock repairer and took it in, very impressed with his set up and even more impressed with the quotation for both a good cleaning and some fettling of the case.

I dropped the clock off on the way to Lexus Norwich to have the little issues looked at – there is some corrosion on the underside of the roof rails (invisible in the pictures) and the parking sensors don’t work. There is an amazingly loud and persistent alarm for about 40 seconds which is related to the sensors; surprised the dealer didn’t twig it. Anyway after a short wait I got the full Lexus “we know best” response. a) Replace the entire parking sensor installation (£1200) and b) replace the roof rails with new ones (£1100). They are not interested in diagnosing the problem or in refinishing the roof rails. Naturally I have sought a second opinion and the roof rails will be removed, refinished and replaced locally for £150. There is another Lexus repair place in Norwich so I sought a second opinion on the parking sensors. They ran a full set of diagnostics but could find nothing untoward, not totally surprising as the sensors are a dealer fitted Lexus option, not part of the original factory set up. A second visit resulted in removing the control unit which effectively silenced the alarm but I have been unable to find any technical data on the unit despite contacting the manufacturers. Their response was as it was a Lexus factory item (it isn’t) then Lexus should provide the support – and we know about Lexus’ attitude to helping in this respect. So a new control unit has been ordered and we await the results.

For some unknown reason I have developed a problem which makes me go dizzy when first lying down in bed and/or turning over. A bit worrying this so I paid a visit to the doctor and she quickly worked out the problem and diagnosed BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) – I liked the first word! Apparently it is quite common, nothing to worry about and in 80%+ of cases will either just go away or can be treated with a simple positional manoeuvre. I’ll give it a week or two to see what happens.
There are a set of laws (called Murphy’s Laws) which govern the failure of things at the wrong time – it must be one of these that dictates when a smoke alarm gives a false alarm it will do so at 1:45 am! Another sleep disturbed night and I could find nothing wrong with it the following morning; I also discovered another symptom of BPPV – looking up at the ceiling while standing on a pair of steps, most disconcerting!

There are just four days left in the EU referendum and I am now firmly convinced we should vote to leave the EU. There are many reasons for this but the main one is the loss of sovereignty and control over our own laws – this manifests itself in any number of ways but I think the basic principle of handing over control to an unelected body (EU Commission) is just plain wrong. I see no way this will ever be reformed with in the EU so our best option is to leave. Many of you will disagree and that is OK, we all have our own opinions and have the power to vote our convictions – we’ll see come Friday what the majority think.

Now let’s hope the weather improves and we can spend more time outside


David & June

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Mrs Niklasson's Adventures

Home is where the heart is

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