Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Tuesday, July 1

General update

It's been a while, and stuff has happened.

The case

We were interviewed by the C of E equivalent of the CPS yesterday. We had though from our research that his role is basically that of prosecutor, but until a decision has been made to proceed with the case he has to be neutral, weighing up the case to see if there is something to answer. So after our interview he went to interview the respondent. Hopefully he will be able to see the case very clearly.

Perhaps a bigger worry is that he informed us of the timescale - it will be about NINE MONTHS!!!!! This is not what we wanted!

The move

We visited our scenic town which we (i.e. she) have decided we want to move to. Part of the motivation for this visit was to start getting to know the churches in the area, so we pitched up at sample number 1. This was a sort of fresh expressions place, not sure what denomination/stream it is attached to if any. Modern and evangelical in its flavour, and very slick in its presentation. The music was outstanding, but perhaps more importantly we both felt able to worship for once. The 'progressive' church we have been temporarily/experimentally attending as refugees/students is very cold in its worship - statements about God and society rather than worship addressed to him. So it felt really good to sing love to Him again. Also, the progressive church says it 'welcomes everyone', i.e. it is inclusive, but I would not say 'welcoming'. We have been going for months and they have only just started to ask our names. At this evangelical church, there were welcomers at the door to show people the ropes and the pastor and several others all asked our names.

The car costing a fortune.

We stopped to watch some charity assailers with the windscreen wipers going, and flattened the battery. The breakdown man attached a gadget to it which said it was 'goosed' and that we would need a new one 'within weeks'.

The next day (Sunday) we did our trip to scenic town, but all the way there and back it was running really rough, with low power making me change down for minor hills, and dashboard lights flashing at me. We made it there and back somehow. Booked it in to the garage on Monday. They said it needs £72 to plug it into the diagnostic machine, and then £860 to sort the fuel swirl problem, £250 for the coil and plug set, and a further £250 for the cracked rocker cover.

Well, I said don't do the fuel swirl, because you have previously told me about that and accepted it is a low priority item. I told them to do the plugs and coils, because it felt like a misfire and I thought that would fix the problem, and told them to only do the rocker cover if the plugs didn't fix it.

So they did the plugs, and then phoned me to say it had only made a slight improvement, the engine was still not performing, and I would need to do the rocker cover as well. But I insisted that I wanted to try it and see how I got on. So I fetched it and paid my bills. (It turns out the high-pitched-whine came from my wallet, not the gear box.) I got in, and drove off - very nicely and smoothly. It was back to the way it had been before the weekend - a little rough in the morning as per the fuel swirl problem, but nothing to worry about. Basically, they were trying to rip me off by telling me the coils had only made a slight difference, to make me go for the bigger but unnecessary job.

So anyway, now I have a fixed car and a determination to use the cheaper non-branded garage round the corner from my house.

So of course on Monday night, while watching the sunset with the lights on, I flattened the battery again. This time the breakdown man (a different one) attached a gadget which said 'Good battery'. He told me not to replace it, just be careful not to leave my lights on. So who do you believe?

The son (the depressed one)

... has a job. I was trying to sort something out for him at my client's office, but he sorted this by himself, through his own network of friends. So it can't all be bad.

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