Yesterday was a big break in routine for me.
Julie had to renew her passport. She had asked about a postal renewal, and was told it would take ten weeks at least. As she is travelling abroad in March, her only option was to go to the main Passport Office for the East of England. That is 65 miles each way from Beetley in the city of Peterborough, around 90 minutes each way by car.
I offered to drive her there in her car in case of parking issues, so I was up much earlier than usual, and took Ollie out while it was still below freezing, and very frosty. As it turned out, we parked easily, and were also early for her pre-booked appointment. It all went smoothly inside, (I was not allowed in, so waited ih the car) But even with that ‘personal appearance’, she was still unable to return home with a new passport. They will send it by insured courier within seven days.
The journey home was even easier, and I was back in plenty of time to give Ollie his favourite dinner of cold chicken.
Forty minutes later, the car dealership phoned to say my car was ready for collection. Out we went again, just 4 miles each way this time. I was told that the mechanic was able to remove the magnet and electrical connection that was stopping the gear selector going into and out of park, but he also had to rig a small cable below the selector in case the ‘override’ happened again for any reason. Just pull it, and the selector moves easily. I would have preferred a new part, but had already been told it was no longer available.
Then the mechanic showing me how to operate the cable-pull informed me that if the very small part had been available, it would have cost me a staggering £500! Add to that the fitting charge of well-over £200, and I would not have been a happy bunny.
The final bill was £198, intead of around £740 had they fitted a new part. As I drove home, I had never been so grateful for a part no longer being in stock.