I just popped into Doris to check on something and got that wonderful feeling of ‘awayness’. We are following various pairs of people who are off in their vans/caravans at the mo … and I do envy them. Mrs Sun has been with us, though, even if the wind doth blow cold. Apparently it’s going to rain for ten days from tomorrow, so the respite has been short lived. Ho hum. I haven’t checked today, but I bet it’s warm in southern Spain.
It’s been an adminy couple of days. We popped out to Cribbs on Monday and yesterday we both took the Focus in for an MoT … and then walked into the city. Which was lovely. Our plan for the car is, as you’ve heard, get her through to the end of next year and then think about buying an equivalent, possibly a five-year-old Astra (which sell at about 15% cheaper than the equivalent Focus. Don’t know why.). Deep down C wants something more classy, but we both know that within a month one of us with scratch it … we are both half decent-drivers, but it always happens. We’ve had smart cars in the past, but I can’t get my head round spending more than we need. Our Focus cost us £2,200 almost five years ago. And she has not let us down … yesterday’s MoT and oil and filter service was less than £200.
I think I told you our neighbour has a Tesla 3. It is beautiful and does 130 mpg. But it costs him £399 a month for two years, plus an initial deposit. Our budget will be £5k … the amount of money it will cost him to rent the Tesla for just a year. Ours should last five. Don’t misunderstand me. I love cars and, as I’ve said, we’ve had our fair share of beauties. And I applaud anyone who goes out of their way to love them as well. But our Focus is comfortable, reliable and parkable. The Astra will be similar.
Today I took the bike down town and found ‘Des’. He’s an ex-Royal Anglian soldier living on the streets. Our school friend, Elizabeth, who tours the homeless weekly with the church, had told me about him. I have tried three times to find him, and today we managed it.
It’s an interesting story. He’s a couple of years older than me and spent the early part of his life in the Army. Subsequent jobs, a failed marriage and drugs put him on the streets of Bristol. He told me he is now clean, and that seemed to be the case. He was sleeping in the outside lobby of the Hippodrome, with his dog, diesel – a sort of black cockapoo. I bought him a cuppa and we chatted for half an hour. He seemed fit, on the face of it. But, on interrogation, he’s had multiple bouts of chest infections, two heart attacks and a bad back. Surprisingly, therefore, he was charming and good company. I’ve emailed the Regiment and will keep an eye on him. He did say that he didn’t need anything, and Elizabeth – much more an expert than me – told me that was often the case. We’ll see.
And the book? This session has looked like this: 5,000 words on Monday; 1,500 yesterday
and 1,500 today. I am motoring. I will not be able to write tomorrow (a full day at the school in Farnham), Saturday (a full day at a school in Salisbury) and possibly Monday (travelling to Mum’s overnight). But, at 81,000 words I am well ahead of the game.
What is fascinating is that, because I am not ‘on it’ all the time, I have no real sense if it is any good. So today, as I was writing a ‘bring you all back up to speed’ scene, I thought it best … without any plan of doing so … of crying havoc and letting slip the dogs of war. Just to spice thing up a bit.
All I have to do now is work out how that fits in with anything …