Sunday, September 18, 2011

Breakdown cover if you want it or not

My breakdown cover for the car ran out at the beginning of the month. The AA now cannily renew it automatically, which to be honest I had forgotten about, but I got a letter telling me that as I had a new bank card this year they hadn't got my details and I would have to ring up if I wanted to renew. I was very glad about this as they doubled the price since last year, and I didn't want to pay it. Imagine my surprise when I checked the bank last week and they'd taken the money anyway! You know when you are so angry you can't speak or breathe? We didn't have the money to spend on stupid things like super expensive breakdown cover, we needed it for food. So when I could speak I rang them up. Luckily the man I got put through to in the end agreed to refund the money, but it would take up to 21 days to get it back. Then he generously said "oh and we won't charge you the £20 admin fee for cancelling". !!!!!!!

I am still really angry! Luckily it didn't take the whole 21 days to get the money back. And the other thing was that he asked at the end of the conversation if I had any breakdown cover. I said no, I was going to the RAC as they do the same thing for £28 (not £54 as the AA quoted). "Oh, we can match that!" he blithely announced, which begs the question why quote me £54?! They are banking on people not checking and just letting the renewal go through, and it's ridiculous! You can't opt out of the automatic renewal either so you have to be on top of your game in 12 months or you're in for it. I wasn't, and luckily for me they cocked up at their end.

And the cover they would have given me wasn't coming to my house if the car wouldn't start, or towing me home, it was literally coming to the car if we break down somewhere and then towing us to a garage. I only go to the shops once a week, and I think my brother-in-law would tow me home for free. Sod you breakdown cover, I'm going solo!


You know when you are reading a book and you just can't get into it? Is it worth struggling on or should you just stop? I got John Irving's Last Night in Twisted River out of the library weeks ago. I have read all of his other books, and I was looking forward to it. I'm only a third of the way in and I am trying to decide if I should carry on. It's really hard work, all the characters have really complicated surnames that you can't just read, you have to actively spell them out in your head, and it is hard going. Maybe it's my baby brain that has stopped me from being able to concentrate properly but I feel I'm not giving the book the attention it deserves. Maybe I'll get a Jackie Collins instead and try this again in a couple of years...sorry John!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The state of things

I was reading the paper yesterday and got to the end and realised I was thoroughly depressed. All it had in it was bad news. Train fares going up again to pay for the bloody olympics, bills going up, the price of food going up, houses getting smaller, random murders, dead babies, parents bullied into buying expensive brand names to keep their kids happy, school standards dropping. Jeez. England is going to the dogs. The only reason I can think of right now to stay and not elope to Spain or somewhere is the NHS and free prescriptions for Mr Babs. I know we would have a better quality of life living anywhere else, living in London is becoming a luxury at the moment. And not a nice luxury really with all the crime and pollution and noise and people and cars everywhere. Maybe we could move abroad but close enough to come back for doctor's appointments?

Books and films

So after years of umming and ahhing I finally watched the Time Traveler's Wife on dvd. I loved the book, I remember bawling outside Tescos when I finished it. I was actually looking forward to the film after reading a few reviews about it online. But no. It was terrible. I'll have to read the book again so I forget the film. It totally took the heart out of the book and I have no idea how, but it lost the love between the two main characters. In the book you can understand why the woman waits so long for the Time Traveler to reappear throughout her life, it is totally believable as they are so much in love. In the film. he was angry all the time, I couldn't understand what she saw in him really, and she seemed like she didn't care either way if he was there or not. Even when he died I didn't sob buckets like I thought I would.

Mr Babs who was forced to sit through it too was not amused. Lesson learnt, no more movies of books for me!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Stupid ideas I have had

I had the most stupid idea the other month. I blithely announced to my dad that I would take the boys up to visit him before school starts. On paper that sounds great, we can have a few days oop north, see the olds, and Mr Babs doesn't even have to come. But on a recent trip to visit some friends this was shown to be a completely head in the clouds idea. The trip was only an hour and a half, and it was a nightmare. The boys constantly asking for things, having to pass food and toys over my shoulder while driving, having to turn round to stop Littl'un #2 wriggling out of his seat, it probably was quite dangerous. We had to stop 3 times for a toilet trip. The trip to dad's is at least 5 hours. Each way. And that is without stopping.

Much as I would love to do it, I think it is going to be too dangerous. Until Littl'un #2 is bigger and can actually ask for what he wants without screaming at me in gibberish I think Mr Babs is going to have to come too.

Unless we sedate the kids...

Anyone have any sleeping pills?