New Car, Cantanti Lunch, Kettering Lunch!

I spent some time over the next two days restoring the data to my phone from the automatic backups and I must admit I was quite impressed.  I hardly lost anything.  I had to log in to all the banking and shopping apps again which took some time but there were no problems.  The only thing I lost was the current levels and stats of the games I play.  It didn't matter for any of them except Word Brain - I had played about 400 games and I will need to start again at the beginning and go through every level again.  I am not sure I can face it!

On Friday I went off to Ford at Alperton by public transport to have a look at a car they had got for me.  I wanted one exactly like my old one but with the addition of parking sensors. I was shown to the car and left to sit in it - and I promptly burst into tears because it looked just like mine from the inside!  I couldn't do much more than check all the buttons I was expecting were present and that the radio was the right one!  I also checked the presence of the parking sensors and decided to buy it.  I had to add about £2500 to what I was getting from the insurance, but it is a year newer and has only 4600 miles on the clock. It is metallic grey and I got the diamond brite finish.  I made arrangements to pick it up on Sunday - before lunch which I was cooking for Cantanti handbell ringers!  What could go wrong!  I was pleased to hear later in the day that I would be getting the insurance money paid in to my account on Monday - which is much quicker than I had anticipated and only two weeks exactly from the date of the accident.

In the evening I rang in the QP at Barnes - Plain Bob Major called by Trisha - and enjoyed a lovely chickpea tagine in the pub afterwards.

On Saturday, Mike went to Barnes in the morning and then went to judge the Docklands Striking Competition at Lewisham in the afternoon.  So I had the day to myself and I spent it preparing the stuff for lunch, doing the washing and catching up with all the paperwork etc which had amassed over the two weeks I had been in Devon.  In the evening I went to the UL dinner at Browns - meeting Mike there.  The food was excellent this year - which made a nice change from the tough slab of meat we got last year although there were no doggie bags for Suki.  When the disco started I went and sat with the coats - which was nice and quiet - until it was time to get our taxi home, which Adrian and Helen shared.

The next day I felt somewhat jaded, although I hadn't particularly over-imbibed the night before, and a bit weary.  Monica picked me up for church and then afterwards took me to Alperton to get my car.  She waited to make sure the money went through and then left me there.  I had thought it would be a quick process but I had to wait for the salesman to deal with another customer first, including taking him for a test drive!  When he finally got to me it transpired that it was not possible to activate the 7-day free insurance on a Sunday!  This seemed to be a surprise to him, and other salesmen, although I can't believe they haven't sold a car on a Sunday before.  I had to make several phone calls to Mike and gave him instructions on how to prepare the lamb (sliced garlic under the skin and rosemary sprinkled on top) and put it in the oven - I was really glad I had prepared all the veg the day before.  Eventually the salesman drove me home in the car and I left it overnight on the street and hoped it wouldn't be damaged!!  I still couldn't get excited about it and I had a nagging feeling that it would not live up to my expectations.

Mike had forgotten about the garlic and forced rosemary into the skin of the lamb - but it still tasted nice.  I chucked the garlic in with the roast potatoes.  The lunch went really well and I was able to keep up with the washing up between courses so there wasn't too much left at the end.  There were only 6 of us so it was really easy to fit everyone in and to cope.  We had salted caramel roulade (from Tesco) for dessert surrounded by piles of fresh raspberries and blueberries covered in cream.

I managed to take Suki out for a walk and do all the washing up and clearing away before the Chiswick ringers turned up at 5 for the handbell rehearsal.  When they left at 7 I plodded away at the admin and paperwork - including arranging a resident's parking permit for the new car.  I activated the insurance first thing the next morning and then arranged to transfer my old policy over so that I was covered until January next year.

I was supposed to go to Kettering on the Monday and stay over with Beryl for the Christmas lunch on Tuesday.  However there were still several bits of paperwork to do - particularly with regard to the car - and I also needed to get the letters out to the towers for the 2018 subs.  So I decided to go by train on the day and come back again the same day.  I walked Suki trough the park over to Acton station to buy the tickets - they were closed the first time so I went for a coffee in the park and then went back half an hour later.  This worked really well - I was much happier having the tickets on me than having to pick them up at St Pancras.  I decided to treat myself to first class - it was only about £15 more.  When I got back I parcelled up the things from my old car and sent them off to the salvage company. It was heartbreaking.  I got all the letters out to the towers in the afternoon and was actually quite pleased with what I had achieved by the end of the day - only the filing and ironing left.  I walked to Chiswick so that we just had the one car to come back in, and to get some much needed exercise.  I didn't fancy driving the car for the first time in the dark anyway. Had a nice linguine in the pub - and then finished off Mike's chips which I regretted afterwards!

Got up early on the Tuesday to walk Suki, do breakfast and clear away and dress Mike's back in time to leave at 8.30 am.  Got to St Pancras nice and early and sat in the First Class lounge until it was time to board the train.  I was all on my own in the first class compartment - it was great.  I had a complementary coffee, orange juice and macaroons and enjoyed the hour's journey.  Beryl picked me up from the station and then Pearl picked us both up to take us to the restaurant.  I had thought we were going somewhere new but it turned out to be The Hare at Loddington where we went last year - and that hadn't been good.  The service was a bit better and friendlier this year but the food was not good.  I had a dry old piece of rump steak that was supposed to be rare and over-fried onion rings which I didn't even try they looked so unappetising.  I took most of the steak home to suki - who also struggled to chew it!  I had a glass of prosecco and a couple of glasses of merlot, so it wasn't all bad!  And it was nice to see everyone again.  My train wasn't until 7.25 pm so I went back to Beryl's and had several cups of tea and a nice catch up.  Chris drove me to the station for 7.l0 and I found the train waiting at the platform and I was allowed to get on.  In fact they had made me a coffee before the train had even left.  It was another enjoyable hour all on my own in first class.  The train was late back, and the tubes were a bit up the creek, but I was home by 9.30 pm and went straight to bed.  Mike came in at 12 with a burst leg bag - and as I was then awake gave me some chocolate from the bar he was eating!

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