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    The comfy corner

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  1. There is no update, but I'm writing one anyway, because it's a blog, and I feel strangely compelled to add to it on a regular basis, even if I have nothing to write about apart from the most pointlessly mundane of trivial observations. I have not yet begun to source parts for the R5, because snakebite (he who sold me the car) says he has some of the required bits in storage, so it'd make sense to take a look at those and see if they'll do the job before lashing out cash to buy them elsewhere, so that's a task for the weekend. I did do a bit of poking around here - http://www.eurocarparts.com/ - and it appears that all the stuff I need is at least available, and not ruinously expensive either. I'd say the car probably needs about £500 spending on it to get all the 'nuts & bolts' stuff right up to scratch (including labour), and then after that, it's just the aesthetic restoration aspect that remains, which I suspect might be rather more costly, but the car is already twenty years old, so another few months of waiting won't kill it. (He said, hopefully.) I have used the car for the commute a couple of days this week, and since I was working late one night, the drive back over the mountain (nice and dry and no fog) to Ramsey was certainly a bit of an eye-opener. I daren't go much beyond 'a certain speed,' * as one tends to become acutely aware that even the slightest mistake will almost inevitably result in an untimely and somewhat messy death, but even at that stage it all gets rather hairy, too much so for a fat old man like me, that's for sure. Anyway, it's Friday night, which means getting stupidly pissed and playing BF2142 online with a few chums. (Complete with headsets and Teamspeak, because nothing less than the ultimate nerd-em-up will suffice.) So that's all for now, which is probably a good thing, because this is a really shitty blog entry. * It doesn't do to overly incriminate oneself......
  2. Well that's not too bad I suppose. Service was £116, and whilst the R5 didn't get a completely clean bill of health, the financial damage to follow isn't going to require me to sell my arse down the docks to randy fishermen. (Assuming they'd want to access my arse in the first place, that is, it'd certainly be a new use for cod liver oil. (Does cod liver oil actually come from the livers of cod? Is it genuinely oily? If so, that's really yucky.)) STUFF THAT NEEDS DOING - Front shock absorbers are shagged. (That would certainly explain the bone-jarring firmness of the ride.) Rear brake discs are rusted and the pads are worn - need replacing pretty urgently. Front fog lamps are full of water and appear to be playing host to a colony of newts. (I knew about this was already so it wasn't a shock.) Inner nearside driveshaft boot needs replacing. (Otherwise the gearbox oil will eventually drain out and the gearbox will then seize up and explode, killing everyone within a five mile radius.) And finally, the heater fan isn't working, (again, I knew about that already), but the guy said he'd been unable to easily get to either the motor or the rheostat, and he didn't want to start stripping out the dashboard unless he was sure I wanted that much time (i.e. labour costs) spending on it. (I'll get that done when it goes back in for the other stuff.) The drive back to Ramsey was largely uneventful, except for when I tried to close the driver's side window when it started raining as I was sat at the lights at the top of Bray Hill, only to find that they'd completely opened the window at Q&S (something I've never done) and the electric motor (electric windows are the only vague nod in the direction of mod cons that this car has) didn't have the strength to lift the window back up. So there I was, sat at the lights, with the posh woman sat in the big Lexus next to me finding it all rather amusing as I attempted to manually pull the window up with one hand, whilst having my other hand on the "UP" button. Fortunately my brutish, Hulkian strength allowed me to complete the task just before the lights turned to green, although it didn't really matter as I then spent ten minutes trying to get through the ENORMOUSLY ANNOYING temporary traffic lights just outside the entrance to the Willaston estate - as whoever set them up appeared to think that giving equal time on green to all three directions (cars going into Douglas - five. Cars coming out of Willaston - two. Cars trying to get out of Douglas - fifty billion) was a Very. Good. Idea. In a final act of indignity, the car then steamed up horribly as I set out onto the mountain road in the pouring rain, so in order to see where I was going I had to stick my head of the window, until I'd been travelling at sufficient speed for long enough for the front windscreen to demist via the flow of air being pushed into the air vents. It's all a bit rough and ready, but it feels far more like actually driving a car than anything I've been in for an awfully long time. Tomorrow's mission is to start ringing around Renault specialists in the UK to track down the various required parts, Q&S would do it for me, but chances are it'll be quicker and cheaper if I source the parts myself, and then pay Q&S to fit them. I bought myself a £3.33 bottle of rosé wine from the Co-Op to celebrate having bought a car that's not more than 50% likely to bankrupt the whole family. Unsurprisingly, it's fucking horrible. (But not that I won't drink it anyway, of course.)
  3. So then, I bought this twenty year old Renault 5 GT Turbo which appears to be very nice. I don't mean nice like ice cream or a decent bottle of wine, I mean nice like having someone point a gun at you and pull the trigger, only for you to realise that the assailant has run out of ammo, who then keels over from a heart attack, and thus you're not dead after all. It's a scary kind of nice, whereby if you're still alive at the end of a little drive out in the country, you decide that maybe God might have something going for him after all. NEWS TO DATE - 1) Bought car, after it checked out just fine against this excellent list of stuff that goes wrong with them. Only I would be stupid enough to buy a car whereby even a diehard fan of it cheerfully acknowledges that they regularly blow up and cost millions of pounds to fix. 2) Car needs some body and interior work doing on it to bring it right up to scratch. 3) However, I'll get it given a full service and (hopefully) a clean bill of health before committing large wedges of cash to getting it fixed up. 4) NEWS ENDS. NEXT BLOG - Car gets given full service, house is remortgaged.
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