Sorry it’s not a great picture but it was dark and I was nervous about having the car door open. Confused? Let me explain further. After the long journeies taken visiting family over Christmas the car was filthly. No surprise there. So when filling up with petrol I decided it would be a good opportunity to put the car through the wash. Nothing flash, just one of those automatic ones where you put in the code, driving in and it does it’s thing. Well today the first two of those took place. The third didn’t. It started, soaped up the car and then decided that enough was enough and stopped. In the end I managed to get the person behind to let htem know in the store that there was a problem and someone came along to restart it. However I just had a feeling that with the car door open it was bound to spring back into life so it was a very quick photo to record my predicament.
Again today is one of those photos I never thought I would use in a blog post recording my year, but the oddest thing happened today. I was filling up with petrol ready for the driving I’ll do over the Christmas period and unsurprisingly there was a queue at the petrol station. The person in front of me filled up and then spent ages reading through the receipt he had got from the pay at the pump machine. One question arose from this. Why! What added information was so revolutionary that it had to be read there and then. I’ve checked the rest of the receipt and there’s nothing of interest there! (And yes, to those in the USA, this is how much we pay for our petrol at the moment, and this is currently 10 pence down on what it had been earlier in the year!)
I made a decision today to take the stress out of an early start at the airport next year. I’ve done the very early start where you leave the house at an unearthly hour to get to check in and having a look at the cost of parking for a week, the additional cost of a hotel was so little extra that I decided to go for it. It will be nice to just trundle up the night before at my own speed, sleep well and not worry about sleeping through an alarm clock and end up being awake most of the night instead. In the end I went for a hotel that was slightly more than the cheapest option because of the travel to the airport. The option of a bus that is only every 30 mins and taking 30 mins to get to the airport didn’t appeal, especially as it would still be an early start. However the Heathrow POD only takes 5 mins and is meant to turn up almost instantly. I’m hoping that these two options will be a much more civilised way of starting the holiday.
A number of years ago I had a North Face Nuptse jacket that was the warmest jacket I had ever owned. It served me well for a good number of years before it wore out. So effective was it that it even kept me warm in a stationery car with the engine off for over 3 hours while I was stuck in snow and bad weather due to an accident further up the road that needed to be cleared. At no point with it on did I feel cold. Bored and needing the toilet yes, but cold, no. After the extreme cold earlier this year and the possible threat of a repeat, I decided it was time to reinvest.
(In line with current blogging practice, I should point out that I am not being paid or receiving goods in kind by North Face to mention their product or brand).
Very late today (and too late to have been able to realistically do anything had I needed to) I received an email from British Airways about having been caught up in the hacking incident they had earlier in the year. Back then a friend of mine had booked at the time and cancelled their card as a precaution. By a fluke of timing I didn’t have to as the card used had been cancelled a month or so ago, so I have been lucky in that respect. I have though contacted BA about the issue as there is certain information they have left out of their email (which I won’t publish here for obviousl reasons) that may or may not have been affected by the hack. An absence of reference probably means everything is ok, but I don’t take chances like that. Hopefully it is just a case of forgetting to mention rather than forgetting to look at whether other data has been comprised. Their reply (and possibly the speed of it) could be telling.
On my drive to work today (and the last few days) there have been clear blue skies. This is nice apart from one hilly section where the sun is low and in such a position that it is right in your eyes. Now I will make it clear here and now that I am all for careful driving and driving with the sun in your eyes should cause you to slow down. What has amazed me while driving in is the lack of use on the sun visor that people have in their car. It makes such a difference to vision and is there for a reason other than checking you look ok or doing onces make up!
I had a first today, and at my age, firsts are not that common! I often book holiday flights to the ranch quite early on so that I can get the best deal in terms of using air miles. Given my chosen airline often has only four seats available with air miles per flight, it can be a ‘rush to the departure gate’ as it were to get in there before they are taken. This time I decided to look at something slightly different and noticed that with the Premium Economy flight home the difference was only an extra £70 and some extra air miles. Given how badly I had slept on the way home last time I thought I would take the plunge. I’ve also had to pay to reserve the seat given how few there were on the flight, but that still brings the total to less than paying full price in Economy both ways. While it’s a while off I’m looking forward to experiencing the difference.
It’s that time of year when I need to look into car insuance costs. Like lots of people now I do the usual cost dance with the insurance companies. This dance consists of them charging more for the second year of insurance but quite a bit. My step is then to use a comparison website for a cheaper price, followed by a phone call and negotiation to a lower price (or as sometimes happens a goodbye and a policy with someone else). The insurance companies expect this and I believe that they provide a higher quote expecting it to come down. I had mine reduced to that of a competitor without any haggling at all, which does make me wonder exactly how low they would have been willing to go. Still, for a quick phone call I saved enough to be happy with the result.
Never in a million years did I think I would post a photo of a toilet, let alone an airline toilet. Let alone would it be the last post of another fantastic holiday. However it provided what was a wonderful comedy moment at the airport. While wait to board we were informed that there was an issue with the toilet in the first class section of the plane and that it would unavailable for the entirity of the 2 hour flight. The airline desk staff then announced that ‘if anyone needed a potty break they should use the airport toilet now or altnatively they could use the standard class toilet during the flight’. Firstly I loved the idea of first class passengers taking a ‘potty break’ and secondly, I’m now wondering what the first class toilet looks like and how much nicer it is from the standard class toilet given both are on a plane with not a lot of space available. I suspect it will be a long before I get to find out!
I landed in Tuscon without any problem and after getting to the airport enjoyed a meal with friends before calling it a night after the equivilant of staying up for 24 hours. I was only staying one night at the hotel so was somewhat surprised to have the maid knock on the door and attempt (I’d put the lock across) to clean the room at 8.30. Now I’ll admit that I didn’t put out the do not disturb sign on the outside handle, but as I was checking out I had assumed I didn’t need to as the room would be on the list to do after check out. I’ll know better for next time if I’m staying there, but am thankful I remember to put the lock across.