Day 358 – 24th December – Pressing home the un-needed.

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The family visits for Christmas have started but to be able to complete them tomorrow I had to fill up with petrol after today’s journey. This game me the opportunity to do a last minute scout in one of the shops attached to the filling stations and I was rather surprised to see this on sale. It’s a device for sqeezing your teabag, or a teabag press as it’s been called here. My question is why does something like this even exist. How hard is it to squeeze a teabag against the side of a cup. Is this something that we really need or is this a case of creating something that people think they need when they don’t.

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Day 297 – 24th October – Blinded by the light

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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!

Day 282 – 9th October – Easy Savings

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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.

Day 222 – 10th August – Rattle and Hmmm.

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I had one of those moments today. You know the ones. The ones where you hang your head and think ‘Oh no’. So I’m driving home from work and all of a sudden the car is making a really bad noise, and I mean really bad. From inside and from my experience, it sounds as if half the car is hanging off. I even take a few seconds to kneel in torrential rain and can see something massive hanging down, but it’s awful weather and I’m not going to kneel in a puddle for long. The garage across the road are kind and put the car on a ramp and much to my relief it wasn’t part of the car but a big part of a tree. Big enough to stretch the width of the car. Even the mechanic who put the car on the ramp admitted it sounded awful. I felt a bit foolish, but then given how it was stuck I doubt I’d have been able to get it out without a ramp. I can only assume I picked it up in one of the flooded areas of roadway at work.

Day 10 – 10th January – Going Nowhere Fast

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Yes, early in the year the dreaded traffic cone has made an appearance. The UK is full of them. The bane of motorists and the playthings and take home after a night out items for students. I suffered from their existence late on in the day. Now I understand that motorways need to be closed for repairs every now and again and late at night is the best time to do that. However please, please please please give some sort of warning before you get there. The motorway I wanted to use was recently fully reopened after being made a ‘smart motorway’ (and no that doesn’t mean that it has a higher IQ). That being the case there was ample opportunity to have the closure advise listed on the ‘smart’ boards for those who might be using the road later in the day. However clearly that would have required an IQ level beyond this motorway’s level of ‘smartness’. The detour was painful as they often tend to be, and I got home far later than usual. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for, so please let drivers know what’s going to happen later in the day. It really helps planning and reducing congestion!