Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Our New Car

Today was the day I have been waiting for since the sad day we had to scrap Mr B our lovingly nicknamed Ford Galaxy. Poor Mr B had a problem with his head gasket and kept blowing his top and sadly it cost too much money to repair him. It was a sad day in our house when we had to say goodbye, as everyone had fallen in love with him, despite his many faults, and were sad to see him go. 

Of course the biggest problem with scrapping Mr B meant finding another car, suitable for our needs, that we could afford!

Not having a car simply wasn't an option. Our local hospitals are both 60 miles away with poor public transport links and we both work out of town (although we can manage to get to work by train and our employers luckily work with us and let us work around the times of the train!).

I began to despair that we would ever find a car... they all seemed to be to far out of our budget (and I didn't want to go into debt to get one because then you have to pay the debt back!), or they were too far, or too small for our family of 6 (soon to be 7) or there was something major wrong with them!

Finally, one day last week, hubby came across an advert in our local newspaper for a car, similar to our beloved Mr B, a Seat Alhambra (we describe the cars as "cousins") within budget and not to far away. 

So Good Friday, my dad took me to have a look at the new car. Now I took my dad because the last two cars I have bought I haven't and they have turned out to be problematic cars. Especially Mr B who had an overheating problem the entire 18 months we owned him and it turned out the previous owners (who I didn't realise at the time were back street dealers) had taken the thermostat out of him to make him run cold so he wouldn't overheat on my test drive. Had I known they were back street dealers I wouldn't have touched the car at all, but sadly the person I took with me to have a look at the car (who claimed to know all about cars but I don't think he did as my dad noticed things about Mr B the first time he saw him that someone who knew about cars should have known about) didn't tell me until after I had bought him.

So off we went to have a look at this car, mum came with us for the spin and we also took the boy and the toddler with us! The guy selling the car seemed a nice chap, a biker who had lost his right arm in a motorcycling accident and was selling the car as he wanted an automatic as his knee, which he also injured, was giving him problems. We took the car for a spin on the rural roads where he lived and after chatting with my dad and hubby via phone we decided to go for it. 

Of course, being Good Friday, all the banks were shut and I was unable to get my money out of the bank so we arranged to meet today at the train station. 

So this morning I set off on the 9am train to collect my new car, complete with 4 children, 3 car seats and my mum who came to give me a hand!

Me and my 6yr old on the train
Photo taken by my almost 8yr old

After an hours journey, trying to keep the kids occupied and the toddler off the floor and not wriggling under seats or lying on tables, we arrived at a town which is now infamous for unpleasant reasons, we arrived at Machynlleth, the town where 5yr old April Jones was snatched 5 months ago and who is still missing when she should be celebrating her 6th birthday on Thursday  We had an hours wait her for a connecting train to finish our journey and of course the wind was biting it was that cold! I spent the wait trying to reassemble the toddlers car seat as she'd been sick in it on Good Friday and although we had washed to cover, I needed to put it back on. Mum took pity on me and took the children for a quick walk to a nearby garage to buy some munchies and drinks for the remainder of our journey so I could concentrate on what I was doing. 

Passing the Dyfi Osprey Project
http://dyfiospreyproject.com/

Finally we arrived, 2 and a half hours after we had left and found the guy waiting for us at the station. Leaving the kids with my mum I quickly ran into town to the bank and got the money out to pay for the car. We walked to a nearby car park and after telling the older girls, who had yet to see the car, that it looked like a blue Mr B, they spotted it immediately!

Formalities over, I was finishing signing the paperwork needed to transfer ownership of the car, when my 10yr old boy pitifully cried from the back of the car
"Can someone please help me with my seat belt!" joined in by my 6yr old daughter who had the same cry. I was soon able to see the problem with the seat belts... whoever had taken them out last had put them in the wrong way around so that the catch for the seat belt was on the wrong side! 

Finally after half an hour of tugging, pulling, yanking, sweating, swearing at and spraying with lots and lots of WD40, I finally got the seats swooped around, the toddlers car seat attached properly and my own pregnancy belt attached and we were ready to go!!!!

The car performed well going home and most importantly... it DIDN'T overheat!!! Not even on the high mountain roads!!! Something which has been a big issue in the past 18mths and meant we rarely went anywhere because we knew Mr B wouldn't handle the distance and especially not the climb up mountains and hills without overheating and a cry for more coolant!

An hour later we arrived at my mum's house and found hubby was there on his delivery round with work, so he was able to admire the car! Then the kids decided they wanted to stay at my parents whilst I went to pick daddy up from work as they were having too much fun designing a Spongebob Squarepants competition hosted by Argos (click here if you want to enter). 

I went to pick daddy up and he persuaded me to let him drive the car home so he could have a go at driving it. 

Tomorrow I have another long day as I have to visit the DVLA to sort out the car tax, a visit to hospital to the diabetic clinic and then my 20wk scan where hopefully find out if we have a little brother or little sister cooking!!! 3 of the kids will be at my parents as I take my soon to be 8 year old so she can have some pre-birthday 1:1 time with mummy and she's so excited that she will be able to see the baby and hopefully the first to find out what it is!!!


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