How Much ???


That was pretty much the response from my wife when the garage called to advise that her car had failed its MOT and, how much the repairs were going to cost.

The car is only eight years old has less than 30K  on the clock and does less than 3K a year. This really is the car with a lady owner that only drives it to the hair dressers once a week.

So, how much was this going to be ?

As the mechanic described it, worst case “If we have to replace both rear brake assemblies and the brake shoes too” then £300″. “Obviously if we find that any of the parts don’t need replacing then we won’t and the price will be reduced accordingly”

So all in all it’s not actually a bad price. Given how much garages charge these days we could be considered to have “gotten off lightly”. Still a bit of a shock when the car gets so little usage.

So now we are going through the usual “get rid of it”, “the MOT is more than the car is worth” gut reactions.

All pretty much un-warranted as this car really doesn’t owe us anything. It is a Ford Ka and as you would expect for a low mileage car it hasn’t let us down. In fact most of its woes are now down to age, rather than wear and tear, hence things like brakes (probably rubbers getting tired) and the last MOT we replaced track rod ends (probably the rubbers getting tired allowing dirt into the ball joints).

I don’t get to drive the Ka very often but when I do I always enjoy the experience. Given it’s size it handles much like a go-kart. That is it is very nippy and it goes where you point it. The steering is direct making it fun to take round corners.
So although we have a black cloud hanging over us right now I’m sure the sun will break though very  soon.

Update: 18:00

Good news from the garage. They didn’t have to replace any brake parts. Still charged us for the strip down, clean and adjust but the bill came in at £200.

Roger Waters – Happy Birthday


Roger, founder member of one of the best rock bands there has ever been, was born  69 years ago today.

Happy Birthday Roger.

With such a huge catalogue of music it is difficult to choose a representative piece to celebrate with. I am sure you have your own favourites, here is “one” of mine.

What A Plonker


Judge Peter Bowers has given the victims of burglars across the country a huge slap in the face with his comments, made during the trial of Richard Rochford.

Judge Bowers told him

It takes a huge amount of courage as far as I can see for someone to burgle somebody’s house. I wouldn’t have the nerve.

How out of touch is this idiot.

Just ask anyone who has returned home or awoken to find their home has been the target of a burglar. Ask them about their feelings. I am sure they will tell you about violation and desecration of their homes. I am pretty sure you will not find anyone to praise the courage of the burglar.

The judge’s job is to oversee and administer the law, to ensure that justice is done. What the victims of crime want is to see that justice is done.

Praising the criminals for their courage does not show justice at work.

Here is what the victims and their families think of Rochford and Judge Bowers

Rochford stole a wallet containing £500 of life savings when he raided the home of retired shipyard worker John Hopper, 73, and wife Vera, 71.

Daughter Sharon Hopper, 40, said: ‘I can’t believe what the judge said. What really took courage was my parents having to continue living in their house after he had invaded their privacy.

Rochford ransacked the home of Mark Clayton, 47, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and Bosnia. Mr Clayton said the judge made a ‘grave misjudgment’. He added: ‘Picking dead bodies up after they’ve been blown up, to go into that takes courage. Walking into someone’s house on an opportunistic whim and basically devastating someone’s life by taking things that man has worked so hard for all his life, and taking it away without a thought, isn’t courage.’

Judge Bowers has made contradictory statements when passing down sentence on other burglars.
In May, he criticised sentencing guidelines that let first-time burglars escape with a ‘slap across the wrist’.

But weeks later, he allowed a man with almost 80 crimes on his record to walk free for a burglary committed four days after his release from prison, telling the court: ‘I must be getting soft in my old age.’

I think he, Judge Bowers, is getting soft in his old age. He has been a judge for over twenty years and I think it is time for him, at the age of 67, to stand down.
He has lost his sense of perspective and he is not serving the British public as they should be served.