At home with many jobs to do
The plan was to spend a few weeks in the UK to work with my sister to help my mother settle matters concerning her health and future living arrangements. This turned into a major, stressful and exhausting period for all concerned which was only finally settled in the second week of December. We packed up, sold or otherwise disposed of a lifetime’s-worth of furniture, personal and family things, and assorted clutter while a couple of urban foxes enjoyed the last days of summer sun in my mother’s back garden. I am very happy to say that (at the time of writing) most of the emotional, legal and financial matters are behind us. My mother has moved into a new home near my sister and we can start to relax a little while we all get used to the new set up.
Between all the travels to and fro we also had a few van-related jobs to sort out.
Firstly there was the van battery which had a tendency to drain rather faster than it should when in storage – no reason could be found, it had been checked and was in good condition. It is awkwardly located under the floor of the passenger side in the cab so we had been using the less than efficient charging points under the bonnet. Now Neil bought a smart charger which has a couple of leads to permanently attach to the battery terminals and extend into the cab itself. This allows easy access for permanent trickle charging directly to the battery. It worked – wonderful! Installing this had meant disconnecting the battery which led unexpectedly to a solution to job number two…
The non-functioning CD player
The improvised tangle of wires we had lived with over the summer was due to the CD player not working. Because it seemed to read the CD but no sound came out we had thought was a speaker wiring fault and an auto-electrician duly came to have a look. Putting in a CD to demonstrate the problem it worked perfectly! Slightly embarrassing but Neil and the electrician decided that disconnecting the battery had performed some kind of therapeutic ECT and the CD player has worked fine ever since. No more interminable french romantic chansons on the radio!
Alarm vs habitation door
Thirdly was the matter of the alarm not locking the habitation door as part of its central locking function – which it used to do – plus the door itself refusing to lock with a key. This meant having to lock it from the inside and get out the cab or use the secondary security lock we had installed earlier. The very knowledgeable and obliging Carl Mayer of Outsmart the Thief came to have a look and concluded it was not an alarm problem per se but that no power was getting to the locking mechanism in the door. The dealer we then took it to agreed. He also opened our eyes to the shortcomings of typical extended warranties that are sold with vans: they would probably pay for the fix but not for the hours of work required to track the problem down. They adjusted the door so it locked by key however and we decided that was enough for the time being.
This has not been a very interesting blog I’m afraid but has at least taken me on three months! I could just have skipped over the period but I found I wanted the dates on the blog to follow on seamlessly – sorry:-( Back on the road next time – rather later in the year than expected!