What the car garage might not tell you. But resourceful ways around it.IMG_0389

One thing that my ex husband was good at.  Cars.  For me a car is just there to get me from A to B.  If I can get somewhere by foot or on public transport I’ll do it.

But cars do give us that sense of independence and I am pleased that I learned to drive.  They are great in an emergency.  Even if it took me endless lessons and numerous tests.

Now, speak to some (not all some are great with cars and mechanics, I’m just not one) single, divorced ladies my age and older and they will say the same thing.  The difficulty after divorce was getting to grips with the car.   My ex did everything car wise for me (one tick in the box), put air in the tyres, filled up the oil – anything like me and I just thought petrol and was proud of myself for managing to do that!  “Oil every month?  Are you kidding me?” I thought as I sifted through an actual car manual.  But no, cars need water, anti-freeze and of course regular maintenance (forget the car washing, who has time to wash a car so regularly?). Not regularly maintained… and – you end up nearly getting arrested and paying hefty fines.  I’m seriously safer and much cheaper walking and taking public transport.

So after my little experience of sitting in a Police car with the two grumpy officers.  I knew that I needed to find a car garage.  Yes, I have a boyfriend but I’ve learned from my mistakes.  Stay as independent as you can.  You always know what you are up to then and it is such less aggro.

Around the corner we have a car garage.  A local garage.  I thought I’d give him a try.  But we all know and have  heard stories about women being conned by a car garage.  It was my biggest fear when I first went solo.  Money was tight, I couldn’t afford to be conned and I have a bit more self respect than a lady I know who flaunted her charms to get a good deal. Amusing I admit.  But I just want fair and square.  Work hard and be fair are my morals – they’ve not always done me any good!  But we are who we are and I do sleep well at night.

However, I did text my boyfriend and ask him if he could make the initial contact so that I didn’t get conned.  With a fine to pay and Christmas around the corner.  Plus I got a speeding fine in the same week and on the same road that I was stopped by the copper – Can you believe it?  Seriously, I drive like Miss Daisy, the road caught me out, the one time I go slightly over limit and I’m booked!!!

It’s amusing.  That when these things happen I go into wake up mode, the kick in the backside often does me good as I start wheedling my resources.  I think I’d seriously bored without these little challenges.

The garage did call me back.

“I’m sorry to tell you.  The part for the window wipers is going to cost £140 before labour.”

It was worse than I expected. The car is foreign.  A good little runner but I was told that when things do go wrong, parts can be difficult to get hold of.  This close to Christmas too.  But then he continued.

“But listen ducky” He said “I’m too old in the tooth for all of this computers.  You can try ebay and I’ll fit the part with you and just charge you labour. You’ll probably get the part for £70!”

I felt instantly relieved.  £70 was bad but still better than £140.

He told me that and that night I looked on ebay – the part, next day delivery for £24!

Small mercies. I snapped it up.  Needless to say, I now have utter respect for the man at the car garage, he is just around the corner, very friendly and I will certainly use him again.  Plus he’s gained more business because of all of my praise.

So while I await the return of my car.  Which actually I’m not missing because I’m feeling fitter and more motivated with walking. Plus Tesco do home delivery  I will be continuing with the walks.

And so that I can afford my unplanned expenditure on top of Christmas.  I’ve started to get very resourceful with the meals.  Believe it or not.  It often means better cooked food.  We’re eating very well.  I’ll keep you updated with my resourceful recipes soon.