Wednesday 20 March 2013

It's Not All Hard Work

I sometimes worry that all we talk about on here is the next bit of hard work digging ponds or erecting the poly tunnel. I wouldn't want you to get the idea that we are wearing our fingers to the bone :-) here and not taking time out to enjoy just being here and living this life. OK, you weren't worried. You know me too well!

Every now and then I get the urge to fire up the beloved 2CV and just go for a 'blat' around the local lanes purely for the sheer joy of driving a 2CV. The lanes round here are superb for the car and the words 'bowling along' come back to me as we (Clara and I!) bounce over the undulations and roll gently round the corners. I love the feel of the car, the soft suspension, the engine note and, if the weather is good enough, being able to roll the roof right back to the top of the rear window.

We were determined (OK, I was and I talked Liz into it!) to bring the car over to Ireland so that I could continue to enjoy this 'hobby' and regular readers will know the fun and games we had trying to get it imported on paper, registered, taxed, insured and NCT'd (=MOT'd). The insurance has been a bit of an issue still because the firm we went with (FBD) for the house and Liz's Fiat will not insure  any car more than 15 years old at any more than 3rd party level; not even 'Fire and Theft'. I am not comfortable with this as I like my 'fully comp' cover as I used to get in UK on agreed car-value and limited mileage. We have now found a firm are happy to do comprehensive cover, so I can move at next renewal.

Another fly in the ointment was that although it was a fun hobby, it ends up being a rather pricey one 'over here' what with that insurance, the road tax and the fun we had getting it through the test and when we found we were never actually needing to use the car, and only 'playing' in it I began to doubt that if our money had started to be under pressure I might have had to think about whether we should be a 2-car family. The 2CV is the car with the tow hitch and trailer so in theory it is the useful car around this small holding but in fact the Fiat has a surprisingly big load capacity - it will happily take 8 foot lengths of wood, hay bales, coal and feed sacks etc, so the trailer last got used for dumping some thermal panels at our local 'tip' (Barna Waste) at the end of the build-project. We had an option to keep the car registered but actually take her off the road, signing all the necessary paperwork to create what is known as a 'SORN' (Statutory Off Road Notice). The car is 27 years old this year and in three years becomes a 'vintage' car not (legally) requiring testing. I could have SORN-ed it for those three years.

Happily that financial situation has not arisen (so far!) and we are both agreed that we should hang in there and keep her running for the moment. I am very happy to report that I can continue to indulge my desire to 'play'.

In 'other news' we do still do a bit of work around here. Liz has been getting on with her 'Jam and Jerusalem Hedge' in between the Domestic Goddess-ery and I have finished the exterior of the poly-tunnel (the end and door plus tidying up spare plastic sheeting) and started on shaping the floor into paths and beds.

All enthused by another lovely sunny, spring like day
I also got my salad potatoes (var "Ratte") and First Earlies ("Foremost") into the ground. The new raised beds are becoming beautifully dry and crumbly so that hoeing them with my shuffle-hoe is pure joy and I know that those decapitated docks and creeping buttercup will wilt and die in the sunshine instead of merely rooting back into the (previously) waterlogged ground and laughing at me behind my back as I plodded home my weary way.

Keep it air-cooled and keep it boxer-engined!


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