Car saga

The garage we took our car to is closing down! The owner is retiring apparently. We didn’t know when we left our car on the forecourt. I’m trying to find his mobile number so I rang another business that knows him. They might be able to get his mobile number for me but apparently he will be going there later today so all I can hope is that they tell him we have been trying to contact him or that he goes to the garage and sees the car!

We tried other garages, but I would need to take the keys to the one who could help and they are seven or eight miles away, or the local garage but they can’t collect it until the third of February!

All we can do is hope the mechanic gets in touch for now. I would go and bump start the car but I don’t know if we have the strength to push it as its on the flat.

Update, not the battery?

The breakdown man arrived. He asked what had happened and I explained that the battery had been going and in the end the engine would not turn over. I also pointed out there was oil around the engine rocker box gasket. He said he would check a few things.

Knock on the door. Hello, it’s your starter motor. It’s stopped working. It is no more…. I had thoughts of ‘monty pythons’ dead parrot sketch. The battery may still have a bit of life in it, but until the starter motor is replaced its not worth changing. The man had bump started the car, the problem was if he switched it off it would not start again without bump starting it again.

We sat in the car till it warmed up and the snow and ice melted off it. Then I drove it round to the garage we usually go to. Its closed till Monday but I just had to leave the car parked outside. I will ring Monday morning to explain!

Broken car!

The ice and cold have killed my car battery. I tried several times to start it (with gaps in between to let it rest). I turned everything off, had it in neutral, gave it a little gas to try and get the engine to turn over. Just a splutter or two, then nothing.

I left it an hour and tried again. No joy. The battery is probably four years old and has been struggling when I’ve used the car lately. I haven’t been out much and then only short distances so the alternator hasn’t had the opportunity to charge it up. Cold and damp makes electric power seep away somehow and this last few days have definitely drained it.

In hope I rang a local garage, they have the right battery in stocks, but they can’t fit it, you just need some spanners they said. Half an hour on trickle charge from the charger just brightened the lights on the dashboard a bit. No chance of getting it going.

I then remembered I have breakdown cover! We breakdown so infrequently that I don’t remember to use it. They can’t say when they will be here, but they are at least coming out. Hooray.

Going out

I just got out of the house, only to go across the road to the supermarket, but it was definitely ‘out’. I leaned heavily on the shopping trolley to support myself, the cold air had got to my lungs and I felt short of breath again, but at least I didn’t cough. I was out yesterday, but only to walk from the car to the pharmacy and back again, so this was actually more of a test. The snow had all melted except in patches where it had been sheltered by the shadow of some bushes. In those places where the sun hadn’t penetrated there was crispy icy snow, glassy from compression by feet. I avoided those areas because I didn’t want to slip. Now I’m home and keeping warm. I’m wearing a fleece and my dressing gown over my clothes to keep warm!

So it did snow…

Not much though, and it’s melting today. But when it was snowing it was dropping big wet flakes out of the clouds, like bits of wet tissue paper. When you look up you can see the flakes falling down, dark shadows against the whitish clouds, then white as they get caught in the light from my doorway. There was a small accumulation over night, but then as the sun caught the snow on branches it dripped off in white blobs.

Around the country it has been far worse, a double decker bus toppled over on an icy road near Hinckley Point yesterday. Some of the passengers were injured. The lake district hills are covered in snow, and Scotland and Wales have had much more than here. I guess living in a city means it doesn’t get as cold so snow melts more quickly and with global warming there are less really cold days than ever before.

A dusting of snow

Hard to see, but the roof opposite has a dusting of snow. It was like that this morning, a thin, crisp crust of powder. Then it melted quickly in the low sun. Now the clouds are back, getting that orange glow off the sodium street lights. Next doors roof has a thin white layer of snowy ice. The gritting lorries are out, and we are waiting for disruptive snow showers coming from the North West through the Cheshire gap. Meanwhile the cats dip in and out of the catflap. Coming in frequently to warm their paws, then out again to do who knows what? When we go to bed they will come in and curl up to sleep. Meanwhile they pad through the thin layer of snow, silent and probably deadly!

Favourite filter

I like this particular filter on photodirector. It creates swirls but of a definite size, texturising the felt pen shading, and making a more graphic design. It sort of reorganises my artwork into something more abstract but coherent. Less realism, more illustrative. Drawing and playing with the resultant image is keeping me occupied on a very cold day, with temperatures below freezing in some parts of the country and a sprinkling of snow here, but deep elsewhere. And I dream of going to Bodnant in the spring.

Snow expected

Another finger painting

It’s getting colder here and the forecast or Scotland, parts of Wales and the North West is for snow over the next few days. That made me want to draw snowflakes, and that led me to using the sketch app again.

At the moment I’m trying to keep warm and get over the bug I’ve had for a few weeks. The thought of colder weather does not fill me with joy. Just dread!

Still I like my colours that I’ve used on the drawing, a little bit like Wedgwood China.

Still negative

Spending time worrying about whether I have covid means I have not really thought about all the other bugs out there. They can be transmitted differently, for instance by touching surfaces. I think covid is spread more by breathing in droplets.

Anyway, bam! I have got a bad cold or virus, and as many of these haven’t been around as much because people were not interacting or being in close contact with one another. We are all more susceptible to the risks of other diseases now. You might have immunity to one illness, but if you are not in contact with it frequently then it can be worse when you get it again. What fun! Sniffles…..