D4D

I said "fuck off, bollocks, you're a cunt"

Archive for the category “Driving”

Squish (Follow On)

This year, I’ve seen a lot of roadkill – as I’ve commented before – which is at least somewhat related to going back to doing a fair amount of driving on fast roads, dual carriageways, motorways and the like.

I don’t mind that too much – although I think it’s quite sad to see it – but there’s something that bugs me about it, which is this.

No matter where the bodies are on the road – including right over by the edge and (particularly on motorways) right in the middle, near the central reservation and safety barrier, right out of the traffic lanes.  Yet within a couple of days, the bodies are flattened, all bones crushed and so on.

It’s not decomposition – OK, it could be, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t happen that fast.

All I can assume is that there’s a certain breed of driver who feel it’s acceptable (or perhaps even amusing, I don’t know) to run over the bodies, even if it means curving out of the lane, towards the crash barrier in order to do so.

And really that just boggles my little mind…

Tempting Fate

Of course, having written yesterday about how smooth my commute has been – and comparatively quicker than getting to Milton Keynes – last night’s journey was vile, and this morning’s one not much better.

Last night I saw the aftermath of more accidents than I’ve ever seen on one stretch of road.  On the M1 I saw no less than seven sets of crunched vehicles. Thankfully most of them were pretty minor, but all told they’d resulted in (and/or were the result of) about ten miles of traffic jam.  In the same journey, I saw four different lots of police who’d pulled people over – I assume for speeding.  And finally, on the other side, a rolling-roadblock in place for what appeared to just be an articulated truck travelling slowly on the hard shoulder.  (Why that required a full rolling roadblock I have NO idea!)  And of course everyone on my side had slowed down to have a look at whatever was going on – which also almost caused a couple of accidents just in what I saw around me.

This morning was just a section of the A1 that was screwed. No idea why, and no reports on radio etc., but it was just solid from the M1 into London.  Thankfully I was only on it for a fairly short stretch (about 3 miles, all told) but that short stretch took me half an hour.

I’m heading back late tonight – a small matter of seeing Neil Gaiman at the Barbican in London – so that’ll be fine for the return journey (or had bloody better be!) but I hope that type of journey is the rarity rather than the commonplace.

I’m pretty sure it will be, but fingers crossed all the same.

Time vs Distance

My new job is based in North London – which means that my daily commute is now about 40 miles instead of the 15 or so into Milton Keynes.

However, weirdly my travel time is now usually about 45-50 minutes – which is much the same as it was for the MK role. In fact it’s actually a bit less, mainly because MK at peak times is pretty much gridlocked, particularly around the key roundabouts/interchanges – of which my route went through four or five.

Now it’s a straight shot down the M1, round a tiny section of the A406 (the dreaded North Circular road) and that’s it.

Obviously if I were closer to the centre, or it involved the M25 at all, or were somewhere a bit less “on the route” then it’d be worse. But as it is, it’s working out pretty well for me so far.

I can live with that.

Serviced

The Saab went in for another service this week – nothing major, just another 10,000 miles and nagging for the service. I knew that last time they’d said about a couple of small things that needed doing (replacement brake fluid and the like) and that was it.

The Slab has been one of my better purchases, in fairness. It’s an old boat of a thing, but it just shrugs off the miles and does really well.

As it is, when I bought the Slab the price was £1,000, and I got about £700 back in various guises (sale of the Mondeo for spares/repair, refunded road fund tax, so on and so forth).  The garage I use would pay me £2,000 in part-ex (and will almost certainly buy it for spares etc. if it dies in a spectacular fashion like Mondeo did) so it’s already a good deal.

As it is, with the most recent service I’m back up to having spent about £1,000 on it all told. Three services (one major at 100,000, two minors – for some reason Slabs are maintenance-heavy, which I didn’t know), replacement brake discs, and that’s it.

Yes, a pretty good deal.

TomTom

I’ve speculated before that my little TomTom satnav perhaps hates me. Whatever, it certainly likes trying to confuse me, and generally be shit.

My drive on Tuesday illustrated this perfectly.

TomTom shit instructions

Yep – the icon at the bottom says turn left, while the map view says turn right. No left turn at all.

I don’t usually understand why people screw up so badly when using SatNav (except for the absolute reliance and trust in technology being correct) but on this occasion I could understand why someone might make a mistake. It’s hardly helpful, after all.

Leisure Mileage

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve covered over a thousand miles just for social stuff.

Last weekend (the Bank Holiday) was notably mental, even by my standards. It involved :

  • Friday. Go to work, come back at lunchtime, drive down to the O2 to see Nine Inch Nails in concert, and drive home.  Home at 1am.
  • Saturday. Drive down to Tunbridge Wells for a friend’s birthday do. Enjoy that, not drink much, then think “sod it” and drive home at the end of the night rather than sleeping in a tent. Home at 1.30ish.
  • Sunday. See the parents for a fleeting visit, just so we all know that each other is alive.
  • Monday. Drive over to Brentwood to meet up with friends. Drive home.

All told, that little lot amassed some 750 miles – and meant I travelled the same section of M25 (from M1 round to Dartford Crossing, or thereabouts) no less than three times in four days..  And then a meeting on the Tuesday down in Hampshire.

This weekend is a little bit calmer, but still consists of

  • Friday. Normal work travel, cinema in the evening, then home.
  • Saturday. Into Milton Keynes, collect new glasses and do some other domestic tat. Then drive down to Somerset for a house-warming thing, stopping off at Bristol to collect a couple of train-travellers and get them there too
  • Sunday. Come back. (Unsure yet whether that’ll also be via Bristol or not)
  • Monday. New job, new office, similar commute to the last month.

And next weekend involves a trip into London to meet up with friends and visit a couple of galleries with exhibitions I want to see.

I must be bloody barmy…

The Devil in the Details – Nissan

As regular readers will know, I have a really bad habit of reading the small print. (I say ‘really bad’ although it’s not – anyone who doesn’t deserves everything they get. It’s just ‘really bad’ from the advertiser’s perspective)  There’s two ads doing the rounds at the moment that annoy me, so you know what? You get two posts out of it.  Lucky you.

The first (which arrived in my inbox just now, and motivated me to write it) was for a leasing arrangement on a new car – a Nissan Leaf, if anyone cares.

The deal offered is this :

The 100% electric New Nissan LEAF Visia Flex FROM ONLY £199 A MONTH*
WITH A £3,250 ADVANCE RENTAL CONTRIBUTION

OK, so they mention that “Advance Rental Contribution” (which is a deposit, surely?) right at the start, and already it’s skewing the figures. But then we get to the bottom, and the small print…

Finance is available subject to status on eligible new vehicles registered between 01/04/14 and 30/06/14 in the UK to persons aged 18 or over. Rental stated is for Nissan lease. Advance rental of £5,750 (includes £3,250 Advance Rental Contribution) followed by 48 monthly rentals of £199 a month and final rental of £6,201.

Hang on – £5,750 upfront? That’s another £2,500, on top of the “Advance Rental Contribution” – where has it come from, and what’s it for? Even if you take out the first month’s £199, that’s still £2,300 unexplained.  Fucking hell.

All told – with all those amounts listed, that comes to £21,503. For a poxy Nissan Leaf.

But then it gets better…  (Sorry, “better”)

Once you have paid the final rental you can keep using the car by paying an annual rental of £50 + VAT; if you choose Nissan lease then you will never own the car.

As well as entering in to a lease agreement for the vehicle, you will need to enter in to a separate lease agreement for the battery. Monthly price shown includes the on-going monthly battery lease charge of £70.

Now they’re just taking the piss, surely ? So even when you’ve stumped up your £21,503 – sorry, £21,563 including that little final ‘annual rental’ charge, then you will *still* be paying £70 a month for the fucking batteries?

Up yours, Nissan.

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