Saturday, February 03, 2007

It Opened

So I took the car with The Electronic Sun Roof That Opens On Its Own to be fixed on Wednesday. This left me with a new problem. The Courtesy Car. It was a Gunmetal Grey BMW with six forward gears and one reverse. It didn't have a normal ignition key. It had a cartridge thing that slotted into a hole on the dashboard, had to depress the clutch for this to happen, and then a button to press. Most strange.

The problem was the power of the car. I was shocked to see I was sailing over the bendy coast road at 75mph and it felt like I was sitting in an armchair with no sense of speed or motion. Far too much grunt for me. But it was very beautiful and given time I could probably get used to it.

'We'll keep your Mini overnight and you can collect it in the morning' they said 'But phone first'.

I 'phoned first thing.

'Your car is fine. It was just a fuse. They've changed that and the roof is closed but leave it 'till lunchtime so we can make sure'.

They 'phoned back an hour later.

'The roof has just opened on it's own'.

I shouldn't have been pleased - but I was. At last. They have to believe me. It did it in the workshop.

'We have to order parts now so it won't be ready until tomorrow'.

'What about the spare key that sets the alarm off when I try to use it?' I ask.

I know they don't believe me about that either. They had previously told me to charge the spare up by using it regularly even though I told them that I can't actually use it regularly because the alarm goes off when I try to use it.

'We'll make sure everything is working properly before we let you have your car back'. they reassure.

I 'phone the next morning.

'The new parts are installed but we want to keep it here until late afternoon to make sure the sunroof doesn't open'.

I drive over the coast road in the Courtesy Car. Getting rather used to it now - and rather fond of it too. So this is what its like being a BMW owner?

The Mini Sunroof has remained closed. Then I am given two sets of car keys with an explanation that they are newly reset. I don't fully understand this. This must mean that they did try to use the spare key and that the alarm did go off. Perhaps it was the ignition key all the time - although that doesn't explain how the Electronic Sun Roof Opened On Its Own when I was 150 miles away in London with the keys in my handbag does it?

I am inspecting my car every hour.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


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Thursday, January 25, 2007

I've Started So I'll Finish

I've been putting off that moment when I have to start AZX300 20th Century Literature. Got a good reason. I don't know where to start. I know lots about how to study, methods that suit me, presentation, spelling, grammar, understanding how I learn, an expert at organised note keeping on my computer. I use Word as a desktop website with internal hyperlinks to other documents, linked menus and indexes. I could play for hours with my beautifully displayed Bulleted Lists but the thought of a 1500 word first submitted assignment has reduced me to a mindless jelly fish. And on Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. Got that right. The title of the play written in Italics. That's all I've taken in so far.

I've decided to approach this course as if it were my first and not my seventh, but using all the study skills I've learned along the way. I didn't have these skills on my first OU course. The content is something else.

So I started yesterday. Instant relief at getting something down on 'Paper'. Didn't matter about the quality, simply seeing some sort of structure growing was satisfying. But I already know my weaknesses in debate and discussion. I want to agree with all the experts. I don't want to argue with them. I don't want to oppose their learned opinions as to whether Chekhov wrote a comedy or a tragedy. Yes it is a Tragedy. Oh no it isn't. It's a Farce. Satire? Yes! That's it. It's all of them.

I have another problem being Objective both in reading the text of the play and viewing the DVD stage production. My Paternal Grandfather was a Russian peasant. So was Chekhov's. My Father was a shopkeeper. So was Chekhov's. I feel involved as my Grandfather fled Russia for England around 1905. We know that Chekhov wrote The Cherry Orchard before the 1905 Peasant Uprising, seen as a rehearsal for the 1917 Russian Revolution, so we know what's coming. I am finding it difficult to stand back from the characters and I dislike the Aristocratic family, I want to tell the Servants to stop fawning over their Masters. That they are free. I admire the Serf who becomes a successful business man. I admire the young student Peter who no doubt became a Revolutionary.

But all my non-objective thoughts won't answer the Course Team's TMA Question.

I have started so I'll finish.

But I look forward to the new Level 3 Creative Writing Course promised to be launched in 2008. Then I can make it all up again.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Had a lovely lunch with my friend Katy at The Bull Hotel . She ordered a bottle of Crowded House. There I was expecting a Band.

I don't know if I like the Band but I do know that I loved the New Zealand wine. We ate good bread and olives with a glass of Champagne followed by Moules and Hand Cut Chips. I asked for real Mayo to go with my chips. I ate Katy's Hand Cut Chips too.

I watched a portion of stunning Sultana Cheesecake being delivered to the table next to ours, resisted and had another glass of Champagne instead. Now I wish I'd had both. Cheesecakes like that one are rare. Perhaps next time.

I took my camera and forgot to take any photos as we were so busy chatting.

Katy goes to the Theatre regularly and we even discussed Chekhov and I have promised her that if I do OK on 20th Century Literature then next year I will study another OU Literature course. This will be Shakespeare. I don't like Shakespeare. Katy can't understand this. She didn't go to my Grammar School.

Maybe I should start with this one rather than the one I've linked above? An Introduction to Skakespeare could be a better choice for me.

Taking the cost into account as well. Almost one thousand pounds for an OU Course is more than I've ever paid. The Introduction to Shakespeare is £135.00.

The OU Course Conference Icons appeared on my First Class Desktop this morning and I felt that rush of excitement at the newness of it all. I've posted into my Tutor Group along with several others as we break the ice and introduce ourselves.

I am going to hang out with the experienced Literature Students. I shall need to. Hope they don't mind.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm Back

I'm Back. So challenged by technology I couldn't get my Bloggy Password changed. It was that simple too. I just didn't read the question properly. But I did read the questions properly in my 2006 OU Course.

I passed A215 Creative Writing with a Distinction. Never had a big 'D' before. Although this was a writing course it showed me how to read properly. Look deeper into structure, meanings, comparisons, style and so much more. Hence, my next course beginning in February 2007 is AZX300 '20th Century Literature: Texts and Debates' There are many books to read.

We begin with Chekhov and 'The Cherry Orchard' I've never read a play before. I have now. And then to Discuss it. Phew. Very challenging for me but that's why I enjoy learning in this way.

I made a long return journey by Virgin Train over the weekend. To Derbyshire and back from the South West. I took Pat Barker's 'The Ghost Road' to fill the time - one of the Course books. I read the entire book there and back and missed all of the scenery en route. Worth it. I've read all Pat Barker's books in he past and been moved. Never with an OU Literature Course in front of me. So now I am reading them in a different way. Even more moved now.

I shall Blog tomorrow with more tales about my Car and the Mysterious Happenings When The Electronic Sunroof Opens All By Itself. Even when I am in London, 180 miles away, with the key in my HandBag, it opens.

I have yet to convince the BMW Garage that I didn't open the Flossing Roof on a wet and stormy December day to let the rain in and soak the inside of the car. Yet to convince them that I had to take it to a Ford Dealer locally, because to get the car to them meant a fifteen mile drive across a windswept and exposed coastal road and a right soaking, and get them to disable the Electronic Sunroof because they couldn't Close It and were mystified. Even with a Spanner suggested by the BMW Dealer by 'phone. How basic is a Spanner when the entire car is a Computer?

This is the second time the Sunroof With A Mind Of It's Own has done this to me.

The switch for the Electronic Sunroof That Opens All By Itself is in the glove compartment. With all the rain we are having I am very pleased it is.

I wonder if this is what happened to my car. Maybe I need to investigate locally. Am I the only one?

Great to be back and able to read and comment again to my favourite Blogging People.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Drunken Yobs

I couldn't bring myself to post the photo of my Mini Cooper without the black bin liners taped to it's rear! I'd driven to East Sussex to spend five days with my Mum as she's alone while her husband is in hospital having major back surgery. I arrived Friday afternoon and got together with her sorting a few things out with plans to drive to the coast, have pub lunches in sunny gardens, go shopping and generally relax.
I was asleep in the front bedroom on Friday night around midnight when I heard loud male voices and one female voice say,
'Don't wind him up!' and then a dull thud - then silence.
Very soon after a knock at the front door. My Mum rushed out of bed to open the door. I said not to answer it but it was her neighbours just returning from an evening out to tell her that somebody had thrown a brick through the rear windscreen of my car! Still in my pyjamas I helped him tape it up at one in the morning which was very kind of him wasn't it?
I hope that person feels good about themselves. I spent all Saturday morning on the telephone to the police Then 'phoning my broker for insurance details as I had no documentation with me. Then arranging with AutoGlass for repairs. Of course they didn't have the rear windscreen in stock. They could get a replacement by Sunday but only if I drove to Tunbridge Wells as no fitters could do roadside on a Sunday. I wimped out of driving there with the car like that. I had to wait until Monday afternoon. The new windscreen cost around £600........
Mum and I got out in taxis but couldn't do the things I had planned. Strange though - When I had my soft-top it got slashed twice by drunken yobs and I said no more soft-tops for me and then they go and do this.
A car can be repaired but Mum and I can't recapture those five days, already in an already stressful situation worrying about my step-dad, spoiled by this incident.
When I heard the dull thud I had no idea it was glass shattering. If it had sounded like glass I would have been up like a shot along with my camera and taken a photo of the villains as evidence.
Morty and my daughter phoned me up on the Sunday afternoon, and after Morty had asked after everyone he said, 'And how's the car?'
I gulped as I replied gazing at the ruin on the street and told him it was just fine!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Show a Leg

I am always fascinated by this guy's tattoo. I feel as if he could take it off at night like a lace stocking.