This week’s post will be short. It will be short, because we really haven’t done very much, thanks to our car breaking down earlier in the week. This was pretty frustrating, as we have only had the car for just over a month. We kind of hoped it would last a little longer (more like, we hoped it would last the whole time we had it and the only money it would cost us would be petrol. Ha).
We had big plans this week. Because we have such a long stay in Alton, we took things really slow at first, thinking that we could just take a relaxed approach to the sightseeing in this area. Well, it looks like we may have taken TOO relaxed an approach, as we just had a week written off with no car and now we are afraid that we won’t get to do all the things we wanted to!
On Monday we had grand plans to take a trip to Winchester. We knew it would be a big day, so when Elena woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning, we thought that we’d be better off putting it off a day or so until she was in a better mood (the luxury of having lots of time here). So we thought, we’ll do it on Wednesday. Instead, we went to the local pool (we have been missing our summer swims, so a heated indoor pool seemed like the next best thing). We had a great time at the pool, which featured a waterslide, and afterwards a huge soft play area. It was a fun day, and exactly what Elena needed to cheer her up. It was also Kilian’s first swim, and he loved it. When I say he loved it, I mean he took it in his ever relaxed stride and showed neither discomfort nor large amounts of joy – that’s just his style.
On Tuesday Pete took Elena out for a “Daddy day”. He was going to take both kids, but Kili woke up with a cold (thanks, public pool). They went to a trampoline place (one of Elena’s favourite things – jumping), followed by a visit to the library then a cafe. Me and Kilian settled in for a nice, quiet day (it’s sad when your baby is sick, but he slept a lot that day! Not complaining). Later in the afternoon I got a message from Pete saying the clutch in the car wasn’t working, and did I know what to do? Ha ha. Eventually roadside assistance was called and the car was towed to a mechanic in Basingstoke.
As you can imagine, having the car break so early is a bit of a blow to our trip. We are not keen on the extra expense, and it is really inconvenient not having a car when you’re staying in a country location with very limited public transport. We bought the car from a dealer, and we suddenly remembered that it came with a warranty! Hopefully, we could get the dealer to cover this one, after all, it had only been a month!
To say getting compensation for the car was a struggle would be an understatement. After several phone calls back and forth to the dealer, stating my legal rights and the condition of the car when we bought it, I finally managed to get them to agree to pay half of the repair. They insisted that as it was a clutch issue that this was “wear and tear”, and they owed us nothing, while I insisted that this was completely unreasonable and they had a responsibility to repair the car for us. After it was all settled I felt like I had fought a major battle! I still don’t know if I won or not…
The mechanic assured us that they would try their best to have the car repaired by the weekend, but unfortunately this was not possible. So here we are on Sunday evening, on day 5 of no car. We have serious cabin fever, and are so keen to get out! We have been filling our days with walks in the woods near the house, a country walk to the local pub for lunch (this is the only thing in walking distance to us), movies, so much baking and an indoor treasure hunt. Luckily we had been to the shops before the breakdown so we were all set for food.
The car should be fixed by tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully we can last one more day stuck at home. We will be really cramming things in this week to make up for all this lost time! Hopefully we will provide more interesting reading next time!