Tag Archives: confidence

You get what you pay for

20110731 Citroen C2 dashboard face 150x150 You get what you pay for

This photograph is of a dashboard of a Citroen C2 courtesy car I had from the garage the other day.

I rejoined the world of motoring recently because I was fed up of commuting to work by train.  First Great Western really suck bags, as does public transport inBritainin general.  I am now the proud owner of a Renault Clio.  It’s a 1.5dci built in 2002 and is supposed to do 65 miles per gallon – if the tank’s not leaking like buggery, that is.  Road tax is only £20 a year as well.  All-in-all, a pretty nice car and perfect for a daily 60 mile commute.

I bought the thing from a dodgy dealer on an industrial site somewhere in Brentford; a friend of mine found it in Autotrader.  The two of us went down and were met with a yard the size of a small sports hall, which was full of used cars.  It had a steel palisade fence surrounding it.  In the corner stood a portakabin with two guys of south Asian descent, who spoke broken English.  They offered no guarantee on any of their vehicles and all the signs should have been enough to deter me from buying.  But the car seemed to handle pretty well and the price was pretty good – possibly too good to be true – so I bought it.  I call it fantasuasionacheterism.

I drove it away, filled up the tank with diesel and off to Hounslow tube station we went, where the plan was to dump the car whilst my friend went back to work and I met up with an old friend of mine, to pick it up later and drive back home to Bristol.  As I got out my friend noticed diesel leaking from the bottom of the car, so we inspected it and promptly took it back to the dodgy dealer.  Back in the yard the two guys were somewhat surprised to see us again.  We fiddled around and eventually concluded that the seal around the fuel gauge sender unit needed replacing.  The guy even offered to buy me a new seal.  That filled me with confidence and I happily let myself get fobbed off.  I call it blissfobbery.

Fast forward a week and I find myself at a garage specialising in French cars back in Bristol, conveniently situated within walking distance from my house.  To cut the short remainder of a short story (cut long) short – are you with me? I call it nihilflationtruncation – it turned out that the plastic thread had been completely destroyed by someone in the past and the neck of the tank had buckled.  This resulted in a fairly costly repair but actually put the total cost of the car back up to a reasonable level.  At the end of the day you get what you pay for but I will never buy from a dodgy dealer again.

That concludes this edition.  The Victionary will be updated soon!

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An attitude to life

20110314 Pink bin 150x150 An attitude to life

Not too long ago I was introduced to a teacher, we got chatting and I told her about my website.  She promised to take a picture of her pink bin; she likes the colour pink and that’s an understatement.  I, in turn, said I would write something about it.  True to her word, I got the picture and strictly speaking this isn’t the kind of face I normally write about, but it still deserves an honourable mention; It’s kind of cute and I’m a sucker(bag) for a smile. 🙂

 Promises are great when kept.  They inspire confidence and demonstrate reliability and trustworthiness.  Promises are easily made, yet easily broken (by some).  This is true for both explicit and implied promises.  There is the old adage which says that it takes years to build trust but it is broken in an instant, or words to that effect. This is particularly true in this day and age of fast “this” and instant “that”, greatly exacerbated by digital media, where people are living more self-centred lives (the Facebook Generation) and living more for the here, the now and the “me” than ever before.  Put your hands up if you know who your neighbours are.  (Sorry, couldn’t resist that teacher’s reference!)  Even living in Bristol, which is one of the friendliest places I have lived, I have no idea who my current neighbours are and they have no idea Vic Suckerbag lives next door.

When I moved back to Bristol in 2008, having been away for some time, I found a flat in the city centre.  One day I met a nice couple in the stair well, we had a chat and they ended up becoming familiar faces.  We greeted each other whenever we bumped into each other.  Bristol is a bit of a big village in that respect – despite its large population I often see familiar faces – even old colleagues I met whilst working during the summer as a student all those years ago, some of them unaware that I had even left the city at all.

Increasingly it seems there is less of a need to know your neighbours, which is a shame.  If you’re out of sugar you can nip out to a 24-hour supermarket or convenience store and get some.  If you need a ladder, you can buy one because they are cheap – or better still, you can pay someone else to do the job that requires a ladder, for you.

It seems people are becoming less willing to give up their time for other and are losing their willingness to help each other out.  In some way that’s understandable, considering the hours some people work.  Or people make promises and renege on them on a whim or in a pre-meditated move because they didn’t dare say “no”.  Everyone has been let down by others and, in turn, let others down – even if not intentionally.  We are all human after all – even me, despite my red plastic exterior and that gormless open-mouthed look on my face… You may think I’m just a vacuum cleaner… 😉

Was it really better in the past?  It’s probably a case of rose-tinted spectacles…  The bin sums it up nicely: it represents the past and has a nice rosy pink hue.  It’s smiling on the outside, but it is a façade masking the conveniently forgotten reality contained within.

Or perhaps more positively, it shows that it’s good to be alive and sometimes those things that bother or hurt are best forgotten: smile and let the world turn a pinker shade of pink.  To quote the photographer, “Pink… is an attitude to life!!”

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