Posted by: glenswatman | June 1, 2011

20110521-31 ENGLAND meeting Eddie

SATURDAY 21 MAY – Mum has a Saturday morning routine of going to the hair dresser then meeting David at the Festival Hall for lunch and today will be joined by David’s wife Donna who is down for the weekend. Kevin & Sandra pop over to collect the duty free cigs and catch up. Sandra is a good shopper and tells us about “Miss Daisy” warehouse where we may get the elusive picnic table we need. Following them there we come up trumps and pick up a few other well priced items. Steve’s Netty meets us there and we follow her home. We’ve not seen Netty and Mark since they got married last year so it is lovely to see the wedding photos. Mark also proudly shows off his new toy, the 3D TV. Not only do we get to see movies but he has a 3D camera for still photos. It really is amazing. When we get back we begin a big hunt for Mum’s mobile phone which has gone AWOL. Donna & Dave call round in the afternoon then we round off the day round at Netty & Ian’s where we meet Bobby’s girlfriend Steph.

SUNDAY 22 MAY – I’ve a lot on my mind so get up at 4am to check some things on the computer. I find Mum in the kitchen; she also can’t sleep and is going back over old ground hunting for her lost mobile phone, what a pair. When we get up again we take Mum up to Morrison’s for a shop. Later on we meet David and Donna for Sunday lunch at Wetherspoons. Back at Mum’s Steve has quite a challenge putting all the things we need for the motorhome into the small car but he manages well. We have another good journey and arrive back at tea time. Later on I am able to help Claire with some revision.

MONDAY 23 MAY – Steve takes the kids to school and as Claire is having a lie in we both go out to pick up some more van stuff, it seems never ending. I manage to help Claire revise a bit in the morning interspaced with phone calls to the motorhome dealer. They now have the registration plates but not the tax disc. I arrange insurance through Saga (£496). They tell me because the tax disc has been ordered and paid for we are legal. I try to pay on the credit card but it is refused so have to use debit. With Nationwide I find our credit limit has been reduced from over £10,000 to £750. They can give no explanation as we have always paid the balance in full but worse still can do nothing to reinstate it today and will call back tomorrow. Another volcano in Iceland has started erupting causing potential flight cancellations, Bev & Norm are flying over night week to join us so we hope it soon dies down. Manage to help Claire with a bit of revision before she settles for an early night as she is full of cold.

TUESDAY 24 MAY – Claire drops us at Cordoba en route to the Hilton where she is taking the first of her last three chartered accountancy exams. It’s a really cold windy day and we are perished waiting ½ hour for them to open. Main man Sid is still being elusive but Matt manages to sort out the vehicle papers at which point we notice the vehicle is registered as having 5 seats including the driver. We arranged for and were told a 6th seat belt was fitted but when we check the motorhome this is not so. It will take them best part of a day to do it as they must make a steel framework to anchor it to the chassis. Sid has either been on the phone or with a client the whole of the time we have been waiting then to top it all he leaves without seeing us. Steve has an appointment for a hearing test so we accept Matt’s kind offer to borrow his car. It’s a hybrid Toyota Primus and very nice too. At the traffic lights you cannot even tell it is running as the electric kicks in at low speeds. Stuff up again when Steve returns to say his appointment is for tomorrow. Nationwide call back and we are told nothing can be done about the reduced credit although our complaint will be forwarded and responded to in 5 working days. Fuming I go on line to research and find this has happened to many people. The banks can legally do this and don’t notify you first so you can’t max out the card. They also pick a time to reduce you limit when the balance is low as by law they cannot reduce the credit limit to less than the balance. Suspect they don’t want our business as we never pay interest.

WEDNESDAY 25 MAY – Nat has earache and is off school so she tags along with us back to Cordoba. The seat belt is fitted but the van has not been cleaned and we still cannot speak to Sid about what we consider overcharging on the bill (so write everything down and leave what we feel is a fair amount) and we don’t have the vehicle tax but are so fed up that we accept things as they are and drive off. A few yards down the road Steve finds the handbrake keeps coming on. About to turn round and drive back he finds that he has to push it all the way down until it clicks. We try to fill up the new LPG tanks but none of the petrol station pumps will connect properly but we do manage to put £98 of diesel in. Claire’s neighbour has kindly agreed to let us park on her drive which is really handy. Natasha is a great help wiping out the cupboards then lining them with rubber matting so that I can begin to load up. Always difficult deciding what should go where but initially we seem to have very good kitchen storage and of course the garage is a real boon as we can put surplus and outdoor stuff there. Whilst Nat & I are working in Eddie Steve goes off for a hearing test. He returns and tells us he has lost another pitch level but they don’t recommend a hearing aid just a more sympathetic wife! My medical moment comes in the afternoon with a breast mammogram. Cordoba Email with a new bill showing we still owe the difference between the original bill and what we paid and if we don’t pay it they won’t initiate the guarantees.

THURSDAY 26 MAY – With only 4 working days left until we leave we start to prioritise the problem areas. The gas company offer to send out an extender free of charge so we can connect to the pump but during our conversation they realise something is not right. I send him photos and we find that Cordoba have simply put the bottles in the locker but not installed a pigtail pipe to connect them to the regulator leading to the motorhome supply. Had we managed to fill the tanks and turned them on we would have had gas pouring out into the locker. We are not happy with Cordoba’s explanation about the vehicle tax and over 4 hours and numerous phone calls find we are stitched up. It turns out Cordoba paid for 6 months tax (our agreement and the invoice is for 12 months tax) and the disc was posted out on 10th May so must be lost in the post. DVLA tell me that as a brand new vehicle it should have been registered in Steve’s name but instead Cordoba registered it as their company. This causes 2 problems, when the papers come we will be shown as the 2nd owners and in the meantime we cannot deal with anything. Cordoba needs to contact DVLA about the missing disc and wait for a new one but can we trust them to do this? Morrison’s miss out on our business as their car park is only for vehicles less than 2 tons. Mom & Dad come up for lunch and to look at the van and say it seems very small. It’s been raining a lot and it just takes the biscuit when Steve finds a leak in the motorhome running down the wall and soaking the sofa cushions. We finally manage to speak to Sid at Cordoba who dismisses the gas tanks and tax issue but says they will look at the leak tomorrow. On the positive side everything is now nicely tucked away in Eddie and the beds are made up but with no gas we can’t run the fridge, cook or turn on the heater so will stay in the house overnight. Claire took the last of her 3 exams today and as a treat Richard paid for her to have a spray tan and nail extensions which both look good. Steve spends 2 hours building a desk that Claire bought from Daniel from Ikea, even staying up late doing this doesn’t help him to sleep. I spend the night bobbing up and down jotting down ideas to try and get us through this dilemma.

FRIDAY 27 MAY – Today we must concentrate on the gas connection and roof leak problems. We manage to buy the gas connection but when we try to fill it up we find there are numerous leaks. The man tightens a few but then we find the automatic cut out doesn’t seem to be working and we still have one leak. In Bradford we visit a couple of gas places but it is an unusual system and no one can help. Back at Cordoba I get to meet Sid who seems very nice. I tell him we don’t want to argue about the difference in the bill and in fact will pay the rest as soon as we have the problems sorted and a tax disc. This seems to spur things into action with Matt spending lots of time with us working through the leaking roof and how things work. I make numerous phone calls and at one stage it looks like we may have to go to Caernarvon in Wales to get it sorted. Bit by bit we piece together the picture that Cordoba dismantling the sealed unit tanks to fit them in the locker means that many connections are not firm and once they are all checked we can smell no leaks. We talk our way through the fill scenario and realise that with the stops and starts and leaks we may have lost enough gas for us not to have reached the cut out point and in any case providing we don’t over fill it we should not have a problem. Nationwide head office phone, apologise for what has happened and say the person I spoke to should have been more sympathetic to our situation and they will reinstate £5000 of credit. Sid finally sends someone over to Leeds where I am infamous after all my phone calls. The duplicate tax disc arrives, albeit for 6 instead of 12 months and as the difference is similar to the remaining bill Sid writes it off. We can’t believe how much has turned around today and leave as “happy campers”. We park on Sandra’s drive and are soon sitting down enjoying a glass of wine and our first meal. After swimming Claire drops off Natasha and her friends Holly and Amy who are going to stay in the motorhome with me. They are sharing a bed and frightened of falling out of the over cab bed so take ours at the back. Just before midnight I call a halt to their giddy chattering. I’ve discovered a problem with the lighting in that the main switch which allows you to operate the spot lights over the beds also works the rows of LED lights in the cupboards. The LED lights have no on and off switch so it is impossible to just have the night lights on.

SATURDAY 28 MAY – Claire & Richard are going away for the weekend and we are looking after Richard’s daughter Azura. At Claire’s house we have the 4 girls and are only too happy when they ask to go swimming in the afternoon. For 2 hours they have great fun splashing about at Keighley pull, as competitive swimmers it is good for them just to go to a pool and play. In the evening I go home alone to Eddie and make use of the time and space to empty all the cupboards and re pack them to my satisfaction.

SUNDAY 29 MAY – Back at Claire’s I cook up a pork dinner which is followed by a sort of bread and butter pudding made using the failed sponge cake Nat and the girls tried to make. In the afternoon Steve takes Nat and Azura up to St Ives Park for them to play whilst Daniel is happier to mess about on his keyboard, laptop or phone. It’s another girl’s night in the motorhome and I entertain Nat and Azura showing them the card/board game like connect 4. Whilst they are sat at the table I lie back on the sofa and suddenly notice and extra switch, the one that turns the LED lights off. Prompted by this I investigate in the bathroom and find the LED strip there has a push switch built into the end – good job we didn’t take Cordoba’s advice and cut the wire? Nat & Azure sleep in the overcab bed and are no trouble at all.

MONDAY 30 MAY –Must get the seat covers made as soon as possible. Watching Azura and Nat eating chocolate spread on toast for breakfast is nerve racking as their sticky fingers come close to the beige upholstery! I take my first shower in the van and find a leak that will have to be fixed. It’s bank holiday Monday and also half term so the kids are still off school. Claire & Richard arrive back mid morning having had a great time in Manchester. Richard takes Azura home then Daz collects Daniel and Nat leaving just us and Claire in the house. I help Claire trimming Billie rabbit’s hair and we get to hold the new babies that are absolutely gorgeous. Return to the van in the afternoon as it is a nice day and we are able to empty out and re plan the stuff in the garage. In the evening I check out my new pressure cooker (which works but has a fault) and manage to cook us all a nice roast beef dinner. Steve & I spend our first night together in the van checking out the rear bedroom.

TUESDAY 31 MAY – We should be leaving tomorrow so shop for the last minute essentials such as beer. Steve drops me at the hospital for my tests. The gastroscopy is not particularly pleasant as they just use a throat numbing spray and you are inclined to gag as the camera goes down your throat. Luckily it shows that there is nothing untoward in my stomach or throat so the acid reflux is not a major concern. Next I go for a pelvic ultrasound. Talk about being poked at prodded from both ends. This time I am told it shows thickening of the uterus wall and that the results will be faxed to my Doctor immediately and I must speak to him today. After Steve picks me up I make the mistake of trying to read about the condition on the internet and scare myself silly! Doctor phones and says we should be able to go on holiday as I will get an appointment with the gynae in 2-6 weeks (we figure I can fly back for that). He does say he has only just looked at the results and will need to consult with someone else to offer a fully opinion. He calls back later and says he has spoken to a gynaecologist and I must not go away and they will call me in the next 2 or 3 days to give me an appointment within 2 weeks. Very frustrating but the decision is out of my hands and we know my health must come first. We must now contact Bev & Norm who were coming away with us and also cancel or reschedule ferries etc. All a bit upsetting and worrying but getting on with new plans helps. Claire is at Richards overnight and when we come to return to the van realise we can’t as we only have back door keys and the front door has been left unlocked. Spend an unplanned night at Claries.


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