Last Saturday we went to an auction (http://www.johnswan.co.uk/swan_turner.php) in Jedburgh (http://www.borderpics.co.uk/jedburgh.html) and bought a nice dresser. Just the thing we had been looking for to put between the two windows in our living room.
Picking up the dresser, however, proved to be quite a performance. Apparently Alan had measured the height of the door of our Landrover Defender and worked out that we could transport this piece of furniture ourselves and so saving about £ 30 in transport costs. However, we would have to pick up the bottom part first and come back for the top. Getting the base of the dresser in the car was no problem. We drove home and back to Jedburgh again to pick up the top part. I already had my doubts but I have learned to keep my mouth shut – at least sometimes – and did not question Alan’s measurements of the car’s back door. It turned out that the door was at least 10 cm lower than Alan had measured so there was no way that we could get the top into the car. The top of the dresser was put back into the auction house to be picked up the next by one of our neighbours who has a small van.
The Landrover Defender is our new car and Alan is still not completely familiar with it. Especially with the key! One of the problems is that the key ring keeps falling apart. We have been planning to buy a new one or some glue to stick it together again which would only be a small thing to do but we have not got around to it yet. The key is quite a simple one – nothing electronic, but there is a separate gadget that controls the electronic part of the system including the security/alarm system. As the key ring has fallen apart Alan keeps the 3 components (key, electronic gadget and key for the fuel tank) separately in his trouser pocket. The first time he experienced any problems was at the garage in Denholm. He bought some fuel and when he wanted to start the car again nothing happened! After fiddling about with the key, opening the hood etc., the garage owner came to see what sort of problems he had. He had a look inside the car, saw the ignition key and asked Alan where the security part of the key was. He pressed the unlock button and hey presto it worked!
At the auction house it was not quite as easy as that. After getting into the car and turning the ignition key it hooted twice, lights flashed but nothing else happened. This happened 4 times. Then Alan had the bright idea of taking the ignition key out and the alarm went off, hooting, lights flashing, all together. At that moment we saw a fire engine coming up the road with flashing blue lights. Fortunately it passed us and I sat in the car not daring to look at the people watching us! The auction house owner came out and asked Alan if he had any problems! In the end we both got out of the car, Alan took the ignition key out, locked the car and the alarm stopped. Afterwards it was plain sailing but he has now learned not to leave the key in the ignition and keep the security part in his trouser pocket!
This was not the only problem we had this week. On Wednesday I booked our flight to France for the end of October. When the flight was booked I wanted to enter our details for this flight. This seems to be necessary for any flights in and out the UK but nor for e.g. Holland. Anyway, I needed our passports to do this. I looked in the drawer where I would normally keep them but they were not there. I went down to the car thinking they should be in the compartment between the seats. No passports! No documents for the dogs either! I knew I had them when we embarked in Newcastle because I remember showing them to the custom and immigration people. Did we stop anywhere on the way to Denholm? Only just outside the harbour for the dogs to do their business and they could not have fallen out of the car there. Back up to the flat. I searched everywhere. In the end I had to tell Alan that I could not find our passports or the dogs’ documents. Alan searched the car as well and together we searched the flat again even looking into the most obscure places like the kitchen drawers, bed drawers, any drawer we could think of as well as any cupboard. No passports! That’s when I started panicking. I still had my Swiss identity card so I could travel. Alan might be able to get a replacement within the next 3 weeks but the dogs’ documents were a different thing altogether and we would need them to take them to Ireland (at least I think we may need them this time because the dogs must be chipped now as well). Suddenly I knew where they had to be. Last year, whilst in Ireland, I made a small felt bag to keep my travel papers in when I fly Easyjet or Ryanair with only hand luggage. I could suddenly see, in my mind’s eye, all the papers in this bag. However, while searching the flat I had not seen the bag. Where the hell had I put it? After another 20 minutes of searching I found the bag which hung on the tailor’s dummy next to the chair in the workroom, in full view. I had decorated this dummy with some nice necklaces and scarves as well as the bag!