23rd October

Car has been MOT’d! It ended up costing £291 which included a new MOT to save time taking it back for a retest. Yesterday both garages we took it to insisted that the catalytic converter needed to be replaced at a cost of around £200. Sarah’s brother recommended a garage but it was in Carshalton. When we phoned them they said that they often found that the application of some fuel additive and a good run sorted out the problem and in the end that was what happened. So taking the cost of the new MOT out of the equation the repairs cost £237 instead of £500!

The only thing was the garage was in Carshalton! This meant me leaving home at 6:30 in the morning to get there when they opened at 8. Sarah had talked her Dad into picking me up and giving me a lift to work. In the end it was closer to 8:30 when I arrived due to traffic. Google maps has allowed 4 minutes to get from Purley Way to Carshalton ponds which anyone who knows South London will tell you is impossible unless you have a helicopter!! However it was getting that that was tricky! Sarah’s Dad had already dropped a less than subtle hint that he wasn’t around that evening. I already knew Sarah’s mum was going out so it looked like I had to get there on public transport.

I did have the idea of asking my colleagues if anyone was going in that direction and their answers were really helpful:

I’m going there on Saturday if you can wait!

I would offer you a lift but I didn’t bring my car in today!

If I’d been in the office today I could have given you a lift!

and my favourite

Catch a tram to East Croydon and get at train to Sutton from there!

So I caught a tram from Elmers End to Mitcham Junction – unfortunately the Elmers End tram stops 2 stops short of Mitcham so I had to wait for a Wimbledon tram to continue. Then I had to catch a train from there to Carshalton before walking the last mile or so to the garage! I was shocked by the difference in fares between the tram which cost £2.30 to travel around 61/2 miles and the train which cost £2.50 to do the last mile! Still it was better than the £8.50 I thought I was going to have to pull out to get a travelcard. The national rail website offered two fares which were the travelcard to go the route I went and a cheaper fare of £5.30 if I went via London Bridge. Luckily I realised I could just buy a fare for each stage of the journey and it was cheaper than both of those options!

In the evening I watched a documentary about Dave Davies from the Kinks which I watched as a follow up to the one I watched on Friday about his brother and fellow band member Ray Davies. Both were beautifully shot Dave’s on and around Exmoor and Ray’s on Hamstead Heath and in Camden. Both were very well edited with archive clips, some of which were relevant and others which simply added to the subject matter being discussed. On the whole though I preferred the more esoteric Ray’s musing on life and songwriting over Dave’s stories or shagging and drugs! I think we have heard the old “I took so many drugs and shagged everything that moved in the 60’s” story so many times it’s worn very thin but it was interesting to see inside the head of such a prolific songwriter who, more than many others, mapped the English Landscape in song!

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