Saturday, 12 April 2008

Cabin Fever

For the last week or so I’ve been unable to get on with the things I need to be doing. Outside the ground is too wet to dig for most of the time and I’ve been unable to get on with anything inside due to either waiting for the workmen to arrive, to finish or them actually being here. I also find it very unsettling having strangers in the house, so by Friday I needed to get out and have a break from here as I couldn’t concentrate on anything to do with the house.

Nothing grand was planned, it was going to be a quick trip up to Bergerac to visit a discount store that had been mentioned at one of the ladies meals. We’ve been trying to arrange the trip for about a week but somehow one or other of us had to cancel. So Friday I set off on my own to find the store.

I got about 10 kilometres up the road when, beep, beep, beep and a little red warning symbol appeared on the dashboard. A few choice words passed through my mind as I pulled into the deserted supermarket car park opposite me – this one was deserted because they don’t re-open after lunch until 3 pm.

It was the ABS warning light, I haven’t looked up ABS but to me it is Automatic Braking/Balancing System, the thing that hopefully stops the wheels locking up if I stand on the brakes too hard. Not a good start to what was supposed to be a relaxing trip. I turned the car round and headed 5 kilometres back down the road to my local garage where he told me not to worry and to come back on Tuesday when he’d have the computer to sort out the engine (mis) management system. Ho hum, and I’ve just received the bill for the last service, with timing belt change. At 800€ it was a bit more than I though it would be. Still I’d rather have the warning light come on when I’m only a few miles from home than when I’m on my trip up north in a while – got to keep looking for those silver linings.

Anyway, I set off again for Bergerac and found the shop, it’s called NOZ and it's an end of line, clearance retailer. On entering my first though was “what a load of junk” but I decided to wander round and look in all the bins and to my surprise there were diamonds to be found. I came away with some tuna for myself and the cats (they may have tablets to take and it’s the best way I’ve found), a mega, 2.5 kilo tin of papaya pieces for 3€ (papaya ice cream I think) and some small coffee mugs at the extortionate price of 50 centimes each. I’ve been on the lookout for some smaller mugs since most French people don’t take milk in their coffee and half cups of coffee don’t look right.

So picture of one of the said mugs with one of my stoneware mugs beside it for comparison.

I found this blog with a description of NOZ, she’s absolutely spot on.


Georgina said...

Hi Deborah, I've heard about NOZ is it on the route to Perigeux? I think you are really brave to do all of these renovations. I don't think I could do it. I had the ABS light come on on one of my cars, I was told not to worry too. €800 for a service! What do you drive? We had an AGA here when we first arrive that was €400 to service, more than the car. The aga got the boot, a steel toey me thinks. Happy Dimanche! The suns out and the meteo said heavy rain all day too. French meteo really is B*llocks.

dND said...

That's the one! Like the blog I found says, you wonder why you've gone the first time you go in but I will call in again if I'm in Bergerac. I suppose it is a bit like the broccants used to be when you could get a bargain there. You need to root around the shop and look averywhere as there is no logic to the layout.

I didn't make it to the troc next door this trip, so that's saved for another day. Ah the high life.

Anonymous said...

The ABS brake came on in my husband's truck. At first it blinked. Then it started beeping. Then it stayed on and beeped every 30 minutes. Then the brakes locked up as soon as he touched them and we nearly skidded off the road before he got to the mechanic's garage. Then $1200 went out of our savings account. Be very careful while you're driving.

dND said...

Thanks for the info Seasons. I will be much happier once the garage has had a look at it. The problem with these computer systems is that eye sight is no longer enough and if the fault is in the computer it entails a new engine management system which is very expensive.

At he moment, I'm only out and about locally and driving at least a gear lower so using engine braking as much as possible and checking the brakes at the start of the braking area rather than leave it to the final stopping bit as I usually do.

We used to have a car that had a brake check light come on when you started up that when out the first time you touched the brakes, and played the game, 'How far/long can you go without extinguishing the light'. It was really good at making you anticipate road conditions. This would be done commuting into London - well you need something to alleviate the boredom.

Debra in France said...

Hi Deborah, how spooky, I have just heard about a NOZ in Limoges! When our van needed new bake brakes we went to the Citroen garage and we were quoted €850, we went to a place in Limoges called LEJM, it's a bit like Halfords. They not only sell the parts but fit them as well, we got it done for €250.