Saturday, September 24, 2016

Savour the moment.

The little Skoda is cleaned before being traded in. The front seats still carry the remains of the insulating foam that Angus inadvertently sprayed through the front window. 'The Font' notices that at some stage someone has joined up two 'splats' with a smiley face.

At the garage Angus is offered a coffee. Bob is given a bowl of water. '' You're on your own ? " asks the dealer surprised that 'The Font' isn't here to savour the moment. '' Sadly " I reply without alluding to the fact that cars don't rank high on 'The Fonts' to do list.

Passport checked, utility bills photocopied, we are ushered into the ' Delivery Room '.  At one end four overalled mechanics are standing in a line alongside two secretaries in micro skirts. The young ladies pointedly ignore the mechanics. All try, with varying degrees of success, to hide their boredom. The lady from the reception desk arrives. She's wearing black leggings that stop below the knee, improbably high red high heels and what appears to be a heavily accessorized pink nylon fur jacket. There is a gold chain round her left ankle. '' I'm late " she says unapologetically to no one in particular. The manager claps his hands and makes a little speech. '' As the only Volkswagen dealership in the department we view all our customers as family. We applaud your excellent choice in becoming the owner of a beautiful Volkswagen Sportsvan Loonj ". At the word '' Loonj " the youngest mechanic whips off the tarpaulin to reveal the ever so slightly dented vehicle beneath.

There was a time when the salesman would hand you the keys and off you'd go. Those days are gone. Now the proud new owner is expected to say something to affirm their lifestyle choice. '' How lovely " says Angus. The receptionist totters forward, opens the passenger door, waves her arm with a theatrical flourish and points inside. A routine she's clearly done many times before.  Angus feels duty bound to look at the interior. The inside of the Loonj is primarily black plastic with seats in a grey and white plaid with what appear to be lightning flashes running across them. The ambience is decidedly unlounge like. Maybe the Germans do have a sense of humour. 

'' What luxury " adds Angus with what he hopes is a convincing tone of voice. This implausible observation seems to satisfy everyone. Bob leaps in the back. A run through of the various knobs and dials and we're on our way home. Except we're not. Angus turns the key in the ignition, the dashboard lights up and an annoying bell chimes. The car goes into the service bay for an hour and a half to sort out a problem with the 'Park Assist'. '' These things happen " says the dealer with a Gallic shrug of the shoulders. Angus makes it very clear they don't. While we wait Bob gets his revenge by christening three Golfs on the forecourt. The 'Loonj' needs a replacement part they don't have in stock. After a 'discussion' we get a demonstrator to take us home. We'll  return on Monday. When we come to turn on the demonstrators ignition a sign comes on saying the battery is flat. Another, third, car is hastily supplied. What are the chances of that ? Bad luck or a sign that our relationship with the dealer is going to be a frosty one ?

Am I alone in thinking the world gets odder ? Is this another sign I've turned into my father ?

Sophie spends an hour and a half in the garden. We wait for some movement, any movement, but are disappointed.

Bob stands on his stump seat. He watches the demonic eight year old tike heading back home from the school bus. The demonic tike is clearly not enjoying being back at school. He drags his satchel along the tarmac behind him.

Soft gentle sun. Sophie spends her afternoon getting some warmth on those little limbs. Leaves fall from the plane trees and drift gently down. She finds this intriguing.

Big brother guards. Angus has a glass of wine to lower his blood pressure. Sophie 'moves'. Everyone is happy.

So passes another day in deepest, deepest France profonde. Things too unimportant for a diary but too important to go completely unrecorded.


  1. Love this post.
    So pleased you had a movement from Sophie....balances out the lack of movement from the VW!

  2. Thank you for the laugh, Angus, what are VW coming to - they used to be so reputable ! Perhaps the little Skoda wasn't too bad after all? I expected to read they had loaned you that to drive home in !
    Poor Sophie, though she must surely be enjoying all the extra attention....everyone watching and waiting. Certain pain killers can cause irregularity in humans, so maybe it's no different for dogs.

  3. I didn't get a show like that two years ago when I took delivery of my Ford Fiesta! But the whole whipping off the tarpaulin act does make sense of a comment from a colleague last week. We were supposed to be evaluating a gas field which a certain Anglo-Dutch company are trying to sell. But said company had provided so little data, and even that was so heavily 'redacted' that my colleague commented "its like you go to buy a car and they want you to pay before removing the tarpaulin"...
    Cheers! Gail.
    PS So glad Sophie made her movement in the end. I hope your reserves of patience are holding up after all this weeks events.

  4. Oooooooooo......getting bad vibes about that vehicle.

  5. "Movement" - yeah Sophie! Poor little girl. Does she feel like playing with her toys or does she occupy herself by watching the leaves fall?

  6. Is 'movement' code for a poo? We are all routing for her and you. What we go through for our furry babies.

  7. Oh no! It's starting again! Is it something in your gentlemanly manner that signals the car dealers to bring the "lemons" to the forecourt? Keeping fingers crossed.
    Prayers for Sophie continue. We worry about a back complication related to inability to use rear legs.
    The world getting odder? One can only begin to imagine.......

  8. Another device we used when our dogs had ACL surgery was to put a notice (with pictures of the recovering pups) on the front gate asking visitors to call first before coming to the front door. That way we could meet them and bring them into the house without a lot of fanfare. Both of our dogs get very excited when visitors step onto the front porch and ring the bell. We were given a very stern lecture before bringing Ada and Sofie home that sudden jerky movements would set the healing back - or heaven help us - require another surgery. Once we approached the four week mark of recovery and were increasing the dogs' exercise, we were able to relax a bit.

    Sorry to hear about the less than positive delivery of the new VW. How disappointing!

  9. With not too many Volkswagens being sold these days, I guess the French needed to add some "spin and fanfare"! I am still giggling! But don't tgey have someone making sure it turns on & works?! Hilarious!
    I hope the glass of wine helped! ;)

  10. A wonderfully told story about the car dealership! "What luxury" indeed. The picture of Sophie nestled among the tumbled leaves is most touching.

  11. Mum says that your story about the car brings back memories from 1976 when she got her AMC Pacer. On the way home from the dealership (about a mile down the road) the stick shift got stuck in 1st gear. She went back to the dealership and they gave her a loaner for the rest of the weekend!!! She was starting to get bad vibes and after that had MANY problems with the stick shift getting stuck and forever having to go to the dealer. This was around the time of her divorce and she did not want to get stuck anywhere and not have a "backup" (i.e. from hubby), so she traded it in for a Chevy Chevette, which was much more reliable, but had problems which will be told another time!!

    So glad Sophie is getting better.

    ttfn and toodle pip


  12. I've driven many VWs that were quite reliable. On this one, however, I hope you opted for the extended warranty.
    Glad Sophie is resting, if not entirely happy about it.

  13. I can safely say that you are not alone in thinking the world is getting odder. I agree. Sorry to hear of the car troubles - what a bother. Nothing is easy with cars anymore. Our little Nissan Cube is giving us a bit of bother. Nothing that a trip or three to the parts store to set things right. At least this we can fix!