Shall also include a few snaps I took in the garden yesterday. That warm spell has obviously encouraged a bit of growth. Snowdrops are out, and a few crocuses have started flowering. And it looks like some of the daffs could burst into bloom in the next few days. Hope the cold weather doesn't suddenly return or these hardy little plants could be in for a bit of a shock.
Ah yes..., sold the VW mark2 Golf GTi 16v 'Match' limited edition last week. Chap turned up from St. Etienne, chauffeured by his mate. Said he was an avid mark1 and mark2 Golf GTi fan. Showed me a photo of his pride and joy: a red mark1 1800. Said his collection was missing a 'Match' so he was keen to buy. Knew more about the car than I did. Drove off looking very pleased, despite the malfunctioning Digifiz dashboard. I presume he got back okay. Haven't heard from him since so maybe he didn't.
Much as I loved that car (as I've said many times before, the mk2 Golf GTi 16v is one of my favourite cars of all time), it was a bit of a relief to see the back of the damned thing. Great fun to drive but it was rapidly turning into a money pit. Apart from the duff Digifiz (I've a feeling it's a complex electrical problem), the footwells filled with water when it rained (but the sunroof didn't appear to leak - complete mystery where the water was getting in), the exhaust is about to need replacing, the whole underside could do with sanding down and Waxoyling, the clutch was on its last legs (I reckon), I didn't trust the elderly water hoses, and, basically, the minuses had begun to outweigh the pluses. So, good riddance. Time to move on.
And that's about it. Nothing much else to report. Unless, that is, one considers the following to be worthy of mention...
Being a proper Toady, just as soon as the Golf was out of sight, I was immediately on the internet searching for a replacement. Any normal person would make do with the Citroen dogwagon, but not moi. Fine for local shopping trips and carting muddy dogs around but somewhat lacking when it comes to longer trips like picking up Georgie from Limoges airport or nipping across the channel. Gave myself a simple brief: any car you fancy for the same price you sold the Golf (about 2250 quid - which was what I paid for it). Soon realised that this monetary limit ruled out every car I fancied (namely, a 911 Porsche or a 3-litre Audi V6). Told myself to be sensible - thought I'd give it a try for the first time ever. Narrowed the search down to a Skoda Octavia or another mk2 Golf (not a GTi). Cor blimey, boring or what?! Soon dropped the sensible bit but stuck to my budgetary limit. There must be something out there that fitted the bill. Eventually tracked down a 1991 Mercedes 190e 1.8 manual, just two owners (present owner is a farmer who's owned it for fifteen years and used it as his 'second' car for special occasions) and 60,000 miles (an average of 3000 miles per year), being advertised just south of Limoges and up for grabs for just 2600 euros. Went to see it last Sunday. Collecting it next Monday.
So, there you go, that's about it. Nothing else worth mentioning.
No, almost forgot..., the Honda VFR800i arrived here from the UK yesterday. Van driver turned up with about half a dozen bikes all bound for their new owners in France. As well as the Honda, the van contained a trio of vintage bikes (driver said retired expats are increasingly investing in old bangers - he delivered a 30,000 quid Vincent to an elderly Brit a couple of weeks back) and a brand new Harley being delivered to a French buyer (UK bikes are considerably cheaper than their French equivalents). Said he'd been busy all through winter and was now busier than ever. Anyway, the gorgeous Honda's now parked under cover in the shed where it's standing in the tyretracks of the recently departed BMW. Straight swap. No regrets. Van driver said he'd never seen a more immaculate second-hand bike. Not surprising as it's only done 1200 miles since new in 2001. Next job is to attempt to get it French registered. Fingers crossed.
Well, that's it. Nothing else worth mentioning. Nothing whatsoever.
Ah, almost forgot..., having recently banked a load of dosh (normal people would call it peanuts) by virtue of the maturing of some endowment thingy (see a previous posting somewhere), I've been studying the financial markets for much needed investment advice. Came to the eventual conclusion that it's a load of old bolleaux run by a bunch of slimy crooks and leeches masquerading as squeaky clean financiers and bankers. So, having rejected anything to do with the murky world of investment finance (a.k.a. legalised daylight robbery), I decided to make a small but extremely wise investment completely off my own bat. It arrived yesterday with the Honda and has already rocketed in value during the short time (overnight) it's been added to my investment portfolio. Will be sure to give a much better return than anything the banks can offer. Georgie may not quite see it that way though. Which is why I've hidden it in the indoor shed under a pile of coats and jackets. She'll never know it's there.