Thursday, 16 March 2017

A swings and roundabouts day

I drove to St John's to celebrate this morning's Eucharist, and then on my way home took the car into the Kwikfit garage a few streets away to see if could get the car's heater fan fixed. It had stopped working and I assumed it was due to a burned out fuse. It was surprised to discover however that there's no fuse, but rather a thermo-couple switch, linked to a similar switch in the radiator fan. It turned out that the heat exchanger which supplies the fan with air had finally given up the air-lock which had caused the fan to deliver only mildly warm air instead of hot air, for the past two years. 

Before the heat exchanger filled with cold water, the relay had stuck in the 'off' position. All that had been needed was to top up the radiator by the volume of the air bubble and run the engine until the main radiator fan started and with it, the heater fan. Anthony, the garage supervisor did the detective work on my 25 year old VW Golf Mark Two and got the heating working again. He's worked on it before and taken pride in helping keep it on the road. It cheered me up no end. On previous occasions, I've tweeted my thanks to Kwikfit for going the extra distance for me as a customer. It's been noticed and appreciated by the team, who remember me when I bring the car in for them to work on occasionally.

It wasn't until I got home and tried to switch on my mobile phone that I discovered it wasn't working. As I was getting into the car, my outer jacket pocket, containing the phone drooped outside the car and took an unlucky hit from the door, closing under gravity, without me noticing. Thankfully, I was able to slip the phone SIM into the my spare old Blackberry, and use it until I worked out what to do next. I walked to Canton Mobile Zone on the corner of Severn Road, to see if a newish Samsung J3 screen could be repaired, or if the phone was broken beyond repair. The manager told me replacing the screen would cost £100. He showed me on his smartphone the cost of an OEM screen, inevitably increased lately due to the drop in sterling. I paid £95 in a discount deal before Christmas. Now the best price on offer is around £120. Before going ahead with the repair, the manager found a replacement screen, attached it to the phone and started it up. It worked fine. If it could do that much, I was in luck. After half an hour's wait, phone and I were happily reunited. Walking there and back, wandering around the street of shops, I picked up and binned forty nine items of litter.

I drove to St German's early enough to set up the office PC with a Powerline Network Adapter. I still have a couple of redundant spares. It worked first time in finding the internet, but I wondered about the quality of the signal passing through a large ring main with secondary router and wi-fi device in-line, as the actual speed of downloading was glacially slow. At the outset, I'd expected the system to be more responsive, as it's a Core i5 machine containing few extra programs and no new data. We left it running while we were in church for Stations of the Cross. On return an hour later, Windows Defender update had stalled and needed re-starting. I checked to see if anything else had updated, and it looked as if Windows 10 updates hadn't started either. After a restart we decided to leave it running overnight, just in case it was running slowly due to competing demands, once it had been recognised by the Microsoft servers after a ten month break and change of address. I can check after the lunchtime Mass tomorrow. In the meanwhile, home for supper and a couple of hours of telly before bed.

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