I’m writing this on my phone, so there may be even more errors than normal. The reason for that is that despite this Collection Caper starting yesterday, I’m still not yet home. Why is that?
Let’s start at the beginning. The journey began at 10:30am with the trusty Perodua Nippa providing a fine steed.
At Caersws station, I swapped the Nippa for the first of three trains, though the first of many train seats. Two trains got me to Birmingham, where I’m afraid I made use of the best toilets I’m aware of. The Museum and Art Gallery. Sorry for my preference for lavatories facilities over art…
Coming out of the gallery, you can see that Paradise is indeed lost.
I then jumped aboard a Cross Country Voyager which would take me to Plymouth. Boarding was chaotic, as everyone seemed to have a suitcase. I had to find a spare seat for my large backpack and my reserved seat was surrounded by spilt crisps and litter. Joy!
It was also horribly hot. Everyone was sweating. Mobile sauna. Oh, and no catering, because the food person hadn’t got on the train…
At Cheltenham, I thankfully got to move from hideous coach C to coach F. This was a bit cooler, but still warm. At Bristol Temple Meads, I had to change to coach D. This was the coolest one yet. So cool that at Taunton, where my cheap tickets instructed me to return to coach F. At the risk of causing anarchy, I refused. At Tiverton, the electronic display instructed me that my seat was now available. Ace. I could legitimately stay here until Plymouth, where I complained to Cross Country on Twitter about the overpriced tea (with UHT milk, horrid, though at least there was catering again) and rubbish-strewn carriages. I can’t help thinking having more bins, that can actually be found, would improve things.
Anyway, if you’re still reading, I did get to Plymouth on time, at 1742hrs. Long day, but I still had to collect my new Honda S-MX and make a bed in it…
I thought the collection had gone well. I checked the car, paid my money and headed off. But, problems!
I’d turned the headlights on, and the main beam light illuminated. I pulled the stalk but it remained illuminated. I quickly switched to sidelights, thinking I was blinding everyone. I found a petrol station to stop at and discovered I wasn’t blinding anyone at all. No headlights. Not a sniff.
I’d spotted a spare bulb in the glove box, so fitted it. Nothing. As it was a new bulb out of the box, I began to realise the car was the problem here. I gave the bulb connector, which was slightly melted, a wiggle. Light! Ouch. H4 bulbs are quite bright. Now I had to refit the bulb without losing the working connection. Difficult. A wiggle soon had the other side working too. Phew! It was fast getting dark, and I still had distance to cover. To Cornwall!
In the next blog, I discover what it is like to sleep in the Honda S-MX, subject it to more fettling and talk about what it’s like to drive.