I’ve been living back at my Mom’s house for just over eighteen months now, and for that whole time I’ve ‘lived’ in my tiny pre-uni bedroom. I have a LOT of clothes and a LOT of stuff and consequently my bedroom (and the landing outside my door) resembles something off Britain’s Biggest Hoarders…
In the past few months I’ve been feeling far more positive about sortin my life out, but it’s been a hard task to overcome my procrastination. Last night I decided I was going to buy the bookcases I needed to start organising my room and so hit the IKEA website to place an order. Imagine my horror and dismay when I discovered that nothing would be delivered until the day we’re leaving for France (which is actually only next week…eep)!
What’s a girl to do?
And then I remembered that I have a big red hero standing in the driveway. He may be fitted out as a camper, but at the end of the day he’s still a van…and so Mom and I set out on the 70 mile round trip to IKEA in Coventry.
It’s different to the other branches I’ve been to (Wednesbury and Nottingham) in that it’s been squished into a town centre, and so has several floors. The car park is mostly inside the complex and has to be paid for, but Red was far too tall to get under the barriers. Luckily, the parking for high-sided vehicles was free, plentiful and blissfully empty.
Once inside, the lifts will only take you up to the showroom, and then you have to make your way to more lifts/stairs to go down a floor to the market hall. It pained me, but I went straight to the stairs and bypassed the entire showroom! Me, 1….IKEA, 0.
As we wandered through the market I ended up filling a shopping bag with lots of essentials that I hadn’t known I’d needed until I’d set eyes on them (tupperware, cork saucepan rests, storage boxes…all for the van), and eventually we found a travelator that took us down to floor 4 where we could pick up the large goods and pay. It was then I realised that I could have gone straight to floor 4 from the ground, and so I’d effectively been duped into doing extra shopping. One all.
BILLY bookcases are 2.02m tall and so I knew the boxes would be big, but I wasn’t expecting them to be anywhere near as heavy as they are. Mom can’t do heavy lifting and I don’t like asking for help AND I don’t read things properly…and so I had to struggle boxes off the shelves and onto the trolley, and then back onto the shelves again when I did silly things like pick up the wrong models or the wrong finishes. I did rather a lot of swearing.
Eventually we got everything I needed and managed to make it to the tills without knocking down any displays or causing anyone an injury….and then it was time to try and get it all into Red…
The pneumatics don’t work on the boot hatch so someone has to stand and hold it open (avoiding the water that drips out of the bike rack) while someone else packs all the stuff in. A very nice man came to our rescue as I was trying to get the first box up onto the bed, and within a few minutes we were ready to get back on the road again!
Less than four hours after we’d set off and we were home safe and sound.
I still haven’t topped up the fuel tank from Beat-Herder, the mileometer is on just over 400 miles, and the fuel gauge is still above the red. I’d expect my car (1.9 Golf TDi) to do about 420 miles on £60 of fuel, so I’m REALLY pleased that Red seems to do almost as well (if not better!). I do drive my car like a demon though, so Red’s fuel consumption probably owes to my slow acceleration and top-speed of 55-60mph when I’m driving him. I just don’t feel the need to rush around when we off on an adventure together.
I checked the oil before we left and – although there weren’t any drips on the driveway – the oil was a little low. I must be losing quite a bit whilst we’re driving along so I really must check that the filter is on tightly before we set out for Portsmouth next Friday. The oil cap came off really easily (which was nice) and I topped up the oil using a piece of folded tin foil as a makeshift funnel. It wasn’t brilliant but it made far less mess than trying to pour it in straight from the bottle. I need to find a suitable tube to make life even easier – I was going to use one off a fuel can, but they all smelt diesel-y so I didn’t trust them enough to pour oil through them.
I’m sure I put enough in (maybe I didn’t) but I had the same problem with the oil light that I had on our last journey. For the most part everything seems fine, but when I’m approaching a junction and I’m changing down gears and holding the clutch in, the oil light starts flashing. I don’t know why it only does it at this point, or why having the clutch pressed in makes the oil level change, or if it’s just a loose connection. What ever it is I need to get it sorted out before France! I’ve become a member of the Club 80-90 forum so hopefully someone on there will be able to give me some advice.
I also had some issues with the gears. Reverse is INCREDIBLY hard to find and I’m not sure I’ll ever get the knack of it. There doesn’t even seem to be a trick to it…sometimes if I put it down into first and then push it up into reverse and it slides in like a dream, but nine times out of ten it won’t help at all…and sometimes if I depress the stick that’ll help, but most of the time it won’t make the slightest bit of difference. Second gear can sometimes be a bit difficult to get to from first too, and although I didn’t have any trouble on the way there, I kept putting it into fourth the way home and we had a few juddery moments at traffic lights before I got the hang of it again. I’m hoping these things are only indicative of my crappy gearbox skills and NOT a sign that the gearbox is giving up…
But all in all, another successful trip, and it was lovely to have Mom as a passenger too…even if we were only going shopping.
IKEA…book cases acquired…hotdog eaten…mission complete!