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Waiting for the AA

Waiting for the AA

I’m glad my wife Jacinta insisted we join AA Ireland. I’ve had over 15 years of almost trouble free driving (ok, the electrics in my Alfa 147 died once, but stopping and starting the engine fixed that, and it’s an Alfa Romeo, what do you expect?) but this morning as we drove into town and approached Mc Curtain Street in the lashing rain and howling wind the windscreen wipers stuttered.

The wipers slowed down, they stopped, then started again, and just as we got through the lights at Coburg Street and Bridge Street they stopped completely. Jacinta was driving and I have to applaud her for keeping her calm as rain water streamed down the window, obscuring her view. Luckily we spotted a parking space just outside Dan Lowrey’s Pub further down the road. She pulled in, tried the controls but there wasn’t a budge from the wipers.

It was a really lousy thing to happen. In the lashing rain, in the worst storm of the new year our car couldn’t be driven. If it had been bright and sunny we could have carried on our way. It’s only the wipers. For weeks we had cold dry weather with clear skies. The only upside, was that we parked directly outside that pub. Jacinta and Adam and all our gear went into the pub and I waited (with Oscar our dog) for the various service people to come and help. Anthony, the owner of Dan Lowrey’s Pub made us all very welcome, and I can’t recommend his establishment enough!

After ringing the AA, a mechanic soon called out, declared the wiper motor dead and arranged for our car to be towed back to Blarney. Our cover included a replacement car for 48 hours and eventually someone from Enterprise Rentals rang and my sister (thank you!!) took us out to the Kinsale Road to pick up a 08 Opel Astra.

OK, it’s only an Astra, but it’s been a few years since I drove a newish car. It has bluetooth which I connected to my N73 and couldn’t resist calling Jacinta later while she was out. Sound quality from the radio is good, and while the ride is a bit harder than the Renault Megane I drive now it was comfortable. I must admit the indicator and wiper controls are fiddly. They spring back to the central position again. Very odd.

The Renault Megane is with Barry at Blarney Auto Centre so hopefully he’ll have it fixed before I have to return the rental car.

Already thinking of what to buy to replace the Megane. Any time something goes wrong with it, I hear, “Oh yeah, that goes wrong with these cars a lot.” The Toyota Corollas I’ve owned kept driving and driving and driving, so I’m tempted to go for that model again. The Ford Focus gets a lot of good press too. I’ll be buying used. I think it’s going to be many years before I can afford to buy a new car, and anyway, they really aren’t worth it. Depreciation on ’em is terrible!

Aperture ƒ/4
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/50s

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

7 replies on “Waiting for the AA”

My father-in-law swears that rubbing the windscreen with a cut potato will stop the rain blurring your vision when your wipers pack in………………….that said, he doesn’t drive and never has and carrying a bag of spuds in your glove box is a bit of an ask! Bad storm today alright, We had to turn back from our trip to see the dead whale in Courtmac when we happened across a downed tree on the airport hill. McCurtain street looks good in the shot.

“Bad Karma”… a pun that works on a lot of levels. The “Kar” part obviously, but isn’t it strange that you post an image of a being pushed yesterday and this happens today. Spooky shizzel!

“They spring back to the central position again”… its the same on modern BMW’s.

Seriously, depreciation when buying a new car these days is murder. Take it for granted that you will not make any money on resale. 04 BMW 520d (cica €60k new) sells now for €14k at a dealership.

Richard – didn’t US Air Force pilots use vaseline on their windows? It worked better than the horribly expensive gels bought by their bosses.

GG – very spooky! After I posted a photo of a Beamish sign they were bought by Heineken and subsequently moved to Murphy’s Brewery. I wonder what would happen if I posted a photo of Fianna Fail?

Out of curiousity I checked out and compared the price of a 3 year old Corolla with a 7 year old Megane. Price difference of about 10,000 Euro. Ouch. Guess I won’t be buying a newer car any time soon! Let me check the Lotto results..

My wipers went once as well a few years ago on the way to work, had to get the car home again, very hard to do in the pouring rain, and get a lift from Matt. A baptism of fire Jacinta, so soon after passing your test! Talk soon, Mary

I highly recommend the Ford Focus, and Toyota, while still great cars, are no longer the cars they used to be. Ford have been winning rave reviews, and reliability ratings, for all models since the introduction of the Focus and they are quite possibly the best brand of car to buy at this point in time. Just try to forget the Fords of the 1990’s, a bad decade for them!

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