June 4 – New Car – Honda CRV Sport

Off to stay with My Uncle and Aunty in Burgess Hill

Hello from Gillian and Michael

This morning we walked to the car sales place to pick up our car. It was a grey, automatic, 2005 Honda CRV Vtec Sport with 77205 miles on the clock. It had cruise control and a sunroof. It was a 2-litre petrol car and had plenty of boot space with a cover to keep the sun off. Our number plate was OV55 NAU which you soon have to memorise as many parking meters require that you record your number plate. The car looked amazing and they did an excellent job on the detailing. We paid the outstanding amount for the purchase price and the road user tax and headed back to London Rd to pick up our things.

On the way up to the car sales, we had gone to the laundrette to wash the sheets and towels. On our way back we stopped to put the washing into the dryer then returned up the hill to Asda where we bought Claudia a bath mat and a toilet brush for the house as well as some more things for our picnic set. We loaded all our belongings into the car. The cello fits across the back seat with no problems and our suitcases stand up in the boot. Very impressive! We used our mobile phone navigation to take us to Janet and Neil’s home in Hailsham where we had a lovely lunch. The navigation worked really well and you wouldn’t be able to get around at all without a sat nav. The ladies voice adjusts really well if you make a mistake and also gives you various options for ways to go. It also changes its mind and offers you alternative routes if the traffic gets busy. If the road is clear it shows on the map as blue, if the traffic slows down it will show as orange and is there is a lot of traffic or comes to a standstill it will show up as red.

We were very pleased with the car as it drove very smoothly. The only thing to get used to was even though you drive on the left-hand side of the road as we do in New Zealand, the indicators and light levers are on the opposite sides which took Mike a while to get used to. I always knew if he was getting tired as the window screen wipers would go on instead of the indicators. LOL. The other difference was the handbrake and the automatic gear lever were on the dashboard. Mike was the driver for the whole of our trip and I was the navigator which in the UK is a full-time job. Once I had my new phone I used the “Maps” app to find directions everywhere and it only really let us down badly once.

That reminds me, we particularly wanted to buy an automatic car. In the UK many cars are manual, a fact that never ceased to amaze us. The number of times you would sit at the traffic lights and the person in front would stall the car on take-off!! So the number of cars available to choose from when buying is considerably less.

When we got to Hailsham we went to number25 but no one answered the doorbell. Then I realised that at some stage I had the wrong number and I had forgotten to change it on the phone. Luckily no one was home at number 25. Janet is very keen to spend our birthday together as they are only one day apart. Well, one day and twenty years. I was hoping to go to Avebury stone circle on my birthday but we would have to wait and see. We spent the afternoon chatting after lunch before driving to Burgess Hill to David and Joans where we would stay until the Medieval Mosaic arrived in the UK.

The mosaic was flying from New Zealand to the UK so we thought it may only be a few days. It finally arrived on June 16.

Steve and Debbie were at David and Joan’s as Debbie’s mum had just had a heart attack and was in the hospital on the Isle of Wight. They have been up and down to the Isle of Wight three times in the last week. She passed away on June 7 after having three heart attacks in a week. We had tea and had a good talk with them all. They were very welcoming and lovely.

We finally got all three email accounts attached to the cell phone with Steven’s help.