I posted a couple of articles about cameras recently. I wanted to change my elderly SLR, and discussed the option of getting a modern compact camera that would give me all the features and functions I desired, alongside more traditional operations, as well as having a decent lens. I arrived at my shortlist, and asked for suggestions from my fellow bloggers. I got some very helpful comments and recommendations, which was only to be expected, given the number of enthusiastic photo-bloggers out there. I said that I would let you know the outcome, so that is what I am doing with this post.
Today, my car went in for the annual major service and MOT test. (For readers outside the UK, an MOT test is a compulsory safety check. There is a strict list of requirements to be checked, and if your car fails any of them, it is essential to have them rectified.) This is always potentially expensive. The service alone is around £250, and the test fee is £49 on top of that. Even on a good day, I was going to be £300 out of pocket, but I had budgeted for that. I left my car with the dealer at 08.45, and headed off for a walk into Dereham, in bright sunshine. After a quick trip around the town, I went into the library, to use the one hour of free Internet access allowed for members. I thought it would kill some time.
No sooner had I logged on, than the garage called my mobile. The car had failed. A rear tyre was damaged, possibly from a pothole in the road. As well as that, there were some other issues he wanted to discuss, and he thought it best that I return to talk to him in person. As soon as he emerged from the back, and showed me into his office, I knew that the news was not good. He went down the checklist, advising me what would have to be fixed to pass the MOT, and what needed doing in addition to that, but could be out off until later. Front brake discs, front brake pads, the offending tyre, all would have to be done, no question. These items added well over £300 to a bill that was already well over that figure. Wheel alignments and tracking of the steering (again probably caused by potholes), another £50. As these were fairly big jobs, it will have to go back in again tomorrow, but at least they will collect it free of charge, and leave me a car to use too.
And the other jobs, the ones that need doing sooner rather than later? Cam-belt and water pump, well over £300 the pair. Rear suspension mounts; a big job, not yet priced. Tailgate struts, (they don’t keep the big rear door up properly) £150. Best part of £800 the lot, was his best guess, on top of the more than £600 I have to pay tomorrow. So, those extra jobs will have to wait a bit, until after the summer, I expect. That leaves the new camera, its budget blown on keeping the nearly eight-year old car on the road. It looks as if I am going to have to rekindle my relationship with my old SLR after all.
Still, try as you might, you can’t drive a camera.