May 14, 2015 by Michael Madden

Well My Daddy Left Home When I Was Three…

…and he didn’t leave much for ma and me, just this old guitar and an empty bottle of beer.

Now I don’t blame him cos he run and hid, but the meanest thing that he ever did, was before he left, he went and named me…Sapphire.

So there we have it. A bit traumatic for the kitten, in more ways than one, but the vet was convinced. In a move I’ve not seen since Crocodile Dundee, he slipped his fingers between Sapphire’s legs and announced, ‘He’s got testicles’. Sapphire was a bit put out by this unwanted attention, but now he can get back to the manly duties of wrestling with a stuffed Meerkat,

Rumour has it that Zac wants to change its name, but Sapphire seems unconcerned, and quite likes that Johnny Cash song.

Its also been a busy few days in the kitchen. Yesterday was a day for burgers. There’s something strangely soothing about grinding your meat, and something immensely satisfying to see it gobbled up with no need for a word of praise. The empty plates say enough. Of course, Zac didn’t manage a full burger, but he did have a significant bite, and then he nibbled on some bacon. Small progress, but every little counts. Today was a day for biscuits. Home made biscuits. And when my godson came round he could smell them. We had to accelerate their readiness so he could have a couple before he went home. MMM!

My last blog post got some interesting feedback, with other people having received PCNs. Well, firstly, I am no expert, but I do know that legally these people cannot issue fines, only charges, and they have to prove that what they charge is suitable recompense for your time on their land (or in most cases the land that they have been contracted to police). So if, as in my case, the car park charges per hour, and I overstayed by 15 minutes, the most I would owe them is £1. Certainly not the £40 rising to £70 and even £100 for non payment. But, do your own research. I am happy telling Sally to ignore it – but if you are worried you can either pay up, take advice from someone who really knows, or DYOR.

One thing I am certain of, Renault UK are not far short of corrupt. They rang back today, not quite within the 48 hours they promised, but near enough, and said that the rust on my brand new Dacia Duster is cosmetic and does not really affect it. What do you think? Fortunately, my contract is with the dealer and he seems more sympathetic. He is off until Monday, but I will give you an update when he returns.


Just so we are clear, rust is defined as follows:- ‘Given sufficient time, oxygen, and water, any iron mass will eventually convert entirely to rust and disintegrate. Surface rust is flaky and friable, and it provides no protection to the underlying iron’ and according to the same source ‘Rusting is the common term for corrosion of iron and its alloys, such as steel

Doesn’t sound cosmetic to me. Dont think corrosion can ever be a good thing, right? And the word ‘disintegrate’ worries me a little. Maybe I’ll ask Ole when he gets home. He has had his Chemistry exam today.


Renault, of course, are a French firm, but Sally is dealing with this particular issue, so it may be that that they have just met their Waterloo. In the meantime I am still stuck with an inadequate Clio, wondering where my old reliable (well it used to be) blue Chevvy is right now. Its almost as if it is being held hostage!

Just seen a very odd sight – Sally lying down in the driveway looking at the underside of her car. I thought she might be checking for rust. Apparently not. Rather, she has just reversed into a fence at the football pitch. The 60 strong group of witnesses no doubt showed their appreciation with applause! I wonder how much that will cost to repair (the car, not the fence).