It definitely hasn't been our year for motoring! To start with, there was the accident, then a near month without a car before we bought the Toyota. Then, at the beginning of January, the brakes failed on the car - they went in a rush from being fine when we drove to the pub, to not feeling right when I drove home a few hours later, to having pretty much no braking power at all the next day. A trip to the garage confirmed that the reservoir that holds the fluid had split, and there was nothing left... Fortunately, a couple of £100 later, the car was back on the road. Till Friday night.
John picked me up as normal from Parkway just before half six, and we started heading home, chatting as we usually do about the events of the day and the plans for the weekend. We stopped at the red lights of the pedestrian crossing to allow some people to cross the road. As they reached the pavement, the car behind us failed to notice either the red lights, or the fact that we were stationary, and with a loud bang, went straight into the back of us. Fortunately, first off, no-one was hurt (though John and I have both had a bit of stiffness, neither of us have developed full blow whiplash. Even though one of my colleagues has told me to claim for it anyway (which I think is immoral and wrong!) - I don't have the time to be laid up with neck pain...), and there was no-one left on the crossing. We were able to exchange details, just about, with the Russian man who had been driving. He had his insurance certificate with him, which I think is a good thing, as he barely understood what we were asking for! (John believes that he was smelling of dope as well - I have a very heavy cold at the moment, and can't smell a thing, so I can make no comment).
As with my accident, I was so suprised by the number of people who stopped to see if there was anything they could do to help; the First Aider, who came straight over, first of all to see if anyone was hurt, and then secondly to direct traffic around the accident till we could move the cars. She left without me saying thank you. The couple who had been crossing, who not only lent me a pen so that we could write down details (first time in ages I'm not carrying pen and paper on me...), but also gave us their contact details so that if there were any issues they could corroborate the fact that we were stationary and at the crossing (they didn't see the accident itself, but had clocked that it was us letting them go past).
Even better, or so we thought, the Toyota was still driveable - the bumper was a bit dented, the boot squashed a bit out of shape, and the lights, although still attached and not broken, were hanging off (they sort of popped back in, but would need a bit of tape to actually keep them on at any speed). So at least our weekend plans (which involved driving to Swindon for a Fforde Ffiesta meeting, and going to a friend's for pancakes on Sunday) wouldn't be disrupted.
Unfortunately, the insurance company begs to differ - apparantly slightly loose lights and a possible dodgy boot means that the car is automatically unroadworthy. And, even more galling, because of the age of the car, it is also likely to be a write off :-( They are sending out an engineer today.
Fortunately, we are not as stuck as we were last time - the insurance provides for a courtesy car, and hopefully it will not take as long to sort out.
On a much brighter note - the sun is shining, and, after a very heavy frost this morning, it is glorious outside. I just wish that I carried my camera out with me - the pigeons were bathing in the fountains on Bristol City Centre this lunchtime - some standing right under the spray, and all looking like they were very glad of the Spring time bath!