24 June 2013

Living the High Life

One of my patients has been discharged from my care - I took my mother home a few days ago. She is not completely better, but had to return home for a long-standing appointment and wanted to try to fend for herself once more. I suspect she is not eating as well and has returned to taking the easy option of drinking a glass of Complan rather than even micro-waving a ready meal. I still have the canine patient, but he's chugging along.

On Saturday, Kay and I managed to escape for a bit of mother and daughter time and shared the company of Elizabeth McGovern, better known as Cora, Lady Grantham, of Downton Abbey fame. Actually she was playing the guitar and singing at the Taste of London, a food festival which has been in London's Regent Park over the last four days.
There was a lot to see, do and sample.

This attractive display of carved fruit and vegetables caught our eye, particularly the carved marrow and water melons.

Thai dancers entertaining in the Thai food section.

The Baker Brothers showing off a new arrival to their family, hopefully not part of the ingredients for their recipe demonstrations!


Antonio Carluccio discussing gnocchi with fellow chef Gennaro Contaldo

  Elizabeth McGovern strutting her stuff. You can hear her here.

We  staggered home with lots of free samples and tummies full of several celebrity-chef taster lunches, including some beautiful Thai signature dishes. It certainly made up for the weeks of hard slog, caring for my patients.

Kay passed her driving test a couple of months ago and also sat the Pass Plus test a few weeks ago, getting a bit of practice on motorways. At 22, she is certainly not as young as she could be and, as a medical student, has her head screwed on, so it was with some degree of shock that we started to hunt for a  first car for her.  Nothing too expensive. Just a reasonable run-around to practice and perfect her driving skills, yet nothing too cheap, as she would need to travel between London and The North with it, as well as regularly travel to medical placements within a 30-mile radius of her uni.

Finding a car itself is no problem. There are quite a few to be had within our chosen price bracket of £3,000 - £4,000. But typing in the number plates of those on the short-list to find out the insurance premiums is another matter.  These, for example, are the options for annual cover on a nine-year-old Vauxhall Corsa.

What 18-year-old would pay £12,693 per year to cover a geriatric Corsa worth about £3,000? It defies belief. (Apparently it reduces a bit if she adds me as a named driver on her policy, even if I don't ever set foot in it.)  Maybe Lady Grantham can lend us her chauffeur. At those prices, it would be almost as cheap.


Furtheron said...

My daughter is learning at the moment I keep explaining the insurance issue but she isn't listening! !

No wonder there are so many un-insured drivers on the road.

the veg artist said...

Glad things have eased up a bit for you, but you've just added something else to my list of "Why I don't want to be young again"!
My first car cost £150. The insurance, on my own, at age 19, was around £50. Even now, getting on for 40 years later, it is not much over £150. And that's fully comp!
How on earth are young people supposed to set off on solo living?

Nota Bene said...

Food Festival sounds like a lot of fun, and glad your mum is (sort of) back on her feet.

As for insurance...the cost is remarkable...you could try Quinns, or wearemarmalade.co.uk...or get a telematics box fitted as it makes an enormous difference..

nappy valley girl said...

That's ridiculous! We've just had a real problem getting reasonably priced insurance as we move back to the UK after 4 years away. No-one will recognize our years of no claims and UK driving history. In the end we went with Admiral which seemed to be cheapest.

K Ville said...

My husband had a similar problem when he came over from Australia, he had to apply for a UK driving license (no test required because of his Australian license) so he had held a uk license for less than a ŷear. His premiums were dreadful, we found a company in the end with some common sense and he was a named driver on my policy. Insurance is such a scam.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Pleased that you were able to have some quality time with Kay and enjoy the food festival. It looks as though it as worth a visit. Good news that your Mum is improving and keen to try her independence again and hopefully Snoopy will continue to improve. Do hope Kay finds some reasonable insurance. A