I finally bought a car! I went for the “that one will do for now” approach, and took a chance on a 2007 R56 so-called-Mini Cooper on eBay for the laughably low winning bid of £1020 (the least amount of money I’ve paid for a car since some time around 1993). I took the train to Great Yarmouth on bank holiday Monday afternoon to pick it up, and after some minor snags with not being able to find the address, then having to jump-start it because it had been sitting for a while and had a flat battery (we tried pushing, but couldn’t figure out how to get the steering lock off with no power, and there wasn’t enough space in a straight line), got it home without further incident. The fuel light came on somewhere around Beccles, warning me that there was only enough left for 32 miles, but I wasn’t keen to stop too soon in case the battery hadn’t built up enough charge. I was probably closer to 40 miles from home at that point, but I made it back with it claiming to have two miles’ worth remaining. I finally stopped for fuel on the way to Felixstowe on Tuesday evening, with the display having reached zero en route, then given up.
It seems to be generally in acceptable nick, with some service history and a year’s MOT. There are some areas of peeling lacquer on the paintwork, the wheels are a bit battered and the stereo controls don’t seem to work, but I’m sure they can be sorted one way or another.
I also finally got round to getting some quotes to recover the Smart from Felixstowe, so hopefully I can get that done early next week. Someone pointed me to a “Felixstowe News” facebook group post asking if anyone knew about a “mystery car” that had been parked in a road for some time, and against my better judgement I replied, prompting a message from someone asking me to “contact them urgently” about it “causing issues”. Apparently they’d been in touch with the police and Environmental Health (?), who I imagine had told them it was legally parked. I’m sure they’ll be happy when it goes, anyway.
As mentioned last week, we’ve got a two day developer event at work either side of this weekend, and like an idiot I’ve spent most of my free time this week building and deploying a massively over-engineered framework to run a Connect 4 tournament between bots that people are going to spend an hour and a half writing as a (hopefully) fun programming challenge. It’s pretty much finished now, so fingers crossed it works as planned tomorrow.
I had another go at orienteering today (Sunday), this time in Chantry Park, where some of the controls were a bit trickier to find. At least I remembered to start my Garmin this time!