Monday, April 17, 2006

Kid With A New Toy

First things first. I've just wound up a quite extraordinary session of LHE, netting a miniscule profit to take me up to five successive winning sessions.

Not earth shattering, but a nice habit to get into, even when the opposition are truly clueless.

I started off pretty well, before running into a brick wall of immovable stupidity and bad cards.

Every big hand I was dealt in the mid-session went down in flames, leading to several of my now familiar outbursts of spluttering indignation.

Yet within a single orbit I managed a 25BB rally to drag the numbers back into the black, all thanks to the same sort of abysmal play that left me stuck in the first place.

As the hour was growing late, I took that as a sign it was time to get out while I was ahead.

Hand of the night had to be cracking Aces with Q8s from the SB, when the villain didn't see fit to raise pre-flop but couldn't get away from his overpair when the flush hit on the turn. Nor could the guy who'd flopped bottom two pair.

Anyway, that's all incidental to the main news.

On Saturday I flew down to London to take ownership of a new family car for the Div household. A Toyota Corolla Verso.

It was a pretty hectic schedule. Glasgow to London on the 7.30am flight. Met at the airport by the car dealer. Driven to their showroom to collect the car, then a 13-hour drive back to Scotland with the car.

A long drive, but a good way to get to grips with some of the new features, and to marvel at the economy of a 2.2 litre diesel engine.

Sixty plus miles to the gallon, I was beginning to think the fuel needle had stuck!

I've never been a petrol head. The Verso is only the 4th car I've owned in 18 years of driving.

The other three have all been small cars. One was pretty sporty - fantastic fun to drive - but it was effectively an oversized go-cart. No frills - not even power steering.

Yet I've already grown to appreciate the gadgets on the new car. Most notably the cruise control.

There's something of a paradox about the new purchase.

On the one hand, I've been giggling like a school boy as I've experimented with all the features.

As well as cruise control, I've been giddy with excitement whilst playing with the sat-nav, and I almost laughed with joy when I worked out how to turn on the front and rear manoeuvring cameras. (Seriously!)

Yet it's quintessentially a 'grown up' purchase. A family car to keep the baby safe, and provide storage space for the paraphernalia which is required when taking her out for more than a few hours.

It's got more airbags than The House of Commons, and boot capacity to rival a small van.

Today we took Baby Div to Blair Drummond Safari Park. She is still too small to fully appreciate the sight of all the animals, but we figured there'd be enough to keep her interested.

I think she probably enjoyed seeing so many other kids, and just experiencing the sounds and movement and colours, as much as getting up close to the tigers, rhinos, and elephants.

It's not the sort of trip I'd have been too keen on making in the old car.

It would have been a bit of a squeeze, and the crawling around the reserve on a sunny day with the windows shut and a clunky gearbox would have been an uncomfortable grind.

Aircon and a silky 6-speed gearbox turned a grind into a blast, and we had a nice day out. Sadly I didn't get to meet Camalla the Red Ruffed Lemur.

Neither Mrs Div nor I are too keen on taking the baby abroad when she is still very young, so we are expecting to mostly holiday in the UK for the next few years.

There's lots of places in Scotland we haven't yet visited, so the new car should be well utilised over the summer. Weather permitting of course.

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