15th March

This morning I tried the new razor I bought. I’ve always fancied a straight razor but before dashing off to buy an expensive one that would need a leather strop as well I decided to try a shavette which is the one where you put half an old fashioned razor blade in – the type they use at the hairdressers. My first attempt didn’t get off to a great start as I nicked myself almost immediately! After another couple of attempts and with blood now running down both cheeks I decided to finish off the shave with my old razor as I was now too stressed to continue! I haven’t given up on the idea though!

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Decided to buy a new stereo for the car so spent the morning looking at the Halfords website. I narrowed it down to 4. There were several things I thought would be ideal – I’d like to keep the steering wheel controls if possible, DAB would be nice as would a USB input but an aux input was essential so Sarah can plug her MP3 player into it. The four I had narrowed it down to had some but not all of these requirements – they also had the most important requirement i.e. they were cheap. To get all of the above I would have to spend at least twice the £60 maximum I had set myself.

We headed off to Halfords and I asked the lady behind the counter which of the four would be compatible so she looked up my car on the computer. It turned out that for any of the four I would need to buy extras on top of the cost of the machine. In order to keep the steering wheel control it would cost me £23 for the adaptor and another £5 for a lead – so at a cost of £30 it meant that wasn’t an option. Especially when as a minimum I would need to buy a facia adaptor* and aerial converter plug which were £16 – so all together the costs virtually doubled what I wanted to spend. It’s all a bit of a con really and I told them so!

Talking of cons _ I enquired about the only DAB radio in my price range. It said on the website that the DAB receivers needed an additional aerial and I was interested how the lead would come out of the fitting. I didn’t even get to find out because she told me that the aerial would cost £20. I pointed out that the £50 one included an aerial and at first she denied it but when I pointed it out on the card she said that they didn’t recommend those aerials as the ones that cost £20 were better – did I mention a massive con?

So faced with paying more than I’d bargained for I decided to go with a radio that hadn’t even been on the website that was the cheapest one they had at £49 but included the aux and USB inputs. I asked he to pull the bits together while I went to the cashpoint.

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When I got back I looked to see if I could find the clips I needed to fix the door trim back on the car – it fell off in Tesco car park when the strong winds caught the door and ripped it out of my hand. It looked awful without it and I wasn’t convinced that the holes that it exposed would do the door any good when the rain was going through them! I’d seen the ones I needed on the website but couldn’t see them in the shop. The assistant helpfully suggested that I go home and get the number off the website so they could see if they had any in! I would have looked it up on my phone but realised the time and we had to get back for Sarah’s eyebrows!

When I came to pay the lady told me that she couldn’t find the box for the one I’d chosen but that it was all sealed up just missing the box. She said she’d knock a couple of quid off – I was going to push for a fiver! However she actually knocked £9 off which meant that in total it came to just over £55 which was what I’d originally planned to spend! Result!

Once we got home I set about fixing it into the car. I took the old one out and the new one slotted straight in. I did have to take it out again when I realised that the facia needed to go in first (or at least it seemed to work better that way) but even so the whole process took about 7 minutes and to think Halfords would have charged me £30 for that!

It sounds very nice and I like the USB thing as you can just put albums onto a stick and plug it in. You can then scroll through the albums till you find the one you want. It also support track info on CDs (or at least the ones that have that info) and even better if you switch it off mid CD then it starts again from where you left off – unlike the old one which went back to the start every time. The lack of box also meant no manual but by the time I’d found one on line I’d worked out most of it anyway! The one thing that threw me was it switches on automatically when you upen the drivers door so the first time that happened I thought it had stayed on especially as it doesn’t go off straight away either but instead switches off a few minutes after you remove the key – all very odd!

*This turned out to be a pathetic piece of plastic which was purely cosmetic as far as I could see and which frankly for £11 I could happily lived without!

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