I got my Kia Sportage back on Monday and yesterday gave it a thorough clean inside and out. It came up pretty well, a couple of issues to be dealt with but nothing that I can’t do. It also drives well – better than before actually and using less fuel too – more than the C-Max but less than it was before it broke down.

My dilemma is that much as I’d like to keep both vehicles because they both have strong features that the other lacks, I don’t think that I can really justify having two cars even though some of my friends have said that I should. I don’t really have the space for two and, like my two aircraft, both will need ‘looking after’. Although I often end up with a vehicle that’s grubby and mud splattered, I don’t actually like having a dirty car and having two means that I’d have to be regularly cleaning both.

It’s nice to think that if either goes wrong I’d have another to fall back on, but both are money tied-up and both are depreciating in value whether they’re being used or not. I don’t have to make an instant decision but it’s something that I’m going to be thinking hard about over the next few weeks. In the meantime, I’ve been driving the Sportage locally and while I was out and about today I took a few shots of it.

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It’s a difficult one – I like driving both cars and having spent so much (an arm and a leg…) getting the Sportage back on the road again and in such good mechanical condition, in a way it would be a shame to let it go for a new owner to get the benefit… of my mechanic’s hard work and my money!

Changing the subject, my home phone and internet have still not been restored having gone down last Friday week. I was told on Monday that my service provider, Free’s, ‘partner’ had made an ‘intervention’ on Monday evening and that I could imminently expect them to contact me and resolve the problem. The ‘partner’ is obviously Orange, or France Telecom the state owned monopoly, so I’m not holding my breath waiting for the issue to be resolved quickly and efficiently – quite the opposite actually.

I suspect that as most of France goes on holiday in August and many organisations shut down for the whole, or at least most, of the month, Free are just stringing me along until an engineer comes back from holiday and deals with my problem. So why am I not foaming at the mouth, you might ask? It’s because there’s a silver lining.

I was in the Intermarché car park yesterday and I unlocked my phone to check on an incoming email. There’s 4G in Montignac and I was amazed at how fast it ran in data mode – my web browser was jet-propelled, email ran like the clappers, my on line newspapers were a joy to read and even Youtube ran in high def without buffering.

These are all things that I don’t experience at home – usually. While my home internet has been down I’ve been running my computer’s internet connection through a WiFi hotspot on my mobile phone (it’s called tethering). Usually I’m lucky to get a 3G data service as the mobile phone signal is very poor where I live.

But today after setting up my WiFi hotspot with my phone facing towards Montignac, as usual, I was amazed to see that it was registering a 4G signal. This translated into an ultra-fast internet connection, much faster than my usual home service, making browsing and everything else a complete pleasure rather than an infuriating chore. Internet, email, my newspapers, even uploading the photographs for this post, all jet-propelled.

Unbelievable, amazing, fantastic… what can I say. With a service like this I wouldn’t need a home phone or internet connected by fixed line. But will it last? Ah, that’s the question. With most (all?) of the infrastructure so flaky down here, it’s ofter here today, gone tomorrow. So I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed and wait and see 😉

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