Skodas, Car Batteries, Sleet and Hot Chocolate

My Skoda Octavia has been bombproof for over 10 years – with the exception of being hit by third parties the only issues have been with door-windows dropping out of their raising-mechanism seats.

However a fault with the central locking this week drained the battery – or so I thought. This morning a neighbour and I tried jumpstarting it but he MX-5 – albeit equipped with a new battery – was not able to turn over the hefty 1.9L VAG TDi.  I considered stripping the battery out until I found the battery clip’s retainer bolt corroded in place, with which I did not want to mess while it was raining.

So I called the AA – who after taking £130 of my earth pounds upgraded me to “Home Start” and sent an engineer who arrived within 20 minutes.  Colour me impressed.

Diagnosis: there is a fault with the central locking, yes, but the battery itself is naturally shot. We jumped it, tested it, and basically it’s a replacement job; thus I drove to Aldershot, left the car with my favourite Skoda service team with a ticklist of issues, and Brompton’d a mile or two to Aldershot station there to catch a bus home.

Then it started sleeting. Wet, nasty stuff.

The trains were/are up the duff due to a broken-down engine somewhere, so I was doubly happy to be taking the bus. Stayed in the station for 30 mins watching the wet flakes go plop, got my bus, and one hour later, via a roundabout route, I’m home. And freezing.


  • a walnut-sized chunk of bitter cooking chocolate
  • 3x teaspoons of dark raw muscovado sugar
  • 1x teaspoon spanish cocoa mix (ie: cocoa and a touch of cornflour)
  • mug of milk
  • into saucepan, whisk while bringing to just below simmer, allow the cornflour to thicken slightly.
  • Serve in mug.

…which is what I am sipping now. The world is a nicer place. It may involve a duvet a bit later on.

Self-assessment tax forms can wait for tomorrow.

4 Replies to “Skodas, Car Batteries, Sleet and Hot Chocolate”

  1. The AA’s headquartered just down the road in Basingrad, so service around this neck of the woods is very likely to be good. I had to avail myself of their services a couple of times, last year (failed starter motor necessitating a tow-start, and slave cylinder on the hydraulic clutch springing a leak, necessitating the full flatbed treatment); hoping this year is a more reliable one automotively, and last year was just a blip.

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