Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thank you, Firestone.

The Minister of Finance has just delivered his Budget for the next year.  Trying to balance the books despite events that are beyond anyone’s control.  I feel pretty much the same.

All this week at work I have been poring over departmental budgets that have been cut because of things beyond my control.  (I could blame said Minister of Finance but what’s the point, it won’t change what funds are available and what’s not.)

But this morning my attention reverted well and truly to my own personal budget.  I must remember to factor in tyre expenses.   6 new tyres a year!  This morning I had my fifth flat tyre this year, so I’m averaging one a month.  For a horrible few hours I thought the flat was on one of the new tyres I purchased in early April, so I’m thankful that was not the case.  That thankfulness only lasted until the technician informed me that it’s illegal to repair a tyre more than three times and today’s fix-it job was the third on that tyre, purchased towards the end of last year. 

But I do have reason to be thankful for something.  The nice people at Firestone repair my punctures for free.  And give me a cup of coffee while they do it.  Today I commented to them that I feel like I’m taking advantage of their kindness, I’m there so often.  Guess they have a little smile to themselves after I leave, knowing I will be back for new tyres before long.  

My son and daughter-in-law have the same problem with punctures, as do all our neighbours.  And the tyres for their cars cost considerably more than mine do.   My blood is starting to heat up (could reach boiling point before long) at the treatment we are receiving from the local council.  They must know that the metal they spread on our road causes constant problems for us who use their roads.  Actually, they do know because a number of us have pointed it out to them.  Do they just not believe us?  Or do they just not care?  I know, I know we choose to live where we do and I for one wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but it does come at a price.

I just figured out that working part-time as I do, I work for around a month every year, just to pay for tyres and wheel alignments and another 7 weeks to pay for fuel.  

I thought I might feel better after I got this off my chest but in fact it’s got me seriously considering why I work.  I could sit at home on my “old age pension” and become that hermit I’ve always felt lurked inside me.   Might just do it yet!


  1. You have raised lots of important general issues as well as personal ones, Pauline.

    In so many countries the rural area are de-populating partly because of lack of and poor services and infrastructure. New Zealand with it's small population and large area (about the same as the UK with 7% of the population of the UK) just can't afford rural depopulation upon which so much of it's economy depends - including the efforts of your farming family!

    Having had personal experience of one of your punctures I can really appreciate your situation.

    You, not work? Seems a tad improbable somehow!

  2. I n Wales about half the year where I live cars are essential and a big drain on peoples incomes, regardless of what car they have. There are lots of hidden cost to living in rural areas - but then we do have the landscape and I wouldn't change that.

  3. Hello Pauline,

    A couple of years back the people in a certain Goldfields town couldn't wait any longer for the "NEW" road that had been promised for many years and budgets. They got all the machinery themselves and made the road over the weekend.
    Happy road making!!!

  4. Here on the Island we often here from mainlanders who tell us 'you choose to live on an island, so put up with it'. Of course, the island in question holds the provincial capital and two good sized cities, so it isn't exactly that we are at the end of the world!


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