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OK, so no Christmas or New Year message from me, but then I’m neither the Queen nor the Archbishop of Canterbury, so hopefully no one was expecting one. I do however have one more post from events in 2014 that needs to be got out of the way before 2015 makes too much progress!

In a very short space of time I was hit by some truly ironic situations that, at the end of the day, despite the cost involved, left me having to smile at what I’d experienced.

Ironic situation number one dated back to early November and the dance competition in Blackpool. I had been expecting to drive there and back with a friend. I have a nice car that is spacious and comfortable and being an automatic with cruise control makes long drives such as that relatively painless. I hadn’t gone more than 5 miles on the trip before the engine light had come on and been forced to change plans.

After a couple of weeks I was able to get the car checked out with a diagnostic run on the in-car computer. The light had not come back on since going off an hour after first coming on, so I was hopeful that there wouldn’t be too much of an issue. Having stayed around during the tests I received the news about what had set off the check engine light. There had been a temporary fault. Temporary was a good word as far as I’m concerned! What was truly ironic was what had caused the temporary fault!

Understandably modern cars have lots of sensors in them to detect if there is an issue with one or another part of the car. The tests showed that I did not have any problems with the car per se. Engine was fine, as was everything else now! What had caused the problem was one of the sensors themselves! So I was left with a £50 bill due a sensor to detect issues malfunctioning on an one off, or as I said to friends. The fault was a faulty response by the sensor that detects faults! This was nothing that would affect the car’s running, but at the same time you can’t assume it is something like that, it needs to be checked every time! If the sensor needs to be replaced it will set me back £300, which is frustrating given it doesn’t affect the car directly! To add to the bizarreness of the situation, the description of the fault officially was that it was ‘a bit slow’. Wonderfully technical in its detail I’m sure you’ll agree!

Ironic situation number two came just before Christmas. Every now and again we get a gift in the office from someone grateful for the work we do. It’s not frequent and rarely are they significant, but they are welcome nonetheless. On this occasion the present had been some jellybeans! Now I’m not a big sweet eater with the exception of chocolate, but I’ll happily have a nibble occasionally. This was an occasion that I came to regret, but that said, clearly it was going to happen in due course!

It was about lunchtime, or just after and I took a single bean. As I bit into it (please don’t say they should not be chewed) I felt something go very wrong with a tooth. This is rare as previous teeth issues I’ve not noticed until after the event. I had, on this occasion felt the tooth disintegrate and what was left was wobbly in the extreme. This was not totally unexpected as I had recently had some work on this tooth to replace a bit of fill and the dentist had said I had ‘dodged the bullet’ of having to pay for a crown. Now it looked more like it had been a boomerang and it had come back round to hit be from behind! (A few weeks later the crown was sorted out and I was a few hundred pounds out of pocket and everything seems to be ok now!) However it was the events of the next day that proved to provide the ironic touch.

I live near an old church, very old and while I don’t go there, I like to support it when I can by going to their summer and Christmas fetes. With my temporary repair of the tooth in place (I would be having the crown work start on the Monday) I popped in to see if there was anything to buy and to have a go at the tombola and raffle. I do this every year and it all helps. The raffle normally has quite a few prizes so lots of people can win, even if it’s only a small prize! This year I was successful winning a few times. One of the prizes? It was a sweet hamper! I couldn’t think of anything I would want to win less given my circumstances! Thankfully there were no jellybeans in the package, but it was still a package of sweets I didn’t really want. They were donated to people at work who were more than thankful for them!

So, my 2014 finished with a deal of irony. I’m hoping that if 2015 happens to have some irony involved in it (which I’m sure it will have) that it’s not quite a major as the two cases above!

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