Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Five Handy Vehicle Hints at 5:00

Here are five things that make my life easier when I'm in my car;
  1. My friend, Amee, taught me that parallel parking is easiest on the streets where lots of people are watching - as in, where there are lots of windows and shop frontage. Why? Because I use all that glass as my giant mirror and see exactly how much space I have left when I'm reversing back into that park. Maybe y'all have been doing this all along, but I tell you, this little tip rocked my world! I now seek out the parks on the main street and relish finding a tight one, because I can reverse with confidence! Yus! I've never been too shabby at parallel parking, but if there's any part I find tricky, it's knowing how much room I've really got back there. Want to seeeee what I mean? Okay! I'm in Thimba (the front, silver CRV). See how close I can come to the little bluey? (and then pull forward again of course.)
  2. Choosing front carseat covers with pockets on their backs.
  3. Over the past few weeks the manic wind has made door opening next to adjacent vehicles dicey, yes? And when you're getting something...e.g. a little one out of a carseat (pregnant, in my case), you can't quite hold the door steady (to prevent it from being blown into the neighbouring car) and retrieve your little human with the other hand. Well, I can't. She's heavy, I tell you! So I gamble with a "break" in the gusts, reach in with both arms, grab the toddler, and hope for the best. On the last blustery day, the best was not what I got. The door blew into the neighbouring station wagon and left a 6cm or so scratch as evidence. I left a note with my number. So where's the tip in all this? Weeeell, later that day, I was in another carpark where I was going to be up close and personal with other vehicles and combatting windy weather, and I decided I was going to be wiser. So I watched for pedestrians with long hair, and paid attention to which way pony tails were blowing. I then selected a park that would see my vehicle facing the wind head-on - meaning my open door would be blown closed (onto my back, while I unclicked Esky), rather than open, and into damage-central. It's worth circling the carpark rows on a windy day until you find a head-on park, I tell you...very worth it. That, or reversing into the park that is available so you're still facing into the wind (say, if you're at a petrol station or restaurant where the carpark only offers parking spaces along one wall). P.S. The injured station wagon's owner/s never called.
  4. Carrying my own set of jumper leads; great investment - makes helping and being helped a lot easier.
  5. I have really learned the value of keeping an "emergency...and not so emergency car kit" under one seat of our vehicle. In our case, this kit was one of many thoughtful Christmas presents, Christmas before last - and what a great gift! It includes many, many wonderful things, including a roll of toilet paper (great for a surprise snotty nose, not just a desperate pull-over), a mini-pack of wet wipes, pen and paper, Barley Sugars (well, contained), plastic eating utensils, and many other glorious things. So many times I have been grateful to pull out that kit and have a wipe handy when my nappy bag's supply was insufficent for the poosplosion I faced...or whatever other dilemma has called for its retrieval.
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