Well the snow has more or less gone. In the sense that where I cleared it from the drive we now have nice bare tarmac, but we still have piles of snow on the lawn that haven’t melted yet.
Yesterday it reached 8°C and the sun actually felt warm, which was lovely. This morning however, when I took Nick to the station at 6.30 for his train to London, I had to scrape the ice from the car windscreen again.
Which reminds me of a cautionary tale.
When one my colleagues arrived at work two weeks ago she announced that her parents had had two cars stolen from in front of their house that morning.
They had cleared the windscreens and left them on the drive with the engines running to warm them up. Two minutes later they saw both of them disappearing down the road.
One was a Mercedes and the other a Corsa. They were fairly new and at the moment the insurance company does not feel inclined to pay out.
The police said there is a gang of car thieves who drive around residential areas looking for cars that are left to warm up, unattended. They arrive in an ordinary looking van which might have several people inside, each one ready to jump out and steal a car.
Their neighbours were able to confirm this as they saw it happen. The van went past the end of the cul-de-sac, turned round and came back. This was in a nice, quiet, rural area where there is very little crime.
I had heard of something like this happening in large towns and cities, but never thought it would happen round here. Having said that, I have occasionally seen an ordinary looking van cruising slowly down the road at going-to-work time and wondered what they were looking for. I just assumed it was some workmen looking for a house number, but you never know.
The police have apparently caught the gang, but have yet to find the cars.
UPDATE ON 1st FEBRUARY.
The final decision is that the insurance company will not pay out and would still not have done if even the cars were locked using the second set of keys, because they were left unattended with the keys in the ignition. They could have been stolen by breaking a window.
I wonder if therefore the auto start would also be uninsured, as someone could break a window and drive the car away.
I think the only safe solution is to bite the bullet and sit in the car while it warms up.