So The @FordSouthAfrica EcoSport Has Gone Back…

The Ford EcoSport has gone back… And I am going to miss it.

I got to drive the Kinetic Blue Ford Ecosport 1.0 GTDi Titanium Manual for a week, courtesy of Ford South Africa.

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Check out the pictures on Ford’s website to see detailed shots of the interior of the EcoSport.

What I Like

Fully adjustable driver seat and steering wheel.
I can fold up the backseats and put them back down ON MY OWN.
A cup holder for every seat.

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What I Don’t Like

No lights or air vents for the back seat.
No overhead grab handles on any doors.
The silver panel on the centre console catches the sun sometimes.

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What About Driving It?

I like a powerful car, and I found the EcoSport actually appeases my love of power by being responsive under foot, even though this model only has a 1L engine under the hood. And there’s a little bit of a rumble when you accelerate that sounds like a much bigger engine.
For me it handled like a dream. Parking it was a breeze, aided by power steering of course.

I can sit comfortably while I drive and I can get into and out of it with ease even with the higher ride, and the height of the foot pedals off the floor is just right – I’m not driving with my toes or having to lift my feet to reach the pedals.
The air conditioner works like a bomb, which is a must have for me, and the sun visor is actually long enough to keep the sun out of my eyes – I often find them to be too short to be any good. And both visors have mirrors on, the passenger visor mirror including a little light.
And having very light-sensitive eyes I really like that the rear view mirror dims automatically at night, there’s no need to flick it back and forth.
And I didn’t actually find a blind spot in the EcoSport, which I have in a lot of other cars.

Cruise control makes for very comfortable driving on the highway, and it aids in keeping your fuel consumption down of course. I did not see a huge difference in fuel use while I was driving it BUT I didn’t take any really long trips. I did my usual trips with my Glugs to the station in the morning and fetching him and going to Guide-dogs. The furthest we went was to JHB South to visit family and the boot is deceptively spacious – we fitted 3 cooler boxes and some luggage in it with ease!

The seats are comfortable, I could even use the headrest which for me us unusual – its usually too high for me. The driver’s seat is adjustable up and down and backwards and forwards, and it has some lumbar support you can adjust. I really prefer fabric seats to leather… I loathe burning my bum when I sit down and whilst the leather is easier to clean, its hot for my dogs too.
The back seat is made for three… but definitely not three big bums. 😛 Coming home from my sister there were three of us in the back seat and whilst we had ample legroom, we were a little bit squished sitting next to each other.
Carting my dogs around is no problem. My three Labs could happily sit together on the back seat, and folding the seats flat meant they could comfortably lie down and even spread out a bit without squishing each other.

The freedom of hands free phone calls using SYNC is fantastic – answering and hanging up using the buttons on the steering wheel means I don’t let go of the wheel. I tend to make phone calls when I drive, its just how I roll, so SYNC is ideal.
And I can control the radio volume the same way and cruise control the same way.

And an added bonus – the cubbyhole is chilled! I can keep my water cold while I drive!

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A Bit About Safety…

Driver and passenger airbags with side and curtain airbags, traction control and ABS with Electronic Stability Control.
Five 3-point seatbelts as well as ISOFIX kiddy carseat anchors in the back.
Automatic headlights – you can switch them on and off yourself or you set it to auto and they come on when its dark and go off when its light, or when you switch the car off.
It also has rain sensing windscreen wipers, though I can’t imagine anyone forgetting to turn those on in the rain!
And it has a sensor built into the bumper so when you’re reversing it will warn you if you’re heading for a pole or a wall. And I love this reverse sensor alarm because I have nightmares about accidentally running over one of my dogs!

Spec

Pricing starts at R256,900 for this model
1.0L Turbo-charged 3 cylinder EcoBoost engine
5-speed manual transmission
Leather seats
ISOFIX child seat anchors
Auto headlights
Ford SYNC® with Bluetooth and Voice Control
2 x 12V power socket (front and rear)
Steering wheel mounted audio controls
Cruise control with steering mounted controls
Rain sensing wipers
Cooled glovebox capable of holding 6 x 330ml cans
Rake & Reach adjustable steering
Auto dimming rearview mirror
Reclining, 60/40 split rear seats
Driver seat height adjustment and lumbar support

~~As per my Ladybloggers pledge, I state clearly that whilst I was loaned a Ford EcoSport to drive for a week,
I signed an indemnity form and I was not paid nor asked to write this blog post
~~

Bloody Doctors!

I am so pissed off!

After years of schlepping through to another city to see my gynae, I decided to find a new doctor closer to home. I did, and I liked him. I was comfortable with him.

Towards the end of last year I started calling to make my next appointment, only to be told they were already full for the year, and to call in a couple of weeks when they had their new 2015 diary.
I started calling every two weeks, for three months, until they finally had a new diary and I could make an appointment.
He could only see me today, which I figured was fine since it wasn’t much more than a year since my last appointment.

So this morning I showered, washed my hair and brushed my teeth, and set off for my appointment. I was ten minutes early but I had a book, and I wanted to verify my details so I wasn’t worried.
The receptionist was on the phone so I waited, and then she says to the woman on the phone that the doctor is now a cash-up-front-then-claim-from-your-medical-aid practice and its a R2000 fee.
TWO THOUSAND RAND!
She finished her conversation and greeted me, and I said I was there for my 11am appointment, but that I didn’t know about this pay-up-front thing. “Oh yes,” says she, “we changed now in January.

Let me just interject here that I am mid-PMS, MELTING in this heat, and now beyond irritable when I tell her I do not have R2000.
In my head I climbed over the counter and ripped her arms off with my bare hands when she asked me if I would like to reschedule. But I said no, I can’t reschedule, I don’t have R2000, I have to cancel and find another doctor.
And I left.

Without slamming the door.

Halfway home though, I gave the practice a phone call. I told the receptionist – in a calm but obviously unimpressed tone, with no swearing whatsoever – that I would have appreciated a call when they changed their policy, and that perhaps she should call the other people with January and February appointments, who had also most likely made their appointments the previous year, and let them know they have to pay up front.

And of course, needless to say “pissed off” doesn’t even come close to describing the language I was using when I was alone…

Ah Me…

I have spoken about PMS in numerous blog posts before, about how I warn my nearest and dearest when I feel like I’m about to walk that dark path, heh heh… But I have also come to realise that I shouldn’t do any business when I’m in that space either!
I’m clumsy and ratty and unmotivated.
My diet and self control goes out the window.

I must tell you though, I downloaded an app onto my phone a few months ago that you can use to track your cycle, and the nice thing with it is that it pops up with a “PMS Alert” the day before its due!
I always laugh when I get it, and then I WhatsApp my Glugster to let him know.
This way he knows its PMS and irrational and he can tread lightly.
Yesterday he suggested he download the app and it occurred to me it may be nice if the app allowed someone else to get a particular notification via WhatsApp or something…

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On TV Adverts…

There are a LOT of TV adverts, and I have heard on more than one occasion that South African TV adverts are far better than what the rest of the world puts out.
I must be honest though, I don’t see a lot of them.
I tend to stick to DSTv’s Catch Up where the episodes are uninterrupted, or I watch shows I have recorded and I then fast forward through the ad breaks.

There are some that are indisputably brilliant. Truly. But they are few and far between.

BMW is one that comes to mind – their ad with the mouse on the steering wheel was a masterpiece, and then they blew it out of the water with 2005’s “butterflies” advert, and you don’t even see a car!

 Wonga’s new advert series is hysterical and a vast improvement on their original ads with those ridiculous puppets!

There are a few adverts though, that I think are very odd…

Animation for example. Why would a business use an animated advert to sell a product to an adult? Unless its for a sweet, it very seldom works for me.

And the latest one that gets up my nose a bit is the Ariel advert with Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu. Where she heads off to a lab with a group of people I’m assuming are supposed to be press. A guy in a white coat does a demonstration and it ends with Noeleen nodding sagely in front of a group of MEN, all bobbing their heads and smiling as if they’re the ones who do the washing!
They look like when you have five girls on a high school stage trying to make themselves look like a crowd whilst pretending to talk to each other and not actually making a sound!
I’m not saying men don’t do the washing, but this ad gets it all wrong. The fake accent, the ridiculous acting…

The Omo “One Slap” advert gets it all right though – I love those ads!

Do you have an advert you love to hate?

Do you have a favourite TV advert?

Do You Have a Dream Kitchen? How About A Dream Scullery?

Whenever I think about my “dream house“, the first room I think of is the kitchen. This makes perfect sense considering how much time I spend in the kitchen – baking and icing cakes, cooking for my family, entertaining…

And I know many people have a dream kitchen, their idea of the perfect kitchen, but do any of you have an ideal scullery? Or laundry room?

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I do!

Follow Angel’s board My Dream Scullery-Laundry-Mud Room on Pinterest.

My perfect scullery-slash-laundry-room-slash-mud-room will ideally house not only my sink, dishwasher and washing machine, but also clever storage space.

It would be where I feed my dogs and cats for one thing. I love the idea of having drawers to put my pet food buckets in – I can then put ant or roach traps in the bottom of the drawer, away from the food and it will look tidy and be safe from sneaky paws.

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I would also keep my kitchen dustbin in this room – ideally also in a pull-out drawer. I can then hang an air freshener in the drawer and put bug deterrents where they can’t be reached by my animals.

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A raised doggy bathing station is a must have for me. Bathing dogs is a mission, especially Labs. They love it, but they’re big dogs and by the time I’m done bending over a bath or kneeling next to it I’m finished! I know that sounds ridiculous but my knees are already borked and kneeling is painful.

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Wall-mounted drying racks that can fold flat again are perfect for rainy weather!

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My “back door” would also be in this scullery-mud-room, leading ideally into the garage so that when it is raining or some such I can come in and bring the dogs in through that door and get them dried off a tad instead of muddying up the whole house!

What would yours look like?