Sunday, December 28, 2014

This time of year

This time of year, and especially the week between Christmas and New Year, it’s often difficult to get things done. Shopping is easy (apart from finding a place to park), but most everything else requires some planning.

The issue is that some businesses operate on reduced hours during this week in particular, bookended by two four-day weekends. Obviously retail is open to take advantage of a lot of people off work and, maybe, with little to do. But other businesses take a more varied approach.

Arthur got his new Rego JUST in time…
For example, I needed to renew the registration on my car. It expired on December 27, and the first chance I had to take care of it was that day. If I hadn’t, and had been caught, there would have been fines and, worse, had I been in an accident, the insurance probably wouldn’t pay. Serious stuff.

I went to the VTNZ in Glenfield, where I also take it to get a Warrant of Fitness every six months, but I first checked their hours online. Turns out, they were on slightly reduced (very slightly) hours through New Year’s, but I still had plenty of time. When I got there, it wasn’t very busy.

As a side note, car registration fees are being reduced as of July 1, so the smart thing to do was to renew the registration for only 7 months, so it expires after the rates go down. That way, I can renew in July at the new, lower rates. I don’t know how much we’ll save, but owners of petrol-powered vehicles will save between $42 and $132 a year (the ACC levy on petrol is also going down by three cents a litre on July 1, too).

After I took care of the registration, I had to pick up a few things, and found the stores all had pretty long queues (though at the small, local shopping centre I was at, parking was plentiful). It’s necessary to just deal with it.

On the other hand, finding a food place that’s open is kind of hit and miss. Yesterday I picked up some lunch at one of our local bakeries, and on the way home I noticed that the other local bakery was closed and so was the nearby sushi shop, both of which are normally open on Saturdays. Several local takeaway shops close until after New Year’s, and one local café always used to close until the second week of January (they’ve since cut that back a bit).

All of which can sometimes be a bit of an inconvenience for those of us who have stayed in town, but not a huge one: Most things are open normal hours, except maybe on the actual public holidays, and those that aren’t have competitors who are open.

It’s just the way it is this time of year.

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