It’s a well known fact that I would rather have root canal work than have to drive beyond the mile or so to where I work. I don’t like driving. Never have much. But I also don’t like having the means to get around as and when I want taken away from me. And that’s just what happened two weeks ago when my poor little car failed it’s MOT miserably and the decision was made that it was the end of the road, quite literally, for my trusty Ford KA. Sitting in the cafe in Sainsbury just across the road from the MOT testing centre I crossed every digit in the vain hope that by some miracle that for once it would pass and we would have another year together. I knew that I was kidding myself and it didn’t stand a cat in hells chance of making it despite administering a little TLC the night before. Screen wash topped. Oil levels checked and I even emptied the boot. Making sure it looked it’s very best for it’s appointment. I may have loved that little car but I’m ashamed to admit that I was in the habit of neglecting it’s basic needs!
I took an instant dislike to the mechanic who broke the news. I didn’t care much for his attitude. Just another MOT failure to him. Just doing his job! Where was the sympathy? Where was the hot cup of tea to help with the shock? Where was the box of Kleenex? Nothing. Zilch! Trying to look brave, I declined making a date to have the little fella made road worthy and parting with over £500 in the process. Clutching my paper work I went and sat in the car and wept into the upholstery whilst listening to Radio 2 for one last time! After a while I pulled myself together and drove home. Turning off the ignition had me blubbing all over again.
This was it. Never again was I going to hear soft purr of it’s engine. Ok, I lie. Hardly a soft purr, more like the purr of a cat smoking 50 Woodbines a day trapped in a tin can! I’ve been putting off the inevitable, and my condemned car still sits on the driveway forlorn and neglected. Useful now only to the spiders that use it to build their cobwebs on. It needs to go, but I plan to be out when they come to take it away. I just can’t bare to see it go knowing that within no time at all my little car will be nothing more than a crushed block of metal. I’m welling up just thinking about it!
Will I get behind the wheel again? I jolly well hope so ! Yes, I agree that I pobably don’t make a three figure number in milage over a year. Nor does the battery ever have time to properly charge on such short trips. I won’t drive in town, nor do I like big roundabouts or sliproads. I would go so far as to say that in a list of my greatest fears, driving on a motorway slip road is way up there near the top. Actually, I would put it at the top! Don’t spread this around, but I have been known to almost close my eyes whist driving onto the junction 16 sliproad of the M4 shouting out “Are we on yet? Are we on yet?” But a car gives me independence and choice and I feel bereft and lost without one. Autumn is upon us and I don’t relish the thought of trudging to work in the pouring rain or in the dark. I know that it will be good exercise. I don’t doubt that for one minute. I may even lose weight, become fit and feel virtuous that I’m doing my bit to save the planet.
My mum never drove again once her little car died. She lost her confidence and had to depend on my dad to get her where she wanted to be. I don’t want that to happen to me, but I fear that it might. I’m very much like my mum in some ways.
It’s early days. I need to work on Mr R for a bit. Make life a bit awkward for him. Build up the sympathy vote. Moan constantly. Cry now and again, and look very bedraggled when I walk through the door having traipsed a few miles in torrential rain. Persuade him that his wife really really needs a car. I bet by Christmas there will be not one, but two cars sitting outside on the drive. You wait and see!
P.S I promise never ever to close my eyes whist I am driving!
Tina Darch said:
Great blog Brigitte. Even the perils of driving outweighed by the inconvenience of not having a car though so keep working on Mr R!
Thanks Tina. I’m sure in time Mr R will feel sorry for his dear wife. She is getting on in years and her poor legs ain’t what they used to be!! xx