Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Beating My Car With A Branch of a Tree.....

The scene from 'Fawlty Towers' of John Cleese beating his car with a stick because it broke down seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Its official, my car is knackered.   I have to confess its probably not had an easy life, being used as our 'workhorse' car, it is continually loaded up with saddles, bridles, sacks of horse feed and bales of horse bedding; we moved house using it, and its probably moved tons and tons of stuff over its lifetime.   I do though keep the front seat free for my handbag, spare coats, my packets of tissues, bags of sweets, phone chargers, bottles of water
and hairbrushes.  If anyone wants to go anywhere with me in my car, they have to make an appointment; my car is a working vehicle and it is a useful storage facility for all the stuff I need on my travels - it is, in effect, a large handbag.   A neighbour spoke to me whilst I was in it recently - his cars are immaculate, and I confess to being shamed - he was too nice to say 'ugh' but I am sure he felt it. 

I've never ever been happy with this car - before this abomination I had (and still own) an ancient Porsche; this is the one a petrol tanker drove over the side of; it was eventually resurrected but really, it was never the same car.   I didn't pay very much for the Porsche, (though it sure felt like I did at the time);  I worked for a guy who had a bumper sticker that read 'My Secretary Drives a Porsche' which made him feel better about the paltry salary I was pulling in. 

When I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I was effectively prescribed a different car.  Old Porsha didn't have power steering and that meant I couldn't haul her round the roads, driving became a nightmare, but the thought of parting was worse.  When I couldn't get in and out of the car any more without crying from pain it was obvious I'd need something 'more sensible'. 

Mark took down a check list of things I needed from a new car brought me back a two year old Renault Scenic.  I actually cried when I saw that car -  it wasn't what he'd brought home, but the WHY.   It represented a loss of choice and another limitation imposed by RA, this somehow was one of the worst parts of dealing with the illness. 

That new car stayed on the driveway unused for about six weeks before I drove it.   It had heating that worked, it didn't leak, it had a CD changer, it had a boot that stayed shut whilst I drove it, it was warm and comfortable and I hated it. 

I gave in because my bones forced me to.  I put the old Porsche away in the garage, I drove this green lumbering ugly thing and I felt so depressed.  

I have over time become used to it because other things are more important to me now than the car I am driving.  Firstly, in an act of defiance towards RA, after I had been diagnosed I went out and bought my horse Merlin, much to the horror of my rheumatology team and that meant the car was good for horse stuff; it's also good I can get in and out without pain.

I have had nothing but bother with this car;  the first time I took it out, it broke down and I waited hours for the RAC and had to be towed home. This pattern has gone on ever since.   But sometimes, I ask myself - it it like this because it knows it is loathed, or is it like this because its just crap?? I'd probably love it more if it had cost me less money and if I'd had a positive experience, but I guess we got off to a bad start really.

Eight years into diagnosis I have finally accepted I will never drive the Porsche again; its unbelievable I have taken so long, but I guess it represents coming to terms with my illness and I will now be able to let it go to someone else who can be as happy with it as I was so eventually that will go up for sale.  Eventually. 

The green abomination has taken over the garage so it can be charged every night.  It's not the battery, which has been replaced several times, its just got a demon in there somewhere.  It's probably the starter motor but but because of bad design the entire engine would have to be dismanted to get to that part and recently, I just snapped and I am getting rid of this thing.       I confess to having kicked it several times out of sheer frustration; to be honest I have also said some very bad words as well, and I've said those bad words a lot.

I have been spending weekends, days, nights, looking for a new car...oh my goodness, I can't tell you what a tedious task this is - when was it that all the manufacturers got together and decided to make clones of each others cars??   What I like I can't afford and what I can afford I don't like, but I've decided to get an interim car to replace the motorised money-pit until I make a 'real' decision.

Here's the part where I realise I must be completely mad...I'm probably going to replace it with the same thing, only a bit newer, on the proviso its a short term thing until I find something I can love.  Aaaargh....now I know I have been sniffing petrol fumes too long..... 

The strange thing is, now that its my choice, it doesn't really seem such a bad thing.  Weird, huh?

1 comment:

  1. Fawlty Towers was a great TV show. They were running reruns
    in the USA at one time but I haven't seen it lately.


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