Friday, 29 May 2015

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

I'm driving along next to Tooting Common when suddenly the electric wing mirrors on my car start to move by themselves. The button has fallen off exposing the workings beneath so now it's utterly unresponsive to my command. Essentially the wing mirrors have gone rogue. In order to see what is behind me when I change lanes I have to follow their maverick progress with my whole body away from and then back towards the car. This feels dangerous. Probably because it is dangerous. 

Let's face it the car is knackered. We bought it when Youngest was born and it was nine months old then. Youngest was 13 on Tuesday. Do the Math, as the Yanks say. Unfortunately the engine is still going strong, it's just everything around it that has been gradually decaying for the last 13 years. Me included.

The upholstery is worn, faded, torn in some places. The clutch is clanky. The steering is laboured. The suspension almost non-existent. Minor electrical failings are occurring in batches. First the air con, then the stereo, then the alarm, which has a life of its own and goes off randomly if we try to point and press with the key so now we have to put the key in the lock and turn it TWICE before opening the car. We may as well say a little prayer and do a bit of Voodoo as well. Then the boot locked itself the other day and nothing we tried would make it give way. On Friday a cyclist overtaking in Richmond Park cheerfully informed me through the open car window that one of the break lights is on the fritz.

I want a new one. Car that is, not break light, which Husband seemed to think was the solution to the whole problem. Husband says let's hang on to this car for a while longer, new cars are a waste of money, new cars devalue immediately, and we don't even use it that much.

This is the usual turn of events in our house. I'm for new. Husband is not. It was the same with the kitchen. I went on about it for several years and then he caved. Eventually. Same with buying a house, going on holiday, having a baby, having another baby, having a third baby, getting married (maybe not quite in that order). 

Our modus operandi is that I nag and he gives way. Eventually. How many marriages work like this? Hundreds of thousands, I should imagine. Can't we just skip Part One and go straight to Part Two, avoiding a huge amount of hassle and wasted breath on my part? 

And I think it is my duty here to inform - and to remind him - that in the many years we have been together we have purchased only one car with our actual money. ONE. We inherited two old cars from my grandfathers: a Mitsubishi Gallant from my maternal, a Honda Civic from my paternal. And we were kindly given a little money by Husband's stepmother once, which we used to buy our first car, an old, red Fiat Panda, which cost £1,000 (I'm working back chronologically here). So the only car we have EVER bought is this current one, our 14 year old Vauxhall Zafira. And please note that not a single one of those cars was cool. Well, maybe the Fiat, a bit. 

You could say we've been very parsimonious when it come to cars, and Green too for that matter. So now I have my eye on a Citroen Picasso Grand. MPV of the year 2015, according to Google. I was checking out a brand new one, in Shark grey, parked by the side of the road, when we went shopping just off the King's Road over the bank holiday. The somewhat frantic owner clocked me and ran up to claim it. She was all high striped shirt collar and pearls...

"I'm not stealing it!" I hastened to inform her, "I'm just thinking of buying one of these."

"Oh it's great," she sighed with relief, "I have the seats down in the back there all the time so I can get the surfboards in, and Buster as well."

I assume Buster is her dog. I didn't ask, and she didn't elucidate. Maybe he's the recalcitrant husband who doesn't toe the line and isn't allowed to ride up front? 

Now there's an idea.

Love E x



  1. The Citroen Picasso Grand. MPV is a good motor. Mate at work had one for years and it drives great. You can get some good Mercedes-Benz in that class that are also good bargains...

  2. Blimey, never thought of us as Mercedes types but thanks for the comment. Would be nice to rock up in the Waitrose car park in something that doesn't make me feel thoroughly ashamed. Sometimes I have to just keep walking past my own car and then double back. :)

  3. I have a similar car problem and I think it's best to bite the bullet and fork out for a new(er) one before the existing car starts costing far more money to repair than it is actually worth!

  4. My thoughts exactly. Please come round and make your case to Him Indoors. :) E x

  5. Sorry to hear that the wing mirrors have finally had their last day. Yeah cars age for sure. The Citroen Picasso Grand is a very spacious car and will for sure be able to allow for the surf boards and many other large objects. Hope you end up buying it, you will love it, what a good looking car, thanks.

    Freddy @ Jacky Jones Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram