I took my car into the garage for its annual service and MOT and someone stole it. Worse than that, they messed with my head, replacing the car with the same model, but a slightly different colour both outside and inside.
Paul, our wonderful Garage Man, smiled as if nothing was wrong, handed me the key for the other car and, hey presto, it worked. Well, it would, wouldn’t it? Aren’t all VW Passats the same? The paintwork, a stunning metallic blue, was dazzling. I could see my face in the shiny hubcaps and black-walled tyres. The interior smelled of fresh lemon and newness, I half suspected it was my old car, spruced up, but when I touched the gear stick, I knew it couldn’t be. The chewing gum that had held the knob on, after a fashion, since it fell off three years ago was gone. The knob held firm, it was official, this was not my car. Yet still, I had that niggling doubt…..
Cars have always been a grudge purchase, I’m not interested and I really don’t care about speed, specifications or special editions. I want to get in, turn the key and it to work first time every time. I don’t want to spend valuable time cleaning, polishing, T-cutting and vacuuming something that loses value every time I open the door.
I have to confess to being mildly embarrassed when passengers have to fight their way through old newspapers, chewing gum wrappers, half-full bottles of water and the odd packet of fig rolls to sit down, but they don’t get in the car very often, no more than once usually.
Paul, who runs Harjass Motors, our garage of choice for many years, is a true gentleman and a master of tact. He always greets us with a handshake and invitation to join him for coffee before getting down to business. He loves cars and I think felt sorry for my mucky Passat, so he had it cleaned and valeted. No wonder I didn’t recognise it.
Now I’m afraid to get inside in case I dirty it or crash the gears, oh the pressure of having a good-looking car. Though something tells me it won’t last.
Something else that won’t last but was good while it was here, is the fantastic spring weather. The garden is bursting with colour and life, I’ve even had to get the hose out to water the parched soil and encourage my newly-sown seeds to grow. We joined our friends Rachel and Martin with four-month-old Matilda at Harlow Carr gardens today, the weather was glorious and so was the company. We enjoyed the gardens then tucked into a Fat Rascal at Betty’s. Needless to say, we didn’t drive there in MY car.