I've always disliked cars. I've driven any number of them and, in my previous life, spent many years charging around the country, eating up thousands of miles in pursuit of men (and occasionally women) playing silly games.
But I've never ceased to hold them in contempt - ride a motorcycle for five minutes and you'll know why - and now they're getting their own back.
Mrs Pig "Farmer" has bought herself a Vauxhall Corsa for her work in Kirkwall which means the family workhorse - an eight-year-old Astra estate - has been put into semi-retirement with me in Westray. That's just as well considering Lennox the Land Rover* (big, black, way past his best, but you still wouldn't pick a fight) has become electrically challenged. Alternators don't half smell when they burn out.
So the Astra, which can comfortably fit half-a-dozen bales or 20 bags of pig feed in the back, was useful. At least it was useful until it refused to start the other morning. I should have read the signs. It had been a little reluctant to get going for a couple of weeks and had twice needed the jump leads, but I reckoned it'd been wet and cold.
I retrieved the £300 Ford Fiesta which is our last resort - an "isles car" too decrepit to venture off Westray. It started first time, but wouldn't jump start the Astra which, along with Lennox was blocking it in at the side of the barn. And the Fiesta had next-to-no fuel in it.
Have you any idea how heavy a diesel Astra is, especially if you're pushing it by yourself and trying to steer at the same time. . . and you hit a slight gradient?
I'm not as young as I once was.
I got the thing out of the way just enough for the Fiesta to squeeze past, cadged a lift into the village for a can of petrol, returned home, got a duck out of the freezer, started the Fiesta, made sure nothing (else) had fallen off it and nipped round to our neighbours.
Long story slightly shorter: Tommy reckons the battery on the Astra is banjaxed, while the Land Rover is. . . well, where to start? Both are now being attended to by someone who knows what they're doing.
I hate cars.
* Lennox is one of the few cars I have any regard for, especially since 'the incident' with the burst tyre and the concrete post.