Sunday, 29 November 2009

Vehicles

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.

Bugger.

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.

8 comments:

Richard said...

Back in the day when everyone used to laugh at Skodas, a neighbour used to tell me of his time as a delivery dairy foreman. He was there come rain or shine every morning courtesy of his old Estelle, designed to work in the Czech winters remember, while his oppos would often phone in late when their pride and joys didn't start.

dinahmow said...

Hells bells, Malc! Why did you need a duck???

[And, no joking, word verification is verses.]

Yorkshire Pudding said...

No! You don't hate cars Malc! You hate older cars and cars that let you down because they need repairs. Now if you had pursued your journalistic career a year or two longer you would now be driving around in a brand new Japanese 4x4 splashing mud on Westrayan peasants.

Lindsay said...

What has a frozen duck got to do with Ford Fiestas?

Sian said...

Hmmm why do you need a duck...... A Basil Fawlty attack on the recalcitrant car with a frozen duck??? Very satisfying if slightly mad...... and when Sybil (sorry Sal) comes home and asks how the dents in the car were made you concoct some ridiculous story about a frozen duck falling out of the sky....... and then as she heads for the freezer you go into rigor-type panic as you realise she will find a missing duck and your race down the drive to take refuge in the pub, only returning hours later when you think the coast is clear and you both eat pasta for tea in stony silence.....

elizabethm said...

I always hate cars when they don't work and take them entirely for granted when they do. You will have to let us out of our misery about the duck....

Malc said...

Oh, the duck. I wasn't being enigmatic, I just forgot to explain. I owed Tommy the duck after he supplied us with a basket of crab a few weeks ago. The hope was that it would sweeten him to help out with the cars. I still owe him a favour.

Malc said...

And Mr Pudding. The pay and conditions for regional newspaper journalists are now such that had I stayed another couple of years I would be either bankrupt or dead.

Seriously.