1) How many wheels a car has.
2) What colour a particular car happens to be (provided I can see it, of course – I don’t do telepathy or foretelling).
3) What the purpose of the airbag and the seatbelt is.
Other than that, talk of engine size, fuel mix and torque ratios means absolutely nothing to me (oh Vienna). And I am not, in truth, interested in finding out. A car is a car is a car.
But today my wife and I have bought a new car. A new second. A Peugeot 206.
Our last car was a Peugeot 106 so I am assuming from this that our new car is 100% bigger and 100% faster but I might be wrong about this.
Our old car has served us well. It was 7 years old when we bought it and has lasted another 7 to this present moment in time. It has taken us to Wales and back numerous times. It has taken us to Legoland Windsor no less than 5 times. It brought Tom from the hospital to our home when he was a mere few days old.
It has taken me to work when I didn’t want to go. Picked me up in the rain when passing. Taken rubbish to the dump. Taken us to the cinema, shopping, friend’s houses and, all in all, assisted us in various errands.
But our recent holiday has killed it.
Barely half an hour into the outward journey the trim on the right side fell off. On the second day the hand-brake snapped and we had to call out the AA. On Friday 10th, in the depth of Cheddar Gorge, the exhaust – much loosened by a malicious branch a few days earlier – virtually fell off. We had to get it stapled back on by a kindly Cheddar mechanic (no cheesy jokes please) and avail ourselves of a Kwik-Fit fitter in Stroud on our homeward journey to get a new exhaust fitted.
A galling expense when the plan had always been to trade the old girl in for a new one in September anyway (or rather, sell her for scrap – but we never said that out loud lest we hurt her feelings).
So. We decided to listen to the omens. To obey them. September may be a month too far. The old girl might well expire before we get a chance to put a bullet through her crust.
And so in a whirlwind of activity that saw us purchase the current copy of Autotrader and thumb tenderly through its Top Gear-esque innards we had a new prospective car lined up in a matter of days.
We went. We saw. We test drove. We liked.
Today we paid up and drove home our new wheels leaving our old girl on the forecourt awaiting her last journey (to the knackers’ yard). We have opened every compartment, pulled up every seat. We have reclaimed lost Pokémon cards and bits of Lego that have probably not seen the light of day since Christmas 2006. The bits of crisp and mouldy tuna sandwiches will be our gifts to the scrap dealer and our fragrant offering to the god of cars.
I pray he takes our old girl to his bosom and gives her long and straight celestial roads to travel during her journey through the afterlife.
I don’t know much about cars...
...but I know we loved and appreciated our old 106 very much.