We’ve never been conventional in our house. Although I expect you’ve gathered that already. So, you won’t be surprised to read that we both drive old bangers. Peugeot 206 bangers to be exact and the exact same colour bangers come to that. That wasn’t intentional, it just kind of happened, you know, like things do. We have talked about buying a new car and we have glanced at some. But that’s as far as we’ve got. Cars are just not important to us somehow. But it was only recently that I realised just how unimportant material things are to us and how eccentric we are. Of course, if the doctor’s AKA as my husband Andrew) son hadn’t come to live with us I wonder if we would ever have realised. But he has come to live with us and I’m not sure how he is finding it but he and his wife and four year old son seem to laugh a lot which frankly if you’re around us you have to and they are getting adjusted to our odd way of living. So, when stepson (James) asked about going onto our car insurance we thought nothing of it. So imagine James when he first used Andrew’s car to find he couldn’t push the driver’s seat forward to get his son in the back.
‘Ah yes,’ we say. ‘That seat is broken. You need to watch that. You may also notice the seat moves forward slightly when you’re driving,’ adds Andrew, ‘It’s quite safe though.’
James gives him an odd look.
‘So we have to use the passenger side to get into the back do we?’ he asks.
Off they go to return a few hours later looking a little strained. We’d totally forgotten to mention that the indicator has a mind of its own too and when you indicate one way and take the turn, instead of clicking itself off it clicks to indicate the opposite way. If you don’t hear it you could be indicating for miles. God knows we have done this many a time on a motorway only to be flashed numerous times. Then, of course, there is the door that swings wide open. So when you park and open it you have to be careful else it smashes into the parked car next to it. We also forgot to mention that it struggles a bit when going up hills.
‘The seat is a bit low too,’ says James.
‘Oh is it,’ says Andrew. ‘I like it that way.’
‘Hard to see the mirror,’ says James tactfully.
‘You can use mine if you like.’ I say.
His face lights up.
‘If that’s okay?’
If he thought Andrew’s car was bad …But of course, I don’t think to tell him because I’m not aware there is anything to tell him. But on reflection I suppose I should have mentioned that the clock is always an hour fast. I’m not sure why but I’ve got used to it now and always work backwards when telling the time. A light tends to come on and flashes the words ‘air bag’ too. Andrew jokingly says it is referring to me. Then of course there is the radio which doesn’t work anymore after I had a battery change. However I worked out if you press the on button and programme number 6 button it will play … for all of 5 minutes and then you push the buttons again and so on. I’ve been known to do a three hour journey playing the radio like that. The CD player doesn’t work at all. Then there is the passenger seat in my car which is broken. So to get a child seat in the back you have to do it via the driver’s side. Not to mention the state of the boot which houses Andrew’s tool box, his flying suits (bearing in mind we no longer fly as we don’t have a microlight anymore) plus his helmets and other boxes of stuff. I have to be honest and say I have no idea what the stuff is. The car is full of sweet wrappers which are proof of my guilty chocolate feasts. I do vaguely mention the radio before they go.
‘Just keep pushing the buttons,’ I say.
Off they go and off we go to visit my mum in Essex. We return to a white faced James.
‘Everything okay,’ I ask.
‘Your car flashes an airbag sign all the time. I didn’t know what to do at first but then thought maybe it always does it. That seems to be the way with your cars.’
He’s getting the hang of it.
‘I did try pushing all the buttons for the radio but nothing happened.’
Ah yes, I probably should have said which buttons.
‘I did think about doing some shopping but there was no room in the boot.’
‘Yes, sorry about that,’ I say.
‘I think it may be best if I stick to Dad’s car.’
Famous last words. For two days later he broke down with a flat tyre and was late picking up his wife from work. Oh well, at least we were there to babysit Matthew.
‘Are you sure you don’t want mine?’ I offer.
‘No, Dad’s will be fine.’
Second lot of famous last words if you can have a second lot of last words.
For as I write James has just text me to say he has broken down in the doctor’s car. It seems the clutch gave up. Poor James was convinced it was something he’d done and he asked the breakdown man for reassurance.
‘Wear and tear mate, this car has had it.’
Well, we always said we would drive them into the ground. The cars that is, not the sons.
James walks in ashen faced and exhausted.
‘What a nightmare. How do you cope?’ he asks.
‘With what?’ I reply.
I’m greeted by my daughter in law who is also ashen.
‘Oh Lynda,’ she says nervously. ‘I’ve broken something.’
I quickly look for Bendy and relax when I see him sleeping happily on the couch.
She holds out my BITCH mug.
‘James said it was expensive,’ she says tearfully.
I look at the other mugs hanging on the rack and shrug.
‘It’s just a mug. When you kill Bendy you need to think about leaving.’
I think they’re laying down in a darkened room now. I suppose this means I’ll have to collect Matthew from school. Good job the school is next door. Not sure what we’ll do about the Christmas shopping, or my appointment for my holiday vaccinations or my daughter in law’s journey to work. Oh well, we’ll think about that tomorrow.
Oh yes, and a Merry Christmas from us.