… motor car.

Went to meet up with Mum and Dad in Darlington last weekend and handed over the keys to my beloved Charlie Micra. It’s been a week since I last drove him and it still feels weird.

It’s unexpected things I’m missing, mostly. I used to drive a 1 litre Polo – back in the day – so returning to a VW has been fairly natural, especially as S-‘s car is simply the evolved version of my first set of wheels. I knew that whilst the turbo on his 1.4L diesel would make motorway driving/overtaking a whole lot easier, I was also prepared for the fact that from a standing start, I wouldn’t be able to go half the nipping into gaps I was used to doing in my Nissan. But as I said – I knew that I was going to have to change how I drive.

I didn’t realise that I would miss coming home to there being another car on the drive – a cheery signal that someone else was home and the kettle might well be on*. I also miss being able to spot my car from a mile off in the car park. I never thought that Coral Blue was too outlandish a colour until I started trying to pick out dark blue/green. I’d never even clocked that pretty much every other car on the road in Britain today is either grey, shiny grey (silver), black or dark blue. ¬†Some very brave people drive white, or wine-bed cars, but none of them live in Bury and so I can’t use their outlandish vehicles as landmarks in the the short-stay carpark. Blasted conservative sort of town!** When I do come to own a vehicle again, some time in the future, it will either be a DeLorean or bright yellow.

I’m also missing the lack of meticulous planning I had to do whenever I left the house. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve only ever had to plan one drop off/collection so far, but that was more than my sleep-deprived brain could really handle. And I’m not looking forward to remembering to use the black pump when I go to fill up. A lifetime of glorious green will make the first few refuellings most confusing indeed.

But enough – I do like the Polo a great deal. She and I should get along well enough. Besides, no VW has ever done me wrong before.

I managed to get out in the garden today and after having a good think about what I want to plant, bought a load of weird sounding vegetable seeds from The Real Seed Catalogue. My theory in buying yellow beetroot and purple carrots is that I can get normal food anywhere. And as they say on the site, it’s important to preserve non-commercial varieties otherwise we’re going to lose them forever. These guys also tell you how to collect your seeds, meaning that I should have purple carrots, blue squashes and yellow beetroots forever! Hooray!

I’m planning on trying to freecycle a biggish tub/trough/old bath/whatever to fill with lettuce and/or strawberries on the patio. I’ve already been given lots of little pots which I intend to use for some tomato plants and to start things off on the window sill in the kitchen. The rhubarb and most of the herbs looked to have survived the snow, so that’s a start too. Now I’m on the hunt still for some interesting berry bushes and rarer herbs like borage, feverfew and root parsley.

Getting increasingly good at not buying things while I’m out, and am selling off bits and bobs we don’t need any more (or donating them to charity shops or the women’s shelter). What I’m still struggling with is eating lunch out. There are some awesomely delicious places to eat in Bury and it’s getting even harder now I’m on first name terms with the German sausage lady at the market…

NB: Homemade butter? Totally not worth the effort. Mine went off really quickly and took¬†forever to do. AND S- preferred the taste of Sainsbury’s basics.

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*Admittedly, 9 times out of 10, the rest of my household were in the car with me but seeing that happy blue bodywork shining (or not) on the driveway was a nice welcome back.

**I kid. I love Bury. It’s wonderfully fruity – just apparently not in the car department.