Wednesday, 19 December 2007

It is good to be back in the driving seat

At last my car is fixed. It is a salutary experience to go without the use of a car for an extended period. Nothing quite prepares you for the sheer inconvenience of depending on friends and on public transport. Only when I am without a car do I truly appreciate the freedom the car brings. When I am reunited with my car I remember why I find it so irritating to be told that the car is a bad thing. Maybe in a large city car-free life is possible but living in a village and working in a small town it is very difficult. Shopping posed the greatest difficulty, the local shop is limited in what it sells and while there is a good butcher and a greengrocer the queues on a Saturday morning are quite off-putting. You can’t go shopping before work because the bus leaves before anything is open and the shops close before the bus brings you back. And if you miss the bus it is an hour to wait for the next one.

Having the car seen to by a professional mechanic (and PGS in Warwick are very professional in the way they work) also highlighted a few things that I will need to attend to in due course. The exhaust system is showing its age here and there, as you would expect given a past history of short journeys; the battery might be on its last legs; the oil needs changing as will the cam belt. I would add to that list a desire to get the suspension geometry checked (there is evidence of uneven tyre wear), the wheels might need balancing and I need a new steering wheel as the one on the car is breaking up. At least with the tyre pressures set correctly the steering has lost some of its weight and the wobble is reduced.

It was tempting to go for a long drive but there will be plenty of opportunities for lengthy journeys in the next week.

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