Blogs are a curious thing, they are either personal diary type things or subject specific, so I’ve been been in a bit of pickle about whether to continue blogging seeing as I’m not in Portugal and I’m not permaculturing, but I thought well, one of us is still in Portugal and sort of permaculturing, and whilst it may be a while before Rick writes anything for the blog, I thought what the hell I’ll carry on, writing about whatever from wherever I am, if thats ok?
So, let me introduce you to Valentine,
she was born on 22nd December, 1983, she’s a Citroen 2CV Special, what’s so special about her you might ask, well she’s special to me, we go back a long way, we’ve been through a lot together. She was the first car I ever bought back in 1997, she made me smile, she made other people smile (or was that smirking), she lifted people’s hearts, she made people’s hearts sink……she bought a tear to your eye, you can wind her up when all else fails, you can take bits off her and replace them, you can takes things out of her and sleep in it, you can frighten people in her and outside of her, she’s my lovely Valentine.
One of my very first trips out in her, (other than the practicing around the railway station car-park on a sunday), I drove at speed over a not very level railway crossing, not knowing that it wasn’t very level and not knowing that the chassis was rotten as hell, I broke her. I didn’t know anything had happened until I went to turn right and the car went straight on in a flintstone kinda way….
So lots of expensive mending ensued and a new chassis, she was as good as new, if not better. Those of you that have ever had a love affair with a car will know that after you’ve had a car re-built, you have a deeper understanding of them, they’ve revealed their souls to you, their guts, they wrap themselves around your heart and you know that you will never ever let them go. Thats what so special about “the special”.
It came with much regret when I had to get rid of her. It was one of those awful deals you make with your partner, one’s that you know morally you just can’t go back on, even if every part of you is screaming NOOOO. (I think they call it compromise, I call it something else).
“You get rid of your dysfunctional, impossibly expensive to fix motorbike that I can’t even fit on ‘cos I’m too fat and it’s too small… and I’ll get rid of my humiliating, embarrassing “clown car” (his personal name for her)…so I did.
I then spent several years having to drive a very boring, safe car. It gave me no pleasure at all, it made me cry inside everytime I got in it, I hated it so much I seemed to be constantly crashing it, in the end unsurprisingly it got written off, phew….
Now don’t get me wrong I like comfort and safety in a car and I like driving fast, but I also like character and interesting but I can’t afford an Aston Martin, so the most interesting it’s gonna get for me is a 2CV.
As fate would have it a couple of years after selling her I inherited some money and decided to call my old 2cv mechanic just out of interest to see if he’d seen my car again and what had happened to her (he understands everything 2cv, so knew how much it had pained me to let her go) and would you believe the people I had sold her to had rung up the day before and asked if he knew anyone that wanted to buy it, knowing that these things don’t happen for no reason, I bought her back, it seemed like the right thing to do it would have been rude not to.
Sadly when we left for Portugal I couldn’t take her with me. But it never entered my head that I would ever get rid of her again, I’ve had many arguments with rick about why I wouldn’t get rid of her a second time, I just couldn’t, I explained that she was my Armageddon car and he eventually gave up asking, and thankfully sticking to my guns has paid off, It is now my Armageddon and I need my Armageddon car.
I’ve got her back on the road, she’s more broken and tired than ever (much like me), She still has a lot of character (much like me), she’s very reliable (much like me), she’s fun to drive (ermmmm), you can’t just kick back and not really pay attention to what you are doing, she requires your full attention… (much like me), she’s been round the block a few times (ahheemm), and around the clock too (once or twice, can’t remember), but also, she is incredibly cheap to run (much like me). I can now get classic car insurance (not ‘cos I’m ancient), it costs me £22 to fill her up, she does 61 mpg or in new money 4.6 litres to 100 Kms, so we have a lot of similarities me and valentine (except that I am more expensive to insure and you could fill me up for a lot less than £22 and I can’t run that fast), but never-the-less we go well together, we’re sticking together me and my valentine.