Tuesday, April 17, 2012


In February 2009 the cylinder head gasket of my Ford Galaxy died and would have cost more to repair than I could afford, so I scrapped the vehicle instead. Since then, I have been without a car for the first time since I was 17. Hubby dearest has a car, so the family can get to church on a Sunday, but he drives to work in North London at 6 a.m. and doesn't get back until 6.30 pm. so for all intents and purposes I am without a car during the week for school runs, shopping, ballet and gymnastics lessons and anything else which might crop up.

For the first year or so I crowed about my green credentials. I bought a beautiful bike and cycled past the queues of traffic enjoying the feeling of the sun on my skin and the wind in my hair. Occasionally the children and I would ride in convoy, smugly thinking about how much money we were saving on car tax, insurance and petrol (which is currently £1.40 a litre - $7.35 a gallon) and reflecting on the fact that we were getting fit, and really didn't need a car at all.

After the second year it started to get a little annoying. I wanted to visit friends who lived too far away to cycle, or buy large items (struggling back from Argos with two large pillows stuffed in my bike panniers is an amusing moment which springs to mind) and having to wait until hubby dearest got home from work just so that I could kiss him goodbye again and run straight out in his car was somewhat irritating.

This morning I stepped out of the front door with the children (in their summer school uniforms - little yellow gingham cotton dresses) and the dog into driving rain and relentless wind. My umbrella was shredded within minutes, and by the time we had arrived at the school gates we were all wringing wet and the dog had given up shaking himself. The children ran into their nice warm school. I trudged the mile back home again thinking that it really was time I bought myself a car. It's a three-mile walk to ballet on Mondays (can't cycle due to a very steep hill) so I may well have a car in the driveway by then.

So this is me officially saying that I will no longer be boasting about how well I can cope on just two wheels. I love my bike, and I'm not sure how I'm going to manage to pay for car tax and insurance, never mind petrol, but I need a car! Anyone out there got a Ford Ka for sale? Preferably in pink?


Michelle Cunnah said...

I think you definitely need a car. :)

I managed without one for a few years when my children were small, but we lived in Rotterdam in the Netherlands where bikes rule and generally have precedence over traffic and pedestrians. Of course, it also helps that the Netherlands is very flat.

Anna Buttimore said...

Thanks Michelle, that's good enough for me! (Going to look at a Ka on Saturday.)

Michelle Cunnah said...

Hope you find a pink one. :)