Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Should I or shouldn't I?

I suppose the first answer is I could - but I'm not going to.  I'm not going to talk (or write) about Independence Day except to note, in passing, that it is today our erstwhile colonial cousins celebrate and enjoy high jinks.

But my rhetorical question - for rhetorical it is - is about something entirely different.  It is actually Buck's fault that the question is being posed at all.  If he had not been boasting eulogising about his new Tart the thought might never have entered my head.  No, that's neither fair nor entirely true as I had been dreaming for a couple of months or more about changing my car.  There is, as far as I know, nothing wrong with the car I have now but having suffered a breakdown - a most expensive breakdown - on a French motorway earlier this year I do slightly wonder what will happen next.  My brain tells me that the other three injectors have now been replaced (under a recall notice) and that I should soon receive reimbursement of the cost of repairs following the breakdown; I have had the cambelt changed this year (also at enormous expense) so that should be good for best part of another three years;  there is probably another 4000 or 5000 miles on the tyres, although I anticipate having to replace them in the autumn; and there is only just under 50,000 miles on the clock.  That's what my brain tells me.

My heart tells me that I would very much like a new toy.  But just what should I buy?  The first part of the answer is easy enough: an estate car of the Passat/Mondeo size.  I have long hankered after a Volvo.  They are not at all as staid as many people's view of them and are - or used to be - very well made and one of the safest cars on the road.  But expensive.  So, I want an estate.  But have you noticed how so many estate cars these days have a sort of slope to the roof over the load compartment?  I suppose this is a design trick to improve fuel eonomy but I think it creates unusable space in the load compartment.  If I want to transport a chest of drawers, for example, I don't want that sloping roof.  That rather restricts my choice.  But I have actually already decided.  At least, my heart has.

An ad for a local dealership flashed onto my monitor and, like a fool, I followed it.  They sell (among a whole range of marques) both VW and Volvo  -  and they have a very nice looking Volvo V50 estate for sale.  It must be an ex-demo car as it has 3,000 miles on the clock, but hey, what's that?  Just one snag: it's a diesel.

Here in England diesel-engined cars cost more than their petrol-fuelled equivalent and diesel fuel is more expensive than regular petrol.  Granted, a diesel car provides better fuel economy, but one needs to drive (usually) a minimum of 15,000 miles a year, mostly on long runs, to really benefit.  My annual mileage has shrunk to about 10,000.  But I drive quite a lot in France on long, motorway runs and diesel is cheaper than petrol over there - and cheaper there than in England.  So I have done a little calculation (with thanks to a spreadsheet) and discovered that since I bought this car, 57% of my fuel has been bought in France.

But what the heck.  It's all just a dream, rather like a small boy pressing his nose against the window of a sweet shop where everything costs at least 3p - and he has just 2p in his pocket.


This is Brighton's Town Hall.Built (I think) in the 1830s, it is nowhere near large enough for today's bureaucracy and there are additional offices in nearby Priory House as well as in Hove Town Hall and King's House, Hove.  The Town Hall stands in Bartholomew Square, just back from the sea front and on the edge of the Lanes.  All four sides were originally the same as far as the slope of the site would allow with the police station being on the far side from the main entrance.


Uncle Skip, said...

Yes... well, it's Mr. Presidents daughter's birthday, too. So we must, ...frolic, that is.

So far I have been able to resist the idea of replacing the sedan, and GS wouldn't hear of even thinking about replacing her car.

Buck said...

Thanks for the link... I think. ;-)

Have you considered a SAAB? I hated the 9000 I had, but one of its virtues was the folding rear seat and the fact it was a hatchback. I could... and did... haul a lot of stuff in that thing, including a huge chest of drawers we picked up at an estate sale one year. I found it as versatile as an estate, with the comfort of a traditional four-door sedan.

Just a thought.

And we WILL frolic today!