Mondeo memories

I got my car back today. Where has it been, you cry? Well, at the end of November a work colleague was a bit too eager to get away and turned a bit too sharply in the work car park, taking out my front right indicator and scraping the paint. Being a Volvo driver, she didn’t even notice until she got home, saw her own scraped paint and put two and two together.

I do so love it when it’s unequivocally, entirely someone else’s fault and there isn’t even a hint of contesting the matter – as it should be when the victim vehicle is unattended and parked squarely within a clearly marked parking space. The car hire company fixed up by her insurers was going to give me a 1 litre clown car, but when they heard what it was replacing they upgraded it to a 3-month old Mondeo at no extra cost (at least, not for me).

As with all new technology, it has ups and downs …

Ups – the Ford heated front window system is nothing short of a marvel in this weather, and even on its own it’s more than enough to swing my vote in favour of getting a Ford when the current car finally has to go, as one day it must. It was great for getting to Hertfordshire and back in the recent inclemency. The door handle (right hand side) and central console (left hand side) were great for resting my elbows on as I drove. Or rather, cruised. With the diesel engine I could pretend I was driving a tractor – sorry, tra’r – while at the same time the excitingly hi-tech dashboard and control-studded steering wheel pressed all the right Gerry Anderson fanboy buttons within me.

Downs – said central console means the handbrake has to be off the centre line, over to the right, and you almost dislocate your wrist getting the right angle to pull it upwards. I usually listen to my iPod via a tape adapter, and as this was too new for a tape player I got to try out the iTrip I once bought myself in a fit of technological experimentation … which was okay, but crackly. The proximity alert, especially in our crowded little back yard, sets off a veritable dawn chorus of differently toned beeps whenever I turn it on and put it into gear, which was quite a surprise the first time. It wouldn’t have done this quite so often if the car wasn’t so darn unnecessarily BIG and therefore already a lot closer to everything else than I would normally park. (And I now find I’ve got so used to it, after just a fortnight, that my ability to judge a safe parking distance has vanished and I want to park feet away from anything.)

But I have to say the good points outweighed the bad, and so it’s probably as well that I have the old car back before I was entirely seduced. It’s not perfect but we have a relationship based on long-term familiarity and trust and affection and an understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Which is as it should be.

Meanwhile I have now been phoned out of the blue by two separate ambulance chasers asking if anyone was hurt. Into every life a little slime must drip.

The rivals, consenting to be photographed together …