Did you know that [counter] people have been having a skeg at my little autonomous region?


'Ullo John! Gotta New Motor?


As a matter of fact I have.

I’ve never really been much of a fan of cars but, as the prime subject of Terry’s Terrific Travel Tales is travelling and I travel around a fair bit in my car, I thought it might be worth giving my new motor a mention here.

With over 197,000 miles on the clock, I had started to worry that my dear old Honda Civic might start to struggle with the stick that I give it. Miles and miles of business miles and the odd trip up north and across to Maastricht have been taking their toll. I considered replacing it but also considered that the cost of replacing it might amount to more than the cost of a decent holiday and quickly reconsidered.

So I bought this new one off my good friend Sally this afternoon. Really it’s far from new and it’s done a wadge of miles but it’s not as far from new as my old one and it’s not done anywhere near as big a wadge of miles as my old one and it’s shiny and blue and she didn’t want all that much money for it. Also she’s had it a long time, become very attached to it and couldn’t bear to part with it unless it was going to a new owner who would love it as much as she had and would let her see it again every now and again and I fitted the bill perfectly. Soppy or what?


Vauxhall Astra

My lovely new motor.


Actually, I know exactly how Sally feels as I now have to part with my old car which I bought eleven years ago next week. It has been a big part of my life for one fifth of my life and, although it is only an inanimate object covered in Leeds United stickers, scratches and shit inside and out, I have grown to love it in a sort of inanimate scratchy covered in shit way. So I am going to do a Sally too and give it to our Seán so I can see it again from time to time, still feel as though it is part of my life and no doubt continue to help finance its continued survival.

So at the moment, until the old motor is shipped up to its new home in Lancashire, I’m the sole member of a two car family. Which one should I go to work in tomorrow? Probably the old one is the answer as it has some petrol in the tank and it’s already filthy and I’ve got to go to a couple of farms where the clean one would only get covered in shit anyway. And by shit I really do mean shit. And I promised Sally that I'd love it and cherish it and care for it forever and ever amen.

The old car has been with me on trips to Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany so it has a terrific travel tale or two to tell too. However, the new vehicle will very soon be blooded in the sport of manoeuvring around Western Europe’s road network. I can hardly wait. The UK Border Agency will hardly recognise me in my glistening new(er) Astra. It might even be worth investing in a Lonely Planet guide to smuggling contraband.

And finally, I wonder . . . is there life in Peckham? 


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