Have a new car yay:) well not exactly new, it is last year’s model and has 5,000 miles on the clock but ‘tis new to me. My old, falling apart, one was bought in 2002 with 20,000 on the clock, it was a dinosaur then as I was trying not to have all the gizmo’s I disapprove of so much – did you know I was such a Luddite? Well it’s patchy but in many things I am very resistant to change – change for change sake – type change. I do like modern technology, how could I pretend otherwise when I’m glued to my computer, use software to aid me, delight in cyberspace but, but, but, sometimes I dig in my heels. I try to play the games my more cautious way. I’m not going to bang on about monopolies today, nor the power hungry uncaring business men. This is about everyday technology mainly cars.
I have always enjoyed driving since I clutched my first licence back in the 60s. The family has always had a car since before I had arrived!
Come the downfall of civilisation the computer and the car is what I shall mourn most. Our first car was a heavy clunky monster, I remember watching my father struggle to start our first car with a crank – he was not a natural athletic but this was a skill one needed, fortunately that had changed before I began to drive but some still needed double de-clutch for goodness sake! You still needed a choke on even just chilly mornings and woe betide if you flooded the engine. Many were ‘rust buckets’ – who remembers the rust buckets? At college a friend purchased one, for a fiver, which had the passenger door secured with string (and it got stolen) cars were driven on bald tyres.
Because of petrol rationing cars were used seldom, and when brought out for high days and holidays would routinely break down because of perishing rubber – fan belts were favourites. Spare petrol always carried in a tin in the car somewhere. In fact I was still carrying a spare can way into my driving life. Petrol stations were infrequent and usually worked 8 -6ish so night travel was risky if your gauge was low. In a head on crash, death came from being flung through the windscreen unto the road.
You don’t see rust buckets any more, I haven’t carried a potentially lethal can of petrol in the boot in years. We have tyres that seem to last for forever, seat belts and air cushions. They have been light to drive, and turn on less than a proverbial sixpence, for many years even my old beast. They have enough speed not to have to spend two days travelling from London to the west country (oh how tedious the first and last days of the annual trip to the sea were) They can go for years without breaking down (every page of childhood holiday snaps show the friendly breakdown man and our car – picturesque spots i.e isolated). We have annual services and the MOT to ensure most of the cars on the road are not actually death traps. So what’s to be a Luddite about?
Then they became computerised and mechanised beyond sensible. What is wrong, I ask, with the traditional way of opening a door, turning a key? Why these beeps and flashes? Why an electric key? which incidentally costs a small fortune to replace.
In my experience every time something becomes too computerised the more likely it is to go wrong, the more likely it is either, not to be repairable (necessitating replacement and huge expensive) or to be fiendishly difficult to repair (again necessitating huge expense).
I knew this time I would have to have electric windows. I Do. Not. Like. Them. I met them for the first time back in the 70s, in Australia, met them again in America, in the 80s and have had to endure them in friends cars here, for years. I never wanted them and do not want them now but of course I have had to have them or buy a car which is vintage. Horrid things.
And air conditioning? Which idiot thought in UK we needed that? Someone who didn’t like wind tousled hair, someone who had a phobia to everyday scents and smells. Someone who had never known that one of the joys of driving is the wind. Mine is turned off, maybe if temps go up again for a few days I may try it but air is what the windows are for! We are commenting how unusual these temps are, we do not need Air Con over here.
This new beastie of mine has an inbuilt Sat Nav! All my friends are sniggering at me – me who consults maps, who gets a thrill of excitement at seeing coloured lines across the page and plots my route the way it is supposed to be plotted. I was excited as anyone when space began to be conquered, I could see the advantage of satellites and as I say love cyberspace but except in towns and cities why would I need a Sat Nav when a perfectly good map would do? It came with the car and the salesman couldn’t wait to demonstrate the ease – the first route thrown up would have me travel down a busy road, go through town and out again to get home – my way is scenic, avoiding traffic and traffic lights, with the bonus of seeing hares prancing in the field. Doubt it will get much use!
I do like my new beastie though, it’s comfy and easy to drive, and I suppose I can spare the few hours it will require to go through the handbook and work out where everything is. I can plug in my I pod so can listen to podcasts when driving. I will enjoy it and swear each day at the windows and Sat Nav screen until even this old grump grows used to them:)
It has been hot, hot, hot, here in UK this last week. Temprature breaking records. Having committed myself to moving furniture from one room to another I continued, crazy maybe but the house was so disorganised with furniture on the move I had to really. Another few days and I will be there.
When I designed this new abode of ours I designed for cold and heat and so can keep the house pretty cool by judicious use of windows and curtains. I have kept away from the heat except to have the colours in my hair topped up and here I have to report a great sadness. My grey hair is growing darker – reverting back to its original colour!! It’s true!( we suspect its a side effect of one of my heart drugs – a friend who is on the same drug reports the same). Damn! The colours will not take so well and instead of me expanding the gloriousness of the turquoise and fuchsia, it is becoming less. Not pleased! If it goes on I shall bleach and colour so there, hair:(
ROW80 This Week
Writing: Editing has continued and have 1st edited (autocrit)all the 90000+ that I have for The Children’s Tale. Have moved chapters around (Scrivener I love you) into order, and split some into shorter lengths. Good week for this. Now have to write the missing bits and do deeper edits.
Blogs: Nope. Bad:(
Network: Not too bad.
Others: Had good week for trailers – particularly Jack’s Tale as have the story board and ideas for illustrations plus have got some pictures. The music is pretty well there. New Fiddling Feline one is almost there.
Reading: Just the one A Change in Altitude, A.Shreeve for next book group. This is a re-read for me but she is good enough to read a second time. Am making progress on Reading Lolita in Tehran will finish it any day.
So reasonably good week. Next Week: more of the same. Hopefully with better result on blogs:)
Hope everyone had a good week and wishing you all the best for the coming one:)