Thursday, 20 August 2009

Silver Dream Machine

I am now hooked on getting the most miles per gallon out of my car. I’d like to think this will make me a better driver, safer, more considerate and a better bet for my insurer. But I don’t think so.
Nope. There is a tiny, iddy biddy bit of a glitch about all this, although it will help me save money on fuel and of course make me feel all warm and green woolly as I can do my bit for the environment - even if I am driving a turbo charged diesel around the country lanes – what they have done is kinda distracting.
It’s all VW’s fault, honest! They’ve got this computer thingy in my new Volkswagen Bluemotion Golf Estate that tells me how efficiently I am driving. Of course, the better I do that, the better my miles per gallon is and it tells me in real time too - there on the screen, in front of me; all in bright, angry glowing red so I can see it even in the dark.
It also has a clever arrow icon that comes on telling you when to change gear but I think it’s a bit slow on the uptake and I am already a little ahead of it. I tried to follow it on the drive home from the showroom earlier today, moving through the gears as, and when, it suggested. It got a bit exciting on the very steep left hand corner at the top of the hill where there is a reverse camber in the road and it told me to change up to fourth. I sloshed round the bend mightily fast with the big back end doing a cracking imitation of J-Lo shaking her derriere.
Good thing was I also got to test the ABS braking system at the same time, as I narrowly avoided ploughing into a tractor carting corn off the field next to the road. The farmer was pretty impressed too as he stopped to wave at me as I darted past – a flash of silver, a swirl of dust and all at 54mpg.
I don’t think that the short four-mile run from Barnards to home has helped me to get accustomed to the sheer size of the new car and I think I was a tad previous when I overtook the Tesco courtesy bus - but there again things are supposed to look larger in your rear view mirror are they not?
I was sad to say goodbye to the VW Polo but to be honest it was a bit of a mistake to buy it in the first place. The BIG idea last year was to exchange my beautiful but defunct Land Rover Discovery for a car for everyday rather than every eventuality. However, we went too far on the scaling down side and it became a bit of a problem deciding whether to bring home the weekly shop and the children at the same time. Eventuality I solved the problem by getting a lovely aerodynamic Thule Roof box and the shopping, rather than the children, came home in that – but it was usually a close run thing. Space was a premium in the Polo and with two booster chairs in the back there wasn’t much between, which usually led to much Argy Bargy, screams and whining and me blowing my top and vowing to attach the boys to the Thule just for the sake of some peace! Needless to say this was one threat my boys practically begged me to carry out. But, as I have said to them in the past, the purpose of a parent is to continually disappoint its offspring.
Another problem that came with the Polo was that I could not for the sake of love nor money get Bog Boy my youngest’s Mclaren buggy in the back without twisting the chassis and/or scratching the rear window – suffice to say Bog Boy learned to walk distances a tad earlier than his brother.
But these were minor day-to-day problems and easily outweighed by the fact that the savings on running costs compared to the Land Rover were in the region of £150 per month on fuel alone. Then there was the fact that being a much smaller, closer to the ground sort of vehicle, the school run was done considerably faster and dare I say it more safely, with less queasiness than previously.
The decision to get a slightly more spacious vehicle came about after the annual camping trip to Wales. This was when my husband, Dear Charlie, became personally aware the problems of trying to accommodate four dogs, two children, one Kyham six berth tent, four sleeping bags, four wet suits, two boogie boards, two double lilos, four pillows, buckets, spades, teddies and food for a small army - as he hates to shop when we are down there - all into a vehicle with a somewhat limited cubic capacity.
We still managed to get down there and back, not once but twice just to make sure. But the second time down we took the sports car too tossing a coin for who would drive the Mazda MX5 and have the relative luxury of only having to cope with one vomiting whippet plus sundry goods.
So, as with all decisions in our nuclear family, once made plans have to be put into action as swiftly as possible. It is with many thanks to the long-suffering folks at Barnards in Stowmarket, in particular David Webster, that within the space of three weeks the exchange was made.


Pondside said...

I don't think we have that VW model over here - it looks very sporty for a family car!
I love my little mazda - an older relative of yours - and wouldn't give it up for anything!

Tattie Weasle said...

Pondside - it is quite sporty to look at adn I am rapidly becoming quite fixated. Perhaps after I drive it for four hours on the trot I may get over it a bit!

Frog in the Field said...

I get obsessed with mph every now and then...then I come to my senses and enjoy the fact I have a turbo diesel injection and look at mph instead.

Tattie Weasle said...

Frog - it's still a shiny new toy. Dear Charlie took it and the boys to Yorkshire yesterday and on finally getting up there he rang me to say he'd broken my 59.8mpg record by clocking a 61mpg. He did point out that Bog Boy, my youngest, whined the whole way - perhaps because DC was only averaging 63mph and the journey took an extra three quarters of an hour! I'm sure we'll get over it;)

Ladybird World Mother said...

I am so envious!! Glad you are having fun with your new car. All those gadgets. What a giggle.

Tattie Weasle said...

Ladybird World Mother - hoping to have a whale of a time in France with it but fear DC and I will be fighting over who's driving and being fearfully competitive. I pity the poor boys in the back!

LittleBrownDog said...

So much to enjoy with a new car - we're still in the 'thinking about it' phase, which is where I suspect we'll stay until one of them konks out. Enjoy the new wheels, but go carefully on those country roads.

Tattie Weasle said...

LBD - still enjoying the new car and making the most of that slightly plastic smell that goes with it - even if it does make me feel sick. Dear Charlie has said no more new cars until this one dies...

Go on you know you want to...


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