Well the count for that day of commuter chaos actually totalled 23,001. It's a rare occasion my car leaves the garage, but on this very same morning I needed to get home by five o'clock for my night on the town (see yesterday's post) so was going to drive to school. At the time I would normally be striding off down the street, I was still drinking tea, lolling around in my dressing gown and musing on how pleasant mornings will be once the Lotto comes in. Some time later, I was marveling at the novelty of leaving in actual daylight as I opened the garage and started the car. Well, tried to start the car. Nothing. Just a sick click - not even enough puff from the battery to make an attempt at a start. Nothing for it but to run. And as I ran a conversation from long ago came clearly back to me. As a child I asked my father why we always had clapped out, embarrassing old bangers of cars while others had cool cars like the Humber 80.
|The mighty Humber 80|
Although we had quite clear financial constraints on our motoring choices, my father explained to me that we were the lucky ones - the newer cars might look flasher but they lacked a vital component for on-going motoring success. These later models did not have a crank shaft and crank handle. My father predicted their owners would rue the day they decided to forego the cranking option, which our old Peugeot (named Lizette) needed on a regular basis.
In later years my father was too ill to crank a car, so a Hillman Imp replaced old Lizette. We would hold our breath as the motor turned over, knowing our fates were now in the hands of a mere battery and not dear old Dad.