My car is not well.
I first got my diesel Ford Galaxy the year that Gareth Gates and Will Young battled it out to see who would be the victorious Pop Idol in the predecessor to X Factor. I remember this because the lorry that delivered my shiny new car had WILL YOUNG IS GAY written in the dirt on its side.
It was no surprise to me that Will Young was gay. Wasn't it obvious? But it was a surprise that enough people were bothered by this fact for it to make headlines in certain newspapers the day after the final and for at least someone to make the announcement on the side of a lorry in desperate need of a good clean. I digress. Back to my car.
My Galaxy has been good to me. It has provided me with relatively trouble free and comfortable motoring and I was proud to use it as my wedding car after it was given a "pimp my ride" makeover with bows and ribbons and flowers.
However, 11 years and well over 100,000 miles later, the problems of mechanical old age are surfacing.
We have done a lot of driving this weekend. Once the car had been running for a while, accelerating would cause the car to judder in the speed range of 50 - 60 mph. If the road surface was less than smooth or there was any sort of uphill gradient, the juddering would be exaggerated. It was like a washing machine on its spin cycle.
I have to admit that the sensation was quite pleasant. A full body vibro-massage. I especially liked the way the vibrations transmitted through the less toned fleshy parts of my middle aged body. What I didn't like was the thought that the car could shake into pieces at any moment in the manner of vehicles usually reserved for circus clowns.
The car did make it home in one piece and as an unexpected bonus I found that I wasn't suffering with any of the usual aches and pains and stiffness associated with long journeys. Putting all benefits and sentimental attachment aside, it has made me think seriously about the need for a new car.
SANTA?! I have been really good this year!