Cars – harumpf!

Well, last night saw Smartiepants, my lil black SmartCar, die as it returned home, up a hill, from a very short trip to my meditation class.  3 mins walk away from home it happened.  Horrible sound.  No power at all from the engine even though it was running.  It took the RAC just over an hour to get to me.  It took another hour or so after the RAC man had left for the lorry to arrive to load her up and take her the short distance home.

What’s wrong with her?  Well neither of the mechanic type men were able to say definitively, but when the second one said ‘timing chain tensioners’ it reminded me of  when the timing belt went on my old Astra, same kind of thing happened … it happened to me twice, the second time it was terminal for the engine and car.

This year I’ve spent over £1000 on a 9 year old car.  Last year it was £300.  The year before was around £1000 and the first year it was nearly £3000, and that doesn’t include the £3500 I paid for her!  She’s had a ‘new’ (reconditioned) engine.  Loads of bits replaced.  And I now think it’s just time for me to let her gracefully go to the SmartCar heaven to rest in piece.

I’ve never had a lot of luck with cars, not even brand new ones.  So, I’m very nervous about looking for and getting a replacement car.  I have a very tight budget as I have to buy the car outright for reasons I’m not going to go into here.  None of my friends are car-savvy.  None of my family are available to help, not that they would if they were.

So, a stressful time ahead, maybe.

I know I didn’t sleep much last night, worriting about the latest car disaster to befall me.

Mind you, I think I’ve made the decision to not have the car looked at.  To let her go, gracefully and with thanks.  I don’t want a huge bill only to find it wasn’t fixable and then not have any money to buy a replacement.

Of course the lack of sleep isn’t helping me sort out what I want to do.  And in some ways doing without a car has it’s appeal, such as the benefit to the environment, the lack of stress when it breaks down, fewer bills … but it would clip my wings as far as travelling around to draw, give talks, go to meetings and so on is concerned.  And, as much as I like travelling back and forth with a friend, I still find it hard not to take some time at the end of the school day to mark and prepare and sort out things, and knowing that isn’t happening or rushing to get it done during the busy work day, is adding to my stress/worry about my ability to cope.

Still, it’s not the first time I’ve been here … and it won’t be the last given my experience with cars!  And it’s not as if I don’t look after them – I do!

And I now have a full teaching day, a twilight training session, and some decisions to make … as well as some enquiries to make about some cars I’ve seen for sale locally…

Fingers crossed!  And fingers crossed for a pal of mine who has a job interview today and another tomorrow …

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