Always the contrarian I determined to keep my (already antique) Golf going until the girls had left. Last June I picked up my elder daughter for the last time and congratulated myself on a job half done. Eleanor finishes in June of this year and I am nursing the car like a new-born.
The clutch is definitely on the way out (£700 to repair) and water has managed to leak into the boot door. This is impossible by the way. Two garages have made it clear that this cannot happen. Nevertheless, every time I turn a corner I can hear the sloshing. All good fun until I am on a twisty road, miles from the nearest loo. Internally, six years driving the girls around have given the rear seats and carpet a pebble-dash of squalor and botulism. Anyone licking the seat belts would have similar odds as a trip to Dignitas, but without the air fare.
Still. It is my car. It works, and, despite the fact that whenever I turn it on a hedgehog and polar bear die somewhere, it is still better for the environment to keep it going than to buy a new car. And I like it. It has the smell of the familiar. I know its quirks, and it has never let me down. Not once in nearly 200,000 miles.
Why am I saying this? Well, partly because I am tired and feeling a bit sentimental, but also because, post-pandemic I do a huge amount more driving. Home visits are the new normal and I really don’t want you to judge me too harshly if a dirty VW Golf pulls up outside your house. Your instrument will be in safe hands.