The poor old chariot has given up the ghost. She has died and is beyond redemption. Her starting motor has stopped. The cost of repair is beyond the value of her body. But not her indomitable spirit - that remained as we zoomed into and out of the bus lane overtaking far younger and infinitely more glamorous vehicles who were appalled at her impertinence. Who gave us the finger (returned with interest) as we shot past.
I reckon she should be given an appropriate send-off, a sign of our gratitude at her bravery in the face of diminishing power. She always started even after weeks of neglect one turn of the key and she was away – reversing up the hill with vigour, getting me to Waterloo pronto, shooting to supermarkets for food. Brave chariot never let us down. South London was her playpen and she cavorted like a teenager. Having bits missing on the bodywork is no bad thing – other cars tend not to mess with the likes of the chariot. Especially with a couple of irate females on board. One impertinent neighbour asked if she was abandoned some months ago, the cheek! I think she felt that the chariot was bringing down the status of the area.
Now I am resigned to her ultimate demise I suggested we set her alight and push her down a hill into the river – blazing like a Viking proud as ever! I even thought of pushing her down Point Hill in Greenwich alight and alarming – destroying as she went. My friend was not impressed. Think of the repercussions! She will go and buy a new vehicle much as I would buy a loaf, I am sad and realise how sentimental I am, a bloody romantic but I am grateful to the chariot for her brave Fiat heart (engine?)
By coincidence my own less glamorous but solid Polo has, for the first time failed to start. Is this a case of car solidarity? Afraid not, I left the side lights on overnight and by morning rigor mortis had set into the battery. I do this sometimes and one of the guys from the mosque opposite knocks on my door to tell me but I parked round the corner this night. The AA sorted it but by next day she was flat again. Yesterday the AA returned and told me there is a leak of power from some unidentified source. So it may be cosmic retribution from the goddess of the motor for our failure to give the chariot a decent send off but probably not and Ms Polo is off for a service today.
A penance? Transference of guilt? Keeping her sweet? I shall grin and bear the price. I realise just how long everything takes without a car & will cherish Ms Polo she is not the Chariot (and I am not the driver that my love is!) but she improves my life immeasurably.