John and I are not into cars, or so we have believed. I mean these kids with their fancy cars, spinning around the traffic island near my home, stereos blazing, imagining they are so cool, just a pain in the rear really. To us a car is a lump of metal with four wheels, it is for getting you from A to B and nothing else.
Now I am wondering if I really believe that. You see, last Friday our little blue car went to the graveyard for cars. It was old but well loved. It had been part of us for fifteen years, and before that had belonged only to my cousin's wife. Little blue car took us down to the south of France and over the border into Northern Spain. It brought us back again without any mishap. No I confess seeing the lump of metal on the back of a low loader brought a tear to my eye.
I look on the drive and see a newer, black car now but it is just something with wheels to get me from A to B, well for the moment it is, will it worm its way into my heart? Who knows.
It got me thinking about other cars we had had mainly vans. When I met John he had a little red van that he had bought from the Postal Service. If you ever see old English films, you might just spot one of these. It was a smashing little van and took me on my first ever camping trip, and I found camping so enjoyable. The little van also took us down to Saint Tropez where we spent almost six months one winter. We had a blissful time.
Little red passed away and we had "custard" a yellow post office van, and that did not go very far, just to Wales and back on a regular basis. It gave up the ghost in Wales and left us stuck on a field with all our camping equiment. Someone came to the rescue, a couple of fellow campers who were from Manchester, and they took us home. Bless them.
John said he would look for something else at the auctions. He phoned to tell me he had something and I was not to be too shocked. Shocked? What did he mean? Knowing John you can never be sure what will happen. A loud drumming had me running to the living room window...it was HUGE, a Comer walk-thru, the kind of van I see in American movies and out of the back of which always comes the SWAT Team.
"What the blooming heck!" I screamed. But John was right. Big red turned into a camper and we had many enjoyable holidays and travelled through Europe for three months, ending up for eight weeks on the Bay of Biscay in the hot summer of '76. When big red decided it had had enough. John stripped it down. From the engine, various parts and the metal and one thing and another he got back the money he paid for it.
So there you have it...perhaps a car or van is more than a piece of metal on four wheels to get from A to B, it is a store of memories. Without big red we would not have met our German friends, or enjoyed those three months in France. Without little red, I doubt we would have ever have met Roger in Saint Tropez...ah but that is another story for another time...