Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Saturday, 13 February 2016

All Change

This morning the Knackers came along to take away my old car, and this afternoon I took a little trip to pick up my new one.   For some of my wealthier readers perhaps I should define what new and old mean to me since at my end of the automotive food chain these are rather loose terms.  My old car was a Rover 25 from the first half of 2002, with a recorded mileage of 111,115; my new car is a Seat Leon from the second half of 2002 with a recorded mileage of 135,000.

Having said that, although similar ages and shapes they are very different prospects, the Rover felt like an old car, bits of imitation polished wood and acres of boring black plastic. cloth roof lining that was falling off and and a serious lack of design input. It was a reliable car, but difficult to love.   I have to say that there was nothing wrong with the Rover, it just lacked sparkle, or indeed anything to love, I suspect with very little extra effort it could well have been a great little car, maybe they saved it all up for the MG version.

On the other hand the Seat feels like it was conceived and built in the 21st Century. It has lots of nice touches, those bits of design input that make life more interesting, I am particularly struck by the variable speed intermittent wipers, a great idea for anyone living in the UK! So far I have only driven it home from Basingstoke, but am already liking it, a lot.

As I was collecting the car I used public transport to get to Basingstoke, these days I am using public transport a lot more, but not often for journeys that far, the train is great and the journey was painless and uneventful, just how I like it! It always amazes me that it seems to take longer to get to Clapham Junction than from there to Basingstoke, from my local station it seems that every train going anywhere stops everywhere.

After the train I had a short walk to a bus stop and then a short walk from the bus. It was the bus that became the challenge. Every town seems to have a different system, from the bus stops in Basingstoke I couldn't even work out which side of the road to get on! When the bus I needed came along the driver was very helpful and told me what I needed to know, so I got on and tried to pay, using my contactless bank card. Can't do that there, had to use cash. Now in London I have got used to the idea that I have to use a card as they won't take cash, so I ended up having to give the poor driver £10.10 for a £2.10 fare.  He was very helpful and very long suffering, but at least he'll have something to talk to his mates about tonight!

Life would be so much easier, and maybe more people would use public transport a bit more, if we at least had the same system for bus stops and fares across the whole country.

Now I just have to decide whether I'm going to drive to the pub and show off my new toy, or walk and have a drink.
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