Tag Archives: Citroen

Goodbye, Urban Shed

This will be my most boring-ever post (I hope).

I’m going to get away with it because it’ll be tagged under ‘commemorative’ and ‘writing therapy’, and because the hordes aren’t stopping by in their droves for my wisdom anyway.

Silly to get attached to things, but I’m feeling strangely sentimental about getting rid of the car.

A smooth piece of kit is lush, and a ride in someone else’s cracker’s a thrill.

But I’ve never been seduced around a showroom, or put myself in the market to shell out chunky monthly payments for an irresistible nift-rocket; if it displaces from A to B, and struggles to go above the speed limit (thereby curtailing Speed Awareness course compulsory attendances), then job done.

So why can’t I bring myself to scrap the Picasso?

Seven and a half years ago we pitched up at a car dealers in Sussex and ‘chose’ the car.

Which is to say, we stumbled in blindfolded, spun around, and pointed wildly, hoping there were no fridges on the forecourt.

They tried to launch into a cute back-story, but we stopped them with a version of  ‘You had me at hello’, which was the bit when they made the introduction: ‘Or how about this cheap car…’

Nevertheless, it seemed like a lot of money at the time, Mum reminding me only recently that I had cried writing out the cheque- surely an unrecorded level of lameness.

Once home, the Picasso went about under the radar doing its job quietly, which is perhaps what’s imbuing it with this sense of nobility.

Because, really, it defied medical science. It should have perished years ago. When I drove it in last for its M.O.T, the garage guy said, ‘What the hell are you still doing with this hunk of junk?’

There are fond memories of denting the side on a trip to the countryside, and of customizing it with black-smudge parallel lines trying to squeeze out of a Horsham multi-story car-park; the pinging-off of the wing-mirror cruising off-bonk through the bollards before Barnes bridge, the stump to be hence-after lovingly duct-taped by Mum or Dad every time I hurtled South to see them.

Or the punctured tank in Cornwall, necessitating pit-stops on blind hills- a motor-vehicle with a man’s legs sticking out between the back wheels.

… or the dropped exhaust pipe, the caked-on bird poo, tree sap residue, and weird African dust wind thing.

… the jaunty penalty charge photographs captured of the Picasso in a loading bay; turning right on a left-turn only; now zooming freely down the bus-only lane, wind in hair.

… the way it was referred to by its name and mark, like there are some people who seem to need their surnames for the sake of completeness: ‘Auntie Sophie was talking about it in the Citroen Picasso’; ‘Waved at you in the Citroen, but you were jumping a red light’.

And the interior… sweet baby lamb, no excuse: C.Ds, sticker books, gas bills, wetsuits, fishing net, cricket bat, coal pieces, Buzz Lightyear, Haribo wrappers, plastic dinosaurs, the sun-stained re-usable ‘machine not working’ note written in eye-liner on the back of a receipt- all manner of slovenly paraphernalia belonging to a family contributing more than their fair share to the downfall of a civilization, leaving Westfield’s valeting team with an annual look of PTSD on their exhausted, disbelieving faces.

Quietly cranking on regardless. Failing to read C.D’s. Giving false LED messages about servicing requirements. Interior door handle staying in hand rather than on door. The giving-up of the remote locking system.

But faithful, cute as a button, and thief-immune in its sublime undesirability.

So the garage guy’s sold us his ex-wife’s car, and a new low-rent love affair begins. It’s got a special space to put your coffee and water bottle- fairly upmarket.

Meanwhile, Bruno’s incubating shit-car lust: ‘Are second-hand cars better, because you already know they can work?’

Time to breathe deeply, and get onto rewardingrecylcing.co.uk.

R.I.P, Citroen.

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Filed under London Mumbo, Mumbo Obsessions

Italian for a day

I’m going to vault into a fast car spray-painted embarrassed tomato red and drive like a bat being shot out of a diabolical canon, my laugh a velveteen power drill going off in an aircraft carrier…

And I’m not going to be quite pretty or a nice person or have a sweet way of flicking my hair.
I’m going to be horribly, violently, unfeasibly attractive, like a fleshy cartoon parody of abundant womanhood, with double-strength lashes and black eyes and a mouth like an inflatable slide for hire (with pump)…
And when I stroll on the sand I’m not going to head-nod to my iPod under the modesty of a floaty kaftan.
I’m going to strip off my sausage dress, thereby uncoiling the seismic dragon tattoo running down the length of my spine, in order to lose myself to mega-decibel euphoric dance music blaring from the 10 foot hotel beach speakers. Smoking. In a pair of bejewelled sunglasses the size of satellite dishes because I’ve left the half-price Specsaver prescription ones in the glove compartment of my Citroen at home…
And I’m not going to get a bit of sun on my forehead or worry a spaghetti strap tan-line or touch up my cheek bones with Boots bronzer.
I’m going to be the colour of weathered creosote January to December and highlight the shine off it with a neon string bikini, preferably with a whistle in my bum crack so that when I walk by, every wretch on the beach is certain to know the hell about it…
And when I speak it will be unequivocal, like there’s a steroid squatting in every florid, gesticulated sentence so that even when I’m telling you I’m putting on a load of washing it will feel like I’ve slammed you up against the wall and thrust my hand in your crotch…
And when I cook I’m not going to thumb Gwynnie’s recipes, hoping to circumcise vegetables.
I’m going to seize every delicious carb you’ve ever heard of plus a couple you haven’t and beat them into a magnormous potato pasta pizza with a grappa-soaked tiramisu topping…
And if I’m a man I won’t be easy on the eye with clean shirts and reasonable earning prospects.
I’m going to be aggressively, bedably handsome like Nancy dell’Olio after gender realignment surgery, making it impossible for a member of the opposite sex to engage with me conversationally without imagining themselves underneath my person in horizontal rapture…
And if I’m Signor Buon Appetito I won’t suck in my belly behind a smart Marks and Spencer stripy belt.
I’m going to roll that sucker out over my budgie smugglers like I got waylaid en route to a Pavorotti convention and I couldn’t be more thrilled by the opportunity…
And I’m not going to feel shy or ambiguous about an Englishwoman’s perception of me or stroke my chin in preparation to discuss stereotypes.
I’m going to think it’s off-the-scale, fist-thumpingly fantastico and love the fucking arse off it…
…when I’m Italian for a day.

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Filed under Mumbo Life, Mumbo Obsessions, Uncategorized