March/April Update: Living with…

I know, I’ve been a bit slack of late (aside from a quite frankly pants article about Prince Charles’ Aston, which I hurriedly wrote while suffering from a heavy cold in an unforgivable attempt to divert attention to my blog via the fact Aston Martin was trending on Twitter). I’ll get my excuses out the way – heading up to deadline day at university, I had to give my priority to that work, unfortunately. But, I’m home now to the rolling hills of the South Downs, and so my attention turns back to my motor writing. This is, after all, the sole reason I’m attending university in the first place.

So what has happened in our time apart? Not a lot, to be honest. During March I got a pair of new tires for the front and that’s about it. Other than the fact I’m beginning to loathe this car more and more every day that I drive it. I’m trying to use it as a motivation for working hard to get something good, but the day I get to burn the little lion is one I am very much looking forward to.

First things first, the tires. It always blows me away just what a difference new tires make. One of the major frustrations with the Pug was its heavy handling – maneuvering in a tight space took more effort than wrestling underwater. A new pair of shoes turned everything on its head. It was like driving a new car.

Reversing out of the garage I couldn’t help but laugh at the ease with which I could navigate the tight space. Even at very slow speeds I could have pulled away using the palm of my left hand, right arm resting on the open window, hand free to acknowledge potential mates that may be hanging around the car park, reminiscent of many a spotty teenager’s post-test-pass evenings.

This feeling of happiness is one of very few similar feelings experienced in this car. I can think back to only two: the day I bought it (wasn’t especially thrilled by the purchase, but as my dislike has increased that is still the day I have liked it more than any other day…) and the day I ‘christened’ it (and that was no mean feat either, not the most spacious of cars).

Over the past couple of weeks, though, Peter (as ‘he’ has been named by my flatmates as the number plate ends PTR…) seems to be on his deathbed. Well he probably isn’t, but like that annoying friend that tags along bringing all their issues that you have no care to fix, Peter has begun clonking away from the nearside front whenever I turn right. Sounds like the wheel is breaking loose on roundabouts. Every time that kerdunk-kerdunk-kerdunk rears its head I do my very best to ignore it, hoping it will take the hint; no I will not fix you, I do not care for your troubles.

Its latest trick is perhaps even more annoying. Thanks to the tinny speakers that parp and fart if anything bassier than Adele comes on, no matter what the volume, I cannot just turn the music up to ignore its latest attempts to get under my skin. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on, but it sounds like the indicator ticker is stuck on. The indicators go off, but it carrys on ticking – sometimes fast, sometimes slow – and I can’t figure out how to stop it. I say I can’t figure it out, I can’t really be bothered to try. The extent of my findings come from opening the glovebox and discovering the noise gets slightly louder if I do so. My brother has also attempted kicking and hitting the dash in various places, to no avail.

Now I’m well aware that I’m coming across as a grumpy old bastard, and to some extent I probably am. But I am a very vain person; I like to wear nice clothes and have nice things, and that extends to my car. Its not a penis extension, I resent that. I merely like cars and I enjoy enjoying my car. If I had a Ferrari it would be because I wanted that Ferrari, not because other people would think I’m cool.

People often ask why I spend money on these 4 wheeled bottomless pits, where money goes to die a fiery, pointless death, but they are my passion, the thing I get most enjoyment from. We work to spend our money on what we like, whether that is going to the pub or going to gigs. Imagine if I told you that from now on you can only go to gigs showing bands you don’t like. You wouldn’t be happy, would you? And this is how I feel about this car.

So someone please take away my Justin Bieber and hand me some Bloc Party, please. It’ll make me a lot cheerier. I’m a good cause – do you really want anyone to have to ride Bieber for any amount of time?


About Darren Cassey

Originally from Chichester on the south coast of England, I'm currently living in Huddersfield while I study Digital Journalism at University Campus Oldham. My passion is for cars of all kinds - how they look, how they sound and how they drive.
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