Those who know me with any degree of intimacy are well aware that I have a colourful history when it comes to motor vehicles.
I was very young when I crashed a go-kart in Trabolgan Holiday Village, Co Cork. To this day my brother still maintains he doesn’t know how we got out of there without a lawsuit ensuing.
My first was a bright blue ‘99 Nissan Micra. I was absolutely obsessed with it
There are many other stories. Back in the day I may or may not have severely scraped my mother’s new car off our front pier and had a very minor tip with the back of a funeral procession. But that’s all ancient history now!
I have always favoured a pre-loved car. My first was a bright blue ‘99 Nissan Micra. I was absolutely obsessed with it. In later years, early 00s Toyotas were my thing. I’m not really sure why. I suppose I don’t have much mass in cars outside of their ability to bring me from A to B.
That said, last Sunday when I was broken down on the M4 just past Kinnegad, I couldn’t help but think: why, oh why, had I not changed my car sooner? My ‘03 Avensis had given up the ghost on the way home from a weekend away in Mullingar.
I closed my eyes and mulled over where I’d be now if I had a shiny new car
I moved over to the passenger seat, Googled local breakdown assistance and gave them a call. They’d be out ASAP. I closed my eyes and mulled over where I’d be now if I had a shiny new car. At home eating the dinner, I deduced, with a heavy sigh. The self-pity was well and truly in full-flow.
Then there was a tap, tap, tap at the window.
I looked up to see a man fully kitted out in luminous yellow clothes. Motorway patrol. Firstly he tried to ascertain was it me or the car having the breakdown. I assured him it was the car. Then he asked for the prognosis. I gave it. Not good, he concluded.
Not long after, my second knight in shining armour turned up
He told me that, obviously, where I was wasn’t very safe, so he’d leave his van parked behind my car and wait with me for the tow. If it was a tyre to be changed or a jumpstart, he do it no bother, but we were looking at something more complex.
Not long after, my second knight in shining armour turned up: Brian from Hamills, the roadside assistance. I was in the truck and the car was on the back in a jiffy.
I always find it astounding the calibre of people I meet around the country
He towed me home and by the time we were halfway there I was in flying form, agreeing with Brian that he was dead right; it could be much worse, I was alive and well and no one was hurt.
I always find it astounding the calibre of people I meet around the country, both in a professional and personal capacity. Sometimes it only takes one or two kind words to put a positive spin on what can seem like a grim situation. I was really lucky to meet these two lovely men in my hour of need.
Mullingar, I found to be full of fantastic people and a very vibrant spot. From the B&B hosts to the taxi drivers, bartenders and of course, the above mentioned heroes, everyone was exceptionally nice. It was my first time there and it won’t be my last.
This week, we start our staycation series. This week, Ciara Leahy details her west Cork travels. Hopefully these articles over the coming weeks will give you some ideas for a breakaway for yourself. Even when things don’t go to plan, it still does you the power of good to get away. I can vouch for that.
The car? End of life care, I’m afraid. Moral of the story: put breakdown assistance on your insurance policy.