OUR OLD BANGER

Our 14-year-old Renault Scenic

Our very first car was a real old banger. We bought it for £150 in 1959 from a colleague and called it Phillida in her honour. It was a pre-WW2 Morris 8 and pretty well held together by rust. The first time I took it out on my own, I scraped it against a parked lorry and tore off the front near wing.

Already a qualified dentist, I qualified as a doctor in 1959 and I was just about to start a live-in post as a House Physician. There was little public transport near the hospital and having a car meant that Josh could come and visit me at weekends.

After a skid on its nearly bald tyres – no MOT in those days -we swapped Phillida for a Morris Minor and got back our original £150 in part exchange. We then changed cars every 2 or 3 years as you did then – tempted by the dealers’ offers of low repayments. They all arrived with one or more faults. An MG was delivered with 11 things to put right!

We have had our latest ‘old banger’ for 14 years – a Renault Scenic that arrived with everything fully functional and a joy ever since. Its annual MOT was due, so as part of the test our car had to have its emission checked. WHICH warned that if this proves a problem in older cars the repair may cost more than the car is worth. Fortunately, our car passed, so we should be OK for another year.

However, sooner or later petrol driven cars will be phased out. Our underground car park doesn’t yet have any charging points and there are presently no street charging stations in easy walking distance. Still, when you are 89 (me) and 91 (Josh) it may never become our problem!!

Read more of Abby’s stories in her memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’ and her previous posts Abby’s Tales of Then and Now. You can Look Inside on the Amazon site and get a taster for free.

Woman in a White Coat’ is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £9.99 in paperback. ‘Abby’s Tales of Then and Now’ is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £12.99 for the 7” x 9” paperback. Both are illustrated in colour.

Woman in a White Coat

GOING ON A BIG RED LONDON BUS AGAIN

Aren’t they gorgeous??

It was great to board a red London double-decker bus for the first time in over a year!! The nursery rhyme, the wheels on the bus go round and round, ran though my head as we tapped our Freedom Passes and took our seats. The three other masked passengers already seated nodded and kept their social distance.

The wheels on the bus go round and round

All ‘round the town

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish

The driver on the bus goes ‘Move on back’

The people on the bus go up and down

The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep

The baby on the bus goes ‘whaa whaa whaa’

The parents on the bus go ‘shh, shh, shh’

Before Covid, I used to drive to my various Further Education classes. I have a Blue Disabled Badge because of my bad hip and previous heart attack, and mostly I could find a parking space nearby. I had to give up in despair and go back home only a couple of times in all the years I’ve been attending these courses.

There’s a bus stop close by all three of the Westminster Libraries I patronise, so until Covid, I used to go to those by bus. Fortunately, there is also a Home Library in our district and, since Lockdown, a very polite young man brings me six books of his choice every third Friday. I specified Whodunits and usually I have only already read one or two of them at most.

It’s wonderful to be able to shop in person again instead of ordering everything online. You can see and feel the merchandise and find the odd thing you don’t need but must have!!

We thought about driving to Tottenham Court Road to go to two of my favourite shops – Muji and Flying Tiger – but fortunately we decided against it. It was a nightmare. It is now a two-way street, having been one way towards Hampstead Road for many years. Much of it was closed to all vehicles except buses and cycles. Cars, taxis and lorries all forbidden. The worst thing was that the bus stops are far apart and for a disabled person the walk to the next stop was a pain – literally!!

I bought the drawer insert in Muji that I needed, visited the new Lidl that replaced Sainsbury’s at the other end of Tottenham Court Road and had a look around Flying Tiger.

Not a lot of purchases to show for my trip but gorgeous to be free to go on a Big Red Bus again!!

Read more of Abby’s stories in her memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’ and her previous posts Abby’s Tales of Then and Now. You can Look Inside on the Amazon site and get a taster for free. ‘Woman in a White Coat’ is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £9.99 in paperback. ‘Abby’s Tales of Then and Now’ is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £12.99 for the 7” x 9” paperback. Both are illustrated in colour.

About ‘Woman in a White Coat’