As we were flying over Northern Europe yesterday, Miss R turned to me and asked me if I was excited about my new car.
Aah yes, my new car. In the excitement of my holiday, it had been pushed to the back of my mind along with the pile of ironing which I knew would await me on my return. A couple of months ago, I'd ordered a new Mini to replace the one I've been driving for the last three years. It was time for a change before my mileage started creeping up. I'm not too sure why I was worried about the mileage, as I average around 42 miles a week, but it seemed like as good a time as any, so colours were chosen and paperwork was signed, and I waited very patiently for the day it would arrive.
So yesterday was collection day. Because I'd sold my old car, Miss R very kindly dropped me over to North Oxford Mini after we landed at Heathrow. Armed with my overweight suitcase and a large holdall, we turned up at the dealership and spotted my new Mini in the showroom, looking cleaner than it will ever do again for the rest of its days.
Miss R bid me adieu and left me with a lovely lady called Sam who I had done the deal with. Having trawled through all the paperwork, it was time to go, and Sam led me down to the car to do the handover. Now my old Mini was the camera equivalent of one of those disposable cameras you sometimes get at weddings. It was a 'point and press' kind of car. This new one had more buttons and flashing lights than the Tardis, and I had to listen very carefully to what they all did (I had visions of still being in the showroom a week later having not taken on board how the thing started).
Now I always have an automatic car, and as Sam took me through the Sport setting, I asked her whether there was an Old Lady Setting which might be more in keeping with my style of driving. Well apparently there is, but being diplomatic, Mini call it their Green setting. As befitting a middle aged lady, I had to ask her a couple of times about starting and stopping as the fact that there was no key slot was rather worrying, but after about forty minutes, I reckon I knew all I'd need to know - even if that was just enough to start the car, go forward and stick the radio on.
There was then the issue of getting my steamer trunk into the car. This was where any similarity with the Tardis came to a shuddering halt. Having tried various combinations, it finally took up a prime position on the passenger seat. I did worry that the seat belt warning might beep at me all the way home, but apparently this new car can tell the difference between a human and an inanimate object. I must remember that next time I am driving the husband home after a heavy night out...
I was then released into the wild with my new car who has been christened Rita (in memory of my nanny who had this as a rather groovy middle name).
Going back to the wonderful Samantha White at North Oxford Mini (www.oxfordmini.co.uk/) if you fancy a new or used Mini she comes highly recommended by this ex Car Sales Manager who can be extremely critical.
You see, I have worked out that if all of my readers dropped in to the dealership and bought a car from Sam, then the £50 intro I would get for each one would go one hell of a way to pay for Rita...