THE JOYS OF NOT MOTORING
Attending the Ophthalmology Department at Ninewells Hospital towards the end of December 2019 after referral by my optician the appointment opened with an eye test. The lady doctor then asked me “Do you still drive?” “Yes” I replied, “But only locally such as down to the village or along to Newburgh for appointments with the doctor, and never during the hours of darkness” “Even so” she said “if anything were to happen you would be crucified”, her exact words. Well aware that such a dire fate was unlikely in this day and age the message got through to me. She then pointed out how the saving of the expense of running a car would more than compensate for costs of hiring taxis in case of emergency in an effort to soften the blow. It was as they say, a no-brainer.
Initially I decided that, despite the expense I would not give up the car as my three daughters who were all covered to drive it would be able to take us on appointments and shopping trips when required. They would also be able to use it in the event of their own car being unavailable for whatever reason.
In time I began to appreciate the advantages. Cleaning the car was never one of my top priorities but if the girls wanted to drive a clean car it was up to them. For me there would be no need to defrost the windscreen on a chilly morning. No more frustration in my attempts to find a parking place in Abernethy or worse still Newburgh. No more worrying about meeting the bin lorry on a Saturday morning and having to reverse to make way for it, which was never my greatest skill. I would certainly miss the cheery waves from dog walkers and people we know that we would encounter on our narrow road, not forgetting the occasional sullen glowers from the odd ones which occasionally almost tempted me to lower the car window and say “Do you mind - we actually live up here”.
My initial decision to hang on to the car certainly came in handy for eldest daughter Jane as her own car was unavailable for a walking holiday in Lewis and she had to borrow mine. However the end came when the expense of bringing it up to scratch to pass a belated MOT test was more than the car was worth and I sadly had to let it go.