So as many of you will know, I’ve been saying for months I was going to buy a sensible 4 door ‘everyday runaround’ to free Nancy up for restoration. In my head it was either a Maxi or a Metro…something I could go a little faster in and actually get past the dizzying highs of 57mph on the motorway.
Somehow that plan was thwarted by a car called Bee…a 1960 4 door Morris Minor in a vague shade (under all the muck and London grime) of Smoke Grey.
I didn’t mean to do it, I meant to be strong and pick a ‘sensible car’ that wouldn’t break down on important days…a car that didn’t need ridiculous things doing…perhaps even a car that wasn’t tax exempt and would actually blend into a car park.
Then I remembered who I was and how much I hate change…and threw a blind deposit down on an unassuming, un MOT’d and unknown car sat in a garage in London looking a big bit sorry for herself.
The adventure began with a trip down to London in Sam’s Stag (sorry for roping you into this Sam) on the Sunday to ‘get the car into the local garage for an MOT’.
We arrived in London with absolutely no trouble and rocked up to the address we had written down. All was running smoothly (suspiciously so) and we rolled open the garage doors to see a forlorn little car sat there..waiting for either a new owner or a scrapyard.
I immediately panicked. What had I done? Was this a ridiculous idea? Was I bloody stupid to take on a car I’d never seen? A car with no MOT? Well, yes; but since I have a firm DGAF attitude nowadays, we rolled her out the garage and turned the key.
And nothing happened, because you know what, it was going to be one of those days…and miracles don’t happen for the girl who didn’t bring her spare battery.
We then went indoors to look at the paperwork and I was in awe that Mrs Chapman the first (and only) owner had kept every scrap of paperwork and ‘how to’ guides. She’d even kept the key ring Bee was sold with.
And now she was my responsibility to look after and cherish…bloody big responsiblity.
I’d like to pretend we got things sorted and everything was fine. The harsh reality was the previous owner and Sam (sorry again Sam) pushing her down a semi-busy bus route in a posh leafy part of London to the MOT garage with a note that read; ‘Sorry, can you just MOT it and put a new battery on?’
The next day came around all too quickly and we were racing back down the motorway to London to get Bee back from her MOT. We arrived at the garage and had a look underneath whilst she was on the ramps (not too suspicious and the welding seemed neat enough) and crossed our fingers for an MOT.
I won’t bore on about how good the charity shops were in Barnes or how many pint glasses we nicked from the posh pub – I’ll just tell you this…
SHE PASSED MOT FIRST TIME WITH NO ADVISORIES.
MIRACLES DO HAPPEN FOR THE GIRL WITH NO BATTERY!
And after a pretty crap 2014, I felt like I’d cashed all my luck for 2015 in that one piece of paper.
We ended up chatting to the garage for quite some time and before I knew it, I was being taken to a magical room filled with Morris Minor spares…and before the garage could again change their mind, I was loading my car up with a collection of heavily discounted and ‘gratis’ spares. Sometimes, it helps to be the girl who talks too much and for far too long.
It’s hard how to know how to end this blog post really – there were no fireworks and no rounds of applause as Bee left Barnes for the last time (or at least for a very long time). There was simply a gentle clattering from a slightly wobbly trafficator and the hum of a well looked after 1098.
She’s back in Yorkshire now and ready to start her new life as an MMOCYM car and cherished member of the Holloway fleet.
You don’t always get what you expect and life doesn’t always turn out how you thought it would – and that’s okay. It’s fine. Everything happens for a reason and I’m glad everything went wrong with the Metro and I’m so glad I got Bee.
This is a great start to 2015.