Dirty rotten cheating and my just desserts.
Go on, one last hit.
One last run in the car to do a few errands across town. And it was raining too. Hmmm, excuses are easy to come up with and no-one’s gonna quibble over needing to travel to various distant destinations around the city before starting work in order to make enough money to house, feed and clothe my young family. Are they?
So, that settled, I headed off in the Peej to perform said errands. Namely returning the hired baby car seat to Plunket – shan’t be needing that anymore – and dropping off some of Elizabeth’s famous home-baked chocolate brownie to our amazing and dedicated travel agent John who got us through our volcanic blues.
This required driving through the rain around the city all the while acutely aware that this could be the last time I drive Peej. I really enjoyed it. I love driving, dammit and there’s nothing so satisfying as driving in a warm, dry car while the rain lashes down outside, elbowed aside by the Peej’s wipers. I’ll give this to her, she doesn’t leak.
Arriving at work I realised I needed to park Peej off the road as the last thing we need is a parting gift from the parking wardens to the tune of $200 for not displaying a current WOF sticker. I snaffled one of the last two parks in the $6 all-day park near my office (another expense we can kiss goodbye to along with the car seat!)
All day sitting at my desk looking out at the wild weather in the beautiful autumnal park I work next to, I was warmed subtly by the secret knowledge that I was going to be driving home – alone, warm and dry – master of my own destiny, captain of the ship. No walk to and from buses, no waiting in the cold at the bus stop. A guilty little pleasure.
That night we were having a rare night out in Christchurch, a sort of late anniversary drink at some good friends’ Irish session night. Of the hand-countable nights out we’ve had since Seraphine was born none of them have been into the ‘bright lights’ of Christchurch, choosing instead to walk down the hill into the fabulousness that is Lyttelton. This was to be the second of our back-slides today – our wonderful babysitter Fairy Godmother Kate was lending us her car as we weren’t going out for long and she needed to be relieved by 10pm. The bus ride is 30-40 minutes each way which would take an hour out of our night out (although depends on your perception of what is important – like Elizabeth’s walk to and from pre-school – a subject we’ll be returning to).
I was thinking about all this as I trudged up the hill to home after work through the pouring rain with my umbrella, marvelling at the storm water rushing downhill through the gutters – you never really get the same sense of the sheer volume of water from rain in the flat city next door, there’s not many slopes to see the run-off really get going. Lyttelton is all slope. Stevenson’s Steep was literally a waterfall and there was what looked like a miniature standing wave being created by an obstruction in the gutter. Cool, I thought, another good reason for not having a car, you never get to see this stuff when you’re-
Wait a minute.
So there you go, that’s what I deserve for falling off/on the wagon. Funny thing is it’s only been two weeks and already I’m used to not taking the car. And how about this rain?
Wanted: a good home for abandoned 1983 Toyota Sprinter
OK. So he leaves me in this all day car park. It’s outdoors but at least it shows he cares. Plenty of other cars to talk to.
But it’s dark now. And cold, and all the other cars have gone home. There’s some drunk people cutting through the car park over there. Did I mention it’s dark?
I’d like to go home now. It’s getting late and the clampers come out after dark…