We Loved the Effort

Or, how we once lived perambulatory for a year and learned to love the bus (and online grocery delivery).

So…  we’ve bought a car.

There. I said it.

I know this post is a while in coming – we bought the car a few weeks ago – but it’s been hard to figure out the right way to put it out there.  I hinted earlier that our wee experiment was coming to an end.  In our minds, somewhat prematurely, thanks to the small matter of a few major earthquakes – in all honesty I’ve been actively looking for another car since a few weeks after the major earthquake on February 22.  As it turned out, we managed to last until our 12 months was up but more through chance than design.  We had the ever-generous Uncle Puff living with us after leaving his place in hard-hit Redcliffs, and he placed his car at our disposal until we were able to get our own one again.

Even that was a good opportunity to reflect on the nature of car ownership.  Three adults and one Bobbin of 35 months and counting (not only that but talking back, negotiating and planning holidays away from us too) living together – we do not all need our own cars.  Even though the three of us live and work quite different schedules, only having one vehicle was more than enough to make our lives a little easier.  The loss of car-free credibility offset by the penitence of being seen in the street-cred-diminishing, lemon yellow, ‘flying custard square.’*

But nothing’s ever perfect or rather, things are perfectly imperfect and we should be proud of what we’ve achieved.  I know that I’m so proud of Lizzie and Seraphine for loving the effort, through gritted teeth sometimes.  (You really should come and do the incredibly steep walk that Lizzie would do morning and night, in all weather, with a 10kg bobbin in a backpack complete with lunch, spare clothes, nappies etc., her own lunch and laptop – all in her work (read: not great for walking in) gear.  Not only was she single-handedly defying convenience she was sending it to it’s room for Time Out and no supper.  I love you, Peedie Mitten.

Our year of living (solely) perambulatory has come to an end but I do love the bus.  And using Shanks Pony, and I’m not so scared of walking up hills.  Here we are, no longer car-free with child, but also no longer unthinkingly beholden to Convenience either.  At least we’d like to think so.  But reflecting on my first month with a new car – it’s been something of an orgy of convenience, albeit a mindful one – damn I’m loving having a car again!

And with that exclamation point, *poof* goes whatever remaining car-free credibility we had.

So is this the end of Tyranny of Convenience?  No way.  You’ll never guess what we’ve just gone and done.  Buying a car was only the tip of the iceberg.

Oh dearie me, we’ve gone and bought a house.

* Actually, in all honesty, we love the flying custard square.

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4 thoughts on “We Loved the Effort

  1. Pingback: Propunere legislativă « La Grig

  2. You guys are legends, well done on your car-free year! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, so am stoked this isn’t the end, a house will give you heaps more material 🙂

    I’m also quite pleased to read your blog, because we’re moving out of inner city Auckland and into the ‘burbs, so our, (albeit short lived), car-free days are numbered too, and you’ve made me feel a little better about this, thanks! We rented a car this weekend to get out of town and ended up driving around in a union jack painted Mazda MX5 with the number plate ‘SHGZDA’ so it’s probably just as well!

    • Hey Matt! Thanks for dropping by. You are very kind and we both know that YOU guys are the legends. (I strongly recommend all readers click on Matthew’s link to discover the story of going rubbish-free for a year and beyond – makes our endeavour look soft indeed!) Also it’s worth noting that your project was in no small way an inspiration for our blog too. Yes indeed, owning a house – the ultimate acquisition, and after I’ve tried so many years to reduce acquisitiveness (I’m a natural hoarder). This presents a great new challenge! Loved the mazda story!

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