Freedom on wheels…

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This time of year always brings some ‘Cassie’ memories onto my timehop. Why? Because this time of year pretty much without fail, my beloved Cassie the Corsa would end up with an expensive trip to car hospital. Until finally a few years ago I had to cry uncle, and do the ultimate betrayal…and send her to the scrapyard.

I really miss my car. I had a lot of road trips in her, and driving is one of my favourite things to do. I love the time to chat with passengers. I loved singing along to tunes and drumming on the steering wheel in traffic. And though she  was a costly car, her tendencie to break caused a lot of funny memories.

Actually that photo is not of her broken – that was when I forgot to fill up the screenwash before a 800 mile round trip to Watford and back down one of the most polluted routes. We crossed the border to England and my windscreen had become so dirty I had to pull onto the hard shoulder and chuck evian onto it from the driver window so I could see to get to the next service station. The photo didn’t capture the part where I didn’t realise the water hose had one of those autoretract functions – I let go trying to get the screenwash cap off and promptly got attacked by the hose as it made a hasty retreat back to that metal box behind me!

One of the most fun road trips I did alone, driving down the east coast of the UK and coming back up the West Coast visiting and staying with friends and meeting bloggers in Newcastle, Norfolk, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Manchester and Llandudno.

I’m still amazed at all we managed to cram in her teeny boot when 4 or 5 of us would go to festivals or church weekends away.

I took clients to the cinema, I once had to drive a kid from the community centre playgroup to hospital. I drove round to meet communities around Aberdeenshire as a Community Education worker. I travelled around Scotland training and supporting volunteers and workers in pregnancy centres. I drove teenagers to youth conferences. And one time I had my godson in the backseat who cried every time I stopped at a red light.

It was from my car that I saw the rainbow across the sky on New Year’s morning after asking God about whether I should get a tattoo (yes, I’m that person who prays to ask God to help me decide what to have for dinner despite all the crazy things that are of far, far greater concern in this world). It was in my car that my friends often put the world to rights. It was for my car that my friends would get indignant that someone had parked in ‘Cassie’s space’ round the corner from our church’s building in Aberdeen.

But what I miss most? Is the independence.

I have no doubt in how much my car was a key factor in improving my mental health. When I was anxious, driving to work gave me time and space with music to calm me down. When I was stressed I could drive to the beach and cartwheel. When I was upset, I could get in my car, blast my tunes until I reached the sand dunes that I would scream at God from. I could go visit my friends, go to the supermarket at any time. I didn’t have to navigate anyone’s schedule or work out complications of how I was going to get somewhere (other than trying to work out directions and not cause an accident). I miss the freedom and not having to rely on other people to get somewhere.

I do not miss how bad my car smelled with her leaking rainwater and friends who would leave all sorts of rubbish in it (and me not taking enough time to look in the backseat to check!)

I hope one day I’ll be privileged enough to own a car again. Preferably one that doesn’t have me emptying my bank account to the local mechanics. 🙂

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