Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The 'Family' car

When I first became single my Mum was kind enough to let me borrow her car for a couple of weeks to get me to and from work.  Those two weeks turned into months and there I was, six months later, still driving around in her's! Life simply got in the way.

I have scrimped and saved (which wasn't easy over Christmas) and got together the money to get a car which is slightly better than a banger. Before having my son I would probably have gone for a nippy little convertible or something similar that was nice to look at, but having a child changes your 'must haves' when it comes to a car.  I had to find a car with Isofix points for the car seat, something economical, a big enough boot for the buggy and a convertible was out of the question because it would potentially mean his head would be squashed if we rolled in a crash. I found a Renault Megane in Portsmouth under the classified's on eBay at the lower end of my budget with really low mileage and only one previous owner (who was disabled and didn't drive around a great deal).

I went for a test drive a couple of weekends ago and it was quite nippy and near-immaculate condition. I took the trip last night to Winchester to pick up my mum and then on down to Portsmouth straight after work.  We picked up the car and drove to Fratton Train Station to switch my stuff out of the boot of her car into my new car (now nick-named 'Big Bottomed Betty Boop' or 'Betty' for short' because everyone names their car, right?) I got in the car, put the card in the slot (no key), pressed the 'Start/Stop' button and the engine fired up briefly and then died.  Great.  At this point it was 7.30pm, it was cold out (I hadn't brought a coat with me) and I was concious that I needed to get back home to relieve the babysitter.

After calling the owner of the garage I'd bought the car from and then in turn the mechanic (who couldn't come out because he was at home alone with his 3 year-old, who was in bed) they managed to get hold of Luke. Luke was the garage owner's son and the mechanic's step-son. Interesting dynamics if you ask me. I'm sure Christmases were interesting at their house.

Anyway, Luke taught me the 'knack' of getting the car to start with a few revs of the engine. He followed me to the petrol station to make sure I didn't get stranded and I headed on home. I got in the door at 10pm, ate some coleslaw and a couple of slices of Parma ham for my dinner and quickly checked my social networking sites before getting into bed.

All last night I struggled to sleep.  My son usually wakes up at least once in the night and he doesn't even have to cry now, I instinctively know when he's up. For ease (and I know I will struggle later) I bring him into the bed next to me.  However, for the first time in months he didn't wake up until 5.30am so I lay awake in anticipation of him waking for much of the night.  Suffice to say, I was pretty exhausted this morning.

Upon leaving the house in the usual blurry-eyed flurry and in my haste I forgot my make-up bag. Now, I wouldn't say I was vain, but I am now certainly of an age (pushing thirty) when I should at least put eye-liner and mascara on before leaving the house.  The realisation that I had left it behind when I was already stuck in traffic fighting to get to nursery hit me and I knew there was no way I could go home and get it.  When I finally got to work, I asked every girl and nobody seemed to have even mascara with them.  Note to self: have a back-up make-up kit in the office for these occasions.

I needed make-up so I thought I'd pop home at lunch time.  At that time of the day it should only really take me 20 mins max each way.  However, as I drove out of my business park over the humps in the road my rear view mirror dropped off it's clip and swung down in front of me by the wires. I jumped out of my seat and swore loudly. After trying to fix it back onto it's clip I started the journey down the motorway but only made myself feel sick from the wobbly mirror and distorted vision in my rear view.

When I got home I managed to fix it and, fingers crossed, little Betty doesn't have any more problems. I rely on her to get to work and without her I'm screwed!

On a positive note, I joined Weight Watchers today. As a working mum eating can be sporadic and my aim was to try to control my eating habits so I could feel healthier, fitter and happier. I had my son by emergency c-section and through that and pregnancy itself my body has changed in ways I wasn't expecting. Hats off to those women who embrace the changes but I'm not one of those, so tomorrow I'll talk about dieting and why I feel I need to do it.

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