Friday, April 07, 2006


Nag, nag, nag.

We're very fortunate where we live. The house is plenty big enough for us and the surrounding gardens and driveway are also of a pretty good size. In fact the driveway is extremely big, with room enough for probably half a dozen or more cars, a large front area with plenty of turning space and a long-ish (by UK standards) driveway through a walled gate down to the road.

Another feature of the house is a concrete wall running the length of the property the other side of which is a public footpath. It's not the prettiest of walls, and is perhaps more reminiscent of a Nazi camp or Russian gulag than anything else. As the driveway tapers up to the garage doors, so the gap between house and wall becomes narrower, and there is space for only one car and this is where Martha parks her lovely Blue Mercedes A-Class.

Now, as a nervous passenger, and terrible backseat driver, just about every time we go out in this car with Martha at the helm, I comment on how unbelievably close she gets to this wall as she turns the car into the large driveway area in order to leave via the gateway. As I said, there's plenty of room to maneuvre so there really isn't any need to get too close to the wall. "Mark my words," I said, "One day you'll ding your car into that wall!"

Well, today it finally happened.

I was at work and up popped an email from Martha with the words "...don't have a go."

Well, I didn't get angry. I was kind of disappointed I guess, because it seems to me that seldom do my words get heeded until it's too late. I know sometimes I talk a lot of crap, but occasionally I do have some valid points to make. Maybe I'm like the boy who cried wolf, and nobody takes me seriously because most of the time what comes out of my mouth is just fluff. I don't know.

Anyway, we exchanged a few tense emails during which I ascertained that the damage might not look AS bad with a wash and some "Colour Magic" and I also warned Martha that this was SO going in my blog today along with photos.

Admittedly the damage to the car isn't THAT bad. It's certainly not the sort of damage that is going to make the car any less likely to work on a day to day basis - it's purely cosmetic. Whether "Colour Magic" is going to do much good is a moot point though. Martha wiped down the scuff marks and it did look "a little" better, but it's still pretty unsightly.

What riles me up the most is men STILL get the pooey end of the stick when it comes to motor car insurance, because women are allegedly BETTER drivers than men. All of this in spite of the results of survey actually proving the contrary last year.

Maybe, as well as a practical driving test and a theory test, learner drivers should also be made to take a test on "spatial awareness" as it seems to me many drivers, men and women included, have absolutely NO idea of what is going on around them once they're inside their cosy little cars.

And before you all start, I admit I'm not a glowing example of driving prowess either, but if I mentioned this wall to her once, I'd mentioned it a thousand times.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury I present to you the photographic evidence.

Sorry Martha, that's a poor effort. I've done *much* worse than that to mine!!
Ann - Me's not the damage I'm bothered about, it's the fact she didn't heed my warnings.
Oh Gabby come on - no one is perfect. So she made a mistake and it dinged the car - no big deal - it's just metal. And look - now you won't have to remind her about the wall anymore b/c I'm sure she'll be much more conscious about it now without your torts! :)
Actually, SS, it's mostly plastic!
I feel really bad about scratching my car, but it is a lesson learned. At least Gabby can take pleasure from my pain...
Maybe you should all ask Gabby about the Zastava that he rolled UP a hill, and the Mini that he 360'ed on the M6!
Sometimes he needs reminding that he's not perfect either! :-)
Ooh umm umm I am torn on this one as I can see both sides here. Ah I know get out clause insert amusing car damage anecdote.

A friend on mine had neighbours who were fed up with cars running off the parking bay as they reversed, and making tracks in the grass. Fair enough really, though big cars have a tendency to swing wide when reversing, so not always possible to avoid.

Anyway said neighbour comes up with the genius idea of sticking a lump of scaffold pole into the ground on the very edge of the concrete. Didn't bother to paint it white or anything, and didn't leave enough sticking up to make it visible to car drivers. Can you see where we are going with this yet?

Cue me reversing my ford granada from my friends parking bay, my friend sat in passenger seat says, 'Ooh I almost forgot, mind the.....' Crunch!!!! Nice, whole front of my car just ripped off, and sat on the road, all plastic and totally beyond the aid of colour magic sadly.

Needless to say the neighbour didn't answer his door when I knocked rather angrily, but I saw the curtains twitch. The barsteward was probably inside laughing his horrible warty troll face off!
SS - I'm not phased so much about the scrape, I'm annoyed about the not paying attention to hubby's wisdom! ;-p

Oofma - Zastava incident happened before I passed my test so doesn't count! ;-p The Mini incident was caused by some sharp braking by the guy ahead of me that my poor min just couldn't cope with...and nobody warned me incessantly about it for weeks before hand. But I agree, I'm not perfect. I still love you though!

Serai - Thanks for sitting on the fence and the anecdote. Again I take heart in that you didn't have sufficient warning, whereas my wife had been told numerous times about how close she was getting to the wall. Next time I'll just tell my concerns to next doors cat - the effect will be much the same.
Awww, poor Martha. At least she's given driving a go over here, unlike scaredy-cat me. So cut her at least a bit of slack! It could've been much worse...(No, she didn't pay me to write this!--although the Sisterhood does stick together ha ha).
Carla - She learned to drive in the UK after only a couple of months - the funniest thing was she was allowed to drive here on her Canadian license for 6 months, so when she failed her driving test on the first attempt she was still able to drive to work quite legally immediately afterwards! How dumb is that?!
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