What? Stop procrastinating, you say? Moi? Rude.
OK, here we go: I bought a new car today!
And like most things in my life, there's a bit of a story to go with it…
Remember back at the beginning of March I wrote about how I'd found an awesome looking Mini Clubman on the Mini Cherished website, and how my local dealer's attempts to get hold of it for me only ended in disappointment when they told her it had been sold? Well someone was telling porky-pies: it was very much still for sale. And how did I find this out? Continued perving on the Mini Cherished website, that's how. Seriously, I'm not kidding. In the days after what came to be known as Disappointment Monday, I continued to scour the Cherished website looking for an alternative, but equally awesome Clubman, and I noticed that the one I liked was still listed. At the end of that week I thought 'bugger it' and decided to fire off an email enquiry. The following Monday I got a call from the dealer, and my first question to him was "is it still for sale?" He said "yes" and we set the gears in motion for me to go up and test drive it.
Hence my day trip to faraway Cheshire a couple of weeks back. Do you see how all the plot points are drawing together here? It's like Lost, only a little bit less convoluted and with a sexier protagonist.
Anyway, the bit that was left out of the day trip to Cheshire post was that I got there, stretched my legs, bought a bottle of water in Tesco, test drove the dreamy Clubman, loved it, put a deposit down, and hey presto - a little under two weeks later - it's mine!
Ladies and germs, may I introduce you to my Mini Cooper Clubman.
I took today off work to wait for it to be delivered and as luck would have it I was peering out my bedroom window as it came down the road. It's totally not like I'd been sitting there waiting for half an hour at all. I was all manner of excited as it turned the corner into my road for the first time, and ran outside to greet the driver like a giddy schoolgirl. Less than half an hour later we'd exchanged various bits of paper on which I'd signed my life away numerous times, and the Mini chap was off in my beloved Mini Cooper S. I'm not afraid to say that as I was clearing all my bits out of my Cooper S last night I got a wee bit emotional, and watching someone else drive it away for the last time was weird. But then I turned to the lovely new Mini in front of me. My lovely new Mini.
After staring at it for what felt like ages and showing it off to the lovely old couple across the road, I jumped in my Clubman and drove it over to show Sparky Ma and Pa and Sparky Nan (they all loved it, and Sparky Ma was the first to dive in and check out the benefits of the clubdoor). Next up, I headed over to my regular Mini dealer where I registered it for all the servicing and warranty stuff (as much as I liked the Cheshire dealer, I don't particularly want to have to go there every time I need an oil change), and ordered some rubber floor mats because the ones I had in my Cooper S don't fit in the new shape Minis.
The carpet story: When I bought my first Mini back in 2001 I quickly decided that I wanted some practical rubber mats instead of the deep, almost shag-pile carpet in the front footwells, a side-effect, I believe, of Sparky Pa constantly telling me not to traipse mud through his cars when I was a kid. The official Mini floor mats were an absolute bargain and looked awesome too. When I got my Cooper S the first thing I did upon getting it home was to swap out the carpet mats and replace them with the rubber ones. The carpet ones were subsequently stashed in my very tiny bedroom at Sparky Ma and Pa's.
Now, I was convinced that when I moved out I'd taken the two carpet mats with me, but evidently not, as my panicked phone call to Sparky Pa last night revealed. Fortunately Sparky Pa, who is a great hoarder of his own things but very quick to ask if he can chuck your stuff away, had stashed them away in his shed, although I say fortunately in the loosest possible sense of the word because between telling me he still had them and the time of writing he's reminded me at every opportunity that he had come very close to junking them.
Anyway, the happy resolution to the carpet story is that Big Bro and Sparky Pa made a mercy dash over to Sparky Towers last night in Big Bro's flash new car (which Sparky Ma has dubbed 'The Beast') to deliver the infamous carpet mats to me, and they were safely installed in my Cooper S before my Clubman was delivered. Good times.
So that's about it: I've done about 50 miles in my Clubman today, and am slowly beginning to get my head around the complexities of the iPhone interface (for someone that jumped on the Apple bandwagon a good 10 years ago, I'm the last in the family to get an iPod connection in my car - no more six CD-changer for me I'll have you know!). Things I love so far? Well, just about everything. It feels so special … I don't know whether that's because of the unusual door arrangement or because unlike my first two Minis, which were essentially the same model, this one is completely different. What I do know is that I proper heart the efficient dynamics Minimalism technology that cuts the engine out when you're sitting in traffic; this is the most environmentally friendly car I've ever owned. Good times for me, the planet, and all the hippies out there.
I've cherished the five-and-a-bit years I've shared with my Cooper S, but I'm definitely looking forward to all sorts of new Mini adventures with my Clubman. And that includes getting more than 32 miles to the gallon.