Life in the fast lane?
Life in living in the country has its benefits, lovely roads surrounding where I live – the A82/A84/A85 all intersect on my door step. If you are up here, you may notice locals with ‘Demand an A82 upgrade’ – no wonder….. if you want to check out the suspension of your car, then drive up the Loch Lomond road – you will either be taking your car to the garage, thinking there is something wrong with it, or having to stop in the view-filled lay-bys for a whizz. It’s just like driving your car along a cheese-grater – honestly, go and get your one out the cupboard and examine it….. that’s the A82 the pride and joy of Scotland…. the main artery to get to the Highlands of Scotland from Glasgow.
Don’t get me wrong, the scenery is outstanding, that’s if you get the chance to notice it whilst you are having a white knuckle ride. Last night the loch was shimmering, the views fantastic. However, photo stops were not going to happen, as I was too busy concentrating whilst I was driving up the middle of the road, straddling the white line. Honestly, I was – it is the only way to do it – somewhere on our driving licences, I am sure there is a bit that says “Tear along dotted line…” Oh – is that the bit you have to send back in case you need to change your address????
The lumps and bumps are horrendous and the standard of driving even worse, people just keek their breeks on that road…. I came up behind 4 cars, the one at the front of the queue doing 23…. that is not a typo.. he was doing 23mph. Needless to say, I made the most out of the power my wee chariot has, and blasted past the first 3 cars. The last one was fairly easy to get past – after all, it was only doing – yes, 23mph. That overtake was easy peasy. I think I did it in about 20 yards…. The guy driving could barely see from underneath the flat cap he was wearing, with his passenger gesturing wildly at the beautiful scenery.
Very good. Did this guy not realise that there were 3 (I can’t be counted, coz I was on a mission to get home) frustrated drivers behind him…. It was a ‘modern’ car – fitted with the obligatory rear view mirror and lo and behold two side mirrors too. Has this prat not realised that it is actually for looking in, and not adjusting his cap in the mirror. People like that should just STOP. Take in the scenery, take a chill pill (want some?) take some photos, and take anything else that is going to MAKE YOU WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!!!! Use your mirrors, after all, they were invented for more than adjusting your flat cap/donning your make up (what’s that?) or squeezing your plukes* (*delete where applicable).
Keeping on the car subject….
I drive what could be a ‘Hot Hatch’ – wonder what colour it is…. aye… it’s red! My BlackBerry matches it beautifully. So do my Merrells, my Canada fleece, and when I want to be the remotest bit ‘feminine’ I have two (2) red handbags… which I seldom use – but, they are RED!! Oh, forgot, I have two (2) matching vacuum mugs – oh crap, I have 3! Sad? Yes…. indeed I am! I have to say here when I say ‘when I want to be the remotest bit feminine…’ I am not gay. I just don’t do the things that the majority of women do… I HATE shopping – unless it involves Amazon or Costco. I avoid going to the shops unless it is an emergency – for work shoes – which I wear out on a regular basis, or underwear however I have discovered Bravissimo…. Takes all the sweat out of shopping for a new bra!
So, back to my hot hatch – it’s a Honda, and I always drive it the way it’s meant to be driven – Like I stole it…. I do have a ‘bit’ of a reputation. Don’t think should say anything more than that. I may get into bother!
No doubt anyone reading this this may just add to that….
Anyway – my pride and joy for the last few months has been giving me a bit of grief. How do you start – there is a VSA button – Vehicle Stability Assist – Honda’s version of ‘Traction Control’. In the last 6 months, it has been like I have had it switched off. Switch it off under normal circumstances, it is a blast – lots of ‘wooooohooooo’s’. Mental. HOWEVER, driving it all the time, when it is behaving like a MKlll Escort, or a fast car with rear wheel drive (my chariot is front wheel drive), it’s sweaty, and you don’t give the car to ‘just anyone’. There are only four people who are allowed to drive it – Ed, Mike, Craig & Cheryl – coz they know it’s wonky!!!
My last gasp for getting Honda to believe me, was taking it to my pal – who previously worked for Honda, whom I respect greatly…. He moved away from Honda (what a scunner that was) … went to Renault, and is now going out to the middle east to be a manager for Honda out there…. Lucky bugger – cars, bikes and speedboats… (when can I visit?). So, I handed over the keys, and gave him instructions… Yup – you guessed it…. “Drive it like you stole it”.
John picked on a couple of unsuspecting round abouts in Edinburgh and gave it hell….. the car was arse oot, going round the round abouts. I must admit, at this point, I witnessed John wiping the sweat off his brow. “We have a problem, Houston.” were his words. That kind of covers it, really. Now to persuade Honda that they really, really have to believe me!!!
So, I called them up today to check that I was still ok to get warranty work done – some trivial painty stuff. I included scraping brakes (got discs and pads under warranty 3000 miles back) windscreen wiper ‘scooshers’ that don’t work properly (which involves a Fox story), and…. I made him put on the service sheet… IN RED (of course, it has to be red)… there is a problem with the handling…. and you have to believe me!!!
I asked about a courtesy car, and he said that, yes, there would be, but what it would be was doubtful…. I asked, what do you mean by that? He couldn’t confirm what car it would be… So, being a complete petrol head, I said that I would take one of the showroom motorbikes that they had in the showroom….
oh…. they have pulled all the bikes in the showroom. That’s ok, I was disappointed for a nano second, wondering if I was going to get a Jazz for the time they have the car…. until he said in the same breath, that they had replaced the superbikes with lawn mowers.
So, on Monday, if you see someone going up the A85, driving a lawnmower, give me a wave!!!!!