Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 9 August 2007

Minor excitement - I just got my new vehicle registration number

I just had a 'phone call from the car dearlership where I'm buying my new car, for delivery on 1st September, with details of the registration number - I don't go in for personalised numbers (I'm not quite that vain!) but was able to choose the final letter to make the three-letter sequence at the end a little more memorable, in fact almost lexicographic (for anyone who knows me in 'real life' and happens to see me 'tootling' around next month).

I alluded to the fact that I was taking test drives for new cars last month. In fact I've gone with Toyota, a brand I've never owned before, and its 'Auris' range - this is the replacement for the ubiquitous 'Corolla' range. Of the other vehicles I tried I liked the Mazaa6 a lot, but the latest version of the Honda Civic doesn't 'float my boat' at all. This is a big disappointment to me, because my present car, and the two before, were all Hondas (in the 'Accord' range) and I really liked the old version of the 'Civic', but in the new one the rear-view is appallingly bad, however smart and 'space-age' the vehicle looks externally; it was otherwise excellent to drive and would no doubt have given me several years of almost trouble-free motoring. As well as the three recent Hondas, I also owned two 'Civics' (much, much earlier versions) when I lived in Jeddah and in Muscat in the late 70's and the early 80's, so it's a brand I know well and like and may well return to it in future.

I haven't owned a Mazda for over 20 years (I had two, first in Jeddah then in Hong Kong, in the mid-70's and the mid-80's), but the 'Mazda6' was good to drive and comfortable and the model I was looking at was pretty well equipped. However, I had made the decision, some time ago, to get a physically slightly smaller car as now that I no longer have a dog (and don't plan to 'replace' her) I decided that I shouldn't back-track and go for a vehicle similar in size to my present one. This won't be inconvenient in any way, except possibly when I'm driving down to Spain again next winter (when I plan to take a number things to leave there in the new house), but I think with careful planning it won't be too much of a hindrance. Either next year of the year after I'll be buying and leaving a car out there anyway, so won't want to drive the whole way after that in any case.

The Toyota 'Auris' was good to drive and pretty comfortable (and has a decent rear view) and the model I'm getting has the all-important cruise-control, plus a few other little gizmos I have come to favour and the brand has a reputation for extreme reliability - so I'm pretty happy overall with the choice I've made. Now, all I have to do is 'phone the insurance company to arrange the change of insurance.

Oh, and another little snippet' of Bill's life - late last night I suddenly decided to re-commence a couple of tapestry projects I began some years ago, but had left half-done; the one I've gone back to will eventually become a cushion-cover and depicts a bunch of black grapes with leaves - I want it to be ready as a little house-warming gift from myself to the new place in Spain. The other project is considerably more detailed (smaller and more complex stitching) and depicts a Chinese blue-ware plate; it will eventually be framed and used as a wall-hanging, probably here in Scotland. I started doing tapestry about 10 years ago as I had always wanted to do it, but never had the time when I worked - now that I no longer have a dog, I'm planning a return to tapestry as one of my 'displacement' activities, alongwith some more exercise - speaking of which I've got my morning sit-ups to do...

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