Last night I had a message from Mrs Button on my mobile.
“Your Volvo will be ready to collect after 9 am tomorrow.”
I rang her straight back.
“Did she pass the M.O.T.?”
“Yes. But don’t come before nine as they have a few small things to tweak. They had to do some welding.”
The relief swept over me with a great wave of joy. One more year with my old friend. The cost of the service and repairs was very competitive too. Ian Button had done me proud. He was highly recommended as a great mechanic. It turns out that his garage is on the Which list of good garages.
So after breakfast we drove out to his garage on the outskirts of Fordham. There was Jalopy sitting outside the office with the same slightly vacant look of patients waiting to be collected from a hospital reception.
Ian was welcoming and ebullient.
“I reckon that we can keep her going for another year or two.”
Wow. She’d be old enough to vote if she were human.
“By the way, her clutch is on its last legs. Are you a member of the RAC or AA?”
“They will tow her over to me when the time comes.”
As I was planning to visit the organic butcher in Fordham, Danny drove home and left us chatting.
“Let me show you my favourite toy.”
Ian stepped into the office. I was intrigued – what could be so small that it could be stored in such a teeny space? He reached up and took down a framed photo from the wall and passed it to me.
“What do you think?”
It was a photo of a car. Sleek, red, polished and oozing quality. Ian stared at me intently.
“It’s beautiful. I’m not so good at deluxe car spotting. What is it?”
“A Ferrari. I love Italian cars. My wife has an Alpha Romeo. It’s a bit temperamental but it’s a wonderful car.”
“You’re in the perfect place to indulge your passion for Italian cars.”
“Sometimes I go into my garage and just sit and gaze at my Ferrari.”
I know where he’s coming from. In the past I’ve peeped out of an upstairs window at a ‘new to me car’.
”I’m a lucky man. I love my work. And I work in the heart of the country, just half a mile from home.”
We listened to the birdsong and almost on cue, the clouds parted and the sun shone.
I slipped into Jalopy’s front seat, turned the ignition and held the well worn wheel. As we headed for the main road I realised that I love her very much indeed.
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