The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Good news: Jalopy is home for another year

Photo: M.O.T. certificate

Photo: M.O.T. certificate

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?”
I nodded.
“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.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hello KarenO

    Thanks. Another year is a boon.

  2. Hooray … so glad for you Fiona (& for jalopy too)

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Michelle

    I am delighted to have my old friend back in the harness, so to speak!

    Hello Heidi

    Fingers crossed that she’ll see her 18th birthday 🙂

    Hi Lyn

    Thanks for dropping by.

    Hi Lizzie

    Sounds to me that you are growing to love your car…

    Hi Pamela

    Your Kangoo sounds like a brilliant car. Jalopy hold quite a bit of stuff too but no quite as much as yours probably could.

    Hello Sylvie

    Yeah! We are so pleased. We have amazed the village too.

    Hi Amanda

    Waves of relief are rippling through the cottage.

    Hello Wendy

    It was a great relief.

    Hello Jo

    What an amazing story. You were lucky to survive. Poor you damaging your back though – do hope that it will eventually heal completely.

    Jaguars are very beautiful cars. I have been told about the dangers of aquaplaning but didn’t know how lethal it could be.

    Hello S.O.L.

    Thanks. She needed some good vibes.

    Hi Z

    That’s amazing. He must have really cherished it over the years.

    Hello Belinda

    There were tears of relief from me when I got the news 🙂

  4. S.O.L. LOL!

    Fiona I almost cried… (no, really) Im so happy for you & Jalopy. Congratualtions.

    (and this from me, Miss Never Shed A Tear)

    Z, WOW! What is it?

  5. I’m very glad for you.

    My husband still has his first car, which is a lot older than he is – it had its 80th birthday last August!

  6. That was meant to be “I had a feeling in my bones”

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