Change is inevitable, it’s everywhere you look, it’s who we are and who we were and who we want to be. As part of my involvement with the wonderful project ‘of Altered States’ expertly navigated by the lovely Victoria Griesdoorn, I’ve agreed to host part of this multi interview thing with some of the other contributors, so here are my two portions: Change of Car and Change of Home.
Change of car
I used to have a ford KA — I only had it because they offered free insurance, and being a new driver at the time it was cheaper than buying an old banger. When I got to 21 I chopped it in for a pimped up Japanese MX5 import. Ah, those were the days.
Ah now, my first car was a golden chariot with Morris Marina on the back. By the time I changed it, the doors were wired shut (coz the locks didn’t work — climbed in through the window) it had no back brakes (coz I went to change them, couldn’t work out how and just left them like that) and I had to start it on the solenoid (coz the ignition stopped working). Still miss that car. Changed it for a hatchback, boring piece of crap never broke down once.
Medically, I’m not permitted to drive. In an emergency, I know how to drive – I just hope the roads are clear of traffic! Here in Antigua, we don’t need a car. If we do, my husband hires one. Otherwise it’s taxis, buses and good old-fashioned walking.
I went from the sublime to the ridiculous; a 4×4 (long story involving toddler, pregnancy, deep snow and the Pennines) to a Prius. Dangerous cars, very quiet. They give vicars heart attacks when you creep up behind them. Now I’ve got a C1 that everyone can hear – good in the snow too.
My head’s still full of this image, of me crouched on the battlements of my precarious health with a spear in my hand when you stop at the door of an unfamiliar vehicle. Where’s the Volvo? I ask, baffled by the shrunken replacement for what I expected, as if my nice big car has also been cut away from me and dumped in some incinerator while the operating team stitches me up with this new but tinny model.
I’ve only ever had one car, but when I got my motorcycle license my car was abandoned every once in a while. I loved my little Suzuki Alto and Honda CB650 motorcycle. Unfortunately I had to sell both when moving to the U.S. from Europe.
She didn’t see the Mexican in the rusty pickup rumble through the red light. We still think he did it on purpose based on the number of witnesses that suddenly appeared. But there it sat in our parking garage, my sports car crumpled like a wad of aluminum foil. I think about that car as I load the minivan full of toddlers and groceries.
Change of home
Only ever had one. The move from the family home to my own with the other-half. I’m looking forward to another move hopefully in 2012. I’ve poured every penny and muscle into this house getting it up to scratch. Hate the area though.
I was born into a house in the centre of my small town. A terraced house that we left when I was 12 for a semidetached on the edge of the valley. Got my own room then, which was nice. The countryside of forests and mountains and fast-running streams changed my world from running across scaffolding being chased by night-watchmen to running across manicured lawns being chased by Dobermans. Same diff, but the tree branches broke more often than the scaffolding.
When I was a kid, the best part of moving house was the race to choose a bedroom. My sister and I had twenty-three races. Sometimes we only stayed in a house for a couple of months. My father was a Royal Marine and our lives were–nomadic.
We moved to gain a safer outside play space. We had to leave behind a beautiful garden, terraced as high as the eaves of the house and backing onto wildlife filled woodlands. I cried looking out on the new view; rooftops and sulfur streetlights. The price of the kids’ freedom.
The Volvo failed its MOT you say, not meeting my eye, so I traded it in. This one’s newer and so much cheaper to run and now there’s only the two of us -. Fine. I cut you off. At least tell me I’m going to come home to the same house. Tell me you didn’t sell that while I was in the hospital. Your hands are on the steering wheel and as you rest your forehead on them, my new heart skitters to the jerky conclusion that
I have moved on several occasions but the most dramatic was leaving my parents’ house (where I lived temporarily) to move in with my boyfriend across the globe. Literally. It was a bit of a culture shock I can tell you.
Now we have moved eleven times since we got married. If you count our single days, it would be a combined 25 different addresses. But the most memorable was leaving Southern California for the Midwest. It took five years or so before it felt like home.
The interviews schedule:
January 10: ofAlteredStates – change of heart; direction
January 12: Victoria Griesdoorn– change of weather; life
January 14: Cath Murphy – change of scenery; name
January 17: Stephen Godden – change of habit; shoes
January 19: Bill Webb – change of use; for the worse
January 21: Colin F Barnes – change of car; home
January 24: Julie Erwin– change of …