Where was M last night? Oh, he was travelling interstate on an intrepid adventure. Supping oysters in Hobart in fact. Did we know, at the start of the week, that this would be the case? No we did not. We did not know this until Tuesday, when I booked him a $90 ticket to fly there to check out and hopefully snaffle a… A what?
A new catamaran?
An egglike caravan of wondrous dimensions?
Another black rabbit?
Or D, none of the above?
It was none of the above. The impending arrival of PartyPie on the scene had given us pause to think about whether we should resurrect our f@#king excellent $900 HiAce van that has done so well for us. It was going to cost more than $500 to try and fix its dead cylinder and although we had happily driven for years, shielded from the road by a thin veneer of paint held together by rust, we thought that PartyPie might be less than impressed with the arrangement. So.
While Vanee sits unused [sob] and still starting first go [sob sob] we have been using a combination of my mum’s car (she’s away for three months) and the Humber – which has a new carby, but really needs the good love of a Humber whisperer, as it’s running a bit fast. Vanee was really M’s set of wheels. A motorised mankfest of fibreglass dust, icecream wrappers, bits of dead safety glasses and the occasional stiff discarded sock. I thought this was just reserved for Vanee. I was wrong. It’s pretty much reserved for any car M drives. (Sorry mum. Can you feel him frowning as he reads this – everyone?) Mr H drove one of our current vehicles on the weekend and said, I quote, that it was ‘like driving an archaeological dig’.
This is going to change. (Well, actually, it already has. I cleaned out and vacuumed both cars yesterday as M was safely out of reach on the other side of Bass Strait. Lucky for HIM.) Because we have just got ourselves A BRAND NEW MOTOR!! I mean, in as far as it has never been ours before – because it’s not like we buy anything new!! Especially when old is better. M and I have both been musing on a Vanee replacement, and have been fixated on old diesel Mercedes’. We’ve watched them appear, and disappear, on ebay. We’ve spoken to a guy who was selling one in Queensland. We’ve ummed, and aaahed. The 300D was our model of choice.
Why? Because it’s known to be freakishly reliable, safe, simple to work on and best of all… it’s diesel! And we plan to run it on biofuel, with the eventual intention being to run it on SVO – straight vegie oil. But they are kind of hard to come by in Melbourne, and I wanted the older, more funky version. M, meanwhile, was starting to get so keen on the idea that he was starting not to care hugely about what it looked like, so LONG AS IT WAS DIESEL. I found the compromise in the trading post on Monday. It’s a station wagon (ideal for carrying surfboards, sleeping in the back of, rescuing Large Items from hard rubbish), it’s a Mercedes 300TD (the ‘t’ is for touring and the ‘d’ is for diesel) and… it cost marginally less than the baby bonus.
Ha! We didn’t care that it was in Tasmania. What’s the ferry for, after all, if not for bringing back things that won’t fit on a plane? We were lucky enough to have my dad give us an advance on the PartyPie Government Donation, and I booked all M’s travel arrangements on Tuesday with the power of t’internet. From all reports, the car is a winner. Somewhat short on ambience and cutting edge funkification, but it is going to be taking over from a HiAce van, so it’s not like we’re moving from a Humber to a Holden. It is, in fact, like we are moving from a HiAce to a longer, more German, lower roofed van… that looks like this: