Monday, 14 September 2009

Latest Discovery: old cars drive old people wild.

Mr. Nash, clearly not in his natural environment.

The other night in the pub I remember explaining to someone who was propping up the bar that, no, despite my middle-England-middle-class accent and Shire come-from, I have never been skiing in my life and I certainly am not enamored with horses in any way, shape or form. Stinky, foot-treading, constantly-aroused creatures.

Instead of taking up reigns as a pony person, I spent my youth struggling with musical instruments, going to Brownies, eating cake mixture (as previously discussed), drawing incessantly and, as I said to this bloke, "playing with my Dad's cars".

This isn't as rebellious as it sounds. Daddy Bowlface has always had a vintage car in the garage. My siblings and I have always been driven about in them, had naps in the back of them, burnt the back of our thighs on hot leather seats during the summer and distracted DB when he's working on them. Indeed, with one particular model it became more of a game of "how many children can we chuck in the back of this thing?"

The garage has always had that inexplicable smell of car. Which is an amalgamation of oil, leather, hot metal and man-in-overall and is always lovely.

Anyway, since becoming only a temporary Shire resident, there have been fewer vintage car rides, what with one thing and another. I had forgotten quite what an impact a 1936 Frazer Nash would have in our local town.

So, donning several large cardigans and scarves, I squidged into the car and off we went. Getting the odd look from a white van man at a roundabout is pretty much obligatory with these things, so I didn't take much notice.

However, once we'd got into the 'historic centre' of town - i.e, where Woolworths used to be, and general hang out of the elderly - a whole new experience happened. Suddenly, an old man with a flat cap raised his walking stick at us and said "good morning". We didn't know who he was, but clearly the car was a justification for happy greetings.

Then, a herd of trolley-pushers paused, as if struggling to comprehend what the hell was going on when my Dad was parking the beast. It was as if they'd literally never seen something as old as them still working before.

Thus, looks and stares continued, along with cries of "what a lovely old car!" which is quite nice, I suppose. Clearly we brought something into their day, and, on a more sinister note, stunned them to the extent that I could have technically mugged them all by the time the handbrake was up.

I mentioned this to DB when we got home. He seemed most blase about it, "oh yes," he said, "most of them think it's an MG".

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