So just before Christmas, we learned the limitation of the carless life.
My dad had gone into hospital at the beginning of December and on the 19th, a Sunday, my sister phoned to say the hospital had suggested we go in. When my mum died in 1999, the hospital phoned and we got straight in the car and headed right there. This time, we had public transport, a Sunday and snow to contend with. (Being close to the end of the month, we couldn’t afford a hire car. We had the cost of the car, but not the deposit.)
I won’t bore you with the details, but it took me six hours to do what should have been a one hour journey. (This not only involved an hour’s wait on a freezing train platform, a rail replacement bus, three hours on a train with an overflowing loo and no heating and the final leg in a taxi – a taxi! – but I was also charged £10.40 for the privilege. Oh look, sorry, I did bore you with the details.) So then I spent the next few days staying with my sister while David and the boys missed me – and felt helpless – at home.
It really brought home the fact that we need a car, if only for emergencies. If we lived in the same town as the rest of the family then maybe not. If public transport was reliable then maybe not. But we don’t and it isn’t and the whole experience made me feel a bit cut off and also a bit… lame. I’m 40 this year and I had to get my father-in-law to drop me off at the station (after calling him away from church!).
It’s just no good.
So we’re not going to be carless forever, but we’ll still be carless for a while yet.
(you can read more in the Carless Whispers series by clickety clicking on the image above)
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