Getting married, the arrival of the first child, moving house, these are all major life changing events which can have adverse health consequences.
I would add another - changing car. My advice is to do it as infrequently as possible as the transaction reduces the net worth and increases the blood pressure. But the time had come to replace our five year old car with an identical but newer one, to minimise the stress of familiarisation.
I expressed mild interest in a nearly new car on a dealer’s website – not wanting to appear over eager; and gave details of my car.
An offer came back over the internet confirming my worst fears. I composed my reply – a mixture of disappointment at their lack of flexibility and a copy of a better offer for my car than they had made. I put in a counter offer at the top end of my expectations, and retired to my corner for a swig of Lucozade to gather energy for the next round.
But my offer was accepted. Of course, my car had not been seen. I expected to get knocked back when they looked it, engaged in the traditional tyre-kicking dance, looked under the bonnet, spotted the chipped windscreen, the scarred hubcap and the injuries done to it by fellow motorists parking in a confined space. But no; the deal stood.
Then I tried to pay for it. Cheques are apparently no longer legal tender in the motor trade, and the transaction had to be done by BACS.
I made sure my account was in funds and tried the transfer of a five figure sum. Not only did my bank refuse to carry it out. But they suspended my account with an email that said that, at some point in the next 48 hours, someone would contact me and hopefully normal service would be resumed. The garage was relaxed about this and a (nearly) new vehicle is now at my disposal.
This may well be the last article for some time. I read in the papers that our Prime Minister may shortly make the journey to the Palace and ask Her Majesty for permission to dissolve me and my parliamentary colleagues. If so, the Editor of this journal may decide that there shall be four articles in his paper on a Friday; or, more likely, none. Neutrality between the contestants in the forthcoming election is required from our local newspaper. lest there be any enduring advantage to the incumbent.
Whether this column is next written by its author for the past 13 years or by A N Other is a matter for the readers. That is the essence of democracy. So I lay down my pen; only to pick it up tomorrow to begin drafting an Election Address – (which will, I fear, be a heavier read than the column. But with more pictures.)