Friday, January 26, 2007
I know, I know, Iiiiiiiiii knnnoooow. I haven't been looking after the poor blog at all at all. But I have resolved to Straighten Up And Fly Right for once and for all [a decision patently unrelated to a visit from the nice people in Blog Social Services who mentioned - while tapping really lovely shiny aluminium baseball bats against their thighs, very LV "Miroir" - that they'll have to place it in protective custody if I don't sort it aaaaaght.] So, going forward, the plan is for shorter, more frequent posts - oi, stop laughing down the back!
In my defence [wow, a lot of my entries seem to feature that wee phrase], I have been a busy lickle Fraggle. Alright, so I haven't been posting up
- suffering with chest & sinus infections [as sexeeeee as it sounds];
- celebrating birthdays [Himself's, mine, Himself's godson];
- having panic attacks about the state of my credit card/bank balance [January is quite obviously the cruellest month; Eliot was absolutely bonkers].
Aaaaaaand [drum-roll, please], getting me some wheels!!!!!
It's something I'm sure anyone who knows me thought they'd never live to see; we all know I like to
Fervent nods of agreement all round there!
However, after nearly 18 months of trawling through carzone.ie, autotrader.ie, and carbuyersguide.ie, reading endless reviews of used cars and comparing safety ratings on euroncap.com, it has finally happened. Now, I revised my choice of motor on no fewer than three occassions. Remember the Peugeot 206 post from this time last year? Then I wanted a MKIV Polo, but it had to be a chagall blue 3 door, with p/s and at least driver's a/b. It soon became clear that they are rarer than... well, something very bloody rare, so I upped the budget and went on the hunt for a 3 door MKV Polo with spot front fog lights. But of course you have to spend a fortune to get anything other than bog-standard with VW, and that's unsurprisingly reflected in the resale prices of their used cars. Back to the MKIV so; sure one that ticks all my boxes will turn up eventually, I reasoned. It did, and was snapped up by some
I suspect that the whole process would have been an awful lot easier if I was the sort of girl who doesn't give a toss about motors and wouldn't know a CLS from her elbow. Buying a car is much more complicated when you enjoy a browse through Halfords, would rather watch Top Gear than the soaps, read Hayne's manuals, are an active member of several online modifying forums and actually know how to change a tyre. You know what you like and don't like, and what you wouldn't be caught dead driving in a million years, which narrows the First Car options are significantly: the Fiesta, Yaris, Micra and Clio never even made it to my shortlist.
Ok. So, what could I buy that was a relatively cheap 3 door, un-mammy-ish car with a good EuroNCAP rating and a few nice features?
Well, as it happens, this!
- Make/model: FIAT Punto Sporting
- Engine size: 1242 16v
- Year: 2000
- Colour: Astral Blue
So, behold my loooovely First Car! As it's a Sporting, it is waaaay cooler than a regular Punto: alloys, side skirts, spoiler, sporting suspension, 16v rather than 8v, alarm, remote central locking, 6-speed gearbox and high spec interior complete with dash-mounted 6 CD changer [as well as radio/casette deck], bucket seats and leather steering wheel. And that is how it came out of the factory so everything is original hence no madness with the insurance peeps! Niiiiice.
A quick word to the wise on the purchase of The Punto Sporting: the next person to say "FixItAgainTomorrow" to me will earn a smack in the mouth for their trouble. You have been warned!
So far, I have driven The Punto Sporting to Avoca Rathcoole & Whitewater in Newbridge [to give it a feel for where it will spend a good portion of it's time], Naas & Mullacash [to show it off to the rellies], and Portarlington [so it knows where 'home' is]. I have also driven it in the snow which was a first for me and was really wierd; I thought it looked as though I was driving through spaghetti.
A car is apparently the second biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime. [Makes me wonder what the third might be. A Gucci tote, I guess.] So it's a big deal. And it can actually teach you something about yourself, about who you really are. Turns out that I, for example, am the type of saddo who pretty much says good night and good morning to her car, running to the window at intervals to make sure it's still there.
Well, I didn't say you'd like what you'd learn, did I!
* Oh, come on! Like you could spell hghuuuuuuuhhhh any better.
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