We loved that car… plus Eden Court & Peppa Pig!

The point of no more repairs? £3000 ago.

The only thing left to go wrong was the flux capacitor

We scrapped our car this week, Mr Marr and me. It failed its MOT (again) and with an estimate of £700 plus VAT to carry out the repairs, we had reached that point of it being foolish to spend any more. In all honesty, that point of no more repairs probably came about a year and £3000 ago, but with so many parts having been replaced, including the turbo, the clutch, and the brake discs, we assumed there was nothing left to go wrong apart from the flux capacitor. We were mistaken. This time it was wheel-bearings. Who knew that one single family car had so many working parts?

We got the call with the bad news last Friday, and it took a full week for us to face facts and make the reluctant journey to the garage with an empty Bag for Life and the paperwork for the DVLA.  Sadly, the definition of ‘contents to be collected’ didn’t stretch to the almost full tank of fuel, but we did find several pairs of previously lost sunglasses and Stevie Wonder’s Greatest Hits on CD. It was a sad journey home and quite a heavy one too – there must have been a special offer on screen wash at some point because I’d fairly stocked up.

Of course it’s not Mr Marr’s fault he bought a turkey…

A handful of freebie sunglasses and a bootleg Stevie Wonder CD. All that’s left of our beloved Subaru.

We loved that car. To be fair, Mr Marr loved that car more than I did, but he had a lot more invested in it. It’s the very first car in our 30+ years of being together that he was allowed to buy unsupervised, and the only turkey we’ve had in all those years of joint bank accounts. Of course, I’m not nearly callous enough to point that out to him. Instead, I’m saving it up as the final trump card to some future argument that I’d otherwise be on the verge of losing.

Our beautiful Subaru Legacy Outback had everything going for it, apart from a working engine. It was a stunning denim blue with an enormous sun-roof. It had comfortable leather heated seats, an excellent sound system and a cavernous estate boot, which was easily big enough to accommodate the entire contents of our girls’ student flats, plus bikes, tents, and – once – a new fridge-freezer. On the few occasions when it wasn’t being winched onto a Ross’s Garage truck it was a wonderfully smooth ride, and – don’t laugh – it always seemed pleased to be driven.

Dodging the evil eye

So, we’re now in the market for a new one.

And that’s the seriously scary bit. Have you seen the price of new cars these days? Jeezo! Admittedly, I could use the motorhome for getting about town, but with the evil-eye we get from local drivers these days for just having the audacity to own one, I don’t fancy putting myself through all that for a Tesco shop.

The best solution might be online shopping for groceries, plus a car share club. Any recommendations? Can I request a car with a sunroof?

Under Canvas at Eden Court – wine, beer, pizza… and LIVE MUSIC!

Thank you, Mr Mack-Black

James MacKenzie Blackman recently announced his surprise departure from the helm of Eden Court, the Highlands’ flagship theatre, cinema, and multi-arts complex. By December, he’ll have steered that beautiful ship for four years, and his swansong will be another glorious panto.

Last Thursday evening we went to Eden Court, to take up our pre-booked table ‘Under Canvas’. The marquee is a stunning, welcoming addition to the nightlife of the city. With table-served pizzas, beer and wine, plus live music, and cosy blankets to keep out any chill, we couldn’t have wished for more.

Under Canvas is one of the best examples of the vision that MacKenzie-Blackman articulated for Eden Court during his too-short tenure. It’s frustrating that we couldn’t have him for longer, and that so much of his time here was during the pandemic, but like many others, I wish him all the very best in his new role.

Way to go, Peppa Pig

I was intrigued to see Peppa Pig was trending on Twitter this week. Turns out the UK TV series about an energetic preschool piglet has become a massive hit in the US, but American parents seem bewildered by their kids adopting English accents and using British versions of our common language, like optician, telly and holidays.

Way to go, Peppa! you’re a piglet after my own heart. Can I request an episode about neepie lanterns and guising at Hallowe’en, instead of pumpkins and trick-or-treating? Unless we can give Gaelic a boost by selling them Dotaman?

This column is published by Highland News and Media in six of their newspapers across the north of Scotland. If you can, please support print media and the future of independent  journalism by buying a paper, or subscribing online. 

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