A Toyota's a Toyota

I almost titled this, well, I can't quote it - it's from a poem that my students are studying at the moment and I guess I still try to keep my work self and my rare public brain dump at a hazy distance from each other. Not so far as to deny anything, but not so close that a procrastinating student with a bit of Google-fu doesn't decide to do a deep dive and analyse me like I'm one of our texts.

It was just really one word that mattered in the quote, a small one - literally. "Wee". Today some students, my clever 12s on the verge of uni and regularly rolling around in niche literary devices that they'll never see again after exams, didn't know "wee" as in "word for something little" but only "wee" as in "I need to have one after all of these Slurpees." Really changes the meaning of a poem, especially when you're talking about tiny tears. "Get a load of persona here, crying in urine."

Obligatory "we've all been there, though".

I haven't been crying in anything recently, which only means I haven't been watching enough YouTube videos with heart-warming rescue squirrels. I did just post a kind of bleak Facebook status, but I meant it with a small grin. We bought a car, and it took me a few tries before I stopped attempting to message Dad to tell him. Reach for the phone and oh, wait, nope. 

I guess it's a testimony to how dull life has been, that it has been so long in these past nine-ish months since my last urge to do that. 

We've had to buy a car because our current car, soon to be our backyard ornament, is not safe to drive after some transmission aberration, and oh here is not where I talk about how it was quickly diagnosed and twice taken to be repaired, us twice having to rent a car for a week while waiting for the appointment, and us twice given... the same diagnosis. Despite us providing the diagnosis in the first place then explicitly asking if they could fix it. "Yes yes" then, and "no no" later, from the first place, who said we had to see the dealer. (Charge removed.) "Yes yes" from the dealer then "no no" later because the part is scarce and won't be available until mid-August at the soonest. (Charge not removed.)

With no attractive leasing options for the minimum of ten weeks ahead, we've decided to just, yeah, go ahead and buy something. Something new, even, a first for both of us. But nothing fancy. We're not car people. We're so not car people that this car actually is fancy to us. A hybrid? A reversing camera? Wow-ee. I wish I could tell Dad.

Not that he'd be very excited by a Toyota. I mean, no one is, but he always bought American, a couple of oo-la-la cars aside. I think I get a dispensation, though, what with being in Australia. He was noticeably quiet about the Mazda, seeming to reconcile himself to it. And now the Mazda will be quiet while we consider our options there. It may be fifteen years old, but this is its first problem. We're not ready to pasture it just yet... I mean, beyond it soon mostly sitting on the wood chips out back where the pool is meant to someday go.

I stepped on a snail in the driveway last week. That kept me up. (I still have a heart.) There's another snail in repose on the window pane now, just above the lavender. We haven't gardened much in recent years, so I can love the snails again without a side of exasperation.

I tried some Tunisian crochet last weekend. It's lovely! I just need a project that excites me. I like the process and the feel - especially of the knit stitch - but I already have plenty of shawls and scarves (and zero interest in wearing them but running out of chair backs and sofa arms), and I'm still poking away on my delicate granny square blanket. (The 10% cashmere-cotton I'm using may or may not have been discontinued. Fingers crossed it's just another shortage.)

I also tried to come back to knitting with some impulse needles that I bought when a yarn shop closed its doors. English or continental style, this time? I like the feel of the squarish needles, but they need to be bigger, then maybe I will decide. And what do I want to knit? I don't know. It may not be knitting time again yet. 

I think it may be "buy Procreate Dreams and animate my favourite bits of text" time. Except I can't draw. I like making expressive smiley faces on Post-Its and sticking them on the students' desks as they write essays, though, so it's a start. Having just "dropped" so many "large" on the car (what with losing the Corolla vs. Camry debate, where I conceded that Mike is tall, and what with agreeing to an upgrade in model mostly so we could have the nice shade of blue that was in stock instead of white - all of which leads to a price point that invites "dropping" instead of "paying" and "large" or "G" in lieu of "thousand"), it is difficult to enjoy my usual bitty blips in retail therapy. However, having recently purchased new iPads (sweet month-ago us, unaware of the dreadful thunk of an ailing transmission) to replace our second generations with so much battery nonsense, it is silly not to use the new iPad's muscle, even if it means buying a few extras.

Money. How lucky we are, to be able to buy this car. I know this, but I'd still rather have put a bit into the old car, seen what happened, especially as our home's air conditioner also needs a fan replacement, and that comes to the tune of a "we need a 50% deposit first" kind of number. I was recently admonished by admin for using two exclamation marks in an email. (They weren't together! I'm not insane. Just a cheerful "Hello! {Quick clarification on something?) Thanks!") Mike backed the rental into an illegally parked but visible car, which shouldn't matter as Mike was clearly at fault, but the rental office says their insurance disagrees. The lavender out front looks ghastly. Something bit the snot out of me over a night or two. "Is that SHINGLES?!" yelled the previously calm, tiny doctor when I lifted my shirt so she could check out what I thought might be an enlarged spleen. We've ruled out everything except an angry mosquito that surely died lying among silk cushions, fat and shameless after its Bacchanal. The bites are sprinkled like hundreds and thousands across fairy bread on my stomach, breasts, shoulder, back, and let us not trip lightly past "breasts" like I'm not talking about every part of the boob. Many bites. All over these terrains. Itching like my memories of chicken pox.

Thank goodness the mosquito didn't get the rabbits with some new vaccine-resistant culling virus. Thank goodness I didn't get Ross River virus. Thank goodness we don't have bed bugs or scabies or lice. Thank goodness the itching is largely better. Thank goodness that my spleen seems fine after all. Thank goodness that the bloodwork shows that I'm still only pre-diabetic. Thank goodness that the fender-bender is out of our hands. Thank goodness the admin responded with a thumbs up to my apology for being too upbeat. Thank goodness we have not just top-line air conditioning and heating but a house around it, a house with salvageable lavender. Thank goodness we can buy a car.

I know, I know, I know. But we'd thought that this was the winter we might just go ahead, pull the trigger on a pool. Trust ourselves to look after it. Trust it to be the "way we finally get out there and actually exercise" like we keep daring to hope. (Moving next to river with a lovely path and kangaroos nearby has not been a lasting incentive to talk walks after all.)

Thank goodness we could still swing the pool, if we really wanted it. Dad was wary of our pool plans from even before the house was built. He put so much work into his own pool, formerly my grandparents' pool, and so much money. And it still was never right, and he rarely used it. Our takeaway bills are too high because we cannot be arsed to cook. The garden wanes. I only dust when it's visible. I admit to not being sure about the pool, but we were finally thinking there was enough "buffer" in the ole bank account to risk giving it a go.

But now there's the car. Maybe it's a sign. Maybe instead of me showing Dad the car, he's showing it to me.

I don't believe this, but the idea of believing it is nice.

So is the car's colour: "Lunar Blue". Maybe, if you ride around in a car with a colour like that, all kinds of interesting things will happen. Stuff worth writing home about. "Once upon a time, in a blue moon, the wee folk drove on."

07 June 2024 |


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