Starlight Express

I drive a very silly car.

It’s a Toyota Funcargo, which is basically a Yaris with a fat rear end. It’s a bit of a rip-off on the old “snail car” Nissan Escargot, which were so popular with businesses and sign-writers. My Toyota is a bit rounder (so a bit harder to write on) but still good for business purposes because it similarly has lots of room in the back for stuff. I can fit my big, grandfather, wing chair in the back of my car – standing upright, and still leaving enough room for 5 dining chairs. I discovered all of this when we moved house.

It is still a silly car though. Compared to my old V6 Mitsubishi Challenger, it’s a roller skate. Low to the ground and with easy wheelchair access, the Funcargos seem to be the domain of elderly couples – as I discover daily when the other local people who drive them insist on waving at me on the road like we’re part of some secret club. Initially I thought they were waving because there was something wrong with my car – like the front bumper was hanging off or something – but gradually I figured out that they just felt the need to acknowledge the fact we were all driving the same car. I find these type of social interactions to be very disconcerting. I’m not accustomed to solidarity with fellow humans.

However, it’s cheap to run and has a chain drive (i.e. no cam belt to fix). I use it like a moving garbage dump, so it’s likely no one will ever consider stealing it (a: too embarrassing to drive, and b: they don’t want to have to deal with 50 of my old coffee cups all over the floor). It can’t tow worth a damn, but I can still fit in my ladder and a pile of railway sleepers and 6 bags of potting mix, etc etc. One day I will probably bounce it around a corner too fast and drive into a ditch, but in the meantime it will suffice.

I just might need to sign-write some metal horns on the front though so people stop waving at me.




One thing we learned today is that the other buyer – the guy who we have to beat out in order to get the land we want – hasn’t actually appointed a solicitor yet. This is probably a good sign, as it would generally mean that he’s not properly prepared to sell his house yet either. Again, we must wait and see. And the 10-day allowance for him to match our offer keeps creeping out further and further as we wait for the vendor to come back to us with a signed agreement. Hopefully tomorrow. They’ve been negotiating terms with our solicitor.

Sorry, I’m sure it’s getting very boring with these daily updates on the slow, frustrating process of buying land. And just think, even if all goes well we’ll then have to go through drawing up a building contract, and getting consents from the District Council, and then actually building the house. It will be a lot of slow and frustrating and boring to come.




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