Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

Everyday experiences with twins. The ups, downs and downright unexpected.

New wheels September 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 8:04 pm
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There is great excitement in our house today. Twinsmummy has a new car!

Now this may not seem like the most exciting news to many, but frankly, after all the trials and tribulations of the past few weeks, twinsmummy was in need of some light relief. And last night it arrived in the shape of a brand new Volvo XC90.

My new car has been the subject of great debate for a few months now. My other half and I have worked in the motor industry for longer than we care to remember, so our choice of car is significant. For years, we have driven whatever the company dictated. This has ranged from the sublime (Bentley Continental GT) to the ridiculous (Rover 200 Diesel IN TURQUOISE).

We haven’t had to buy our own cars, and as such, have become rather used to simply being given brand new vehicles on a semi-regular basis. It’s made us quite spoilt. When I placed my last order for a new company car before we moved to Dubai, I can remember being suitably disgruntled that my chosen paint and hood colour option (convertible, obviously), wasn’t available and I had to take a vehicle from stock.  FROM STOCK? The shame of it.

Fast forward to now and we find ourselves without a second car and an urgent need to buy one. Bearing in mind we are on a ‘frugal’ drive at the moment, the initial options were quite frightening. My husband, keen to make a ‘sensible’ purchase and conserve funds, was championing something bus-like, Japanese, and with all the style of a block of lard.

There is some method in his madness as he works for the company that sells said lard-lookalikes, but still, there are limits to how far I will go to fly the company flag. Not very far as it turns out.

I looked at the bus-alikes. I even sat in one. I just couldn’t get excited about it. In the spirit of frugality, we have down-sized our house, foregone holidays, and taken to flying economy (splutter). But, start driving a bean-can bus? No thank you.

I made the appropriate noises. I said if absolutely necessary to the family coffers, of course I would drive whatever my husband deemed a sensible buy.

He’s not daft.

He tortured me for a few weeks with talk of Mitsubishi’s and Toyota’s.

I in turn retorted that a Range Rover Sport would be just fine thank you very much.

And in the spirit of maintaining happy karma in the household, he went out and bought me a Volvo XC90. I’ve had a thing about them for years after we drove one around New Zealand for three weeks. During this epic trip through forests, up mountains and along beaches, we realised it was the most fabulously built, stylish yet practical vehicle on the planet.

It drives like a car, but I can fit 7 people in it comfortably, without any of them having to adopt complex yoga poses in order to keep their legs attached to their bodies.

It is supremely comfortable and has all the toys I need to make my journeys enjoyable. Ok so it doesn’t have an interior designed by Victoria Beckham, but it is enjoyable to drive which dare I say it, is a fraction more important to me. It’s responsive, tight around bends and woomphy (technical car industry term) when it needs to be. It doesn’t scream “look at me” and it’s not too cool or too showy. It’s a very sensible car.

Dear God, I must be getting old.

 

It was only a matter of time… June 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:55 pm
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The inevitable has happened. Yesterday, I had a little um, what shall I call it, incident in the car.

Since we sold my beloved Volvo XC90 a month ago, I’ve been driving my husband’s company car. Well, car isn’t strictly the correct description for it. If you imagine an army tank, kit it out with 8 seats, some plush leather upholstery and a computer that even Steve Jobs would struggle to use; then you’ve pretty much got the perfect mental image of the vehicle in question. In simple terms, it’s rather large.

I’d only nipped out to buy a birthday present for a 1-year-old so it wasn’t exactly a lengthy mission. Our nearest Early Learning Centre is at Wafi, an Egyptian themed (yes, really) shopping mall, about 10 minutes from home.

I pulled into the underground car park and as always, drove to a nice quiet lane with plenty of empty spaces. My husband is always telling me to park as far over in a space as possible, to try to minimise the chance of whoever ends up parking next to me, taking a chunk out of my door when opening theirs.

So, I duly found a space at the end of an aisle, next to a column (!), with an empty space next to it. I turned slowly into the space. I really was taking care. I’d actually feel more deserving of what happened next if I’d been applying lipstick, brushing my hair or answering an email on the BlackBerry; but no, I was fully concentrating on parking.

And then that awful noise. Metal, meeting concrete, meeting plastic. And none of them really enjoying the experience.

Oh hell.

There was a fat woman standing on the other side of the row of cars who flicked her head round in a nano-second in order to see which idiot had scraped their car in a near empty car park. I pretended I hadn’t noticed her.

I managed to get the car into the space without further incident and sat there willing her to walk off. I refused to make eye contact. She was still staring. “Oh just go away you big lump”, I thought, perhaps a little uncharitably.

Eventually she wobbled off, and after checking there was no one around to laugh at me, I ducked out of the car and dashed round to the passenger side to assess the damage.

It didn’t look pretty. And given that the car park was about as well-lit as the London Dungeons during a power cut, this wasn’t a good sign.

I decided rubbing the offending panel with a tissue might improve the situation but that served no purpose other than to loosen the (very) few remnants of remaining paintwork and send them fluttering to the floor.

Oh bugger.

There was nothing for it. Head into the mall. Buy the present. Get home. Start working on a really great excuse.

I walked into the shopping centre and had got as far as the first escalator when my phone started to ring. I pulled it from my handbag and in utter horror, saw that it was my husband calling.

How did he know? Who had seen me? Was the fat bird a paid stalker? Could he somehow sense that I’d just crunched his rather nice, super-luxurious, premium SUV?

I took a deep breath, and answered the call.

“Hi”, says he. “How’s your morning going?”

“Well…”