It had to come eventually .. the Passat has been declared terminal this week. As they used to say in the parish, it’s the Water-Works. It’s done over 209000 miles with never a new clutch, water pump, alternator, wheel bearing or anything else very much.

As I’ve gone around this week tipping copious amounts of coolant into it, I’ve thought about some of the places we’ve been together. Countless late-night journeys home from all over Scotland … red-eye journeys to the airport .. journeys towards Perth and consecration … journey towards interview the time McMahon’s took the suit trousers in rather than ‘easing’ them ..

I’m afraid that I view car salesmen rather as Jack Russells used to view me when I was pastoral visiting. I need wheels and they want to sell me APR’s – they assume a pained and surprised expression when I reject their figures. But fortunately … I have found a car salesman who approaches his task with all the joie de vivre of a Presbyterian Elder – forgive me. No doubt he will eventually succeed in uniting me with something red and flirty. But we shall be able to reassure one another that this is a necessary evil and certainly not something from which one should derive any pleasure.

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