North London is a long way from West London. Believe me. It's easier to drive to Cornwall. There are more buses than people. Every 100 metres is road works. There are no decent coffee shops. Coffee's important when the person you're supposed to be meeting to sell you a car is going to be late. And you've got a mild hangover. But there was no coffee. There was a bag of Thorntons toffee that had melted into one gigantic toffee globule, requiring a swiss army knife to carve nourishing chunks off, but no coffee.
But there was a car. The car would make everything ok. I would drive home in it and love it and it would be mine. As it was French, her name would be Isabel. She would keep me safe in her chassis and I would treat her well. She would take me back to Scotland.
I shouldn't get my hopes up. Ever.
Isabel, sadly, was a two-bit crack whore. And the lady selling her to me was an elevated Chav. Yeah, she drove a shiny new X5 beamer and was laden with gold, but she was chav through and through, down to her core and piercing voice. Her stilletos were white on the inside, her black top couldn't hide the shell suit of her soul. And she was 40 minutes late. Which would have been fine if the car had matched even half my expectations.
It did not.
A sound warning came when she knocked £200 off before I even sat down in it. £650... not bad for a decent bit of kit. Bit over priced for a two-bit crack whore though. There was a dent - no worries, and the bonnet was faded out from the rest of the paint job - again, no worries. The aesthetics were not an issue for me. But the little things kept adding up. The elevated chav told me the power locks worked. Except for the driver's door. Which didn't lock at all. A windscreen wiper was missing. The other looked like it would rather be elsewhere. Unmentioned, but noticed, was the driver's side mirror was held on with black electrical tape. Sitting in it I could feel its agony - a longing to be properly done up or dragged behind the garage and shot. I was assured the engine was in great shape. But turning the keys showed the battery to be dead. Jumper cables were brought out, and the engine growled like a diesel should. The e.c. told me they'd throw in a new battery and the wiper and everything for £650. I asked about a service history. Her face went blank. She said there might be some papers in the glove box. Might be.
I made several excuses and ran away as fast as possible.
So I'll be renting a vehicle for the trip north, and buying something when I get there. And she will not be a North London crack-whore, I assure you.