We recently bought a big car – a Ford S-Max, to be friends with our old Rover 25.

Now Max & Rover (our car-dogs) both have their pluses and minuses. Rover was a fab london car – it is fun – you kind of feel like you are living on the edge somewhat feeling as if it may fall apart at any time ( it kind of is – it has no glove compartment, only some window winders & the air con doesn’t work), the boot doesn’t always close and it’s so bashed & scratched that you can leave it anywhere without worrying about it getting more dents (it got bashed – a lot – only twice by me & I blame Mike for one of those & a high kerb for the other. Ha). I can park it pretty much anywhere too – which is great in a busy car park, for instance when needing to squeeze in a small space when late for the theatre (again), as demonstrated the other week. It is also very cheap to insure & hasn’t needed much doing to it miraculously – it’s always passed its MOT. Not bad for an 11 year old dodgem car.

Now Max is like a whole new world. It has several compartments in which you can store stuff (like snacks & more snacks), front windscreen defrost (genius – though not actually tried), it has parking sensors, it knows if it is raining or dark (I think there are elves living in there switching the wipers & lights on when needed) and is actually also pretty fun to drive for such a big beast. It also has DAB radio so we can listen to Radio 6, or 5 live (actually hearing what the commentators are saying) and you can make it so all the kids songs & stories are played in the back speakers and you have relative silence in the front. Phew. But you can’t park it anywhere (this means parking miles away from the destination so more calories burned so maybe not a bad thing) and it seems ridiculous driving it if you’re on your own. I also feel very ‘mummy’ in it – I know I am one but it’s a bit cliche that I now have a people carrier, albeit a slightly cool one. It is our sensible car; it fits us all in (in Rover, the dog was squished by my feet and got a bad neck & tried to change gear with her paw) as well as the double buggy which is happy to get out and about further than the village. It is fun to drive as it can do 0-60 in less than 5 minutes and is an automatic (no stick I hear you cry – well actually I quite like not having a stick as sometimes stick can get stuck in Rover & make crunchy sounds) and pretty economical as it’s a diesel – in fact it is probably more economic than the Rover. It is 7 years rover’s junior – about 70 human years (dog years = car years don’t they?).

So we now have a nice mixture of cars. We can look like students or sensible family guys. We can squeeze in or spread out. We can give people lifts or wave at them as we trundle by. We can boil in the heat or put on more layers on journeys.

I will be sad when Rover goes to car heaven (or in fact we sell it – we have figured out maybe we don’t need it but it is hard to let go!) – I will probably keep the seats though as I swear they are some of the comfiest I’ve sat on.

Max & Rover. See if you can spot one of Rover’s bashes.

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