Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Blue Beetle!

torrential rains, temps 18

An absolute deluge today...but we're happy for it. Lovely, misty, mystical evening. Rain stopped, and everything is fragrant. The roses are just coming out and there's the faintest scene of them in the front garden.

We went off to VW in Sherbrooke last night - Walter drove me in his beetle convertible - top down - and Michael followed in his car. It was SO exciting. I can't remember the last time I was this happy about a car - except maybe my very first, which was also a VW convertible. But it was a rabbit. Bright red. Manual. I bought it sight unseen in Thunder Bay...I was in Toronto and about to start my very first professional job - co-hosting the morning show in Thunder Bay. I was 21. I got off the plane and took a taxi to the car dealership. Picked up the car - and then remembered. I don't drive standard. But at 21, who cares?

It leaped and stalled and lurched its way off the lot. I'm sure I saw the salesperson turn away in horror.

Took me weeks to figure out how to get out of second gear.

But I adored that car. Drove it well in to fall with the top down. Ecstasy. Finally sold it years later in Quebec City. By then it was a wreck - the windshield washers wouldn't turn off...there was a tear in the roof from where someone had tried to cut it to break in. The poor thing was on its last legs. But I still loved it.

And by this time tomorrow I'll have another VW convertible. but this time a new beetle. A powder blue. Fabulous. We got home about 10:30 last night. Exhausted but delighted.

Been emailing with Michael's wonderful sister Carol, in London. Her first car was one of the original beetles...here's one of her emails from today...(with her permission)

Yes, I had a beetle, but it had its problems. In the end it was what I had told them all along but they wouldn't believe me. It had water in the petrol tank. I would drive up north to ski and it would conk out or just go slow and then speed up and then go slow until it drove me mad. I sent it in for servicing and ended up with VW taking a keen interest in this knit of a
woman who was calling them out of false pretences. At one point they came all the way up to St. Agathe and, of course, the car worked a dream while they were there and as soon as they had left, literally, it started its little game all over again. I had to threaten to paint lemons all over it before they took it in and actually lent me another car for a week (which I managed to back into a telephone pole giving the back bumper a dent). When I picked it up I asked them what they had done. With sheepish faces they said that all was well. How well? Well, a new petrol tank. Oh, yes and where is it? Well its up in the top of our work room. Can I see it - I just want to see the rust. Well, yes, there had been some water rusting up the petrol tank.... After that it was a dream car and I loved it. I could manage to change gears without using the clutch if I got the revs right, but
don't please try that one. Yours will be known as the 'powder-blue-blondie-with-no-roof-on-top - and nobody will be able to steal it 'cause there won't be another around! What fun you will both have!

Writing today has been distracted...stop start. So far only 2 pages done...yikes. I like what I've done but this is really, really slow. Still, trying not to worry. Better at this stage to be good than to be swift. I think I'll be working until midnight! Oh well - I have a used VW powder blue new beetle convertible. How bad can life be???

Tomorrow is a busy day. Writing in the morning - the a photo shoot for Vita Magazine - a french mag - then off to Sherbrooke to pick up the car!!! Yippee. You can be sure I'll have a goofy smile on my face for the Vita photos!


Ruthie from NH said...

Your story of your first car brought back a memory of my first car. My father bought me a old used car when I graduated college. He assumed I knew how to drive a manual. I didn't. For a few days, I was managing the shift okay--- until I came to a red light at the top of a hill. Then the light turned green. After many attempts of trying to go forward and rolling back a whole lot, the cars behind me were honking, later driving around me, the light fortunately turned red again. By the time it turned green for a second time, I was ready.
Good luck with your new powder blue bug.

suzy said...

Enjoy the new zoomer!

lil Gluckstern said...

Good travels with your blue bug! My first car after I married was one of the original beetle and I loved that car. It was the sixties, and of course, I put flowers on it. It was great-shopping, errands, and of course, the LIBRARY!!! Mustn't forget what's really important! Relax, the words will come,don't they always? The goofy smile matters right now!

Shelagh said...

Your excitement is so contagious!! I love it! 150 years ago (well, actually mid-1960's) I had a VW Karmann Ghia - blue, which I absolutely loved, and sadly had to sell after a couple of years since it was terribly impractical to be putting a baby into the back seat. Wish I still had that car; the "baby" is now 41 and himself drives a terribly practical sedan!

Enjoy your new blue bug!!

Diane said...

Love the VW beetle. We had one in the late 60's - navy blue. It was fiesty, used to haul our camper trailer up the hills when we went camping. The most impressive feat while we owned it happened on a very snowy, stormy work day morning. My husband slipped off the driveway and into the deep culvert.

Six men in a much larger car stopped, walked down the bank and lifted it out! Awesome.

Enjoy, I envy you the convertible and the color.

Leinda said...

In 1970 we had a VW convertible that wouldn't start unless we blew into the gas tank, which made no sense but worked nonetheless. That was a strange and wonderful time :-)

Reen said...

Blue Beetle bliss-- always wanted one. Instead got to carry one with a group of friends. Dark of night. ;) Girls left their house. Boys left theirs. Off went the housemaster's beautiful blue beetle- to the wrong side of the foot bridge. :)

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Love your messages - and memories. Hilarious. And very moving. Thank you for those.