18 July 2007

Increased Mobility

So I inherited a car about 10 days ago. A small, old, car but with virtually no miles on the clock, a known history and for no initial outlay other than fuel. I have my grandmother to thank for this, as it had got to the point where it was no longer making economic sense for her to run it and she kindly offered to pass it on to me.

It is (initially, at least) a short-term measure; I am far from sure I wish to take on the expense of running a car at this time, especially whilst I am still just temping in terms of work. The road tax, service and MOT are up for renewal in October and so realistically I have until the end of August to make the final decision.

On the one hand, the option is nice. Having the car gives a lot more freedom as evidenced by the fact I haven't had to rely on the bus to get to my last two game sessions, or that it would open up the chance of nipping up to do clothes-type shopping in Bicester Village with ease (and I have such shopping to do thanks to a wedding to attend, my shoes wearing thin, and so forth). With each passing day I am also getting more and more frustrated with taking two busses to get to work over in Cowley, a journey of 40 minutes or more (if the traffic is bad or a bus doesn't show it can take 75) , when if I aimed to get in for 8am I could do each way in 15-20 minutes as I would thusly beat the rush hour traffic.

On the other, I really don't want to get into the habit of driving everyday and everywhere when, the odd niggle aside, public transport, bikes, and my feet have served me fine until now. I have used the car just three times in 10 days, twice to go gaming; the first trip was driving it back to Oxford from Hampshire, where my Grandmother lives.

I should, however, actively look to use it more in this evaluation period, even if I wouldn't use it quite so much later on. It would seem silly not to give myself the chance to really familiarise myself with driving now that I have the means (I've done bits here and there before, but never enough to really get confident, practised or familiar). The trouble is manufacturing the reasons needed to take it for a spin.

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