Last week I bought a door off the internet. I am an occasional ebayer and only out of necessity. Not for me the bidding in a mad moment (god knows there are enough of those assigned elsewhere) and then trying to remember what the hell it was you wanted so badly when the package turns up. No. I like to do it the Catholic way: loads of angst, consumer guilt, second, third and fourth opinions, wielding of tape measures and a damn long drive on top. Then I feel like I’m really saving money baby.
On the same come the day, come the door was the big one – the Grand National. This (and Classic Race Days) are the closest I can come to the feeling that football fans have on a big match day. I get up and start twitching. To allay the twitch I get busy. I become prolific on the laundry front, I go to the beach, I palm off the youngest on the neighbour and set off in to the unknown in pursuit of a door. Because it’s the unknown and because my tape measuring is not entirely to be trusted I have rung my father. The door I want to fit in my car (the German one) is borderline. I may need ropes. I may need wooden crossbars. I need a second opinion.
So I land with zero notice in Suffolk and get my Dad measuring. I have only a CSE Physics to my name and a pass at O’ level Maths. My father has a degree in Physics and a PhD in Operational Research. Who would you rather have brandishing the tape measure? It was thus decreed that the VW Passat would be the vehicle that would (just) be able to take the front door.
Now whenever we make a major purchase in this house we have a power battle. A stand-off that can last months. He who can walk onto the end of the counter punch the longest and remain standing wins. When we bought the German car, I wanted a different make of German car. A VW. Because they are more practical. I have waited 6 long years to be proved right, but right I am.
So I drove to Suffolk. Switched cars from the useless and poky BMW Tourer to the capacious VW Passat Estate (Diesel) and was chauffeured across the the flattening landscape into Norfolk (next stop Scandinavia) where the door went in the back with a mm to spare, as per Dr Russell’s prescription.
This photo doesn’t have a lot to do with the price of fish or doors on ebay, but I have driven past it umpteen times recently so I hopped out and took a snap when I had taken a wrong turning.