Wherever we want to go, we go. That's what a ship is, you know. It's not just a keel and hull and a deck and sails. That's what a ship needs. But what a ship is... what the Black Pearl really is... is freedom.
The strange interregnum of 'between cars' is a borderline frightening throwback to a time of my youth when the way of getting about the place was the number 97 bus into town, and possibly a SuperTram to Meadowhall. It was rock'n'roll all the way. Now, bereft of the freedom to just jump into the car and go wherever, I have had to recalibrate everything around the challenges of getting to and from work and making sure there is adequate food in the house without just turning the key and driving off. Those of you who know me may well be aware that any time before eight in the morning is unlikely to find me in a sociable mood. I used to get around this problem in London by having a book (this is in the days before internet-enabled smart phones, of course), my particular favourites being the late Victorian duodecimos that can, with patience, be read and page-turned one handed. That leaves the other hand free for stiff-arm fending the other commuters when they get too close. More recently I have travelled to and from work in the glorious isolation of the car, with nothing other than Today or the Infinite Monkey Cage for company. So it is somewhat of a stress to have to be socially presentable when sharing a lift, particularly in the morning. I hope my lift partner has found my company acceptable, as it is probably even more of a challenge to let someone sit in your passenger seat and distract you from your choice of radio than it is to be that passenger.
A sort of nod-cum-toast, then, to freedom. Not the kind that rings with a shotgun blast, but the quiet, peaceful kind that comes with being able to choose. Not wheels, and an engine, and pedals. That's what a car needs. But what a car is, what a car really is... is freedom.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought