A different car?

First, another nice pic, spoilt by the tilted water:

Perth tiltAnd now it’s fixed:

Perth untiltSuch a nice picture (it’s Perth). Why do they let it out into the publishing sphere with tilted water? The tilt is 0.8deg and took about 1min to fix.


I’m still too nervous to make the commitment to buy a 9 year old Mercedes – too worried about high repair costs, not to mention insurance costs of $135 per month!

A new contender has made me rethink:



What is it? It’s a Skoda! If you’d told me 10 years ago that a Skoda might be a nice car to own, I’d have laughed. This is the Skoda Superb 2015 model, unfortunately not available here until April next year.

My criteria for a car are timeless, elegant styling, quietness and smoothness, and finally good design and fitout. This has made me sit up and look.

It’s not a 2 door coupe but it’s very elegant, to my eyes. The rear leg room is exceptional, apparently, not that that matters to me. But the boot is exceptionally clever. It’s a sedan, right, with a rear window and a boot? But if you squeeze a handle when you open the boot, the entire boot lid and rear window lock together and lift as one piece like a hatchback. Clever.

The boot, with the rear seats folded down is cavernous, as shown. I could sleep in that.


This solves the quandary I was in: when I had dogs, I had to have a station wagon. Now that I don’t have a dog any more, I was going to buy a sedan, but if I ever got a dog again, what would I do? Well, here’s the answer – it’s both a sedan and a station wagon when you need it. Clever.


And you don’t miss out on the Mercedes levels of luxury:


That’s real leather upholstery and trim. There’s even wood grain in one level of trim. And you can get other colours besides black or silver. Hallelujah.

It only comes with four-cylinder engine choices, but the top petrol engine is a 2.0 litre turbo that puts out 160KW or so and does 0-100Kmh in 6.6 secs. That’s plenty enough for me. Price? Around $50,000 when it gets here, about the same as that hail damaged Merc SL350 I was considering. I’d have to wait until April next year, but that’s OK. And I’d have the benefits of a new car with all the modern reliability, long warranty, long service intervals, modern electronic gadgets and fuel economy of 6.2L/100Km, about half the Merc and half what I use now. Hmmm. A bloody Skoda! Who’d have thought?

PS: Skoda is part of the Volkswagen Group and one model of Skoda is affected by the scandal over deceptive diesel engines. But it’s only diesels. (So far, anyway.) I would only buy a petrol engined car.


Aaah, I miss my dogs!!!!! Really, really miss them. I think all the time about getting another one.

BUT. As soon as I do, I make myself a virtual prisoner. I’m thinking seriously of going to Bali over Xmas and New Year and I can just make a quick decision and go, no need to arrange anything here. But if I had a dog, I really couldn’t, not easily.

As well, I also remember the years of house training, the chewing of furniture, alarm clocks and hard drives (yes really), stained and dirty carpets, dog hairs everywhere through the house, dog poo all over the lawn, vet visits and fees, barking and misbehaviour, fights with other dogs, fear of upsetting people on the ovals, worrying about neighbour complaints or council rangers, escapes and the ensuing embarrassments, food costs, car damage … the list goes on.

But I also remember the incredible affection, the great welcomes home, the chin on knee and the loving eyes looking up at me, the big smiles, the jigging for joy when it was food time, the snuggling into my back on the bed when I was asleep in the afternoon, the tiny, tiny tip of her nose on my hand in the morning to see if I was awake, the joy of chasing the ball, the rubbing against my leg for a pat … Jeez, I miss it.

Maybe if I become really house bound I’ll reconsider.


That reference to the chewed alarm clock, above: I used to have a small plastic travel alarm clock that was the most accurate clock I have ever seen. It varied by no more than 1 second per year! That’s one part in 31,536,000.

But Boopsie must have found it on the floor when she was a puppy and that was almost the end of it. I was upset.

The hard drive? I was looking after friends’ Staffy Terrier for several weeks in 2007 and he found a portable hard drive on a window ledge. When I found it later, the outer rubber covering had been chewed off and the metal inner casing was looking more than a bit bent. But amazingly, it still worked. I still have it, dents, teeth marks and all.

That Staffy also pissed on my $3,000 speakers, shat on my white lounge room carpet and escaped so many times, taking Minnie with him, that I was driven to distraction. I had to fortify the front gate.

But did I complain to the owners? I did not. I said I enjoyed looking after him and never mentioned the damage. I don’t do that – I keep quiet about the bad things. Not like some people.