Alison Goulding: A unique combination of boredom and terror

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ON Saturday morning my boyfriend and I went to do a bit of window shopping for a car.

The Badger, my long-suffering Seat, seems to be nearing the end of useful life.

Which means it’s time to start thinking of a replacement before she goes to the great scrapheap in the sky, or simply explodes all over the A19 with me inside.

For a change, we decided to drive over to the garage in The Badger, just in case I saw something perfect and wanted to trade in then and there.

Usually we drive everywhere in my boyfriend’s car as it is blessed with heated seats, so it was a novelty having him as my passenger.

For him I sensed it was less of a treat.

Firstly, my car has a strong horsey aroma and secondly, I have the bad habit of using every and any car journey as an opportunity to eat a chocolate bar or two.

Which means the horsey odour is accompanied by small piles of KitKat and Twix wrappers drifting about like confetti or shoved in the door pocket.

En route I stopped at the garage under the guise of needing petrol which was really just an excuse to buy a Double Decker bar.

We set off again with me tucking into my chocolate treat with aplomb.

I kept spilling bits on to the crotch of my jeans and trying to retrieve the crumbs before they melted. All while swerving traffic.

At the lights I turned to smile at my boyfriend and he had an expression on his face which seemed to indicate he was seeing me in a whole new light and not a particularly flattering one.

I grinned at him with chocolate in my teeth and he shuddered a bit.

His experience of being chauffeured was also slightly marred by my driving style which involves smashing the gears about while crawling up to roundabouts at 10mph and then leaping out into a stream of traffic and stalling.

I’m very desensitised to the unique combination of boredom and terror that happens when I get behind the wheel, but by the time we arrived at the garage he looked distinctly green around the gills.

We had a walk around the forecourt and saw some lovely cars on show for very reasonable prices.

I liked quite a few, but my boyfriend got very excited when he saw one within my price range with an automatic gearbox.

“Look” he said, pleadingly, “at least consider it?”

I took his point, but noticing The Badger forlornly parked up outside I got cold feet, and decided she could stay a bit longer.

The next day I even treated her to a drive through the car wash and threw some of the sweet wrappers out.

Love the one you’re with, I say.

MY horse is officially off the transfer list.

After a few months of hard work and retraining we went out into the wide world for a little hack about.

And very well behaved she was too. Even though the parked cars made her a bit trembly she managed to keep her cool and we returned to the yard in one piece.

It seems her days of causing widespread destruction are over – she is a reformed character.

Which just goes to show, a bit of attention makes a massive difference.