VERITY LUSH: Buy cheap, buy twice – especially when it comes to cars

Many's the time Verity Lush heard the clang of breakdown doom Picture: Shutterstock

There is one thing that is sure to strike fear and misery into the hearts of many drivers, and that is the clang of breakdown doom.

Cars are marvellous things (ignoring the pollution, obesity crisis, mobile phone related incidents and so on), but breaking down is hell.

Cars are marvellous things (ignoring the pollution, obesity crisis, mobile phone related incidents and so on), but breaking down is hell.

The first few cars of my driving life did nothing but break down, mainly because I was buying the cheapest of the cheap due to being a student.

I was also therefore rather remiss with servicing, and remember walking miles in the rain to a phone box in the days before mobiles.

However, once you have a family and realise tiny lives depend on you, safety begins to play a more important part in all levels of life, including choice of car.

The car I currently drive is now pretty ancient, and I have had it for nearly nine years, but it has only developed a fault of any substantial kind once, which was this week, so I certainly can’t complain. It’s been extremely reliable, a perfect family car.

Being female, there’s sometimes a stereotypical stigma associated with going to the garage, but my husband doesn’t drive so it’s always been me who sorts the car out and it’s of no consequence at all.

In part, this may be due to the excellent experiences I have always had with Elite Garages in Hilsea, where the customer service from Taylor and the team is second to none. In order to ensure that Old Faithful survived this recent trauma, I also had to visit another garage, D.P Auto Repairs, out near Tesco North Harbour.

Again, the service was outstanding. Owner Darren Perkins took an exact account of what the problem was, squeezed me in at short notice, rang me with a diagnosis and a quote, and had the car ready by midday.

The price was extremely reasonable, the service was friendly, thorough and polite, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

It’s great to know that when cars go wrong, and at points they all do, there are trustworthy local firms who are ready to help.

IS REFORMATION POSSIBLE FOR JAMIE BULGER’S KILLER?

Having read that one of the killers of James Bulger, Jon Venables, is being sentenced for possessing indecent images of children, I can’t help but wonder, what is the purpose of the prison sentence?

Yes, it’s a punishment. And hell, a punishment is needed. I’m not sure there even is a punishment that counter-balances what happened to tiny Jamie Bulger and the living hell that then remained for his parents to traverse their way through.

But will Venables then just be set free again? At some point, yes. And will he then reoffend? From the looks of things, yes.

So how is that being targeted? Is prison reforming, or not? Is reformation in this kind of case even possible?

SO, THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF DISCRIMINATION ALL BECAUSE OF OUR OVARIES?

It is 100 years since women got the vote. Little did I know, that you only got it if you were over 30, educated, and a home-owner.

Or, you were married to a homeowner, so a nice little bit of misogyny thrown in for merry measure.

By ‘educated’, one had to be a graduate from a British university. Presumably, you just weren’t considered to be of sound enough mind to decide who to vote for unless you’d studied in a subject that was most likely, by the law of averages, entirely unrelated to politics, first.

It is incredible that our female ancestors were put through such nonsensical and blatant discrimination, all because of a couple of ovaries and some oestrogen.

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