So today Steen was in a car crash.

You can well imagine my consternation when she rang me, very upset, from work to say that she’d been in an accident. I was all for walking out of the office and walking over to the site of the accident (right outside the school where she works), but she told me not to worry (yeah, like that was going to happen), that everything was in hand, and that she was just pretty shaken up. Poor thing 😦 .

When we got home tonight, I heard the full story. Last night the temperature had dipped well below freezing, so there was a non-trivial amount of ice on the road. One particularly nasty patch of black ice spanned the road outside the school, so when the car in front of her stopped to allow some kids to cross, even though Steen hit the brakes, the tires locked, slid across the ice, and parked the car in the back of the vehicle in front. The car behind her just narrowly missed making her a Steen sandwich.

Naturally I was (am) more concerned that she is OK, but apart from what appears to be mild whiplash – a little surprising given that none of the cars were travelling over about 5 miles an hour – she seems OK, just shaken up and upset by experiencing her first accident in over 20 years of driving. It just goes to show, you can be the most confident driver in the world, but sometimes Mother Nature and Father Physics take the reins out of your hands and there is absolutely nothing that you can do.

Now there is the slight issue of deciding what to do with the car, and it seems pretty clear to us both that, alas, it’s probably time to say goodbye. The Gold Ship (referred to variously as the Gold Ship, “Missy” (Steen’s pet name for her) and The Heart of Gold – I know, spot the Hitchhikers fan) has served us very well indeed since we picked up almost exactly 10 years ago in 2004, but adding up the likely cost of all the work that needs to be done on her now to keep her on the road, it just doesn’t make sense to pay two or three times what she is actually worth to keep her road-worthy. The end of an era, indeed.

So now we need to go car shopping, something that fills us both with dread and anxiety, even if it is tempered slightly by excitement at the prospect of a new car. I can see what we’ll be doing this weekend, then…

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