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Black Beauty rides again


Diary of a home bird
Ciara Galvin

‘BLACK Beauty’ is an 1877 novel by English author Anna Sewell. It was composed in the last years of her life, during which she remained in her house as an invalid … which is rather ironic, because I’ve spent most of the past six months of my life in my house feeling like an invalid without my own Black Beauty. My car, that is.
How one survives without a car in the west of Ireland I will never understand, especially after being given a lengthy experience of it when I returned from a sojourn overseas last year.  
Everybody who knows me knows I can be a little indecisive. When I say that I mean I cannot decide what to have for breakfast, but if pushed, I’ll go to Paris for croissants.
You’ll understand so that my indecisiveness lead to poor Black Beauty being left neglected out the back of my house for close to a year. ‘Sure I’ll head to Brazil and decide then what I’ll do with it’, I thought. I just couldn’t bear to part with it, and Pops promised he’d wake it up every now and again to make sure it didn’t get sick.
Turns out she’s made of tough stuff. I explained to a friend recently that it is like Trigger’s broom in ‘Only Fools and Horses’ – a few new bumpers here and there, but it’s still the same car! It’s been through the wars, and not just on the streets. While parked up in the back garden minding its own business last summer it even survived an assassination attack from a rogue gas barrel.
I’ve finally bitten the bullet though. After nearly a year in standstill, BB started to grow fungi that would make Alexander Fleming proud. She also suffered a few body issues, so I booked her in for surgery with my trusty mechanic. She’s now in ICU. The prognosis looks good. My bank balance, though, will take a little while to recuperate.
Recently, travelling to and from work on the long winter days has meant car pooling with Mayo News sports editor extraordinaire Mike Finnerty and the amenable ‘Stig’, Barry O’Shea.
It also worked to my advantage that poor Pops got a new knee at the beginning of 2018, and was out of action for over six weeks. Good for me, not so good for Pops and his motor.
Let’s just say, he didn’t get it back in the same condition he lent it to me, after a small mishap. Worse, he had a front row seat (literally) for the incident.
You’ll understand when the story comes to you.
The day before Valentine’s Day, driving Mr Daisy and the new knee, I had 101 things on my mind and took my eye off the ball (or mirror, as it were). Crunch.
Damage done, I did what any self-respecting 20-something-year-old adult would do. I started crying. Wailing.
The male roomie, like many men, panicked when he saw signs of emotion, and immediately comforted me, saying ‘It’s fine, little pet’.
At that moment I knew it was time to get Black Beauty out of retirement. Why damage someone else’s car when you’re quite capable of damaging your own?
Brace yourselves Mayo road users, Black Beauty is back. Here’s hoping that like Trigger’s broom, the old motor will last another few years.

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.

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