Monday, 6 July 2009

Eastbourne to Easebourne via Goodwood (pt1)

Eastbourne to Easebourne was a good excuse for a drive, going via Goodwood, a better one.

A month or so ago, maybe even two months ago, I took Mother dear to Easebourne. She had wanted to go ever since the village was mentioned on the news as the place Billy Piper married that bloke off Lewis. She was convinced that Billy would be there, hanging around Easebourne, doing whatever you do there (even though I thought she lived in North London). It would be nice to see Ms Piper, something to talk about at least; you know, the day we bumped in Billy Piper, 'er of the tele.

The trip started in the morning, a stop off at the Sussex County (hospital) in Brighton's Kemp town (mother's not a well bunny), then off to Goodwood, yay.

It was a good sign of the refined cruising ability of the A2 that Mother fell asleep just passed Worthing. She doesn't normally sleep when I drive, a parent thing I would hope rather than a statement about my driving. Kolo in fact was doing well at most things on the journey bar wind noise & buffeting when the windows or 'OpenSky' was, er, opened. The window buffeting was a true A2 flaw but the sunroof thing was my fault. I de-screened it of it's white cloth mesh, I later replaced the sliding section of it, which, what would you know, fixed the hair blasting.

It was a hot, hot day. A black car, a completely glass roof at midday, the AC on full. Even so, we had to stop and have an iced coffee and a break before getting to the circuit at Goodwood, yay. At this time, we had been in the car for about 2 plus hours (3 for me as I read a car magazine in Kolo whilst waiting at Brighton). Apart from the excessive brightness of the Sussex sunshine, it had been a good trip so far for both of us. Mother did however find the climate control too cold, then too warm changing it every 5 minutes or so from 19.0 to 19.5 to 20.0'c. Hmm, I thought, but then she is my mother, aren't they allowed to do things like that?

As we drank some strange Starbucks creation with muffins, we chatted about comparing Kolo with my Mother A2, which we belatedly called Heiki. there are a number of differences between the two Audis. Firstly, kolo's a tuned 3 cylinder diesel & her's a standard inline 4 petrol, but both 1.4. Heiki, which is now my sister's, is just eligable for the government's Scrappage Scheme. Although it's a X-plate, 1999 car, it has fared well over the decade. We then reminisced over the time we first got her A2.

Having habitually read motoring publications of one type or another since I was a preteen, I was aware that in 1999, mother was making a big mistake trading her 4-year-old VW Sharan for a postman Pat red Merc A-class. Luckily, before she completely commited to buy Pat's van, we drive down to Hailsham where a new Audi dealership had just opened. In the centre of a three car display was Heiki. we went to Hailsham on a whim, just like today (that day) to see if an A2 was even available yet in the UK. But there one was, the first outside London apparently. She was impressed, and why wouldn't she be, the interior design and quality, the Avus Blue metallic paintwork on a TTesque 5-door with all the trimmings: every single option bar OpenSky (Nekarsulm where having a couple of issues with that still), but is was just so much better than anything thing we have ever had. It was so far beyond the A-class that car-innocent Mother thought it would be 50% more money than the red toy merc, but it was only £500 or so more than the base spec A120 or whatever it was, which had nothing! (This is Mercedes base spec remember, they only just started to include the radio in the late 80's) The gulf between the two potential dawsonmobiles was truly huge. Me had to wait awhile to get Heiki, (s)he was meant to be the dealership's demonstrator for at least six months. luckily, mother got that down to 3 weeks. I mean, what better demonstration than the A2 driving around town for everyone to see rather than the 2 mile radius from the dealership as a ploddy test-driver, was the route mother's argument took. Brilliant.

At the time of this, back then, I was myself driving a (Rover) Mini cooper, black with an off-white roof, Cooper bonnet stripes and those 13" alloys with the large sportpack arches. But it was in Heiki that everyone would stare at us. Mother would get asked what was it and how strange and weird it is. She now says how very off putting it all was, 'now all the cars are copying the A2!' I can see her point too, well not all cars, just some maybe and in detail. We're not talking Chinese car industry copying just, well, hinting maybe.

Rest break over, back onto the road...

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