On Saturday we made it back to the UK after a 4000km road trip through Europe. Our faithful steed throughout that time was Poirot – a 2008 2 door Ford Ka kindly leant to us by family. He was flawless the entire trip, valiantly climbing up to ski towns in the Alps, winding his way through cramped French streets, even accidentally off roading through the Tuscan hills on an incredibly rocky farm track. We marvelled at his ability to chew up the motorway hour after hour, at one point packed to the roof with 3 people, their luggage and a weeks worth of food and wine. We had absolute faith in Poirot. This robust little jellybean of a car was going to carry us far and wide without a single hiccup, despite long distance road touring not exactly being what he was designed for.
But sadly, disaster struck. On the final leg of our trip, Poirot began to shudder while at high speeds and the dreaded engine light began to flash. We made it onto the ferry and turned off the ignition, with a distinct fear that the little motor may not splutter back to life at the other end of the crossing. We went up onto the passenger deck and tried to put it out of our minds. Fortunately, Poirot came through for us once again, obediently springing to life at the first turn of the key. We made our way onto UK soil, albeit with a few shudders and a deep feeling of dread.
As we still had a couple of hours left to our final destination, that journey was tense. I attempted (unsuccessfully) to lighten the mood by composing several haikus about our faithful steed. They were not well received by my co-pilot at the time, who was a little preoccupied as we entered a long underground tunnel without a stopping lane, just as Poirot’s shudders seemed to increase in both frequency and ferocity.
True to his prior form, Poirot diligently carried us to our final stop of the journey, and even managed to turn on again the following day when we returned him to his rightful owners. Interestingly he drove the short distance smoothly with no shuddering at all, but the pesky engine light still glowing ominously up at us from the dashboard.
Thank you for your service Poirot, I hope whatever malady that lurks beneath your bonnet does not prove terminal. I have shared my best haiku, composed during your finest hour, as a tribute to your steadfast commitment to getting us home.