Before we moved to Mallorca, we lived in London: cars didn’t figure very largely in our life, we didn’t need them; in fact they were a bit of a liability, expensive, impractical and no fun to move around in. Now in Mallorca we rely heavily on cars, public transport isn’t wonderful and trying to get ourselves and our child around is just not possible without independent wheels.
My husband has a motor, and so do I – mine is the trusty Kangoo which we have had since our daughter was born: it was brand new when we got it, we even went for extra airbags being the anxious newbie parents that we were. It had that ‘new car smell’, but four years on, I’ve got to admit, it now has a rather unpleasant interior pong. After being constantly inhabited by dogs, children and with a variety of milky kids’ drinks having been spilt in it, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
I’ve tried to shift the smell. With ‘Febreeze’ and what have you: air fresheners, incense, leaving the windows open to air the car etc. Nothing has worked. It had got to the point where I was so embarrassed by it I wouldn’t give anyone a lift in the ‘stinkmobile’.
Then my friend Mel (single, no kids, yet, whenever she comes round to our house she has to clean up before she can sit down. I would like to do a lifeswap with her: she has a convertible and a really nice apartment) recommended I take my smelly problem to Royston who’s opened a hand car wash in Calvia village. “A car valet?” It sounded extravagant.
When I had short hair I couldn’t understand why women went to have their hair blowdried in a salon, surely they could manage that at home. I’ve had to change my tune since I grew my hair long, I can’t make it do what it’s told myself and now I understand. So I reasoned to myself, when you can’t manage it yourself, hand it over to the pros.
I put my shame to one side and took the Kangoo along for a full valet last Saturday. Royston had to work hard, but after a couple of hours, and one of those carpet cleaning machines, my Mummy wagon stepped out of the salon. Royston didn’t make too much of a fuss about the efforts he had to go to: like any good hairdresser, he knew what not to say, as much as what to say, so my ‘bad car owner’ blushes were spared.
Sunday, we went for a spin through the countryside, because we could.