To Be Frank, by Frank Edmonds, September 8, 2015

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I was out delivering the other day, when I parked, briefly, across someone’s gravel forecourt area, in order to keep out of the way of traffic on what was a fairly narrow roadway.

I don’t like to do that if I can help it – heaven only knows, I’m not keen when it happens to me (people parking right in front of my garage door is a favourite; or, the absolute corker, parking right in the middle of our narrow communal forecourt entrance, so neither myself nor any of my three neighbours can get in or out. Nice one).

However, in this instance, I knew I was only going to be literally three minutes tops, so no harm done unless I was exceptionally unlucky, I figured.

Needless to say, a neighbour’s head then pokes round from behind the car he was cleaning, and he asks me, perfectly politely, if I’m going to be long, because the lady who lives there would be coming back soon.

Fair point, and very well made, I have to say – none of this “Git orf moi land!” stuff you sometimes get. I assure him that I won’t, in fact, be very long at all, and he’s perfectly fine about it.

When I return a couple of minutes later, he engages me in conversation. He’s clearly something of a car buff, he’s noticed from my number plate that my vehicle is getting on a bit, and wonders if I’ve had it from new.

Yes I have, I said, and invited him to guess what was on the clock (look, I know the perceived wisdom is to trade your car in every few years, but some of us have neither the enthusiasm nor the finances for that. I’m more a “keep it running until it keels over and dies” sort of car owner, myself).

So I tell our motor enthusiast that I’m perilously close to getting one and a half times round the clock now – and despite my garage mechanic raising his eyebrows to the heavens when I mention it, I’m secretly hoping it will make it twice round before it gives up the ghost.

Our friend then tells me my particular make of car is well-known in the industry for being particularly reliable. In fact, he says, he’s heard of them reaching two and a half times round the clock, and maybe even three times!

Wow! That filled my heart (not to mention my wallet) full of hope and gladness, I can tell you. Can you imagine ... 300,000 on the clock?! I left with a cheery farewell, and a spring in my step (and no, my car didn’t break down just around the corner, oh ye of little faith) (although the lady neighbour he was talking about did, in fact, turn up just as I was leaving!).

So, what do you think, gentle readers? Can I reasonably look forward to pootling off into the sunset on this one – or am I just headed down a no-entry street?

What’s the most you’ve ever clocked up on your car’s milo? Has anyone ever been twice, or dare I say it, even three times round the clock?

Drop me a line at the email address above and let me know. My bank manager will be eternally grateful!