On Saturday the 12th June I was happily heading up the A1 on my way to the northern Dales where I planned on visiting High Greygrits and Moudy Mea. I had just driven past the first Catterick turn off when my car suddenly began to lose power. Quickly pulling over on to the hard shoulder it soon became clear the car wasn't going anywhere else on its own, a fact confirmed 40 minutes later when the recovery truck arrived. The head gasket had gone - it was the end for my Fiat Brava.
We had first bought the car in 2003, when it was already five years old. At the time Lisa was the only one who could drive - something that I rectified in February 2005 when I passed my driving test at the first time of asking. By this time I had already become hooked on walking and being able to drive gave me that much more freedom and flexibility to explore new areas for walking.
In fact for long periods the only time we really used the car was for taking us to the starting point for a walk or for going camping or on holiday. The car took me down all sorts of narrow roads, not only in the Pennines but also in Snowdonia, the Lake District, Isle of Man, Isle of Arran and Glen Mark. Driving to some of the more remote locations became almost as much of an adventure as the walks themselves and for this reason I developed a real fondness for the car.
This is not to say I was very good at looking after it. I'm not one for cleaning my car on a regular basis and would only make a trip to the car wash if nagged to do so. The inside of the car was even less well maintained. The footwells of the front of the car held the grit from numerous hills I'd walked over. For some reason though I always thought this was rather fitting.
Farewell my Fiat - RIP.