The first time I … discovered that my car leaked

I took to sun roof repairs like a duck2water.

Yes, it's summer – it's cold and rain is lashing down outside the office window – but luckily my ride home is watertight and warm.

It hasn't always been like that of course. In my student days I took my newly purchased gold Opel Kadett out for a spin in one such summer downpour - feeling confident about driving the twisty lanes of Somerset in the wet – only to discover, as I took rather a sharp bend in the road, that a substantial amount of rain water had pooled in the runner tracks of the fold back black sunroof (definitely not factory fitted) and as I went hard right the whole lot came pouring through and soaked me.

At home, I borrowed my neighbour's duct tape and stuck the sunroof down so firmly that it was never to be opened again.

And since that day my car repairs have been of much the same quality – it's amazing what you can secure in place with No More Nails; radio antennae, headlamps, bonnets!

Image © access.denied via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence



The first time I… drove on the M1

Riding as a passenger in my brother's car, 2002 by Eleventh Earl of Mar.

I took to the M1 like a duck2tarmac.

I don't do a lot of motorway driving and what little I do do, I usually quite enjoy – the lanes are wide, the carriageways are straight, exits are clearly signposted and there's usually the opportunity to stop for a coffee and a toilet break every twenty minutes or so.

So, when I discovered I needed to drive to Sheffield, I wasn't too bothered about the 235 mile trip.

It looked straightforward enough – up the A3 from the south coast, onto the M25, and then straight up the backbone of England, AKA the M1, to The North – but oh no, it was never going to be that easy.

Firstly the Sat-Nav chose an alternative route for us – taking us West across the bottom of England and then up on the A34 to join the M1 at Leicester – this involved four other Motorways namely the M27, M3, M40 and the M69, before depositing us on the M1 just in time to join the stationary traffic that was tailing back about forty miles after a car crash just outside Chesterfield.

We were stuck in it for two and a half – count them – two and a half hours. Then to top it all off the alternator on our beloved Astra failed and I had to drive the last twenty minutes with no power steering.

We had departed from our house at 10.30am and, with a 40 minute break for lunch and fuel, we arrived at our hotel at 6.20pm – the Sat-Nav had told us we'd be there at 2.30pm. Hmmm – motorways – don't you just love them?

Image © Eleventh Earl of Mar via Flickr, under Creative Commons licence



The first time I… ate mushy peas

Mushy peas at the Tailend Fish Restaurant and Fish Bar, Albert Place, Edinburgh by www.theedinburghblog.co.uk.

I took to mushy peas like a duck2water.

I'm not a fan of the spherical garden vegetable – in fact a packet of frozen peas has been in my freezer ever since my partner said he liked them and, in a bid to impress, I cooked a small personal portion just for him.

The bag has survived therein for three years - outliving the old freezer which broke - half the contents having been decanted and used on a sprained ankle (then thrown a way of course), and the rest still languish there, frosty with ice residue and looking very sad indeed.

Then, one glorious July evening, on a Saturday sojourn to our local hostelry, my partner chose beer battered plaice with chips and mushy peas and I was set for revelation.

I had chosen not to eat a full meal and we had agreed to share the massive plate of food, but I neglected to think through the dish selection and when it arrived with a mound of pea-green pulp on the side, I thought, "now what am I going to dip the chips in."

Having consumed a small quantity of the local brew, I was feeling brave and so, dived in with pea passion, only to find out that mushy peas are really quite tasty.

There – a new string to my palate's bow - and if you're wondering what this has to do with motoring, well, all I can say is that we had left the car at home, as any sensible mushy pea imbiber should.

Image © www.theedinburghblog.co.uk via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence



The first time I… flew a red arrow

Red Arrows by garryknight.

I took to flying a red arrow like a duck2water.

Ok, so I didn't really fly a red arrow in the real world and to be honest just watching them turns my stomach slightly. However, in my dream I was amazing at flying one! I managed a triple loop the loop, a barrel roll and I pulled off the heart shape display with ease and finesse.

After watching the display team's incredible aerobatic feats as they swooped and soared over the skies of sunny Sussex this weekend for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, I have to admit I was awe-struck at the amazing grace and precision they can handle their Hawk T1s.

The selected pilots have to be frontline RAF pilots with at least 1,500 hours flying time and be assessed as above average in their flying role, none of the credentials that I can put to my name.

However if I was a red arrows pilot, I would jazz up the display by having a purple smoke trail and maybe introduce a formation that resembled a particular hand gesture to display above my ex-boyfriend's house.

What formation would you introduce if you were a red arrows pilot?

[Image © Garry Knight via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence]



The first time I ordered drive thru …

Parking Idiot - USPS Mailbox Drive Thru Lakeshore Plaza CA 6BUA854 (Chevy) by AgentAkit.

I took to drive thru ..like a Duck2Water

The first time I ordered drive through was after a particularly nasty stew cooked by my mum. Having managed to scrap the offensive tasting mush of carrots and cabbage under my rather grey looking mashed potato, I managed to leave the table and nip in the car and head to my local yellow-peaked mc drive thru.

Having made my selection (some cholesterol-filled heart attack burger with coronary causing fries), I proceeded to the little man at the window to place my order and despite trepidation, I did manage to stop close enough to the window for the man to be able to give my change.

Impressively, before I'd even reached the second window, there was my meal already waiting for me. Hardly Cordon Bleu or the healthiest meal I've ever had but it tasted good nonetheless and I managed to get my meal without any logistical faux pas unlike the person in this photo.

[Image © AgentAkit via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence]



The first time I… crashed my car

I can't say this was anything like a duck crash landing on the water - it was much more messy!

Approaching a bend, I spotted a BMW car emerging from a T-junction on my right hand side. I flashed my lights indicating I was able to let the driver of the other vehicle pull out in front of me.

Looking at me and smiling, the driver pulled out… and she was immediately struck by a large white van travelling in the opposite direction!

It was very similar to this one on YouTube…

Unfortunately, the other driver had seen me flashing my lights but failed to look the other way to check whether it was safe to do so.

Chaos and disaster then ensued as her BMW was spun round several times, eventually colliding with the side of mine.

Thankfully, no-one was seriously hurt, but I'll never forget that crash - flashing head lights at other motorists is a practice that should probably be avoided!

Do you remember your first crash? Please tell us about it.



The first time I… drove the Google car

Apteras charging at Google by Kevin Marks.

We took to the Google car like a duck2water.

So you didn't know that the search engine giant Google makes cars? Well, it does - kind of. It has reportedly invested £1.7million into development of the Aptera, as it is known.

When duck2water was able to get our, err, wings on it… well, it really seemed to fly! Such a good looking car that was fantastic fun to drive despite having only three wheels.

Our top driver in the duck2water office was given free range to test drive the eco-friendly, electric Aptera 2e vehicle over in the US. So, what did he think?

Well, really, it's a covered motorbike - no helmet required. It is claimed to have a top speed of 85mph and can go from nought to 60 in less than 10 seconds, although he couldn't achieve those stats.

Looking so cool and futuristic like something out of the Jetsons or Thunderbirds, it turned heads on the highway - everyone had their mobile phone cameras out!

The interior is like something out of a James Bond movie and, amazingly bearing in mind its green credentials, the Aptera comes with air conditioning. Designed to be a commuter car, the battery runs for 100 miles.

Those three wheels don't seem to affect handling and braking was good - in fact, it could have been a four-wheeler. duck2water could see this vehicle appearing on UK roads. Selling at an estimated £15-25,000, it is much cheaper than other eco-cars coming to market so it may not break the bank.

We think the Google car is great and can't anticipate any problems insuring this little beauty. And on top of everything else, it's saving the planet!

Image © Kevin Marks via Flickr, under Creative Commons License

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