Monday, 12 September 2011

Strolling off into the sunset

My beloved companion has passed on. We rode a long bumpy trail together over hazardous terrain, but I'll have to learn to carry on alone now.

I am speaking of course about the Sweet New Ride, my faithful double buggy. She popped her clogs and has been consigned to the great stroller pasture in the sky.

The Sweet New Ride was gifted to me by a nice lady who'd had it gifted to her. By the time the Sweet New Ride arrived at Chaos HQ, she was probably about two thousand buggy years old. The Sweet New Ride likely carted dinosaur babies around early in her career. She may have witnessed the dawn of the universe, which would explain her infinite wisdom and thoughtfulness - unusual attributes in a buggy.

When the Sweet New Ride first came home, Ana approached her with the sort of scepticism normally reserved for new siblings. So I dug deep into my route 66 lingo and enthusiastically proclaimed her to be our 'sweet new ride'! The name stuck like Gorilla Glue, and from that moment my girls and the Sweet New Ride were inseparable.

All strollers go to heaven. 
I came to rely upon the Sweet New Ride through thick and thin, and over turf that she was never designed to handle.

The hills got harder as Ana grew taller, but in the silver linings department: my stubborn remaining baby fat melted magically away.

I admit with shame that I've maligned the Sweet New Ride on many occasions, mostly halfway up hills.

I used to call her a flotilla. A short person convoy. A death star. A stoopid b*stard. I should state for the record that the Sweet New Ride was (almost) never actually at fault in these situations. Motherhood is challenging turf, and it brings out the foul sailor-mouth in anyone.

Ana has outgrown her buggy days. It's time for her to walk without wheels. I can see that very clearly now that my own crutch has been removed.

Perhaps that's what fate was trying to say when the Sweet New Ride met her unfortunate end - when the rear wheel cracked off with such force that we careened into a brick wall and had to limp home. I remain unconvinced that everything happens for a reason, but when something goes hurtling into a brick wall, there's definitely a reason.

You can't bury a buggy in the backyard like you would do a hamster. Buggies, even sweet ones, don't biodegrade. Such an act would royally freak out the neighbours, who are still feeling a bit queasy about our transatlantic and reproductive tendencies. Anyway this is London, a place where the bathroom tends to double as the kitchen/bedroom/lounge/hallway, and there ain't no backyard.

So we buried her at sea in the city, which is to say we tossed her onto a big pile of junk at the tip. Since we couldn't actually light the pyre without getting arrested, we made do by standing around and solemnly humming the Star Wars theme tune. Ali found it so moving that she developed severe motion sickness and puked all the way home in the car. Which makes me think we may need to offload another set of wheels too.

Projectile vomit aside, there was a great sense of unburdening about depositing our broken wings at the dump. After administrative staffers and aunties, some of the wisest people I've ever met work at the tip. I've come around to the view that freeing people from broken worldly possessions is a spiritual job. But that's another post for another day.

For now: farewell my friend. May the road rise up to meet you.


  1. Poor New Sweet Ride. Sorry to hear about the car too, god that smell lasts forever doesn't it?? We also said goodbye to our pushchair this weekend, I managed to sell it here (new pushchairs cost as much as gold bars here!). I felt very sad afterwards, stupid woman that I am!...Emma

  2. Great post, made me smile. Our 'sweet ride' is on its last legs too, with a terrible, recurring squeaky wheels, a bolt missing (im just waiting for the seat to collapse one day) and dogdy steering!

  3. Ha ha ha, she served you well. I remember the tears when I got rid of our last buggy

  4. "freeing people from broken worldly possessions is a spiritual job" I think you might be right. I am a hoarder living with a man who barely carries a toothbrush from one place to the next. We help each other with things.

  5. I am a hoarder in remission. I likewise live with a free spirit who helps me remember not to hoard - which is a very fortunate thing.

  6. It's easy to get attached to a buggy isn't it? They help you through such hard times.

  7. Oh no, hold on tight! It's amazing how long you can limp along a half-broken buggy. I think the Sweet New Ride clocked about five hundred miles on her very last legs.

  8. I don't blame you - easy to get attached to push chairs - they are members of the family. Good for you for selling it. Sorry to hear you've had similar car-vomit incidents - they are pretty mortifying...

  9. I have been writing a 'farewell to the old Maclaren' post in my head for some time. It wasn't as lyrically inspired as this. You've inspired me again though, this ritual is nearly upon us too!

  10. Why thank you Penny, and condolences on your old Maclaren. What would we do without our trusty buggies?

  11. Suitably witty ode!