Just when I think everything’s fine with this van, some fascinating new problem turns up to put me in my place. Maybe I should have heeded everyone’s advice about buying a turquoise vintage unit from an elderly surfer I met on the bus. In actual fact, I don’t regret the purchase at all. But I could have done better with sussing out the likely extent of the repair work it would need.

This time, the issue is auto electrical. Bentleigh readers, who’s your go-to mechanic around here? I’ve only just moved to the Bayside area and I’m still getting a handle on what’s what. Meanwhile, I’ve been getting a handle on how important interior lighting systems are to one’s driving experience – seriously, it’s easy to underestimate how essential this is until you’re relying on a vehicle that’s not great for it.

That’s my main gripe about this ride, really – it’s unreliable. It seems to have a way of constantly surprising me, giving me no notice whatsoever as to when it’s about to undergo a breakdown. When it’s good, it’s great – it’s a lovely thing to drive. But when it’s bad, well… suffice it to say that it’s no wonder this guy wanted to get it off his hands.

Last time something like this happened, it was much more of a drama. A few months back, the braking system spontaneously decided to give out, initiating me into my first experience of requiring emergency brake repair. Moorabbin came through with a quality mechanic; I suppose I should go back to the same one, shouldn’t I?

I suppose I’m getting used to the fact that this is just the way things are when you insist on driving a vintage automobile. What I’m hoping is that the automobile in question will gradually become accustomed to me, and reduce the frequency and severity of its mechanical blow-outs accordingly. I hope we can become a team. 

Am I hoping for too much? Many would say yes, but I’m optimistic. Stranger things have happened.