Every week without fail, my husband inspects my car like a skilled forensic at a crime scene. Yes, there is food, yes there are wrappers, yes it’s a bit of a mess, yes I promised to keep it clean. Yes, yes, yes. But you see, my car is not just a piece of metal getting me from A to B (Arkley to Bond Street). No, it is a tank, a larder, an office, a sanctuary.
I have every intention to clear the crap out at the end of each day, but it’s raining or I need to get dinner on or there is homework to be supervised. Just ‘or’. I rarely procrastinate over things and I am fastidiously tidy at home, but everyone deserves a ‘secret closet’ like Monica from Friends. My car is that cupboard.
So with half term fully in swing, here in no particular order, were the top 10 things I found:
10. One ‘borrowed’ country hotel umbrella rhyming with ‘Poor Treasons’. Numerous novelty kids brollies, many of which were broken, with pokey-out bits. I got rid of broken ones. Kept a couple of Disney ones and the one that looks like a giant frog. Kept the ‘Poor Treasons’ to satisfy the rebellious thief in me.
9. An unopened litre bottle of water I’ve had in the boot since last Summer ‘in case of emergency’. For example, dying of thirst on that exceedingly long trip home (from Westfield). I binned it. Well, watered the plants with it. And immediately replaced it. Just in case.
8. Snacks. Spanning the full culinary spectrum of sweet to savory and back again I found crisps, crackers and all other high-intensity crumb contributors. Plus a full set of Ikea clip things. My husband bans food in the car, but needs-must during the half hour lag time between sibling collection from school. (Nature Valley are the most lethal.)
7. Toys. High on the list were the four-pack of duff little pencils that always come free with a notepad or colouring book. Kept one full set – useful for dashboard notes such as ‘ticket machine not working’. (Best thing EVER – fk da system …) Also found the source of the rattling noise coming from the back every time I took a right turn. Kinder and Happy Meal toys. “NEVER THROW THIS WAY – IT’S MY FAVOURITE THING EVER!” say my kids. Relegated to the passenger door pocket after a day and duly forgotten about. Binned.
6. Paperback AtoZ – yes, I know. Should Google maps, my in car SatNav, or a phonecall to my Dad let me down, this would be my resort AFTER the last resort. Even the charity shop didn’t want it. I don’t think it even featured Canary Wharf.
5. Cutlery. I can’t resist an M&S cling-wrapped fork at the checkout. If I can’t have a free bag anymore, I’m filling my boots with cutlery. Never mind the oil lasting for eight days, at the rate I’m collecting, I should have enough to see me through Passover 2016. Along with the plastic glove collection from petrol stations.
4. Some nappy bags and a Potette, which saw me through many a roadside emergency. And petrol station gloves came in handy. Bearing in mind my kids are 9 and 6, it was time to free up the netting side pocket thingy in the boot. Oooh.. so many options.
3. Parking machine tickets. Especially the sticky 2-part ones. I have a friend who drives around with out-of-date ones stuck on her window, like white tinted glass. That I would never do, but there was a serious stash shoved down the side of my door, the majority of them with a discarded piece of chewing gum stuck on them. *hangs head in shame*
2. Various writing implements. I am considering opening a stationery shop to rival WHSmith. I managed to bring it down to a couple of pencils and a few biros.
1. Much like Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman in reference to the condom selection she offered (“I got red, I got green, I got yellow… I’m out of purple..”), I am planning on attending Simchas 2016 and hosting a stand with the kippah selection that I discovered my husband had accumulated and chosen to house within my car. ‘Just in case’.
“I got suede, I got leather, I got crochet..”
They were in the glove compartment, side door, armrest and even in the secret pop down compartment that’s meant for your specs. Everywhere. Complete mess.
He should be ashamed of himself…