Back in 2012, I had a crazy idea that within the next year I would buy a scooter, pack in my job and head off on a wild adventure around the Iberian peninsula. My wife agreed to the buying a scooter bit, we never did get around to the packing my job in or galavanting around Iberia bits, though. Although for more than three years we rented a lovely apartment in São Martinho do Porto, then sold the scooter and bought an expensive car.
The idea to buy a scooter came into my head many years ago when we were thinking about buying one for our son. Our son decided he didn’t want a scooter, but he did buy himself a motorbike then a month later passed his driving test and got a car. He’s now on his third car and the motorbike is sitting under a tarpaulin in the garage.
Anyhow, I decided I wanted a scooter for myself, so I went out and bought one with the intention of learning how to maintain it. I even joined a scooter club and went on a couple of local runs with them and spent some time hanging about car parks listening to them comparing notes. I did like my scooter, but it didn’t take me long to realise that the Scottish weather and two-wheeled transport are not often a pleasant combination. I also soon realised that I am to mechanics what Theresa May is to consensual politics. Once the bike started playing up, I started losing interest in it, and used it less and less until I put it in the garage and promptly forgot about it. That was in 2015. I was no longer prepared to make the time for it, and when I did I got nervous that it would break down and I would be stranded and have to push it home. So it sat languishing in the garage, taken out for short runs around the cul-de-sac (it wasn’t taxed or insured and didn’t have an MOT) before being shoved back in the garage and promptly forgotten about until the next sunny day when I was looking for an excuse to prevaricate. Trips to the flat in Portugal and work commitments took precedence.
I did have a romantic idea that I could drive around Portugal, visiting villages and towns, on my Vespa. That was back before we started going to our flat in Portugal, when I started renting cars and driving around. I soon realised that Portugal, while certainly having the weather for scooters, does not have the roads for them. I would not take a scooter on the motorway, and the main roads are very busy with motorists who are not really all that concerned about people on slower moving two-wheeled motorised vehicles. Having been on a scooter in Portugal, I can tell you it is not for the faint of heart. The smaller roads are often badly maintained with lots of dust, debris and potholes, not to mention animals and motorists that either drive very slowly and stop without warning, or who drive very fast and are likely not to see you until they’ve driven over the top of you.
So now the plan is to enjoy our new car, keep on working for the foreseeable future, see what will happen with Brexit and then take it from there.
You can contact me to find out more at firstname.lastname@example.org