The 330d has seen some decent use over the larger than usual period since my last report. Speaking of “larger than usual”, the Christmas period has yet again had just that affect on yours truly. However, festive it may have been, but it was far from relaxing, and the 330d has as a result been treated more like a mobile home than a cherished car.
I was scheduled to spend the New Year at a hotel in Bridlington, a town on Scotland’s north-east coast, not too far from Oslo. Okay, so it’s actually in England, but us southerners tend to get a bit lost north of the Thames. A friend had recently acquired the hotel, and was opening to friends and family over the New Year. In return for my stay I was going to knock together a web site for him and attach a sports steering wheel to his 330d.
However, I received a call from a desperate chum who was moving from his rented accommodation in the holiday period, and fancied a hand with a bit of deposit saving redecorating. I’m in Surrey, chum is in Wales, Bridlington is somewhere near Aberdeen. Sadly of course I had to explain my other plans, at which point said chum confessed he was calling from a hospital having just come around from an emergency knee operation. This combined with the fact that it was Christmas day and he’d been having his knee rebuilt while his wife managed to give the 3 kids their Christmas dinner in his absence triggered my first ever known bout of a guilty conscience.
In situations like this a man needs two things: an understanding and cooperative girlfriend, and a 330d sport touring. Fortunately, I have had the foresight to prepare both. So the cavernous boot was opened, and the usual selection of shoes, clothes, hair drying, hair curling and hair straightening implements was joined by laptops, cameras, steering wheels, car tools, paint, rollers, brushes, white spirit etc, and of course two large tins of chocolate. 36 hours later we’d got to Wales, redecorated a house, eaten a curry and one tin of chocolate, slept it all off, and driven to Bridlington. No messing around, no need to refill, we just got the job done.
The Bridlington 330d SE received my old sport steering wheel (I changed mine for a new M3 wheel as reported in November 2006), and I’ve now got this process down to a fine art. Just remember to disconnect the battery, and treat the air bag like a nuclear device, and all should go okay! My friend was extremely grateful, and reports a new lease of love for his car as a result.
Since the New Year the car has sailed through an MOT, which is to be expected, but is pleasing nevertheless. I wasn’t so pleased with the cost – £50.35. “That’s the new cost set by the Ministry sir.” I chose not to remind the garage that it’s the maximum they’re allowed to charge…
It is at this point I must let on that I’ve a secret to tell, and perhaps an apology to make. My recent reports may have lacked some substance, and certainly I’ve not been spending anything on the car. I have in fact deliberately let a few things slip, such as an upgrade to DVD navigation, and there’s a reason for this. Like a squirrel preparing for winter I’ve been saving for the New Year. And once it arrived, the 330d was to be found whooshing up and down the country looking for a new stable mate. Eventually it found a suitable new companion near Winchester. It’s another black BMW 3 series, and it came with a spare bonnet that just about fits in the back of the 330d with a rear window down. And yet, despite all these similarities, it is the polar opposite to the fantastic 330d.
I hope the wait and relatively dull reports have been worthwhile – I hope I’ll be making up for it soon with my reports for the other car. But before I tell you all about my new acquisition, answer me this poser: why do girls need both hair curlers and hair straighteners? Incredible, isn’t it?
Total Mileage: 95,842
Mileage since last report: 1,790
Cost this month: £50 (MOT)
MPG this month: 39