Now I'll not bore you with the whole saga but my departure from Islay for a couple of weeks or so had been riven with some uncertainty and regret. Circumstances then conspired to persuade me that my thinking was right and I went ahead and changed my car!! Routine, easy you might think.....well yes, but it had been a faithful steed for around eight years and I was tremendously attached to it. We had been up mountain tracks, through bogs, very bad snowy conditions and the like, which always generates respect for a vehicle that successfully gets you there. But it was beginning to age and things were never going to be the same as the inevitable signs of such began to emerge. Above all else it was a 4X4!
This always presented me with some guilt given the environmental disclosures attached to such vehicles. So I thought hard! With diesel at £1.53 per litre on Islay, compared to much less on the mainland, and a halter of environmental guilt around my neck I decided to do the decent thing! I am now the proud owner of a 1.4 TDI Ford Fiesta whose carbon emissions are very low and whose Road Fund Licence costs £30 per year , as opposed to £269!! I've just done 301 miles on half a tank of diesel and have willingly joined the ranks of the Green Warriors!! In fact , I shall turn the complete hypocrite and condemn all those with Chelsea tractors, unless they really need one, which some do. I'm pleased with the change, although worried about coping with the abysmal road conditions on Islay at present, matched equally by the abysmal track record ( forgive the pun ) of the Local Authority, Argyll and Bute, in dealing with them. On the last disclosure, the distilleries on Islay contributed £145 million per annum in "tax" generated from whisky to the Exchequer, and yet little of this bonanza finds its way back to the island! There'll be places I can no longer get to, and odd things I never do again I suppose, and there'll be cleaning and polishing obligations, something you can get away with with a 4x4 unless you live in urbansville. So, raise the flag and take succour from the fact the air is cleaner and a blow has been smitten against climate change. Oh , and it's saved me a few pounds as well!!