Farewell, valiant Pulsarnator

January 23, 2007 at 2:22 am (Uncategorized)

The word went out on Llew’s mobile yesterday:

Sad news! The Pulsarnator died in her sleep last night… After a long battle with salt water, she finally fell victim to rust. She will be taken to the wreckers after a private ceremony.

Yes, our beloved little blue Nissan Pulsar, affectionately known as the Pulsarnator, is off to that scrap heap in the sky. I felt quite choked up when Llew called to tell me the old girl had failed registration and had to be taken away. It’s been such a good little car. Always (well, mostly) turning over on the first try, regardless of how long we’d left her abandoned, always (well, mostly) going the distance, always (no, really) exceeding our expectations and seemingly expanding her own capabilities at will.

The Pulsarnator has seen us through so much. She came along just after Llew and I got back from our years in London, and for that first twelve months back in Australia, when we were living apart, the Pulsarnator ably ferried us between Palm Beach and Bondi Beach. When we moved into a campus apartment for my year as a resident academic tutor, the Pulsarnator seemed to stretch its limits, taking all those loads of furniture and belongings in her stride. When my beloved grandfather died, it was the Pulsarnator Llew drove me in to go and say my last goodbye. A few days later, the Pulsarnator was one of the cars following slowly behind the hearse to the crematorium, and it has taken me there, to the rose garden in which my grandparents’ ashes lay, ever since.

We moved back to Bondi into the much-loved Glen Street beach shack, and the Pulsarnator spent many a night trawling up and down the hills of Bondi looking for an elusive park to call her own. In this, she was not alone.

The following year, my young, lovely niece was killed, and it was the Pulsarnator on that desperate, awful early morning that drove hours through the rain to my sister’s door. When the time came, the car brought us quietly to Sam’s funeral, and many times since has helped me deliver flowers to her sunny resting place.

About six months later we thought perhaps the Pulsarnator was gone for good, when on the freeway returning from Canberra and Sarah’s 30th birthday party, the Pulsarnator slid to a silent halt and could not be revived. Poor Margery had accepted a ride with us, thinking it would get her to work on time, and instead had to jump in with the tow truck drivers, hitching her skirt and climbing aboard. They couldn’t take the car, I forget why, but they did eventually see Margery into a cab (rather late for an important meeting I think she might have missed). Llew and I stayed with the Pulsarnator, eventually help arrived, and she rallied, emerging from the garage a few days later as good as new.

A year on, and Llew and I drove the Pulsarnator down to the South Coast on the spur of the moment, leaving Bondi at around 3 o’clock in the morning and driving down to see a house we’d spotted on the internet and thought might be a good spot for our wedding. We stumbled our way slowly through Culburra in the pitch darkness, and then drove the car up to the point, sleeping for a couple of hours with the sound of the waves crashing below us. We woke up cramped, hungry, and hot, but a couple of hours later, we had found our wedding venue. It was absolutely perfect.

After the wedding, we flew to India on honeymoon, and when we returned, I was hospitalised for two weeks with typhoid (yes, I had all the injections. There are three types of typhoid, and only two are covered by the vaccine. No, no one mentioned that at the time). The Pulsarnator brought Llew on a nightly vigil to my side, and took him home again when the nurses eventually kicked him out. I was five days out of hospital when Llew took a Monday off work, and we drove the Pulsarnator to Manly to inspect an apartment for sale. Two years later, almost to the day, that same apartment is now our very happy home.

Our lovely, daggy little car. It has taken us well beyond four weddings and a funeral. It has taken us to visit ailing friends and relatives in hospital, and it has taken us to greet new life as our friends have welcomed babies into the world. It has taken us to parties, christenings, movies, barbeques, dinners, art exhibitions, weekends away, vineyards, restaurants, plays, and concerts. It’s held the weekly shopping, and somehow supported our enormous sofa on its roof. It has shown personality well beyond what is even possible. We will miss her, our dear Pulsarnator, but we won’t ever forget her.

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