Thursday, 10 March 2011

Meet Katie - Our New Car

Well, we’ve finally got our new car! Several months ago we came to the conclusion it was silly going on with 2 cars because I haven’t driven for a while. We could have just kept the Fiat Doblo and sold the VW Polo, but the Doblo had a ramp in the back for the wheelchair, and this meant it couldn’t have a towing ball, which my hubby needs for his trailer, and also it was probably sensible to get a newer car at this stage anyway, so we decided to trade both in and get another one.

My hubby did loads of research online to find exactly the right car for us. We needed one we could get the wheelchair into without disassembling it, as it’s a major pain taking the power system off, but we didn’t necessarily need a ramp, because I don’t sit in it in the car anyway. My hubby needs a car that he can take passengers in, as well as me and my wheelchair, and he needs a car big enough to get his display boards in for work. We also needed one with a passenger seat that was easy to tip back because I get very tired sitting upright in the car as I am having to adjust my posture all the time, and most seats have this wretched wheel arrangement at the side for reclining the seat, and I can’t manage that. The Doblo had a super big lever with a ratchet, and I could work it really easily!

So – quite a lot of criteria to find in one car! My hubby eventually came down in favour of the Renault Kangoo, which answered all our needs. He test drove one recently in Plymouth, but didn’t like it as the engine wasn’t powerful enough. There was no ramp in the back, and if one had been fitted, there wouldn’t have been room for the wheelchair as well, unless we put the back seats down, which wasn’t practical.

He found another one in Honiton, which I originally dismissed because it was too new (only 8,000 on the clock), an automatic, and too expensive, but he went over to have a look at it anyway, taking my wheelchair with him to make sure it would go in OK. He was really enthusiastic about it – it’s got an electric hoist arrangement in the back for lifting the chair in, although he says he can manage to lift it without, because the back is so low and flat (I’m not too happy about that because I don’t want him straining his back!). He took me over a few days later to see it for myself and I must say I was impressed – I tried the seat lever and it was easy-peasy. There was no grab handle on the door frame but the garage man said he could fit one for me. We agreed a reasonable price on the part exchange for both other cars, and as long as we tighten our belts and don’t have such a long holiday away this year, it will be OK. So we have bought it!

My hubby and a friend drove our 2 cars over today, and came back in the new one! My hubby has christened her Katie.

Here’s a picture he took of it when he first saw it. You can see that the wheelchair fits in sideways, and the hoist is on the right.

Wheelchair in Back of Renault Kangoo Feb 11

Here are a couple of pictures of the inside:

Renault Kangoo Dashboard Feb 11

Renault Kangoo Back Seats Feb 11

He didn’t take any of the side view, but I shall take some in the next few days.

When he got back with it, he hadn’t had time to do any shopping, so I said I’d come with him, so that I could have a ride in it, and we went into town and did the shopping. It all went very well.

My friend Wendy has butterflies on her car, and I said to my hubby that I really wanted butterflies too. He immediately pulled a face and said he didn’t want them. I said, “It’s ‘our’ car now – not just yours!!” but he said I couldn’t have them. When I asked why not, he said, “It’s too ‘Totnes’.” Totnes, our nearest town, is considered by some to be the New Age, Alternative, and Hippie capital of England. The postcode for the Totnes area is TQ9, and we have a saying around here, “It’s very TQ9” and everyone knows what you mean! Residents in the TQ9 area are known as “TQ9-ers.” I said to him, “So what if it’s very TQ9? You are wearing your TQ9 hat tonight to keep your head warm!” He said, “That’s different!” Of course it is. It would be. (Men…) Here’s a picture of him wearing it, to keep his head warm while playing with Beatrice in the snow:

Nicholas and Beatrice in the Snow 2 3 Feb 09

When he took me over to see the car, I told the garage man about my butterflies, and he said, “Ooh yes, I think you should definitely have butterflies!” My hubby pulled a face! When he went back today, the man said “You’ve got to let her have her butterflies. After all, I’ve given my permission! I shall expect an email from her with a photograph proving that you’ve let her have them!”

Last night I mentioned the butterflies again, and he asked Beatrice if she thought I should have them. If you have read my post about Beatrice our little Computer Queen, you will know what an intelligent kitty she is, and how she understands everything, and only answers “yes” to questions – if the answer is “no,” she doesn’t say anything. Of course she said “Yes!”

Then I got a message from Wendy and she said I should definitely have them. I told him, and he stomped out of the room waving his arms and saying he felt totally got at!

Today he came home with the car and he sighed a big sigh, and said, “All right, you can have your butterflies!” Yaaayyyy! Butterflies!!! We love butterflies!!!

This is the Ebay picture of the ones I want. They come complete with flowers and swirls too – what more could a girl (and her hubby lol!) want?

Ebay Pic of Katie's Butterflies

The car in this picture isn’t the same colour as ours – ours is a less pinky red, but having black trim everywhere, I think the black butterflies look really smart, so I shall go for those instead of the yellow or white ones I originally thought of. Because there’s a lot of stuff on the back of our car – rails for the back sliding doors to run in, black filler cap, and no space beyond the windows because the back is virtually square – it’s a really box-shaped back – we’ve decided to put them on the front doors instead. My hubby doesn’t know it yet, but I’m planning on getting some separate butterflies to go on the back, and if he complains, I’ll tell him they are essential, to balance things up!

Photos to come, once we’ve got them.

Very TQ9.


  1. Hey girl! What a perfect car for you! And tell you hubby, he HAS to have butterflies - they will look great on it!!! I miss not "talking" with you more...hope to stop by the blog more often - Thanks for the sweet comment, too

  2. Hi I think your butterflies look fab .
    I think you could start a new fashion.

  3. Boy Have I started something, But everyone does love my little yellow car with the purple butterflies,
    Cant wait to see the photos.
    Poor Poor Hubby

  4. I have to admit that I was a little iffy at your butterflies idea at first. But then you put up a picture of the design and what it might look like on your car, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I’m sure your butterflies look great on your new car. Your husband will just have to get used to them, hehehe!

  5. I think those butterflies would look great on the sides of your car! It goes great with her name too. I’m glad that you were able to find a car that caters to all your needs and at a reasonable price as well. It’s always important research and canvassing as much as possible when buying a new car. Researching will definitely save time in the dealerships.

  6. The color you chose really suits the car! I think it makes it look sleek and sexy. Those butterflies should look pretty cool on the side of the car, just like what Sebastian said. Have you taken pictures of it yet? I’d love to see what it looks like!

    1. Thanks Arlyne. I tried to leave a comment on your website but it wouldn't let me enter UK details, so I hope you come back here to read this! To see Katie with all her butterflies, go here:

      As I thought, my hubby no longer notices the butterflies and doesn't make a fuss about them any more!!



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