Thursday, 4 July 2013

Marvellous Mazzie

Today's writing prompt comes from the Writing Things map from Writing Maps: write about a car you've owned or driven in often. As soon as I saw this exercise I just knew I had to write about Mazzie.

Me having breakfast after a night sleeping in Mazzie
Both my husband, John, and I were late starters when it came to driving. I didn't pass my driving test until I was 34 and it took me seven attempts, but that's a whole other story. John passed when he was 29, just a few months before we went to live in New Zealand. Mazzie was the first car we owned and we bought her as soon as we arrived in Nelson, the first place we lived in NZ. She was gold, she didn't like hills and it was impossible to tell how much petrol she had as the gage went up and down erratically depending on the roads you were driving on. But we loved her. We folded her seats down and camped in the back of her in an endless array of stunning and deserted places, and once in the middle of a town, Fox Glacier, on New Years Eve.

Mazzie was so much more than just a car. She was our trusty companion on our road trip adventures (see my blog about finally getting the road trip bug), she never broke down, she never needed any major repair work, and she gave us the freedom to go wherever we wanted whenever we wanted. Her boot was a permanent home to our trangia stove, cooking pots, fold away chairs and sleeping mats; and on summer weekends we'd sling our pillows and quilt from our bed in there too and just go. From January 2003 until September 2004, Mazzie, John and I visited most of the South Island. We had moved to Christchurch after a year living in Nelson and then, after nine months of braving the winds coming up from the Antarctic, we packed up Mazzie with all our belongings and got the ferry to the North Island. We then drove right up the middle of it to Auckland, which had seemed so sleepy when we'd first landed there from England almost two years before, but now seemed like a buzzing metropolis after the emptiness of the South Island.

The plan was to spend a while in Auckland and get our permanent residency, but like all good plans things came along to change them. Homesickness came along and it wouldn't go away. So after just a few months in Auckland we had to say goodbye to Mazzie, as we were flying home to England. But we've never forgotten her. I even remember her registration number: PE 306.


  1. Oh such an evocative story that just takes you to those magic days of feeling free. And amazing that you had Mazzie to join you. And John of course.

    My old VW was 'Cynthia Caramel' and my best friend and I had a theory about the 2 types of people in the world: those who name their cars, and those that don't.

    Of course back then, down there, we all drove clapped out second hand cars which seemed to go and go and go and then suddenly. Stop.

    Thanks for the escape, but WHAT HAPPENED TO MAZZIE?

  2. Tell me more about your theory, Jen. We made some friends the second time we lived in NZ who thought we were really naff for naming our cars - we had Vera then! Mazzie was sold when we left Auckland but amazingly when we moved back there again a couple of years later we saw her driving down the road. We wanted her back!

  3. Amanda, I love the way you personify her and that's what Cars and Bikes are to us..arent they?
    They become our home on wheels ...I love the way you wrote about her..See you around Amanda :)

  4. Hi Amanda .. what fun - I had a bug in South Africa and went everywhere, but didn't camp .. it was orange and blended with the earth .. sadly someone decided to rip down a straight road and missed the lights - that was that - fortunately I was ok after a bit of a shake up .. the old orange bug was no more .. I was very distressed!

    I managed 15 years in Africa ... but am glad I'm home now .. cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary. Crikey - sounds like a nasty crash. Glad you were OK but very sad about the old orange bug. It's funny how you get attached to cars isn't it? I'm glad I'm home too most days but there's still that itch to travel again. One day.

  5. Thanks Me! Just read your post about happiness - so true.