Things can only get better…

No Prof. Brian Cox, soz.

If you’re here to listen to the hit song by D:Ream, I’m afraid that’s not what I’m here to talk about. However, here’s the link just in case you do want to listen to it. No, what I’m here to waffle on about is the fact that while everything seems a bit shit at the moment, it won’t be like this forever. I know, because I’m feeling it too, that it’s all a bit stressful at the moment. We can’t go out, we can’t embrace our passions, we can’t see our friends, we can’t go to car shows, we can’t go to meets, we can’t go on track days. We can’t do anything. And that’s… exhausting, actually. The frustration of being idle, of being static and doing nothing is, ironically, tiring. But know this, you’re not alone. We’re all feeling it.

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I posted a tweet the other day in which I pondered the point of having cars other than my sensible daily. The Rover 800, the ZX, the other car I’ve just agreed to buy. What’s the point? They just sit there doing nothing. Should I sell them? Should I store them? Should I, in a nutshell, admit defeat and give up on my hobby? I know from reading the replies that the answer is no. I also know that a great many of you are feeling the same way about things. You’re frustrated and saddened and missing the normality of life. This pandemic has changed things, it’s impacted us all. Especially those of use with hobbies and pastimes so based in the social. But I’m here to tell you that this impact, this feeling of anxiety and sadness is not a permanent one. I’m not here to talk politics or about vaccines or whatever BBC News is spouting. I’m here to tell you, because I need to hear it too, that things will get better. Not might. They will.

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The car world is a special one. Every hobby and every passion has its own appeal. But I’m a bit blinkered in that my life revolves around cars (this website isn’t just fun – I’m a professional motoring writer), so I can only talk about the car world. But that’s fine because it, because you are brilliant. You. Yes, you, reading this right now, are brilliant. You are part of something with so much heart, so more camaraderie and so much joy that it has kept me going through all this. You have helped other people get through it, and other people have helped you. We have all been here to motivate each other, to cheer each other up and to keep everyone’s passion alive. That’s an incredible thing. You car people are ace.

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And it’s because you’re ace, because this world has been so vocal, so motivating and so joyful that I can sit here safe in the knowledge that things will get better. That tweet I mentioned was awash with replies reminding me that all is not lost, that we will all get together again soon and that it’s worth carrying on. Carrying on with cars, carrying on with friendships, with being optimistic. These lumps of metal, inanimate to most eyes, have been a welcome release for us. A thing to hold on to, to unite us even though we can’t actually bloody go anywhere in them. They’re just machines; glass, rubber and metal. But at the same time, they’re more. There is no other passion I would rather have. Because the cars almost play second fiddle to the friendships, and it’s those friendships that have been a welcome life raft in a twelve-month (and counting) sea of crap.

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Can I tell you when ‘normal’ will return? No, of course not. I’m an idiot who write about old cars for a living, not Mystic Meg. But I can tell you it will be normal again one day, and hopefully one day soon. And you lot, you fellow enthusiasts, have been intrinsic to my ability to hold onto that. Having been bottled up in a small flat for nearly a year, the online car community has been a lifeline. It has been a release, a source of joy and place where I’ve been able to top up my enthusiasm. It’s not all been plain sailing, there has been in the odd shitcup, but it’s the internet. You roll with it. By and large though, it’s been something that has kept me sane. And I know, for many of you, the feeling will be the same.

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So yeah, car community. Thank you. I look forward to the day we can all meet up again. A day that I know, thanks to your ongoing enthusiasm, will roll around soon. Until then, stay safe.

The Pollitt

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