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Mrs Liveinabin tells us: My mum told me to eat my vegetables, or I wouldn't get any pudding. I'm 32 and told her I could do what I like. I ate my vegetables. Tell us about mums.

(, Thu 11 Feb 2010, 13:21)
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the speed demoness
My mother got in to driving quite late in life, after we emigrated from Scotland to Natal in South Africa. Her first car was a standard VW Beetle, air-cooled and all that. After a while spent pootling around the small rural town where we lived, she started going to visit friends in Ladysmith, about 80km away. I went with her on a few occasions during school holidays.

Now, a 1300cc Beetle isn't that powerful, but could still rattle along at a decent enough pace if it had the room - and South Africa is a big country with roads a lot like the USA's. On the road from Newcastle to Ladysmith there is a flat straight of about 5km before the road goes up a hill, so she used to floor it to build momentum. After doing this for a while, the accelerator pedal got bent out of shape and would stick. "Um ... get that, will you, son?"

So, one abiding memory of my mother: crawling around under her feet to loosen a stuck accelerator pedal in a Beetle hurtling down a 2-lane country road at over 100kph. Not too quickly, though - it was a kind of cruise control, which she could just set and forget until she encountered anything else on the road, such as a truck or a town. On a later trip, when I wasn't there, she drove in to Ladysmith with flames pouring out the back of the Beetle, wondering why people were shouting and pointing at her ...

That was 30 years ago. Her smoking caught up with her almost 29 years ago.
(, Sat 13 Feb 2010, 23:45, closed)

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