I’ve learnt a few things since the car’s been out of action.

Thing one: You meet a lot more people when you don’t have a car. (Although most of them are either helping you out, or trying to.)

Thing two: Suggesting you can live without a car has the same reaction on people as suggesting you can live without a house. (And here we are, basking in a very warm and cosy yurt, tossing the occasional piece of free wood into the Yotul, feasting on venison given to us by another parent from school.)

Thing three: A crime against humanity seems to be being (a rare construction, that) perpetrated by at least one Western government. Here, it’s called Prime à la casse. The guy in the breaker’s yard told me…

I went in to find out if I could have a new-old engine put in the car. Fine, they said: Engine €300. Fitting it, an extra €1,200. Bugger, I said. That’s the same as the Renault garage. Too rich for my blood. How about trying to sell it without a working engine?

Non-starter, I was told.

During the following conversation, the very nice man pointed out of the window at a car very much like mine. Only in perfect working order. It was sold to the breakers for €70, on condition that IT MUST BE SCRAPPED. Me and my friend who drove me there were open-mouthed. The very nice man said he had a Golf IV – €70 but must be scrapped. Apparently, it’s to create a shortage in the second-hand car market so people are forced to buy new.

It makes me want to cry, I said.

Me too, he said.

You probably know about this from the telly – sadly, like the tractor and now the car, our fantastic small TV/DVD player is out of service – but it’s news to me. In a world where there are clearly enough cars, governments are encouraging the scrapping of perfectly good vehicles to make room for even more.

I don’t know what to say.