Nemo - the Citroen for deep thinkers
WHEN able seaman Prescott was chief steward at the transport department we were told that the only way to save the beluga whale and society as a whole was to get on a train.
In the socialist utopia of a politician's delusions, the people are taught to embrace rubbing body parts with those whose understanding of soap stops at Walford.
I find myself on the morning train from time to time and never cease to be amazed that people think the world is remotely interested in the clucking minutiae of their lives. Or how few it takes to create a passable imitation of a Hong Kong duck farm.
Still, that was the dream. And all very well but for the small matter of Mr Beeching and his fearsome chopper.
And you can forget the bus. I kid you not, there is a journey around my way that takes 45 minutes to reach a town I drive to in six.
So, like it or not, you pretty much have to own a car if you hope to arrive anywhere in reasonable time and without advanced tinnitus.
Which leaves some people with a problem. They don't really like cars. They see them as a tool.
These are not art teachers who bought a Renault 4 because it had a Barbara Hepworth gear shift or a 2CV mistakenly thinking cool was owning a skip. These drivers want functional without the comforts and features of a phone box.
What then of the Citroen Nemo Multispace 1.4 diesel? Well here is a car you buy with the head rather than the heart. I mean look at it. It is, without a doubt, a cod.
But hey, do you know how much camping gear you can get in the back. And how far you can go on £5.50 of diesel? 63 miles. Granted not very quickly, 0-62mph takes 18.2 seconds. I was born in less time.
Therefore nobody is going to accuse you of murdering the planet, not in tax band B, but they are going to recognise the value of removable seats, two sliding side doors and a huge tailgate.
Inside finishes are utilitarian and easy to keep clean. There is even a front to back plastic floor. You may actually want the kids to be sick in this. Not, surprisingly, that the ride will guarantee your wish. A choppy ride on lesser roads but no feeling the tall Berlingo will fall over. A reasonably pleasant drive, cruising quite happily at 70mph.
Equipment? Well,yes, not a huge amount but a computer, electric widows a basic stereo and get me home lights. More importantly for the man about campsites, there's a rechargeable torch in the boot
It's a boy scout of a car and should come with a Citroen woggle. All the space you need and for just £11k.
It's not cool and may be named after a fish but Nemo sure beats life on the hen shed express.