Mike’s English Word of the Week – Lifespan

Word of the Week: Lifespan

New country. New business. New career. New language. New alphabet. New home. New friends.

New life. An amazing new life.

This boy “had done it” I thought.

Clearly, I was reflecting. It had been as intense as it was amazing to get to the above point. But I had indeed done it. “It” is a tiny word that sums up my whole life change. Small word that means so much.

Many constant demands, inter-linked priorities and tasks to juggle…along with burning the candle at both ends because that’s in my nature, had left me feeling tired and in need of a break.

I saw my chance. Somehow everything lined up and I had a weekend looming where I had nothing to do whatsoever. First time in 12 months I calculated.

So I decided to relax and have a weekend away from it all.

It’s all under control. I will stop the clock and head out to the Black Sea.

Even left work early. Rare for me.

Bag packed. Excited. Full tanked the mighty Saab that had brought me here from London and endured so much. Treated him to a weeks vignette.

Yes, he would explore the coast too. And be free on the motorway and have a break from the city.

I made the call. “I’m on my way. Get those beers ready!”

Friends were already there having a great time. And I was finally going to join them.

“Everything’s under control, you deserve a weekend off. Stop looking at your to do list and things you have to do in August, deal with it then.”

Stopping the clock had begun. I dropped my guard. Usually Mr On Edge and not expecting much…I set my expectations high for an amazing drive there and back with an epic weekend out in the middle.

The Saab was my warrior. He had made it from London and was die hard. My expectation was for him to carry on living and one day just need some love. A wash. A hoover. Perhaps an oil change.

The gearbox rattle. Suspension clonking. The air con had given up. Passenger seat belt sensor stuck. CD player broke. I didn’t care. His heart was strong. That’s what mattered.

Now, I know cars very very well…but…

No warning. No early tell tale sign. Just like human beings who can go at any moment, so did he. I felt it in slow motion. It took him three minutes to die, and in those three minutes he lost all compression and began to overheat. We were cruising together on the motorway.

I pulled over gently to a stop. Knowing I had just witnessed him die in my presence. I call the Saab “him” because I spent so much time with him and relied on him completely. I could not have done what I’ve done today without him.

Knowing the hassles that would follow I just felt sad and depressed. I was missing my friends already. I was missing him already.

I took two minutes to think. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t his fault. What had happened?

Knowing my way round a motor well I made a few quick checks that confirmed it was simply his time to let that one element go. It was the lifespan of that gasket.

Simple as that. And I had closure on a situation where I lost my favourite sidekick.

Extortionate fees and slow truck ride later I’m home with him. Instead of drinking beers and trying my luck with the ladies by the coast I was emptying him out thinking he will be sent to a car beakers for spares soon.

I thought I will give him a Viking Burial.

And honour him.


How? My friend just brought his Saab in from Holland this month.

We always wanted to photograph our twin cars together. Little did I know mine would be dead when we do so. Perhaps we will take parts from mine and fit to his to improve it. And then sell my Saab to a car dismantlers.

At least I know he will live on somehow here in Bulgaria. In multiple Saab’s.


Good things always come. During my time searching for cars over the weekend I gave birth to the format for a forth coming series of articles here in Bulgaria….and by default how to buy and register a car here in Bulgaria.

I bonded with a friend who had this not happened, perhaps we wouldn’t have had the time to sit and chat.

My friend in question took me car shopping and put up with my fussy nature. I had to buy anything in a hurry that fit the bill for me…a bill I’ll explain in the car buying article I’m working on. Because it was a very strict list it had to adhere to, the model of car actually was irrelevant. How ironic for a petrol head like me. Tragic almost.


I spotted my new side kick the moment I saw him. An older gent, more gracious than the Saab but lacking the cool demeanour. I knew it was time to spend some time with this soul to put “New car” into the life changing equation.

Welcome the Lexus GS300 Sport. If the Saab was a Viking from Sweden, this was a Samurai Sword wielding old boy from Japan.

Who added “New fuel” to the life changing equation too.

LPG. Liquid petroleum gas. I know nothing about it for now. But you can bet your life on it that in time I’ll write an article on all I will learn.

The previous owner had two daughters. He himself was a gentleman. The epitome of a gentleman in fact. When I bought it saw him take all of their stuff out the back. Proudly. “My daughters stuff” he laughed beaming brightly.

This car would have purpose with a family on board.

By making space for it, perhaps I’ll bring it on? The chap I bought it from had a really positive calm energy. I analysed him more so than the car. And I’m satisfied I’ve made a great choice. He told me that he hopes this Lexus brings me lots of luck. He said it from the haert and so I know this Lexus will do just that.


The Saab was a legend.

His last lesson to me was lifespan.

Perhaps my most useful lesson to date.

You think you are immortal.

But the word lifespan exists.

And it lives in real life.

The world immortal however, well that only exists in a fantasy fairytale land.

One which we have to leave at some point growing up.

What will the Samurai Sword fighter teach me? I’ll find out.

For now, I know he gave me a gift. A new friend who is still saved in my phone contacts as “Lexus”.

Together we plan to mess about with cars. I feel alive again. That was the best part of my old life. It’s back. With a vengeance.

So perhaps I’ll resurrect the Viking with the help of my new friend.

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