Ohmigod, I did it. I bought a car. A new car.
That's the new vehicle, before the plates went on. She's an MG-ZT 180+, with a 2.5 litre V6. She rides like a dream compared to the Audi (which, though quick, always rolled a bit in corners), and the threatened over-firm ride turns out to be softer than the Audi.
Two hours after picking her up, I took us over to Silverstone, where we picked up my mother, wandered down to uitlander's friend's restaurant Thai Tai (and damned good it is there), and back again. And then came home again, having tripled the total mileage in the process. On Friday, we take her for a longer run - over to Maynooth and back, but judging by the experience we had with the hire car 3 weeks ago, she should have no difficulty with Irish roads at all, at all. And that should triple her mileage again.