Such a cliché, but for me, this is late-life rather than mid-life crisis talk and something I thought about doing to celebrate turning fifty, a whole decade ago (so not something I’m rushing into, so to speak). The choice then, was three-fold – sports car, visit terracotta warriors or blow-out party. And the party was fab… a real show-stopping, humdinger of a celebration which I loved.

But being the greedy girl I am, I still hankered after that car.

To be fair, I did get one spin of the wheel when I took possession of a friend’s beloved MG when he very sadly ‘passed over the rainbow’. I had great fun for a couple of months, racing around Welsh lanes,  hearing the birds and smelling the trees, before putting it into winter storage. I was hooked, but this car wasn’t suitable for a daily seventy-mile commute. It’s a collectable – a fragile lady in need of renovation and I need to respect her age.

And so for the last couple of months His Nibbs has very kindly been keeping an eye on the market, all to no avail. Until last weekend, when a rather smart MX5 popped up on his radar. ‘Fancy a run down to Bournemouth to look at a car?’ he casually asked over toast and marmalade. Did I heck!

It took a little longer than we anticipated to hit the outskirts of Bournemouth, in fact it was nearly dusk. His Nibbs was a little concerned at looking over a car in the dark but there was sufficient daylight left for me to make a test drive, lose my head and hand over the dosh. I adjusted the mirrors, waited while His Nibbs cautiously fasten his seat-belt, and roared off the forecourt in the direction of home.  

For the last year I’ve enjoyed driving an automatic car. Who would have imagined that twelve months of life with an automatic gearbox would cancel out the experience of thirty-eight years of using a manual gearbox? His Nibbs gamely sat through a few hours of kangaroo leaps and lurching roars until we reached Bath. By the time we pulled up outside our favourite burger bar, I was a coiled spring, totally focused on the gear-stick and the array of instruments on the dashboard which all seemed to work in reverse order. I unpeeled my fingers from the steering wheel, unpeeled my body from the tiny bucket seat and gratefully unpeeled the wrapper from my garlic mayo burger. This was indeed, a new challenge. How  was I going to tame the little beast before riding it to work the following morning?


So now I have my convertible… my lovely fun car in Soul Red. Each morning is a challenge, roaring along the M4 on my commute, dodging the wheels of the big trucks and weaving my way through the traffic. It’s a noisy ride – the radio is set to full volume for me to catch the news headlines, but I love every minute. I’ve stepped out of my comfort-zone (literally – the Jag was like riding in a duvet), and I can’t wait for the warm weather and the hood to come down. By which time, the yodelling practice will be pretty first class!