When I was 18 years old I had a friend called Tim who owned a Porsche. It was a white 911 Carrera. Gorgeous. One day I told my friend that I missed my mother. She was living in Sweden at the time and I was in London.
“Let’s go and see her,” said Tim. “We’ll take my car, I’ll teach you to drive on the way.”
So we drove from London to a small village called Almunge about an hour and a half from Stockholm, where my mother lived. The journey was not uneventful. I have hazy memories of it now, but the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas comes to mind when I think about it, as do road-blocks set up by the Swedish police to stop us speeding on the empty motorways.
We arrived at my mother’s house at 2am and as there was little point in waking her up, we parked up and slept in the car. The next day there was a rumour going around the village that there were two dead people in a Porsche near the Roda Kvarn cinema (sounds like a Henning Mankell book). I think actually they were so excited about this idea in Almunge (population circa 600) that they kept on believing we were dead even when we woke up and left the car.
My mother was thrilled to see us. But I don’t think my driving lessons went very well. It subsequently took me eight tests to pass.
I now have a theory about this. I think the problem was I was trying to pass in the WRONG CAR. Obviously a woman who has learned to drive in a Porsche 911 can’t be expected to control a Vauxhall. In fact I have really classed myself as quite a bad driver, for the whole of my life, until a couple of days ago when I bought a Porsche.
I use the term “I” lightly. My husband actually bought it, but happily as he can’t really fit into it, it is mine, ALL MINE. I love her (yes, she is female) with the kind of unconditional love one normally reserves for one’s children. She is chic, fast, responsive, topless and a joy to drive. For the first time ever my husband has told me I am driving well, not once, but twice.
Which can only mean one thing. My friend Tim did a great job. It’s just a shame it has taken me so long to be reunited with the perfect car for me.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2012