Lately I've been rediscovering the joys of just driving for its own sake. Increasingly, I've been
going out for drives during the afternoon and evening, and just revelling in the simple but powerful
pleasures of speed, loud music and the feel of the road under my tyres.
I actually had a nasty puncture on some broken glass on Sunday evening, and had a new tyre
fitted yesterday morning. Since then, I've probably spent a total of about five hours just
driving around, on country backroads, through town, and on the motorway. There really is nothing
like the small but confident kick as you let the clutch back up after slipping into fifth gear,
or the exhilaration of doing 80 or even 90 mph on a long shallow bend after midnight.
I've come to the conclusion that there are a great many things I'd sacrifice before I'd give up
the pleasure of owning a car, and that petrol is perhaps as much of an essential as the groceries.
I'm generally a careful driver, though I can become very easily frustrated with other road
users (did someone say "young women drivers"?). Most of the time I stick firmly to speed limits. I'm
an overly conscientious signaller, but I tend to be impatient at junctions and roundabouts. I also
have an uncanny knack of timing journeys to precisely match the length of songs on the CD player; I
consider this to be my primary superpower.
I'd forgotten how pleasurable driving actually is, due to the daily chore of
short-run journeys to the supermarket and the like, and I'm pleased to have rediscovered it.
Truly, nothing in the world compares to being behind the wheel of your own car.