Speed is in my blood. My father, grandfather and great-grandfather all used to race cars in their youth. We even have a hill-climb specialist car part-named after us, the Dellow. Just after I’d passed my test, my dad let me share the driving in his V12 Jag en route to our holiday home in Devon. I vividly remember him rebuking me whenever I let the speedometer dial creep below 100mph.
So I suppose it was inevitable that naughty habits would catch up with me in the end and that I’d find myself doing one of those compulsory speed awareness courses.
‘Dad, am I driving like a normal driver yet? Are you relaxing like a normal relaxed passenger or are you still worrying all the time we’re going to crash?’ I love going for driving practice with Girl. It takes me right back to that precious late adolescence I’d almost forgotten: the period where the thing that matters to you more than anything in the world is the imminent prospect of freedom behind the steering wheel of your very own car.
Think of it! Any time you like you can just get into the driver’s seat, start the engine and go anywhere you want. Scotland. Cornwall. Across the Channel on a ferry. To mates’ parties, beaches, the pub, to uni… I quite understand why Girl is so keen. But I also now realise why, subconsciously, I fought quite hard to put her off.