Where is Top Gear

Nothing to do with the intrepid petrol head trio, but a little trepidation as I clamber into the car for the first time in umpteen weeks. It starts first time, those beads of anticipation sweat meaningless. A couple of creaks as the handbrake released and we reversed. And now the fun. As 60 mph is the new 30 judging right hand turns needs extra consideration. Strewth!

I find myself glancing at the gear lever, is 6th gear top or bottom right. Critical as in our other jalopy bottom right is reverse. A very noisy and expensive mistake. Why aren’t all gearboxes of a common layout? And other such impossible dreams. And now another detail, another OMG moment; is that the time? Then remembered the clock is still on GMT showing how long we have been frozen in time. Slightly concerned about the update; like most clocks in cars it’s linked to the radio and NASA have had a hand in the process to shift the hour hand forwards one hour to BST or forwards 23 hours to hit GMT again (back doesn’t appear to be an option). Summer time thus much easier to administer.

Job done, handbook re-stowed in glove box and instructions in use of multifunction knobs and buttons on the “sound system” promptly forgotten. By the way who still keeps gloves in the ‘glove box’ especially if you have a glove box chilled from the air con and a heated steering wheel; whatever they are. It’s great to be back although the rust is still blowing off the driving skills. Like most of us – would insurance companies please ignore that last statement.

Alistair Owens

The meandering thoughts of someone with too much time on his hands. Tending to see the obscure and irrelevant in most events I have been forced to record this by family members as a means of diverting attention away from them. But I see their plan.

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