They made me do it. I've spent my two years on the mag convincing everyone (and almost myself) that it's quicker to get to work using bus and tube rather than a car. And if I hadn't been for that pesky Colin|
He told me that a 1.2i 16v SXi Corsa with Easytronic gearbox was coming in on test and how it was easy by name, easy by nature, and that everyone else was busy so I had to drive it.
So, with a ruddy great dollop of reticence, I took the car keys and left my tube pass on my desk. Oh, and I persuaded a friend to come with me, for moral support, to south London.
And I don't know why I was making such a fuss about London traffic. I was home in 30 minutes (as opposed to the usual hour plus) and, while I admit this was late on a Friday night, it was much easier than I'd expected.
I tried to use the Easytronic push-and-pull gearlever but found it a lot easier to let the auto 'box do its thing, while I tackled junctions and roundabouts with unfamiliar ease.
Next morning, the countryside beckoned as London was stifling. Then again, so was the car as this one didn't have aircon (though it's an option for #500 on top of the on-the-road price of #10,290). But we did have the satnav lady telling us where to go (her soothing tones costing #1,300 extra) and she guided us perfectly down through Kent and back. On faster roads, a bit of lurch was felt as it changed up in gear, but once back at lower town speeds it smoothed out again - handy for that obligatory trip to Ikea.
As we later emptied the (rather small) boot of its Swedish booty, I felt annoyed I had thought driving in London was such a huge deal. But then, I had taken just the right car to break me in. Returning the Corsa on Monday, I had a few choice words for Colin: So then, what can I drive next?
Easy-peasy around town