I went on holiday for a couple of weeks last month and for a whole 12 days I didn’t drive a car. I didn’t even get into one as a passenger. I was on the Isles of Scilly, just off Cornwall, where I spent all my summers bucketing and spading as a child, and the islands are so small that it’s perfectly feasible to walk everywhere.
The result was that when I got back to the mainland and into the waiting M3 I had the wonderful sensation of coming to driving afresh. Even this relatively short time devoid of a car meant that the first few miles felt wonderfully new and exciting. Saying it was like being an L-plate virgin again might be taking it too far, but extra concentration was in order because it didn’t feel completely natural. I imagine you’d get the same sort of sensation the first time you walk again after breaking a leg.
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But as the miles passed, muscle memory slowly came out of hibernation, and gradually everything started to work in harmony once more. Each gearchange got slightly slicker, feet began pressing the pedals more neatly and the whole car started flowing more swiftly and entertainingly through every passing roundabout. It’s a lovely feeling, and the M3, with all its tactile precision, is the most wonderfully rewarding car to re-learn the art of driving in.
|Date acquired||February 2008|
|Costs this month||£0|
|Mileage this month||1330|
|MPG this month||21.4|