Carless whisper

An Austin 1300 and a white Nissan Sunny are the only two cars I've ever owned. I remember the former had a permanent oil leak reminiscent of the Angel Falls and that the latter was simply indestructible. When they eventually came to take it away for scrap, it was still perfectly servicable but I was leaving the country, had a million things to do and needed a quick solution. I like to imagine that some bloke back at the scrapyard turned the key out of curiosity, found that the car worked perfectly well, gave it to his daughter for her eighteenth birthday and she's still driving it to the village school where she teaches recalcitrant youths from Monday to Friday. Or maybe they just crushed it with a big machine.

Anyway, rather bizarrely, I've been thinking about cars lately, pondering the possibility of hiring one and indulging in couple of nights away at a rural retreat somewhere in Andalucía.

The other day, I thought I'd do a very blokey thing and fantasize about which would be my perfect car for driving through rolling countryside of southern Spain. Unfortunately, that game lasted approximately four seconds as I quickly realised I don't know anything whatsoever about any cars. I mean I know Porsches and Ferraris are talked about in hushed and reverent tones by men who find it hard to get a girlfriend and that Rolls Royces were popular once and th.. well, no, that's about it, actually.

There are car magazines, I also know that; mainly because I had a friend who bought one every month. I soon learned to avoid him for a week after delivery date so as not to be availed with mind-numbing nonsense about nought to sixties, handbrake turns and torque values, whatever the hell they are. He actually bought himself some driving gloves once and has been ridiculed mercilessly for it ever since. In fact, as soon as I've finished writing this, I'll give him a call just to remind him of the fact and laugh some more.

Still, people who love cars aren't doing anyone any harm, I suppose, and to tell the truth right now I wouldn't mind a bit of advice from one of them about which car to hire - if they could just keep it to a snappy thirty seconds and not get lost in detail about streamline dashboard designs and cross-threaded spark plugs. Which they can't, of course.

I might just try to rent a Nissan Sunny, then.