So, when I was told that I would be learning how to power slide at Goodwood Racetrack, my slightly crazy Kiwi brain translated that as learning to drift a car sideways. (nb: it isn’t really, it’s learning how to control your reaction and a lovely BMW on icy roads).
That’s probably one of the problems about living in London for so long and beginning to see cars as a last ditch version of transport. With trains and the Underground the undisputed kings of London adventuring, car travel tends to comprise of getting from A to B in the quickest, warmest fashion rather than a default conveyance. I forget to wear a belt, hail cabs in impetuous pavement fashion and delight in the ability enjoy a chauffeur/cab driver driving me past London icons.
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Goodwood, but my (very many) opinions
are only ever my own, and I would never, ever recommend anything that I wouldn’t pay for myself.
It’s also one of my biggest regrets. I sat my English drivers license a fair few years ago, but for the most part it just gets flashed as ID. We don’t need a car at all; we eat all too often in town, our groceries are delivered or picked up ad hoc, trips are booked based on the awesome train links that run all over the UK and we could hire a car for the 3 times a year we actually want to roadtrip.
That said, I have driven in America over the beautifully smooth highways of Florida (thanks to the urging of a good friend) without any problems depsite a flash monsoon, navigated the car infested LA transport system without a motorised tin can and once considered a travel blog called ’round the world without a car.’
But, enough blathering. It was a grey day we rolled into the infamous Goodwood track (by train then quick cab in case you wondered.)
I. Hate. Ice. I loathe the slippery stuff whilst on two legs, and are terrified on four wheels. As part of my 101 in 1001 goals, I need to drive more and face a few of my fears, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity to get back behind the wheel with an instructor.
Seated in a wonderfully responsive BMW M-series, I proved to myself that I still remember how to change gears, before we took off the ABS system (flicking the car out a few times for me inner teenager) and listened carefully as my patient instructor taught me how not to panic when the car hits a patch of ice (or in this case a specially treated tarmac mimicking scary conditions.)
As my old driving teacher, the one who took me through my license and taught me ‘London speak’ (“Em, you gotta parallel park like a snaow – you know, them curly shelled slimy fings” aka SNAILS) sang to me “I believe I can driiiive…”