June 29th 2004.

The long way home.

You could argue that it's because the novelty hasn't yet worn off yet, but I just have to say that I'm loving this open-top motoring experience! After a cautious start in quite horrific driving rain and wind followed by a few days of gingerly driving around getting used to the car, I'm feeling right at home in my convertible British Racing Green MGF.

Like an enthusiastic page three model on a Spanish beach this car can't wait to go topless! Day or night the car is simply better with fifty thousand miles of headroom. I'll grant you that these first few days are like the honeymoon period of any new relationship, in which every moment is like a breath of fresh air that leaves you almost gasping for more.

Perhaps I shall settle into a more steady routine in due course, but for the moment I'm a kid with a new toy, or more accurately a thirtysomething with a new sports car! Surely this is the time to enjoy such a thing, to soak up the feeling and create tales to recount in the future?

Take tonight for example. I finished up at the gym at my usual time of about 11:30 PM. As I stepped outside into the parking lot the air was warm and humid from an earlier rain shower. "So what if it's dark," I thought to myself. "It's not raining and that's good enough for me. Tonight I'll drive the long way home."

Two hours later the five-minute journey from the running machines, free weights, hot tubs, and steam room is just about coming to an end. The long way home is far from home and that's just fine with me. With the phosphorus glow of street lights behind me, I'm driving freely upon silver paths through rolling fields. The trees look like clouds as my headlights flood them in bright white light. Every time I think of turning back the radio pumps out another great song that seems like the fitting soundtrack to such a drive.

If there was a soul besides the road as I passed they would hear the pitch of an engine with its horses unleashed and the shriek of a stereo warped by Christian Doppler's effect. If not blinded by my lights then maybe the beam of my smile would be visible as the sleeping countryside was momentarily stirred from slumber.

So I drive the silver lining watched only by the stars, feeling like this one moment on its own could almost be the fulfillment of a motoring dream. And yet, I relish the fact that there are sure to be many more times like these, nights like these and roads like these ahead.