I think this was voted one of the best ever driving songs on the very scientific poll on Top Gear once, and I totally see why. It conjours some delicious connotations of driving off into the distance, especially framing driving as part of the joy – we want to enjoy not only the destination, but how we get there. (I mean, without being too heavy-handed, I think that is definitely something we should focus on in life too).
So, now, because I’m listening to this excellent driving song (“been driving all night, hands wet on the wheel”), I am imagining a journey I long to go on when travelling is an option, and I can get out into the world once more. I don’t quite know where this journey will be, but I’m feeling the kind of love I have in my heart for those small towns we used to drive through at least once a year on the day’s drive to visit my grandparents in the Eastern Cape, from my home in Cape Town. And while there is nothing necessarily notable about lots of them, you form relationships with them as you drive through. We started a takeaway tradition, and we fuel up at more or less the same places each time. These habits have also carried down to our generation, so even if I am driving with Alex rather than with my parents, we will stop at the Stormsrivier Total to get Steers chips and stretch our legs.
Anyway, it is unlikely I will be able to get down to SA to visit those friendly towns on the way to Kenton any time soon, so I will instead go on an imaginary drive, and perhaps start planning a real drive somewhere beautiful in Europe – after all, it’s much closer.
I am imagining a future, and because it is imaginary, I get to be driving a gorgeous drop-top cherry red convertible (probably an Alfa Romeo, coz cliche, right?) down a sunny coastal road somewhere in Europe. Is it the south of France? The Amalfi Coast? A piece of Europe I have yet to experience? I don’t know! (Suggestions most welcome, by the way – where would you like to go first?)
Or, maybe rather than me driving, I’ll ask Alex to drive, so I can close my eyes, and feel the sunlight on my face. I will breathe the warm air, watch the flickering red of the sun’s light through my eyelids. I’ll smell the sea and the soil. Feel the rush of wind streaming over the bonnet of the car, blowing my hair back in an aesthetic way (that, because it is in imagination-land will not leave my hair in a gigantic tangled snarl).
It sounds like a total cliche, but hey, it’s my cliche!
I can see it in my mind’s eye as clearly as if it were a film montage. Some lekker chintzy period music playing, with broad sweeping camera shots to take in the view and the car. One of those montages made featuring very attractive people, intended to sell you perfume, or fruit juice, or gin. The ones that imply that if you were only to buy said product, you would instantly become the sexy person in the advert, with all your sexy friends, driving to desirable places in your oh-so-desirable car.
Living la vita bella, or la vie en rose, depending on your take. Speeding off, into that sunset, with glinting sea below us, and the hilly cliffs above us.
Sounds delicious to me.