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Hello.

I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind www.thetimeofourlives.net - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Baby, you can drive my...Popemobile....


(Follow me on Twitter! @janemcintyre12  and also @normandycottage  )


........so this little baby`s up for hire at 250 euros an hour. Interested? You need to contact Paddy Dunning. He`s the Irish businessman who inherited the Popemobile, made famous during the Pontiff`s 1979 trip to the Emerald Isle, along with a wax museum.

A quick buff up and it`s ready for you to borrow. Paddy reportedly took  his auntie back to the airport in it. She`s a nun, y`know..and her trip made her the talk of Rome.

What you drive can have that effect, can`t it? You know...turn heads in the street. Evoke envy. Make people think you`re doing damn well for yourself. Or lead to uproarious laughter and downright derision.

My dad used to have a Ford 8. Really. He lent it to my Uncle Jim for his driving test. Then hid in a shop doorway on the test route to watch the fun unfold. What he`d "forgotten" to tell Jim, was that the passenger seat had rather loose fixings. With immaculate timing, Dad heard the motor spluttering down the street just in time to emerge from his hiding place, to see Jim at the wheel, as the car kangarooed past, with the driving examiner on his back, with his size eights flat up on the car roof. Loose fixings, see. *

I could never trust a car. Or love one, really. I was so deeply traumatised as a new driver by cute little motors which promised the world, but couldn`t even get me over the Hog`s Back without the aid of a breakdown truck.This was before the days of mobile phones, remember.Once, I was attempting to drive from dad`s place in Kent, back to an early newsreading shift in Southampton in a white Mini 1000. It was late, dark, rainy and cold, and there wasn`t a single house in sight when the engine decided to splutter and die. I swore, shivered a lot, whacked on the hazard lights, and may have cried. OK, I cried. There was no earthly point looking under the bonnet. So I decided to just sit there until dawn broke. By which time the radio station in question would have missed several bulletins and hopefully decided to send the radiocar out for its reader.

Luckily, an AA recovery driver had passed me on the other side of the dual carriageway, on his way to a call out. Two hours later, he was on his way home, saw my by now, very faint hazard lights, and stopped. By this time I was frozen with cold and fear and may have hugged him. Don`t ask me what was wrong with the thing, but he fixed it, and I made it home for an hour`s kip and a shower, in time to slide into the newsreader`s chair to say..."It`s six o clock; Jane McIntyre reporting..." Just.

Several more second hand cars received a vicious, John Cleese-like kicking for letting me down at crucial moments, before I decided to bite the bullet and find a brand new one, under warranty and through one of those lease deals. I truly didn`t care what it was. I rang round every main dealer in town and asked what the monthly rate was for their cheapest model. I cut back on other things (clothes, shoes, boots, nights out.... ) and clinched the deal. Four lease cars down the line, I`m happy driving alone and far from home again. But as to what it looks like, and how fast it goes ? Don`t give a damn. There`ll always be someone who has to have the biggest, shiniest, newest motor in the car park. A head turner. A headline maker. But as long as I`m driving something (anything...) which gets me from A to B...it`ll never be me.

*Yes, he failed.

+What was your first car? And your worst? Ever been let down by your car at a really crucial moment? And how do you feel about cars as status symbols...? Love to know what you think...!  

 Loved it! Perhaps you'd like to read about "my motors?"  Hope you like it!<<



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