THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Bilbao baby

Mission accomplished, now for home.

This trip came about because Babička told me her plans to visit Czechia for an arts course and then rendezvous with her daughter in Aquitaine to meet her new granddaughter.IMG_6154

I was looking for a road trip to celebrate passing 100,000 miles in Speranza. This is sadly not something that happens to most Ferraris. They are far too often doomed to live unfulfilled lives as trophies. I resolved when I purchased mine to use her as designed. She's a grand tourer and has done many thousands of miles of grand tours - not least the great American road trip of 2013, which was 14,500 miles through the Lower 48 states. 

Enzo Ferrari was famously contemptuous of those who bought his cars for any other purpose than racing them. I am no racing driver but I thought il Commendatore’s shade might smile on me if I bought a GT and actually toured her. 

So in this spirit I offered to drive Babička to Prague and beyond. Plans changed when she had to fly to Prague to take care of her sick mother. We agreed to meet and continue from there. Either way, our mission was therefore to introduce Babička (grandmother) to vnučka (granddaughter) by mean of my motorové vozidlo (motor vehicle).  Today was that day.


Vnučka and her nukefam landed at Bergerac airport and were with us by late afternoon. I introduced myself to Vnučka's two year old big brother, of whom I have heard a lot in the last few days. He shook my hand politely and then was off to play with the new toy ride-on Bentley his grandparents had bought him, complete with personal number plate spelling his name. My kind of people!

I took a lot of pleasure watching the two grandmothers meet their new granddaughter and noted the care with which they included their grandson in their attentions so he didn’t feel left out.

I stayed out of the way, folded my laundry, packed and then read The Spectator as the ancient home was taken over for the children. I pondered a little what it will be like to meet my own grandchild later this year. I can’t imagine it will be anything but great. I like children and usually, once they get used to me, they like me back. I’m intimidating on first contact but once they know I’m on their side, I seem also to be reassuring.

Once the children were in their beds the adults ate, drank and chatted. In the morning I must say goodbye to all this and to my travel companion Babička, who was still trying to tell me over dinner that Speranza is just a means of getting from A to B. The poetry of fine engineering is entirely lost on her alas and the loss is entirely hers. She’s still my friend, heretic though she is, and I pity rather than condemn her! 


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I am a girl that enjoys getting from A to B as quickly as possible.


When I am going on what I call 'an adventure' it has to be about the journey as much as the destinations. The mode of transport can become very much part of that adventure :-)


As entertaining and instructive as always.

Thank you!


Thank you Amanda. Deo violenti, I will.


At least the goal was reached successfully!
Well done and happy drive home!
Thank you for sharing the photos. What a lovely lovely place! The kind of place I would love to stay in/ at.
Hope you will bring home wonderful memories!


Thanks Chromatistes. Still four days of driving jeopardy to go before we’re safely home…


Job done, and you've entertained us along the way.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)