30 Before 30 #14 – Test drive a Mini Cooper S

I love making lists. I’ve got list upon list in my house, in my handbag, on my desk, even on my iPhone. My lists keep me organised. They keep me sane.

The thing about lists though, is that you have to cross things off them, otherwise they become endless and a little a bit scary.

One of the many lists in my life, is my 30 things to do before I’m 30 list. It’s quite a long list, relative to the other lists in my house and it’s a list that doesn’t just get ticked off quickly and easily. It’s a list that needs work and as the year is already moving at a rapid pace, it’s time I took action and started crossing things off.

So on Saturday, I tackled number 14 – “Test drive a Ferrari. Or a Mini Cooper S. I’m not so fussed…”

For me, there is no way I would ever own a Ferrari, even if my circumstances allowed it, which is why I would rather test drive a Mini Cooper S. Ferrari’s are for rich young men, trying to prove something to their over bearing fathers or for rich old men, trying to prove something to their much younger WAGs. A Mini Cooper S is the car you drive when you need to transport 27 million dollars worth of gold bars and your boyfriend is Mark Wahlberg. Now that’s something I’d like to aspire to…

When I made the appointment to test drive a Mini at the Mini Garage in Rushcutters Bay a couple of weeks ago, I was asked what my current car was. I hesitated – would they believe that I was actually going to upgrade from a 15 year old Barina to a brand new Mini? Sure, it’s possible – I could have won the lottery (which would mean I could cross of #11 on the 30B430 list), so I gave them an honest answer and thankfully, they seemed OK with the prospect of this impressive upgrade.

However, as I drove to the Mini Garage on Saturday, dragging my Dad and 9 year old brother Angus along for the ride (ha – good pun!), Angus wasn’t quite so convinced. “Are you actually planning on buying this car Lizzie?” Dad had to stifle a laugh. “No Ango.” “So then what are we doing taking it for a test drive? Won’t they be annoyed if you don’t buy it?” “Well, they don’t know that I’m not actually planning on buying it.” Followed quickly by, “So don’t tell them that, OK buddy?” “But you drive a Barina, aren’t they going to figure it out?” Ouch!

Nevertheless, the Mini man was very pleased to see us and quickly took a copy of my drivers licence and ushered us over to a very handsome, shiny Mini Cooper S. Oh happy days.

We squeezed ourselves in – and I mean squeezed, Angus with legs spread across the back seat, because Dad had the seat pushed entirely back to fit his 6 foot 2 height and a girth that represents 60 years of happy eating and drinking – and we cruised into a Saturday morning Eastern suburbs traffic jam. Great, moving at 20km/hour should really give me a chance to give it a work out…

As we sat in the traffic, we picked a route that would get us off the main drag and into the empty back streets as quickly as possible. Then the lights changed and off we went. Or not. Did I mention I’d opted for the manual? Shame of all shames, I stalled at the lights. And to make matters worse, I hadn’t realised that it was a button ignition, so I’m trying to find the keys to turn and restart and instead I press the wrong button and eject the ‘key’. You should have heard the collective groan from the two men in the car! Luckily it seemed fellow traffic-jammers were feeling patient, there was no angry tooting and I managed to sort myself out and get moving before the lights went red again. Note to self, third is not first.

I ducked and weaved across a few lanes, turned left, escaped the traffic and opened that baby up. We cruised round bends, tested out the breaks, did a few hill-starts at the lights, blasted the air con, blasted the stereo, put windows up & down and pressed lots of buttons. The only thing I didn’t test was the horn! Finally we lurked at the bottom of a long straight stretch until there were no cars and no pedestrians and then gave it a real good go! And Mini did not disappoint, as we burned up the hill and I changed gears with Formula 1 precision… It was a real Charlize Theron moment!

After a quick pit stop to take some photos, we headed back to the garage and the sad realisation that I wouldn’t be driving home in this zippy and good looking piece of German vehicular magnificence.

But as we drove away from the car I will never likely own, a voice said, “Lizzie, you’re an excellent driver. Better than Dad. You go fast.” My spirits soared. Who needs a Mini when you’ve got a little brother?


PS – just to keep the spirits high, we went home and watched The Italian Job and the beauty of the Mini’s roaring through subway tunnels and storm water drains, filled to the brim with gold bricks. Though looking back, perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea, as it only made me long for the car even more. And long for Mark Wahlberg…

PPS – I’ve completed a few others on the 30B430 list that I haven’t written about specifically. They are:
#9 – Clean my oven. Properly. – it might not have been me doing the cleaning exactly, but I watched and learnt and now how a sparkling clean oven.
#15 – Feel confident and comfortable wearing red lipstick.
#28 – Clean out my wardrobe. Properly. – this was done at 4.30am in early January, as I recovered from jetlag. Why not make use of all waking hours.


About Tablecloths & Talking

Food. Friends. Fun. Preferably together. I love to eat, drink & be merry. I love to write. Tablecloths & Talking is me writing about doing the things I love.
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One Response to 30 Before 30 #14 – Test drive a Mini Cooper S

  1. Gorgeous post Lizzie. And what a clever little brother you have 😉 x

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