I wrote in that blog: ‘You may find it strange that a 68 year old should even care what she drives, but cars have always been incredibly important to me as a potent symbol of freedom and independence and I don't want my advancing years to restrict my choices nor my sense of driving adventure.’ To a woman (almost), 400 of you encouraged me to ‘go for it Tricia - buy that sport’s car and have the fun that you crave!’

So, I threw caution to the winds and bought my dream car, and for five years I have had the most incredible pleasure from driving it, especially on my thousand mile trips to the south of France with the wind in my hair. But, five years on, much has changed.

Let me try to explain the evolution of my life in cars and why I have now decided to sell my beloved and very beautiful car. I have been driving for over 55 years, having passed my test at the first attempt whilst still at school. As I lived in rural Suffolk, being able to borrow my mum's Mini in the 1960s meant I was suddenly independent and able to escape to exciting places like Cambridge! Since then I have never been without some form of wheels. These have ranged from an early MGB GT, through the safe and sedate when the children were babies to the much more exciting Mercedes SLK sports car which I bought in 2004 when I was 57 years old. How I loved that car! Just seeing it parked outside my house by the kerb gave me pleasure and driving around with the top down during the warm summer months was blissful.

As a two-seater, that Mercedes became highly impractical when my four grand-children were born because I often needed to take them places. So I capitulated and bought a 4-door Golf which was extremely reliable and easy to drive especially around London where traffic crawls at a snail's pace.  On the day that the Mercedes sports car was collected after I sold it, I sat in it for about 20 minutes to say 'good-bye.' I felt incredibly sad, but I also promised myself that, if at all possible, I’d once more indulge my passion for a more exciting car if I possibly could. 

One of the reasons I was determined not to let my age inhibit me when I did indeed get that opportunity, was seeing how many women of my age whose confidence in their driving ability had slowly been eroded by a number of factors. Maybe they’d never much enjoyed driving, so they’d started to restrict how far they’d go on their own. Some had husbands who always insisted on doing the driving, however long the journey. Some had cut down from two cars to one and that was now seen as ‘his’ car.  I felt that not ‘being allowed’ to drive was one of the more insidious ways that women are made to feel 'past it', and it seems to happen to us much earlier than it does to men. However, as a single woman I had no choice (and no-one to undermine me) and my confidence and pleasure in driving anywhere and everywhere did not diminish.

So, urged on by all of you, I threw that ‘sporty car’ dice one more time. For the past five years I have had the most inordinate amount of pleasure from driving perhaps the most beautiful car I have ever owned, another Mercedes two seater. And then, as with so many things, normal life suddenly came to a dramatic standstill with lockdown in March 2020. My sleek, stylish, sophisticated car sat outside my house undriven for weeks, and then months. It became unreliable with sporadic problems when starting it. Two different garages ran various diagnostic tests, but there were still intermittent faults, so if I went somewhere I was never confident of getting home again. Then the engine cut out when I was driving home from my daughter’s house and the wheels locked, which was terrifying. The last straw came when I had the MOT done and discovered that I’d only driven 2000 miles in a year and then it cost me over £500 to tax it, because of its CO2 emissions. I came to the sad conclusion that my car was an expensive, unreliable, barely used liability which was ruining the planet!

You may be surprised to learn that I had few regrets when I sold my sporty motor this time around. I’ve had a great deal of fun and my head is in a very different place as we enter 2021. Is it my more advanced age that is the difference or is it because my priorities have changed? I’d prefer to think that it’s the latter, not the former. I decided to choose ‘eco friendly’ rather than ‘gas guzzler’. I decided to choose four doors and a decent sized boot rather than a rather cramped interior. I decided to choose dependable rather than worry about every journey. Remember that Mini originally belonging to my mother that was my first car love in the 1960s? Well, I’m now the proud owner of a Mini Electric Hybrid, very zippy, very pretty and much kinder on the planet for the kind of driving around town that I mostly do, but with a petrol option for longer journeys. Rather than feeling like an old fuddy-duddy I prefer to associate my lovely new Mini with that adventurous teenager and think of my life in cars as having come full circle!

Tricia x

Here is the Bright Spots Programme and links for this week:

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Makeup Magic with Tricia and Sally Deung 

Flawless Finishes

Day: Monday 25th January

Time: 11am

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89245905309?pwd=TFpObm9mc3BGSmpmYU9ZVnNxdzBaQT09

Meeting ID (if needed): 892 4590 5309

Password (if needed): LOOKFAB

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) Last week Sally and Tricia talked about Colour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwkF75BlE9I 

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All About Me: Angelique 

Colour and Confidence 

Day: Tuesday 26th January

Time: 4pm

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89955690037?pwd=

cTE0eDkrMTIxZm1SN1ROWDNJdk8xZz09

Meeting ID (if needed): 899 5569 0037

Password (if needed): LOOKFAB

ICYMI Last week Tricia talked to Jayne Mayled of White Hot Hair: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M0coaJr-6A&t=1s 

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Eatwright cookery demo with Leonie Wright

Fish And Snacks

Day: Wednesday 27th January 

Time: 2pm

Pre- Recorded Session

Link: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLR8OlPIRimpaUWFkAqVY-GIlhgvC19K9a

ICYMI Last week Leonie and Tricia talked about Healthy Breakfasts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL00bmS8qLw 

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Tone up with Tricia and Lindsay Burrows

Lower Body

Day: Thursday 28th January

Time: 4pm

Pre- Recorded Session

Link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLR8OlPIRimpZPa0oq1dqNAzRagrY02Ump 

ICYMI Last week Lindsay and Tricia toned Upper Arms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlUP_jfHpmU 

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Film Club Fridays - The Midwife

Day: Friday 29th January

Time: 4pm

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83649104699?pwd=

UW1rbUN6VmdwUjRXL3ZKY2N3QTBjUT09

Meeting ID (if needed): 836 4910 4699

Password (if needed): LOOKFAB

You can also keep an eye on the weekly schedule of Events which will be updated every Friday at 5pm (GMT) here: https://www.lookfabulousforever.com/a-bright-spot-for-your-day