There are many things in life that I imagined would be great but weren't when I tried it. A few things have been even better than imagined - one of these is open-topped motoring.
Like many children I was always interested in cars generally and was especially impressed with exotic sports cars. The open-topped cabriolets seemed to be the pinnacle of motoring excitement and I had posters on the bedroom wall of some of my favourites.
I have never owned or driven anything that could really be described as exotic but over the years I have had a couple of roadsters and currently am lucky enough to have a Fiat Spider.
It seems to be one of life's ironies that young people that would look really cool in two seater cabriolets can rarely afford them. By the time they can, then like me they have become middle aged and look a lot less attractive and cool.
Instead of long locks flowing in the breeze I have a cap to keep my head warm.
I don't jump into the seat without opening the door, I lower myself carefully with a strange muted groan on the way in.., and on the way out.
I don't attract admiring glances from teenagers, I get smirks and nudges.
I recognise that I am less James Dean and more the reincarnation of Mr Toad - "Parp, Parp!"
But I don't care - it's one of life's real pleasures and I love it.
After the warmest New Years day on record and it being the last day of the holidays for most, todays adventure involved a roof-off drive around the villages off North Leicestershire and South Nottinghamshire with a stop at a country pub with some mates. A small convey of 3 different roadsters and one tin-top - but as that is a beautiful V12 E type it was happily accommodated.
The sun was out, the sky was blue and the air was fresh. The seats are heated and the fan-heater keeps the occupants toasty even with the roof off. 3 hours, 70 odd miles and lots of smiles. It reminded me again what a beautiful part of the country we live in and that it is great to share common interests with good friends. Thanks fellas (and Amelia!)
Join the journey at www.mikesgreatadventure.com