Driven to a second childhood

30th November 2007 at 00:00
My Scamp kit car looks like a cross between a Land Rover and a Mini, mated with a chicken shed. It's so bad that the mechanic who undertook the (substantial number of) jobs that I couldn't do to put it back on the road disguised himself when taking it in for its MOT. And yet, a quick drive round the block when I got the car back put a silly grin on my face.

My Scamp has much in common with the first vehicle I owned after passing my test - a grey Mini van with the same 850cc A-series engine. In truth, I didn't have the money to run the van and sold it after a year, buying a zoom lens for my Pentax with the proceeds.

In those days, we thought nothing of driving around with three in the front and three sliding around in the cargo bay at the back. That, at least, will change this time round.

I see this as yet another example that I am living my life backwards. What next? A Raleigh Supermatic moped? I have already wound back my musical taste by three decades. I tell you, I almost bought the Mail on Sunday this weekend, because it was giving away a Slade compilation. Almost.

None of this would matter, but for disturbing evidence that this regressive tendency is spreading to my professional life. A few weeks ago, I wrote of my Nebosh occupational health and safety certificate exams. More recently, I have been on an electrical safety course. This featured three forms of assessment. First, there were 20 portable appliances waiting to be tested. Next, there was a multiple-choice exam. Finally, we had to wire a plug and have it checked - something I have been showing people how to do for 24 years.

Where would I stand if I made an erse of it? Conscious that this is always possible with a one-off assessment, I took inordinate care. All was well in the end, though I forgot to bring my Best of Status Quo compilation with me that day. Pity - it would have been just the thing to help me unwind on the drive home.

Gregor Steele fears he will regress sufficiently to contemplate downloading 'My Brother' by Terry Scott.

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