Hiya. So, what you’re about to read is something I wrote a while ago, when my gorgeous little car was rather poorly and her future looked rather bleak. For some reason, I never actually published the post, until now. I hope you enjoy.
My name’s Lucy Horobin & I have a confession to make. I LOVE my Mini.
She’s a 10 year old Sunshine yellow lump of metal and she means the world to me. Her name, by the way, is Matilda. I know many of you will scoff at the idea of giving your car a name, or even deciding that IT, is in fact a SHE, but I don’t particularly care. Haters gon’ hate and all that jazz.
The reason I’m writing this is because she’s in the car hospital at the moment getting fixed up and when I was travelling back on the bus from dropping her off, I started to get all emotional. It may seem strange to get that way over a car, but a) I was pre-menstrual, and b) I realized just how much my cute little car means to me. I got Matilda by accident. My first car was my Dads old Vauxhall Agila, or Christina Agila as I lovingly called her. Christina Agila – get it? ALL THE LOLZ. Unfortunately, within 3 weeks of passing my test, she passed away. I wrote her off on a rainy Manchester night. Thankfully, I didn’t seriously injure myself or my passenger (still feel bad about it Dave, soz mate), but poor Christina was towed away to the pearly gates of car heaven. RIP.
My Dad, being the amazing man that he is, lent me the money to buy a new car. (Which reminds me, I still owe you, I promise as soon as I’m rich and famous I’ll pay you back. Love you.) So began the search for a new car. I had 2 days to find one. You see, in the excitement of actually being able to drive, I’d packed my now defunct car with FAR too much stuff to carry back on a train from my jaunt to Manchester. Idiot. My old Producer and good mate Andy took me to the bright lights of Bolton with a mission to find me a car!
I had a 4 grand budget and thought that would get me a Corsa. You know, something SENSIBLE. It was a typical drizzly, grey day up North. We went to a couple of places. There were plenty of Corsas. They were all silver. There were Puntos too. And the odd Peugeot. Without wanting to sound ungrateful, because believe me, I was grateful to be alive at that point, let alone grateful to be lucky enough to have a very understanding father, none of them were ‘me’. Then I saw HER. Standing out like a bright yellow beacon amongst Bolton rain and the other generic lumps of metal was my Matilda! I chuckled at the sheer sight of her. SO. YELLOW. I said to my mate Andy – ‘I couldn’t seriously get a yellow Mini could I?’ He looked at me, laughed, then said ‘test drive?’ So we took her for a test drive.
Poor Andy and the guy from the dealership were holding on for dear life as I grappled with the prospect of driving a nippy little car with a 1.6 engine, compared to my previous car, which was LESS than 1l! Even before that test drive, I just knew. She’s the one. It was love at first sight. There was something about this car that just made me feel alive.
I won’t bore you with the details, but 2012 had been horrific for my personal life. I’d lost my wonderful Grandmother, moved from my beloved Manchester leaving all my friends behind, and also had what turned out to be a very public marriage break up. It was a harsh blow. I’d closed myself off from the world and shut down any feelings that were left inside my battered heart. I’d learned how to fake smiles and laughter, because I wasn’t physically capable of doing it for real. This time however, EVERYTHING I felt when I saw that lovely little car was real. The sheer sight of her made me laugh properly for the first time in ages. In fact, when I thought about the colour, it made me smile. Sunshine yellow. What’s not to love about such a happy, vibrant colour?
Having spoken with my beloved Dad, because of course every girl needs a little bit of reassurance, the deal was on. The car was mine. Since that day, I’ve been on so many adventures with Matilda Mini. I’ve driven from Hampshire up to the Lakes and back. I first drove through scary London in my yellow peril, just 2 months after passing my test! Plus – you cannot beat the feeling of going on a lovely drive and that sense of escapism that comes with it. It’s priceless. She’s a beauty of a car.
I moved to London not long afterwards, because of a job promotion. I started going to the gym and socializing properly again. I felt my confidence slowly come back. I started going on dates, and 2 years later met my lovely Ben. I’m not saying it was all down to a car, but my lovely little ray of sunshine was the catalyst that kick-started a new chapter in my life. She may be old, in desperate need of a valet and wash (which I’ll DEFINITELY treat her to when I pick her up from the garage), and sometimes cost me quite a bit of cash, but she’s worth every penny.
Sometimes, you find happiness, freedom and hope in the strangest of places. For me, it was in a 10 year old, sunshine yellow, lump of metal. And that’s fine by me. That, my dear friends, is exactly why I love my Mini.