MONDAY - Back to work after a week away in Mr McIlroy’s Porsche Panamera Hybrid, one of those cars about which you feel uncertain at first (bewildering switchgear, poor visibility) but increasingly appreciate as you drive.
Big cars today tend to come with commanding visibility – aka tallness – built in, so it’s odd to slide your rump into a limo no higher than an Audi TT.
Sitting down there among the wheels, your view is initially hampered further by thick pillars and mirrors shaped more for aero than rear vision. However, once you’re used to it, and have spent five minutes boning up on the more obscure switch functions, everything comes together.
Panamera Hybrid reviews tend to focus on the oddities of the accelerator response, which can’t disguise the fact that there’s a bank of computers buried down there in the car’s bowels, mind-bendingly juggling braking and power regeneration against complex petrol-electric propulsion.
But the car’s seat comfort is exceptional, the steering is magnificent, the cornering grip is right up to Porsche’s best standard and there are enough ways of adjusting the ride rates to ensure the car will meet your preferences. Furthermore, when the moment comes to summon up all available poke, you’ll find the acceleration is vintage Porsche. This would be a relief, if you weren’t so busy coping with the horizon bolting so fast towards you.
TUESDAY - You often hear how Paris is deserted by its residents in August and therefore ideal for visits by car. Our Mr Holder has just confirmed the matter big-time by taking a day-long tour of the capital en famille, driven to all the important places by an extremely knowledgeable driver-guide called Renaud in his own original Citroën DS21.