There’s a magnificently inert Bentley Flying Spur marooned at my Gloucestershire address, due to Boris’s driving ban and the fact that the Crewe factory where it lives is shut. The only get-out for it and me is that the nearest supermarket is four miles away and we have to eat. However, hops into town (involving squeezing into confined parking spaces beside the battered Hyundais of crazed pasta-shoppers) aren’t this car’s speciality. It’s meant for casual cross-continent dashes to Monaco’s Casino Square. Even the “check on an ancient relative” excuse is void in our case, because she lives about 400 yards away.
Luckily, I’ve already done serious miles in this car, one of a rare breed of 5.2-metre-long limousines that shrinks as you drive it. It’s big on the road, of course, but feels agile, because its steering is so accurate and perfectly weighted that you can hit a matchbox dead-centre on the road – assuming there’s a matchbox available.
The other standout is refinement. Do a few miles in the Flying Spur and the bangs, bumps, squeaks and creaks of other cars sound like someone’s playing a tambourine in your earhole. Swapped it for my Citroën Berlingo on one town trip. Mistake.
Getting stuff written for the magazine is a weird challenge at present, although not unpleasant if you enjoy banging the keyboard as most of us do.
We’re all frantically writing up features we’ve had in notebooks for a month or two (the kind you put off because they require an excess of brain strain), while Richard Lane, who handles our first drives section, is frantically “looking down the back of the sofa”, as our editor puts it, for stray driving tales.
He has found some, as you’ll discover over the next few weeks. The big Bentley will feature soon, but that will be an easy win. It’s a fabulous car and I’ve got a trip around Britain (full story coming) to draw upon.