One Summer In France – Episode 24

They were on the outskirts of Pontivy before Libby realised Lucas hadn’t told her how much the car was, or even what make it was. She should have asked him, of course.

“This car – what make is it? And how much is it? How did you hear about it?”

Lucas answered the last question first.

“It belongs to the wife of a friend. She is having a baby and needs a bigger car.”

“What sort is it?

“An Alfa Romeo Spyder.”

“What? Oh, Lucas, I should have said I don’t have that much to spend on a car. An Alfa is sure to be too expensive and I’ll have wasted your time.” Libby sank back down into her seat, frantically trying to remember what the few Alfa Romeos she’d ever seen had been like, but couldn’t. All she could remember was Dan once saying they were superbly engineered.

“The car is not new and my friend not ask a lot of money. I think you will like the car. I see you driving it,” Lucas said. “It is the kind of car you should have.”

A minute later Lucas turned down a lane and pulled to a stop outside a cottage with a garden full of roses and lots of colourful pots and hanging baskets everywhere.

“What a lovely cottage,” Libby said, watching as a pregnant woman opened the front door and made her way over to them.

“Lucas, darling. This is Libby? Welcome. I am Natalie. Come. I show you the car.” Natalie then led the way round the side of the cottage towards an outbuilding.

Parked in front of the building were three cars. A large 4×4, an immaculate silver estate and a scarlet two-seater sports car.

“This is Bella,” Natalie said, opening the sports car door and handing Libby the keys. “Take her for a drive. I’d come with you, but I can’t get in her any more.”

Libby knew she was a lost cause the moment she sat in the driver’s seat and turned the ignition on. She glanced across at Lucas as he slid into the passenger seat.

“I need a sensible grown-up car.”


“Why? Because . . .” Libby’s voice trailed away. “Because I’m a grown-up.”

“Not the correct answer.” Lucas laughed. “Come on, drive.”

Driving around the lanes surrounding Natalie’s house, Libby tried to rationalise her thoughts. This Spyder was only a two seater – did that matter now she was on her own? Was she being silly even considering buying a sports car?

It was a lovely car to drive, and she had always wanted a sports car, but there had never been a time in her life when it would have been practical to buy one. Besides, it had always been Dan who had chosen their cars and he’d gone for the sensible option every time.

“Sitting on the left and changing gear with my right hand is going to take some getting used to,” she said, stopping at a junction.

“It has to be easier than driving a right-hand car on the left, though,” Lucas said. “You’ll soon get used to it. You can at least see properly for over-taking and reversing!”

“It is a dream to drive,” Libby said, deciding to ignore the comment about her reversing. “I can just imagine driving with the roof down in summer, too.”

Parking the car back at Natalie’s cottage, Libby sighed as she turned off the ignition. What was she to do? The car was beautiful, but was it the right car for her to buy?

“What did you mean earlier when you said it was the kind of car I should drive?” she asked, suddenly remembering Lucas’s words.

“It is a very feminine car – like you,” Lucas said quietly.

“Oh!” That was not the reply she’d been expecting. “But is it a sensible car for me to have?”

Lucas shrugged.

“Why do you have to have a sensible car? Is it not better to have one you like and enjoy driving?”

“I do like it a lot,” Libby said, stroking the steering wheel. “OK, next question – how much is it?” After all, that would be the deciding factor. When Lucas told her the price she smiled at him in delight.

“Are you sure? That’s under my budget! I can actually afford this car.”

“Re-registration will be a couple of hundred euros, don’t forget,” Lucas said. “But the tyres are good, the control technique is new. I think it is a very good buy.”

“Let’s go and find Natalie and tell her that Bella has found herself a new owner,” Libby said, giving the steering wheel one last loving stroke and making her mind up. Who’d have thought she would ever own a car called Bella?



Margaret Scott

Margaret is a sub-editor within the Production Team on the "Friend". Her main job is to work on the stories and make sure the magazine leaves us in its best possible guise. When not doing that, however, she either has her head buried in the old “Friend” volumes or is out and about giving talks or going on Warner trips (fab!). She hates cheese.