Porsche life continues to be interesting, full of people and stories and memorable days. I have made many new friends, some of whom I write about and some of whom I don’t. Some are slightly better known and in the public eye, but I don’t wish to invade their privacy or our friendship. It’s fascinating how they enjoy their cars while keeping a low profile.
I keep having dreams about being with a Porsche friend of mine – we will call him Ralph – who has unexpectedly become prime minister. He drives a silver 993 Turbo, in case you are interested. He has owned it since 2005, when it was ten years old, and bought from his accountant. You will know this is unusual, as practising accountants never sell air-cooled Porsches.
I am compelled to write some dreams down, so here’s a short story based on the latest. Not for review or for anything other than the joy of writing. Do not tell me what happens next! 😀
Llewyn entered, wearing a crisp blue suit, white-and-blue striped shirt and a purple tie with yellow flowers. I will never get used to Welsh politicians dressing in blue, not that they should only wear red. I suppose his ideas come straight from a Telegraph circa 1986, so blue is entirely appropriate. The incomplete air of a politician with no mobile phone flashed through my head – he was a funny sort, despite the nice suits. Nodding hello, he strode towards the low floral armchair: the oldest bit of furniture in the living room.
“Well,” he exhaled as he settled. “Quite a surprise. What’s your plan?”
“Don’t know,” said Ralph. “I’m going to drink my tea and then have a think.”
Llewyn smiled and leaned forward. “Good plan.” He poured himself a cup from the pot.
The air was calm and relieved. The last three weeks had been bitter. The sound of the waves drifted through the long windows as we sat there in silence, drinking our tea. There was talk about an upcoming book festival: we agreed we should meet for a steak and a beer. As another long pause descended, I glanced at my friend. “Would you like me to leave?” He shook his head. Llewyn rose and offered his hand. It was genuine.
“I’ll see you later. Go steady.”
“That’s entirely likely,” said Ralph with a grin and a handshake.
I opened the door for his exit. Ralph approached as the footsteps faded, catching my eye and resting his hand on my shoulder. “Leave it open, let some air get around. I’m going to get changed.”
I wedged it with the back of a chair and went onto the balcony. People were busying everywhere: all normal for Brighton. I looked left towards the end of the pier, and the coffee stand where we’d first met, three years earlier. I had been taking some post-Brexit time out on motorbikes and Ralph had been doing the same. Two cappuccinos, two bike helmets and two Porsche keyrings later, my friend was Prime Minister.
He was a very funny bloke, it has to be said. The first time we’d got the kids together at this seaside townhouse, they hadn’t entirely clicked but we’d laughed non-stop, walking around the town in the sunshine, remembering places and points in our youth where our paths might have crossed. I told him about ordering an egg custard tart in a cake shop using an obviously fake American twang, studiously avoiding my Irish accent on family holidays here. He told me about his introduction to reggae: buying a Peter Andre single and assuring the punk behind the Our Price counter in neighbouring Hove that it was for his sister. That still made me laugh.
The ten-thirty news began with another Ralph headline. “We’re expecting a press conference within the next half hour, setting out the Prime Minister’s plans.”
“Not happening, love,” I said as I turned off the noise. “We’re bloody miles away.”
A cup and saucer rattled on the worktop beside me. “Shall we go?” he said. “We can talk in the car.”
We cross the old square towards a battered green Range Rover. Ralph lifts the window, drops the tailboard, moves a dog blanket and clambers into one of the pop-up kid’s seats. I say nothing. Closing the boot of the Range Rover and walking around to the driver’s door, an attractive thirtysomething in a pricey pink overcoat steps toward me. Blue eyes shine faintly of mercy with a murderous glint.
In one gym-honed move, she has stretched out a microphone close to my mouth. I see the camera. Softly touching my shoulder without letting her tractor beam gaze slip for a second, she flashes moon-white teeth with a smile. “This is a turn up, how do you feel?”
“Should be interesting”. I pull the door closed and the muddy window draws a halt to our chat.
“Who was that?” comes the voice from behind.
“TV. Oddly polite.”
He starts to speak: I raise my hand. That was far too polite: she has probably stuck something to my shoulder. Patting my jacket, I feel only a twinge of remorse; she did seem a nice girl. “Sorry mate, I thought she might have bugged me.”
The diesel engine responds reluctantly to the well-worn key, coming to life in a cloud of blue smoke. “Diesel automatic,” I say aloud. “What a waste of a Range Rover.” Sliding it back into gear, I wave at the gent in a Triumph Acclaim turning into our parking space.
“You don’t see many beige Triumphs these days,” says Ralph.
“Good job. I will never get your fascination with all this English junk.”
“They’re not English, they’re Japanese,” he says, landing alongside in the passenger seat as I throw him a look. “Bit cramped back there.”