We’re in Inverness. My Mum and Doug are still here and we thought it would be nice to go away for the weekend. I have been wanting to explore the countryside in this part of Scotland as it’s particularly beautiful but a bit too far for a day trip. We decided to spend two nights in Inverness so that we can explore the area without having to drive here and back in one day.

I booked a car-club car because although we can catch the train to Inverness, and I have to say it is far nicer to take the train than to drive, we really need the car to explore the surrounding countryside. Inverness is about 3 hours from Aberdeen but it took us slightly longer because I’m a Grandma driver, there was traffic, and we made one stop. But the drive was still far quicker than a trip we made with Mum and Doug to the Coromandel a few years ago. What should have only been 2.5 hours ended up taking almost 7 hours because I’m a Grandma driver, the traffic in Auckland is worse than Bangkok in peak hour (ok, a bit of an exaggeration here but it’s pretty bad) and we got very lost. Fortunately the only things that got lost this time were my mother’s iPhone – which turned up again after a frantic 10 minutes of searching the car – a pair of trousers (my mother somehow managed to discard them in a carpark but fortunately she spotted them just as we were driving away), and the car-club swipe card. The car is totally useless without the swipe card but fortunately I found it sitting on the floor of the hotel corridor where I had dropped it.

This is the first time I’ve driven this particular car. It’s not one of the electric ones because Inverness is too far for the battery and we also needed a 7-seater. It’s a manual but has a foot parking break. Maybe someone can help me out here? How do you do a hill start with a foot parking break in a manual car? My left foot is on the clutch and I can’t have it simultaneously on the clutch and the parking break. When I used to own a manual, many years ago now, I had a hand break that I used when starting on steep hills. Fortunately I haven’t had to stop on any steep hills yet but I can’t avoid stopping on hills altogether so if anyone knows then please let me know. It’s a Kia Sedona. Maybe modern manuals don’t roll backwards?