Motoring: My Worst Car - Amanda Reddington's Mini Metro: Yellow parking peril

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Indy Lifestyle Online
I SUPPOSE I was not a natural driver. Taking my test took a couple of goes and even then I think the examiner let me off lightly because I reversed over a kerb, but still got my licence. I then decided to get myself a car, and saw this bright yellow Austin Mini Metro. As an impressionable 20-year old, I instantly fell in love with it - I was probably influenced by the fact that Lady Diana used to drive something very similar.

Despite the fact that the Metro was one of the smallest cars on the road, I could never park it. After all, they don't give you parking lesson when you learn to drive and that was at the root of my problems. So whenever I needed to park, I would ask a complete stranger to do it for me. I must say that this was an incredibly successful ploy and in the two years I owned the car, no one ever refused.

In time, I grew to loathe the colour. At first I thought it was fun, but eventually realised it was in fact a ghastly egg-yolk yellow. At that point it started to play up. I remember finding myself going the wrong way down a one-way street. I realised that because all the other cars were going beep, beep on their horns. It was probably more my fault than the car's; worse, my mother was with me to witness the whole sorry episode.

In fact, my mother was also there when the Metro almost made me late for a panto. Driving from Suffolk to Bradford, it just conked out, leaving me, my mother and brother stranded with an hour to go before the matinee. I ended up doing something I've never considered before or since: hitching a lift. It worked; I arrived to hear someone else speaking my lines off- stage as I ran on.

I'm still a dreadful parker, but at least I can afford something better these days. My car must have power steering and an automatic gearbox for me to stand any chance of effecting a successful parking manoeuvre.

Amanda Reddington presents GMTV's `Holiday Snaps', Mondays and Fridays to 19 Feb.

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