THE Red Devil – my Volkswagen Lupo 1.4 – is a car of a character that lives up to its name.
It wears its hubcap-free wheels with the élan of a duellist proud of his scars, and crashes through the gears as a lion roars its territorial presence (certainly between first and second the volume is roughly equivalent). In the 12 years I have been driving it, two speeding tickets have been collected, which suggests some element of stealth technology has been fitted.
I am proud and unashamedly sentimental about this little Volkswagen. It came into my possession after the death of my grandmother, though I had been using it for some years already. It has primarily been used for exploratory trips to the Highlands (and Islands), and I will be sharing this article with many friends, who will remember the car – and its way with a corner – from numerous trips to the Munros. I particularly associate it with the first trips I shared with the woman who is now my wife, as far as the spectacular Kylesku Bridge and down to the Argyll coast. Accordingly, I associate the Red Devil in no small degree to the love I have discovered for Scotland, with my own self-discovery, and the wooing of the love of my life. And I consider all this, to no lesser degree, a gift from my grandmother, Mary. «
Rupert Thomson is director of Edinburgh arts venue Summerhall. The venue’s Hogmanay party features The Loveboat Big Band, the Badwills, and DJ sets by Lindsay Todd and Joseph Malik. www.summerhall.co.uk