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Chapter 1:

Two Honeymoons and One Car



A year after I married Beth, I fell in love again. She was not as pretty as Beth, more of an ugly duckling, a rebellious type with a funny, unassuming personality. There was one similarity though. Beth was tiny (a nineteen-inch waist on our wedding day!), and so was she. It was an almost comical contrast to my height, and she proved to me, time and time again, that smallness and strength could go together. She had her quirks, but she was easy to look after and shared my boyish sense of adventure. Thirty-five years later, the relationship continued.


It was a love affair shared by many in the swinging sixties. The romance brought people together in a joyful camaraderie, recognising one another with a wave or a toot.


Beth fancied her unique beetle shape – she considered it smart. I loved her colour, her modern style and her loyalty, an engine that would never break down. It was the adoration of the non-mechanically-minded. Like us, she didn't quite conform to social norms. Other cars of the day were large and brash, she was petite and rounded. She made us the envy of our friends.


And we trusted her. We could go anywhere in this car, we thought, and we did. Our destiny was a foreign land, a continent away, driving through unknown countries in unimagined conditions. The three of us were game. The Beetle, Beth and I.

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