Take the long road to live your dreams
I’ve ALWAYS been a dreamer and, over the years, I’ve learned that dreams can indeed come true — you just have to give them time. Lots of time. In my teens in the early 1960s, I had a burning dream of turning professional and cycling in the Tour de France, but no matter how hard I trained, I was only ever average. Aged 17, fast becoming disillusioned about where my dreaming was leading me, I gave up cycling. Twenty years later, at a medical examination, it was discovered that my right leg had only 60 per cent of the strength of my left, which was put down to infantile polio. Hearing this for the first time, I immediately resuscitated my dream, albeit in somewhat amended form, and took up cycle racing again. My new understanding made coming last in nearly every race I entered feel like a win.
On long night shifts in my early 20s, I dreamt of blasting down the N85 Route Napoleon in my new e-type roadster on the way to our villa in Antibes. In 1980, I realised this dream — well, sort of — in an eightyear-old e-type roadster which broke down and had to be towed to our holiday rental, where I spent the remainder of the vacation repairing it. Following a three-year restoration, this same car went on to win many Concours d’elegance awards during the early 1990s and, after being retired from the show circuit, was used for continental touring. But, although I had a flirtation with an apartment in Cannes, I never could afford a villa in Antibes.
Fixing yet another damp patch in our first home, I dreamt of owning a decent house with a big garden. Now, aged 76, the big garden is a burden and I am dreaming of the day when I can downsize and put my feet up. ian S. Clark, Freuchie, Fife