LAURA CARTLEDGE: Our holiday had va va voom – but driving drama still took its toll

I’VE JUST got back from the south of France.

As hard as I try, it is not possible to say that in a casual way.

But it was casual. Mostly.

As much as it can be when every house is a châteaux and every garden a vineyard.

Roundabouts had fountains on, Roman ruins dotted the roadside, the spring sunshine danced on the ‘baby Alps’ on the horizon.

It was spectacular, so much so you can’t help get a bit poetic when your brain takes you back there and all you can see outside is car park...

At least my partner and I did our best to buck the elegant and refined trend.

With us, even simple tasks can become an adventure.

The car alone proved to be a source of much hilarity.

Obviously, it was backwards, and we’d agreed as soon as the holiday was booked that I would be resigned to the passenger seat.

I didn’t argue for the simple reason that I like to nap.

And, partly, because my partner said he wouldn’t come if I was the one behind the wheel. So it was over to him.

Other than a few attempts to change gear using the electric windows switch and me nearly eating my fist every time I got a little too near the ditch, it went swimmingly.

Granted our first journey, having landed in Marseille, saw us manage to drive halfway to Nice before realising we were going the wrong way – and that the car had an inbuilt satnav.

Toll roads proved a treat.

Not because we were too far from the ticket slot, but because French people must have ‘really long arms’ – apparently.

The historic villages, rolling countryside and amazing cheese should probably get the top spot when it comes to picking a highlight.

But there’s something about seeing him having to open the door, unbelt, lean out, grab, while I shouted ‘go, go, go’ when the barrier swung up that I’ll treasure for a long time.