Marie Louise McConville: Bidding farewell to a trusty old friend with plenty of motoring memories

My father-in-law Michael McConville with his pride and joy Megane Authentique, which I adopted as my own over the years
Marie Louise McConville

Ok, let's just take a minute.

Let's bow our heads, close our eyes and think about the good times.

I'm feeling a bit sad this week following the loss of a close and dear friend.

After all, a decade is a long time to have a presence in our lives and when it's suddenly gone, it's hard.

Just over 10 years ago when I met my husband and met his family, I also made a new friend.

Parked at the rear of their Strangford home a red Renault Megane Authentique - which belonged to Darren's dad, Michael - just captured my heart.

Granted, having been built in November 2001, it was a well-experienced model and had a few scars here and there, but I just loved it and thought it was such a beauty.

This wee car was always there for me when I needed it.

If my car was ever off the road in need of repair, I just loved to borrow the Megane with its characteristic peeling paintwork, it's tiger print fabric interior and classic sunroof.

I remember the first time I drove it, it was so smooth.

I remember being rather taken with its historic tape deck and on having a nosy found an actual cassette in the glove compartment.

It was the first time I had ever heard the work of Big Tom & The Mainliners and I'll never forget my experience that day, it was just a great drive to and from work.

Over the years, myself and Darren have borrowed the Megane on countless occasions, usually in an emergency and it has never let us down.

Despite having been bought by Darren's parents in February 2004, it was Darren who claimed it as his own, and still now reflects on how much of a chick magnet it was.

Recently however, our wee Megane suffered a setback when the back axel became damaged and now we have been told a second hand one can not be found and the cost of a new one would be much more than the actual car is worth - which was £90 four years ago as part of a trade in offer.

Therefore, the decision has been taken for it and its 94,500 miles to be sent to the scrapyard cemetery, much to my opposition.

I'm broken.

I'm going to miss you wee red.

I'll miss how the sun bounces off your fading exterior and I'll miss the mysterious little sound that comes from the engine when I hit the brakes, it always made me think there was a little man under the bonnet trying to get out.

Enjoy your retirement and every time I hear Big Tom, I'll think of you and our time together.


Oh Julie, why did you say it?

Veteran actress Julie Andrews broke a few hearts this week when she revealed that filming her iconic Sound Of Music scene in an alpine meadow was actually a miserable, rainy affair.

Speaking at the Venice Film Festival, the 83-year-old said she had to have her hair fixed and her clothes refreshed after each of the nine takes of 'The Hills Are Alive' scene.

She also revealed that as the camera was mounted on a helicopter, she was knocked flat several times by the down draught from the rotor blades.

Watching the musical will never be the same again - thanks Julie.



Autumn is all but upon us but there's no need to feel drab - how about winning tickets to see a new American crime movie?

Directed by Andrea Berloff in her directorial debut, The Kitchen stars a host of top names including Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss.

Between 8th Ave and the Hudson River, the Irish mafia runs 20 blocks of a tough New York City neighbourhood known as Hell's Kitchen.

But for mob wives Kathy, Ruby and Claire, things are about to take a dramatic and radical turn.

When the FBI sends their husbands to prison, the trio find themselves falling on hard times and decide to take matters into their own hands, running the rackets and taking out the competition.

Soon they begin collecting protection fees and helping out the neighbourhood, making a huge profit and becoming beloved in the community.

But trouble soon arrives with devastating consequences.

The Kitchen arrived at Movie House Cinemas this week.

I have three pairs to tickets to give away.

If you fancy winning a pair of tickets, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is 12 noon on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

(Q) Who directed The Kitchen?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply

The winners of the In The Night Garden competition are Frances Mcglone, from Cookstown and Sarah Morris, from Saintfield

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