And as of Thursday, I'm back in a proper GTi, a red, three-door Mk 2, that doesn't know what's about to hit it. And what's about to hit it is the tuned TSR motor, manifold, chip and exhaust system from my grey Mk2, the GiT, so called because he was ridiculously quick, appallingly rough in a good way and, well, a car with very short hair, stubble and an evil, laughing glint in his little round eyes.
I've missed the little sod. Missed the distinctive feeling of mass wedged into a very small space, like a little brick of compressed rawness. Missed the rumbling, lumpy tickover and the howling, bonkers acceleration when the tacho hit 4,000 revs. Missed the stuff it in as hard as you dare cornering. Missed driving a proper car.
The Mk3 I've been rolling around in for the last 18 months or so never felt like mine. Too bland and wobbly and dull and modern. Just functional, but I don't really do functional, not when things with wheels are concerned anyway. Reasonable fuel consumption, comfy seats and relaxed motorway cruising don't really impress me much. And yes, it's shallow and daft and about as eco-sensitive as making candles from baby seals, but there it is.
And right now I'm grinning just at the thought of being back in a Mk2. Plotting suspension upgrades. Pondering tyres. Window shopping for wheels - BBS RAs as came stock on late 16v GTis - hey ma, the GiT's almost back. Can't wait.