Meanwhile, and unbeknownst to us, a middle-aged lady wanders over to the car parked behind us and starts to transfer shopping from trolley to trunk (or boot, or whatever you want to call it). We reversed in, she reversed in, so there we are, back to back.
Oblivious, my girlfriend gives it a quick pump of the gas, turn of the key and the little 500cc motor ticks in to life... with an enormous black cloud of oil smoke, completely engulfing afforementioned unfortunate shopper. Oops. We make a cheerful apology and a hasty exit.
I really must get it fixed. While the rest of the country obsesses on quitting smoking, our Italian baby starts! Typical!
In the meantime I'm waiting for it to develop the other Uncle Buckesque trait - the window-shattering back-fire when it stops.