Well, this was something I found myself contemplating as a group of friends and I pulled into the car park at Land's End in Cornwall one summer's evening in 2009. You see, I'd suggested an appropriately stupid idea one night in the pub (obviously) and here we were a few months later about to carry it out.
The question that I had posed was: would it be possible to watch the sun set at Land's End on the longest day of the year, (21st June), and then watch it rise at Ness Point in Lowestoft the next morning? Initially, my question was met with a bit of confusion, but eventually they understood where I was coming from.
Which is how my Jag, a Monaro and Mercedes would end up perched on a clifftop at the very tip of the country awaiting the sunset.
We set off in a blaze of dust, tyre smoke and a concern that perhaps we should have all left the traction-control buttons alone. On full alert for unmarked police cars, boy-racer chavs and caravans, we sped off into the night. Once we'd joined the A30 out of Cornwall I started to ponder the possibility that this may not be as much fun as I'd hoped. 400 miles of dual carriageway, motorway and major A-roads stood in front of us. It was hardly a forest stage on the WRC. I was concerned that boredom would be setting in quite soon. However, to my relief it never happened. Take three cars, three two-way radios, six people, perfect driving conditions, a high average speed born of necessity to hit an utterly pointless but challenging mutual goal and mile after mile of desolate highway in the middle of the night and you'd be amazed at how much fun you can have.
Throughout the journey we managed to keep ourselves amused by playing with the assorted chavved-up hot hatches that we encountered along the way. If you've never tried to embarrass a body-kitted Corsa that's carrying half a ton of 'ice' by using three big GTs, a quiet stretch of dual carriageway and some two-way radios, you haven't lived. Believe me when I say it's the game that just keeps on giving. There was one moment, however, when our Merc got somewhat shown up, shall we say, by a very stealth-like supercharged Golf, but we won't go into that.
Driving into a village on the Suffolk coast we came upon a Police traffic unit that took immediate interest in our little GT car convoy. They sat tightly behind us for what felt like forever. We weren't actually doing anything wrong, but if they decided to pull us over for a 'chat', there was no way we'd make it to Ness Point in time. So, we drove like professional chauffeurs for the next few miles, not giving any excuse for a flash of the blues. Speed, indication, road positioning, distance apart, it was all textbook stuff. Fortunately, they soon got bored and/or hungry and vanished into a 24hr garage. Right feet were then re-deployed and we cracked on to Lowestoft, now with the sky gradually starting to light up.
But, as I stood there staring out to sea at the rising sun, I felt a bizarre sense of achievement like nothing I've ever really experienced. All told, it wasn't that big a deal, I know this. All we'd done was drive through the night at speeds high enough to get us in serious trouble to achieve an irrelevant goal that we had set ourselves. I don't think we broke any records and I'm certain we won't be entitled to any kind of reward or prize. What we had done, though, was to actually carry out one of those pub-induced silly ideas, which we have all had from time to time, just for the sake of it. For no other reason than for the sheer hell of it. To my knowledge our challenge had not been done before and probably with good reason. But I felt more alive than I had done for years.
So, the next time you or a friend comes up with one of those "I wonder if that would actually be possible?" ideas, don't immediately dismiss it. As long as it doesn't have anything to do with bungee ropes or animals, you'd be surprised at how much fun you can actually have. And, if it involves a group mates and some appropriate cars, well, you're already halfway there.
Epilogue: Following his pointless-but-fun adventure, Mr Small wondered if a certain Mr Clarkson would be interested. He was, and he had a go, too. So when you see something like this on Top Gear in a few weeks time, remember that a PHer got there first...