Spindle and the Land Rover

Hector has had an itch. A considerable itch for some considerable time. It would seem that he has thrown caution to the wild winds of wily Winchester and has had a damn good scratch. He has accidentally purchased a series 3 Land Rover. Even without seeing it basking in the spring sunshine (or heavy clouded, grey gloom) you would know that it was here by the coat hanger grin that Hector has been seen lolloping around with. This apparent ‘accident’ is the result of months of research, obsessing over various websites, forums and magazines. He even started to bring some of these magazines to bed to peruse, at which point the Tiny Terror harrumphed pointedly and made rather a vulgar comment. Knowing when she had been beaten she retrieved her battered copy of Trapeze for the Ambitious Arthritics from under the pillow, and settled down in matrimonial magazine harmony.  

One morning, as I munched my morning eggy bread, Hector burst into the living room with an unaccustomed spring in his step. He was going to take Leroy out for a trundle and wondered if we would like to accompany him. The Tiny Terror declined an exploratory ride – most out of character – and instead I raised an eggy paw and enquired if I could accompany him. His little beardy face lit up like a Christmas tree and offered me his arm, which I gracefully took, and off we sallied. 

I had to have a leg and a wing up into Leroy (he was named by his previous owner so don’t judge us – well, not for that anyway) and there I sat in a haze of oily fug. You may wonder how I know what this smells like and I am afraid I am not at liberty to discuss this until the 30 year rule expires and the file can be safely accessed. I sat as gracefully as a hound could under such agricultural circumstances and off we lurched. Hector didn’t so much drive it as wrestle with it. I was thankful that he did not own dentures or any other body part that was not permanently attached, five minutes in Leroy and they would be whirling about the inside like a feather pillow had been stuffed in a blender.

I can honestly say I have never experienced anything quite like it. 

I primly clung on to my handbag with one hand as we careered around a wide corner. It was like a ponderous aircraft carrier on roller skates. There was nothing to hang on to so I clamped my other hand onto my travelling bonnet, closed my eyes and tried to remember who had all my legal papers incase the very worst happened. The makers had forgotten to attach sun visors, so we were reduced to using the traditional make do and mend method of me hiding behind my bag and Hector, who shut his beady eyes very tightly. The other thing I noticed is that the steering wheel is enormous and turning it was as unpredictable as reeling in a garden hose, unwieldy and prone to a backlash at any moment. 

Then there was the gear changes – all four or them. Watching him blindly stab about a vast abyss, trying to locate the correct one, indeed any one, was a sight to behold. I shall now move on to Leroy and fluids. He seems to have a prodigious thirst that would put grandad Tom to shame, and I say this with great respect and admiration. The interesting thing is, that he (Leroy, not Grandad Tom) seems to scent mark his territory once he was parked. Not a lot, just a small dribble of oil to ensure that any other Land Rovers knew not to park in his spot. 

I have assembled the facts of the riding experience for you. Taking into account all of these little foibles, I will now refer you to the expression on Hectors fizzog…a great big beaming grin. Apparently all of these things were all part of the charms and experience of Land Rover ownership.

After we had returned home, I slithered out of the passenger seat, smoothed down my frock and straightened my bonnet, which had gone awry.

Well…wasn’t that fun! Time for a lay down now I think, until next time my dear friend, toodle pip! 


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