Emotions are mixed in our house this week. John’s venerable, much loved, ancient Land Rover is due for its MOT tomorrow.
My view that this antediluvian, smelly, battered heap of rust should be banished to the scrap heap is seen as heresy.
I am sure John bribes Mark at our local garage to get the old girl through her test. It is of course a “she” to John. And he must be promising Mark the earth, or even more, as I have frequently tried to bribe him to fail it.
What John loves about the Land Rover is that it is pre-electronics, pre-computer and pre-history as far as I am concerned.
If anything goes wrong it is usually mechanical and easily repairable. I doubt if there is an original bit of the vehicle left, everything will have been replaced or fixed over the years. Either that or just dropped off.
Apart from its duties as go-to-market vehicle, off road specialist and dead sheep transporter, the Land Rover also acts as a day time kennel for Pip our Labrador.
Fizz the sheepdog is not allowed in for any length of time as she chews the wires off to the back lights.
These are all exposed as there is nothing left of any interior back door cladding to conceal or protect them. Pip having chewed it off in her younger days.
But a recent email from a friend who has gone to Scotland stalking has sent John into an insufferably righteousness state of mind.
Friend Joe is on his fifth Range Rover. All top of the range. All immaculate. All mind bogglingly expensive. And everyone of them totally unreliable.
The gist of the message that came down from Perth was that Joe had had to take to a hire car to continue his holiday as once more his new Range Rover had died beneath him.
“That’s 100% now,” he emailed. Everyone of them expiring at the most inconvenient time they could pick on.
Mind you, the one time Joe had a change of heart and bought a swish new Jaguar sports coupé, that died on him too.
Kept going into “limp” mode and needing to be driven at a snail’s pace in order to reach a garage without causing horrendously expensive damage to the engine.
Meanwhile John appears to have gone into complete cosmetic makeover mode on his Landrover.
Perhaps he is hoping to dazzle Mark into a state of temporary blindness when confronted with all the obvious potential areas for failure.
At risk of totally ventilating the Land Rover’s bodywork, he has put the power washer on to clean off the year’s worth of mud and cow muck accrued since the last MOT. Pip has been banished to her kennel and the mice evicted from underneath the front seats.
Another year of draughts - the heater no longer works, no music - the radio has packed up and excruciatingly uncomfortable rides - the seats are all split, beckons. Unless Mark does the honourable thing, and fails “her”.
It passed. John’s bribe must have been worth more than mine!