EDWARD HAD ALREADY SET OFF EARLY TO CATCH his flight to Canada, but his message on my phone let me know that he’d left my Vango Airbeam tent that I’d lent him under cover outside his house for me to collect.
So up I trundled in the Discovery into the middle of nowhere, deep in the Pennine Moors to be exact, and after a quick mooch it was where he said it would be, by his front door. As I went to open the rear door of the Disco it jammed on the latch and wouldn’t open, which was odd, so I pushed it closed and threw the tent on the back seat instead.
Jumping back behind the wheel I put the key in the ignition, waited for the coil to go out, turn and . . . nothing. The Discovery was as dead as a dodo. So I took the key out and tried it again, several times in fact but with the same result: nothing.
Flippin’ ‘eck, I thought, the last thing I want is to be stranded up here. Thankfully it was light and dry, and even though Edward lives quite a few miles off the beaten track, I could still get phone coverage, but it was patchy at best.
I wondered if it was something to do with the rear door, so I jumped out and tried to open it; this time it opened fully, which confused me somewhat. Unfortunately it made no difference – the bugger still wouldn’t start. I had a quick look and fiddle under the bonnet but nothing seemed amiss.
As I briefly touched upon last month, for the last six weeks I’ve been fortunate enough to have had, for one week at a time, a variety of green ovals to play with . . . sorry, I mean test. I started with a 90 SW, then a Range Rover Sport (the outgoing model unfortunately), a 110 SW, Evoque, Freelander and finally for the last week you could hardly prize me out of the Discovery! Sadly they’ve all gone back to Gaydon and I’m back driving my ’96 Discovery – what a culture shock.
What is it about birthdays, especially when they’re on the wrong side of 45, that make you ponder life’s mysteries? Replying to a text from a young lad I used to mentor who sarcastically asked what it is like being 21 again, I wrote, “As far as I can remember I didn’t have constant backache, my knees didn’t click with every step and I had more hair on my head than I have growing out of my ears!” On reflection, that’s probably too much information.
I received a nice e-mither a few months ago from Land Rover’s press department asking if I’d like to join them at the Heritage Motor Museum for a Jaguar Land Rover experience day. Have a guess at how long it took me to clear my diary for that!
After a rather manic three-hour drive from Lancashire to Warwickshire I arrived just before 9am; after signing in I decided that as the Range Rover Sport is my least favourite Land Rover I’d take it out for a spin first. Hang on, I think I need to qualify that comment. When I say ‘least favourite’, I’m not suggesting that it’s ugly or rubbish, it’s just that in my world I’d always go for the full fat Range Rover first.
I was talking to an old colleague of mine the other day about the Defender I had on loan from Land Rover and how much I was enjoying it. He surprised me by saying that his wife had one, and although it had issues, she loved it to bits.
‘Umm, issues?’ I tentatively enquired.
He went on to tell me that only a few days after they had taken delivery of their brand new 2.4 Puma, one morning it refused to start. When the Land Rover Assist bloke arrived he swiftly fixed the problem by tightening both battery connectors which were so loose they’d come off! “Do people not check these things?” he asked.