The world has changed a great deal since I last witnessed the open road through that wonderful split-viewed Landy windscreen, as for the best part of eight months my Land Rover has sat stationary with severe electrical problems. Seasons have come and gone, some egotistical morons have inadvertently removed us from the European Union and the Beeb has lost the Bake Off - as well as properly murdering Top Gear in the 38 weeks since the wiring loom went up in smoke.
However, unlike the EU referendum or Chris Evan’s TV career, I can bring my symbol of Britishness back from the dead with some elbow grease - and a £242 wiring loom. This is why I consider myself to be superior to the current Tory government - £242 won’t bring their referendum problems to an end, but it should get my Series III through an MoT test. And, also, I live in the real world rather than a taxpayer-funded mansion. Not that my Landy-issues will be terminated with some fresh wiring and a 12-month certificate of roadworthiness. Also, I don’t have a mansion.
Besides replacing every shard of wire, I appear to have alternator issues with smoke etching its way up the inner wings. My roof simply won’t stay on, the perished canvas held together with hope and dirt, while the leaf springs require replacement and the clutch demands attention before it ceases to function completely. Then there are the wheels, which I want to replace with my old steel rims, and the tyres, which currently catch the edges of the wings in a teeth-grittingly painful orgy of tyre drumming. I now have no paint on the bottom of the panels, either. Which brings me onto another huge job; the paintwork.
The military green coat has long been flaking like glossy dandruff, but with months outside in the blistering sunshine offered to us this summer, there are now more patches on the bodywork than a Geography teacher’s fetish-driven blazer. Luckily, Series Land Rovers wear the tatty look well, adding to their charm, but after 15 years service in the military before a swathe of different owners contributing varying degrees of mechanical sympathy, I feel my little piece of British history deserves to stand polished and proud like the retired trooper it is. Of course, this will take time - especially with my infamous P38 back on the scene - but unlike the Tory government, I won’t let this project be sidelined by my own financial gain. Let the bank account plundering begin.