Friday, October 19, 2007


August 29. That's the last time I drove Olivia (doorless / to work). Nearly 2 months.

I've nearly forgotten what it's like to drive her - how she feels, how she responds, the instinctive turning circle calculations required on entering or exiting a parking space. I've nearly forgotten the noise, the heat radiating through the firewall, the feel of every bump in the road, the sensation of being overtaken by all except the slowest trucks. I've nearly forgotten the rush, the pleasure, the absolute joy of driving my very cool Landy.

I miss her.... but it's not long now. At least I hope so.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Letting Go

I'm feeling a little bit nostalgic today.

Last week Olivia's old windscreen went to the scrap metal recylcers. It was so shot full of rust that there was no chance of rescuing it or reselling it. The new windscreen doesn't have a unusually thick middle bit, nor does it flap down. It's not army green inside and blue outside, it doesn't leak. There are no handles at odd places to move things, nor screws and bolts to control the flap. Just an expanse of glass that's pretty panoramic by comparison!

I'm all nostalgic over that windscreen, although I do like the new one muchly.

Today the hooter went to a new owner - it's been replaced with the loudest air horns you'll ever hear, which we keep setting off by accident when leaning across to do things on the dash. That's Olivia's old voice gone - to a very good home, and another Olivia, but still. I won't forget the first time I found out it worked. Also by mistake :-)

I'm all nostalgic over that hooter, although I do like the thought of emptying the bowels via soundwaves of any BMW driver that cuts me off in future.

Olvia's looking the business - she's going to be absolutely awesome when she's done. I know letting go of some of her old bits is part of the process, but it's still sometimes hard to do.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My Next Land Rover...

...will be bog-basic, old and battered, a short-wheel-base beast that I've rescued from neglect and taken home to love. It will look like it's about to fall apart, but the engine will be completely sorted and ticking over beautifully. It will probably have a dashboard filled with water bottles, bits of string, an odd bolt or two and tree-rings of dust from the places I've been lately. I might deign to take a hosepipe to it once a year to find out what colour the paint is. It may have enough seats for passengers, or you may just need to hold on tight wherever you find a place for your butt. I'll think nothing of throwing a surfboard, a load of compost, a few dogs or some rescued wood in the back - the paintwork won't matter, nor will sand, dirt or dog-slobber. It may not have a roof. It may only just conform to roadworthy standards. It will definitely be a working vehicle that won't be afraid to go play in the mud. I'll love driving it, in spite of the need to keep a dry change of clothes and a towel handy in winter, simply because it's a Landy.


...will be a Defender 90, smart as a button, perhaps in black or gunmetal grey. No leaks, no major rattles, and the luxury of hearing a radio over engine noise. It will probably have carpets and properly upholstered seats. It may be pimped (just a little - OK, enough to make a statement). It will be capable of going offroad whenever it wants to - but will generally serve as a comfortable daily ride. My son and his friends will fit in on proper seats with working seatbelts, and not get their clothes dirty during the ride or be unable to hold a conversation. It will handle hills in style and make a statement in traffic. It will not break down regularly, and I will not get into it with an adrenalin-induced fear of the unkown before every trip. I will be able to go out in it wearing evening dress or working clothes. It may have a dog-guard (and carpet protectors). It might even have aircon and central locking. It may or may not have flames down the side :-) I'll love driving it, simply because it's a Landy.

And Olivia? Olivia's part of the family. She stays, regardless.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Hey, at least she has a windscreen now! :-)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Since I posted the thing below, I've been mulling the whole "I'm A Girl" attitude. It runs a lot deeper than merely not being able to turn a wheel nut.

But here's the thing. I didn't start this project to give up simply because I'm a girl. I've battled through challenges in the past, and I aim to do so again. I'm not your average chick.

Yes, it will take longer as I have to figure things out and learn them for myself. Yes, I may make mistakes that will perhaps cost time or money. Yes, it will take more effort - but hey, my muscles were created to work. Yes, I may get frustrated or be frustrating to others as things don't happen quickly enough or in the prescribed manner. There's more than one right way to do things sometimes and I have to find what works for me.

But this chick ain't done yet. And she's not going to lie down and play dead either. Once this project's done, there will be another one waiting in the wings, which I look forward to with relish (in fact it's already in the quietly-planning stage).

So be it.