The location of this house has never really been a problem in the past, as we have carefully managed and maintained the hedge, which has provided bushy green cover through most of the year and a healthy tangle of branches during the winter, so it came as a bit of a shock last year when we realised that a gap had appeared (with a little help from another neighbour, as we later found out) in the hedge and it allowed the neighbours an unhindered view of our dining room and patio area.
No more walking past the uncurtained window, en route to the bathroom, at night wearing nothing but our birthday suits and gone were the quick dashes in a dressing gown or night dress to refill the bucket with anthracite because we forgot to do it earlier.
This gap has been bugging Mud for a while now and we had looked at getting another native hedging plant to plug the gap but as yet we haven’t been able to source a suitably sized replacement and so the gap remains.
Mud, however, had come up with a novel way of dealing with the problem ……….. by using one of Ciggys spare ‘panels’ …… and so directly in front of the gap and attached to the existing fence with wire hooks we have a Land Rover panel …….. a hardtop roof to be exact and I have to admit that whilst unorthodox, being several inches longer than the height of the fence panel, the upended roof makes for an effective barrier and gives a whole new meaning to the words ‘fence panels’. I know we had agreed to brighten the fence up when we repainted it this year but this really wasn’t what I had in mind.
The whole purpose for emptying the shed the other day was to get to the roof but once we had finished emptying the Land Rover parts out, I realised that in just 3 years Mud had accumulated enough body panels to start his own Land Rover supplies business. We have 2 roof options for each of the vehicles plus the hoops for a 3/4 tilt on Annie, at least one of each bonnet type (knife edge, dished and smooth), 2 spare wind screens and a spare truck cab and the whole lot, plus the bits still to be fitted back onto Ciggy, was now decorating the garden.
I have suggested before that maybe some of the surplus could be sold off, thereby releasing some capital and helping Mud get Ciggy a step closer to being back on the road but this has always been met with a sharp intake of breath and an entire speech on how he couldn’t sell the various bits just yet because he still hadn’t decided exactly what type of Land Rover Ciggy was going to be.
Currently both Ciggy and Annie are ‘truck cabs’ because they are only wearing that part of the body panel roof option which covers the cab but when Ciggy arrived, she was a hardtop which is the term used to describe the solid roof that covers from the tailgate to the windscreen. Annie also has a hardtop which will become her permanent roof type once Mud has fitted forward facing rear seats in the pick-up bed and side windows to the hardtop side panels. A tilt is the canvas cover that many Series Land Rovers are fitted with and are synonymous in the minds of many people, with military vehicles.
After much deliberation, Mud had finally decided that he would fit a 3/4 length tilt to Ciggy which means it will fit from the tailgate to the back of the truck cab roof, as against a full tilt which comes all the way forward to the windscreen. So as I stood surveying the breakers yard that had appeared in the back garden and specifically the spare truck cab which was now sitting in the middle of the lawn, I once again dropped the suggestion of ebay into the ear of my reluctant spouse.
“After all,” I reasoned, “You’ve decided that Annie will be a hardtop and Ciggy will have a tilt and they each have a truck cab already, so it really is surplus to requirements.”
Oh and while I was at it, I did question if we really did have need of the 2 spare bonnets or the 2 spare windscreens.
A little while later I wondered back into the lounge to find Mud on ebay looking at the truck cabs which were currently up for auction. With a dramatic little sigh, he pointed out that in the months since I had first broached the subject of spare panels and ebay, the price for truck cabs had tumbled and even the fully restored ones were only going for £50 to £60 pounds and the one we have is a bit dented and in need of a spruce up. In short he didn’t really think that it would be worth the effort of listing it in its’ current state, never mind taking the time to refurbish it and then sell it.
With a wry smile and a little shake of my head, I murmured “Yes dear” and resigned myself to the fact that we will continue to store the various parts for the foreseeable future and that’s the trouble with Series Land Rover enthusiasts: once they have a part in their possession, they will find every reason under the sun to hold onto it ‘just in case’. Tomorrow we have to put all the panels, except the hardtop roof, back into the shed that, in readiness for taking the rotten roof off, Mud had been so very keen to empty because it seems that non of the surplus parts are actually surplus at all.
Mind you, as it is both surplus and without value, I do wonder how Mud would react to a suggestion of placing the truck cab roof over one of the vegetable beds, after all with a relatively small amount of modification it could make a rather good cold frame cum cloche, don’t you think?