The Land Rover Owners Ex Wife

……becoming me again

Nothing to fix for Mud

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Muds collection of WW2 models ...... plus 1 extra

Muds collection of WW2 models …… plus 1 extra

The thing with old series Land Rovers is that they require almost constant attention, whether it be for a blown gasket, faulty headlight, rotten exhaust or, as is the case with dear old Annie, a tired and worn out gearbox ….. and Annies’ gearbox is extremely tired and definitely worn out …. but here’s the thing, she is still trundling along, reliably transporting me whenever and wherever I want to go.

His workbench

His workbench

“Gearbox will need replacing next year,” Mud had muttered back in the summer of 2011 when Annie arrived at Mudville and he has said it every year since but still the old girl tootles about and if overdrive is ….. erm shall we say almost impossible to use and 4th back to 3rd is a little crunchy, at least she is still useable unlike modern cars fitted with computers which are programmed to take the fun out of driving and make decisions about road worthiness for you. Woe betide the driver whose car engine management system misreads a situation and decides to invoke stop/start as you pull out onto a busy motorway roundabout. Muds’ grey hair count almost trebled in that 20 seconds, as he desperately tried to get the car started and out of the way of the oncoming juggernauts who were understandably not expecting a Corsa to park itself across two lanes on the aforementioned roundabout. Mind you Mud wasn’t expecting it either and commented most animatedly on the subject, once safely ensconced on the sofa, with a triple whiskey in hand!

But the fact that Annie is so reliable means that poor old Mud has nothing mechanical to do, bar topping up antifreeze, screenwash etc! Ciggy is still in the workshop, close to completion but on hold temporarily due to the huge number of hours Mud is working these days, lack of space in the workshop, inclement weather etc. and Bonnie is, well, still hidden away under a tarpaulin on the front drive awaiting her turn in the workshop.

This is where the tree should be!

This is where the tree should be!

Now you could be forgiven for believing that having a reliable vehicle, requiring no immediate work, would be a cause for celebration, that the lack of a need for more funds to buy hitherto forgotten parts, or to lie on the incredibly uncomfortable gravel in what would inevitably become monsoon like conditions, would be a reason to smile and be happy. But no dear reader, a Land Rover owner with a vehicle requiring no work, urgent or otherwise, is a lost soul, a cog without a wheel, a spare part, a walking contradiction, loudly bemoaning the lack of work required just as vehemently as he had the various issues and surprises Annie had unexpectedly  thrown at him, just a few months earlier.

So what was he to do? How could he fill those long if infrequent spare hours? How could he relax after yet another long, stress filled week at work, if his beloved Land Rovers were out of the equation.

Well you need not worry because Mud has found a way to combat his idle hands syndrome. He has revisited his youth and resurrected a favourite hobby from his teenage years and it has taken over the house. The dining room is his workshop, the table his work bench, storage is in the kitchen (where the Christmas Tree is supposed to go!!!) and the finished projects have taken over the lounge.

Mud is building Airfix 1:48 scale models. Mostly WW2 aircraft, although he has also built a WW2 refueling truck but the sharp eyed of you may notice a more modern jet fighter in the opening photograph, bought because the local model shop had run out of historically correct models for his display and I refused to let him have his Christmas present (a WW2 Ready for Battle gift set) early.

He's been working on dioramas with the Mudlets for their planes.

He’s been working on dioramas with the Mudlets for their planes.

To hear him though, you’d think he was still working on the Land Rovers, as frustrated utterances can be heard at every stage, as he finds problems with the plastic mouldings, discovers that larger adult hands aren’t as adept as teenage boy hands at handling tiny details such as seat belts, that applying the decals to the model is still an impossibly difficult process, that modern energy saver lightbulbs offer less light than a candle and that finding tiny bits of the model which have dropped onto the carpet, is mission impossible, due in no small part to the aforementioned lack of decent lighting.

Building model planes, it would seem, is just as stressful as fixing old Land Rovers and yet, some how it does the trick and in spite of all the trials and tribulations that appear to be inherent in the world of model plane building, Mud is happy and believe me, that’s no small achievement for a Land Rover owner without any rusty old parts to fix.

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