After nine months of ownership we have realised that it is just not us* and that a Defender Station Wagon is a far better compromise of load carrier, towing vehicle and general run-around for a small family with three large dogs. The Range Rover was a beautiful car with a gorgeous interior but I never really bonded with it and I hated the fucking automatic gear box. It was way too slow and, for most of the time I drove it, I was sat behind the wheel urging the damned thing to change up … and, as for the split tail gate, that was just a stupid design feature that made getting stuff out of the cavernous boot unnecessarily difficult.
I don't think I'll miss it.
First thing this morning I transferred the final few hundred pounds across to Hogan Bros and rang to let them know. They advised that yesterdays ten grand had arrived and they trusted me about the balance … I could pop over any time to sort out paperwork and pick up the Station Wagon.
This became something of a family outing as TP wanted to come to collect the new Defender and 30%'s Audi has finally had it's electrical problem identified and resolved. We all climbed in to the Range Rover and headed over to Alcester where 30% was dropped off at the Audi specialist to collect her car.** TP and I continued in to Redditch and swapped the Range Rover for the new Defender.
It is quite lovely. It is a 110 County Station Wagon in a dark, metallic grey with the Land Rover XS half-leather trim. TP was particularly taken by the privacy glass in the rear windows and declared us even more invincible as this Defender was even bigger than the last one.
We headed off out of Redditch and our first journey was a trip over to Worcester to pick up the newly serviced chainsaw. We arrived home to grab a coffee, feed the dogs and wait for 30% … she had headed on to Stratford after picking up her car to complete a few errands.
30% arrived home some thirty minutes later and we lunched before she took the Defender out for a spin. Having got used to the Range Rover's massive size, she adapted well to the CSW and was soon at ease with the gearbox and controls … We both just need to remember that we no longer have front or rear parking sensors!
After the test drive TP and I completed a circuit of the Three Miler with the dogs. There was little time to relax upon our return as he needed to prepare for a shift at the pub and 30% and I needed to head back in to Redditch for her sister's birthday tea. We had a pleasant enough time munching cake, drinking weak tea and chatting with the family but I have to admit that the Birthday Girl has a totally fucked up value system and this grated with my sensibilities. Repeated references to unpaid bills, fraud scams and her concerns that actually getting off her arse and working might demean her reputation as a DJ with the neer-do-well, fuckwits she calls friends started to annoy me.
Basically she has developed a benefit claimants attitude of wanting the middle class lifestyle and trappings but has no intention of doing a decent day's fucking work to pay for it.
I escaped at about six o'clock and we headed home. Unfortunately it was not time for a G&T. Our next job was to box up the chickens and take them down the road to Kathy H-R. We have decided this is the only way to remove our rat problem so it will be no chickens at The Pile for a year or two while we tidy runs and eradicate the vermin.
Kathy gratefully took the chickens and the three spare bags of feed and I drove back home to a beer and a gammon supper. I was absolutely shattered after yet another non-stop day.
---* We have marked this down as my mid-life crisis.
** They must have had it for the best part of two months