God, I’m absolutely exhausted. Over ten days at the beginning of this month, I had been driving for nine hours a day and I have now completed another 1,994 miles. Let’s get this straight… one doesn’t ask a 78 year old car to complete nearly two thousand miles in that sort of time. But no, Her Ladyship insisted. I’d tried to get out of it before we left for John O’Groats.
What? What’s that you ask? What on earth am I talking about? I wish you’d concentrate. I have just completed the John O’Groats to land’s End run over Easter. But she never warned me that to do the JOGLE once, you actually have to do it twice! It’s like this; you have to get from your home to John O’Groats first. Then when you reach Land’s End, you still have to get home again. No sympathy for me of course. Oh no, no, no, no, no. None at all.
So where was I? You see I am completely stressed out about all this. Well, I did try to get out of it. I allowed my cooling fan to go up its own bottom and threaten to destroy my radiator. But the cow spotted what I was up to. “We’ll disconnect that before you can do any damage Old Girl.”
Anyway, three days later, with fan fixed, I embarked on my journey north. We reached Altrincham on the first day, some 215 miles. Mind you, we had to plough through a heavy snowstorm to get there. Then on day two we headed for Lanark in Scotland. I’ve never been to Scotland before… Nice place. On Day Three we reached Inverness and by then I’d managed to burn out my brake lights. Her Ladyship had to use hand signals from then on and it was terribly cold. She also for some strange reason bought a haggis. What on earth would she want that for?
We reached the starting line at John O’Groats on Day Four. Her Ladyship had a quick scone and a coffee and pointed me south. That night we stayed at Inverness again. Then on Day Five we headed towards Gretna Green. No HL wasn’t eloping, well lets face it, who would marry her? Anyway, that was the day we had trouble. My so-called repaired fan played up again and she had to disconnect it again. Then I managed to crack my fuel pipe and it was dripping on the exhaust. The trouble was, her friends fixed that as well.
Day Six saw some terrible weather. It absolutely tipped down, but we did make it to our next port of call near Bromsgrove. Day Seven brought us much better weather and we comfortably made it to Launceston, but I was starting to suffer some discomfort in my engine. At Launceston, I found out why HL had bought the haggis. I was parked on a very steep hill and she used it as a wheel chock.
On Day Seven, we reached Land’s End. Her Ladyship produced the tin of Gin and Tonic from under my seat and guzzled it down. “Well done Old Girl, you are absolutely brilliant.” Well I know I am, but we still had to do another 360 miles to get home.
It was a difficult journey, not helped by the fact that things were shaking loose from the car. The most important part being my petrol pump, which came loose on the way home, and I spread six pints of oil down a five mile strip of the M5. Even so, I did make it home two days after arriving in Land’s End.
A week later we visit the nice Dr. John, who did my engine before we left. “I don’t like the sound of that,” he said. “Sorry that engine has to come out again.”