Ode to a Land Rover

On Monday 26th August 2013, my world was turned upside down.

Ok, so that is a bit of an exaggeration. The world did not stop spinning, or cease to exist simply because the boyfriend sold his Land Rover Defender.

I never thought I would be so sad to see an object taken away, sold to the highest bidder.

It was such an epic vehicle; still is, after all, it is not dead, lying in a scrap yard somewhere, it is still in use, just by someone else. I just didn’t imagine our lives without it. Funny, considering that I didn’t even like the thing when it first drove into my life!

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Before Lanny the Land Rover, back in 2009, my heart was held by an Audi TT; a zippy little car with a lot of power and just a hint of pretention. It was young, cool and stylish, and a lot of fun with our friends squeezed into the pointless back seat. The boyfriend however, decided that the TT wasn’t as much fun as it looked, so decided to get another vehicle. My heart broke with this news. I still remember the forlorn and pathetic way I uttered goodbye to that car, not looking forward to the big, dirty, tin can of a vehicle that was to take its place.

It took a while for me to come round to the defender; it was awkward to get into, drafty, dirty, not suitable for heels, and a bit of bone shaker. A long way from the style and comfort of the TT.

The turning point came though, when the boyfriend and I took a trip to Devon. Lanny was not a great car for motorways, but once we were there, and learning to surf on Woolacombe beach, the car fitted right in with the outdoor way of living, and seemed a lot cooler. After our day of surfing, we then took to exploring Exmoor National Park. Something I would definitely recommend doing in a Land Rover. Because we were higher off the road, we could see more, and because it is a rover of the land, we didn’t have to stick to the path! There is something amazingly fun and rebellious in driving off-road. Since then, my heart grew fonder and fonder of this machine.

There was the time we went green-laning in the Lake District. An excellent two day adventure driving around Lakes Coniston and Windermere, through Grizedale Forest, and down toward the coast, via dirt tracks and bridleways.

There was another time in the Lake District, in the cold and snow of February, when we stayed in an ecopod, which is basically a glorified shed. It was definitely an adventure, one that would have been difficult without the ridiculously huge all-terrain tyres of the Lanny.

There was also a day in the snow where we were driving around, taking the icy roads in our stride, seeing if we could winch anyone out of a troublesome spot when we ourselves got caught. Going down a slight decline, the Lanny unusually lost grip and we slid and turned on a narrow country lane. We had jack-knifed in the road. Luckily for us though, we were surrounded by trees which we could attach the front winch too, slowly turning the Lanny back around to continue on our way. A little bit worrying but also funny.

These are just the bigger adventures we’ve had with Lanny. There are also a few camping trips, and many drives in the rain just to go splashing in the big puddles!

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It’s not just a car either. Yes it has taken us on these adventures, but it has also witnessed a lot of life. It is the place where I talked through how I felt about my uni course, and decided that I was going to give up media and communications, to focus solely on English. It is the car that took me to Gatwick airport for my first solo holiday. It is the car I sat in the day my grandmother died whilst the boyfriend went to get fish and chips. We had to eat but I didn’t want to be seen; my world interrupted as others carried on as normal.

This epic, invincible, powerful vehicle has been a huge part of our lives and now it is gone. It may have been dirty, bumpy and sometimes smelly, but it was our car. It was full of character and fun; I can tell you now that there isn’t another car like it. The Land Rover Defender is, after all, the best 4×4 by far.

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