“You said you were just going for a casual look?!?” says the LTLP, as I clamber unsteadily down, having parked up in the drive.
“It was excellent value, and the salesman seemed like an extremely trustworthy man,” I reassure, following her into the Cottage.
The LTLP is on her maternity leave, which means that she does not need a woman’s runaround car to get to work every day. This means that we are able to get something a bit more sensible and appropriate for local driving conditions, e.g. we have minor roads and no motorways, so it is practically essential to have a 4×4.
“It is blocking out all the light in my kitchen,” she complains.
“You will love it. I will take you for a drive.”
We go back outside to the car. I fetch a ladder from the shed to help the LTLP get into the passenger seat, and fire up the diesel engine. It rattles and bellows into operation, like actor Brian Blessed, nursing a bad throat infection whilst operating some quarrying machinery and singing along to the first album by Leonard Cohen.
“It will quieten down in a bit,” I promise.
She is looking round the interior, taking it all in. I know that she will be as enthusiastic about this as I am. Especially when I tell her about all the practical features.
“You can fold all the seats down flat, to make a bed!” I tell her.
“Right,” she replies.
“And if you notice, it has a tape player rather than a CD player,” I continue. “Which is useful, as a lot of modern cars do not have the facility to play tapes. So we can listen to all my old tapes whilst we drive around.”
I put on a Steeleye Span tape.
“Oh God,” she says.
“You like it?” I say.
“Fotheroididdleoiday,” say Steeleye Span.
We drive on in silence (apart from the Brian Blessed/quarrying engine and Steeleye Span.)
“What, then, are we going to do with my car?” she demands.
“Don’t worry,” I reply. “I have thought of a plan.”