There (and back again)


A long time ago, before Nick Clegg had even troubled the selection committee for the East Midlands European Parliament list, the Liberal Democrats won an election by two votes.

If everyone who claimed to have been ‘One of the Winchester 2’ actually had been, the party wouldn’t have needed to re-fight the election after the loser went to law to have the result overturned.

In 2014 12 Trabants were supplied by Quirky Rides to star in The Man from UNCLE. Cynical observers have noted that every Trabant listed on eBay at the moment seems to have been in the movie. As, in fact, was mine. I believe this, but then, I am easily fooled.

Why did I buy a Trabant? As always, because it seemed like a good idea at the time. In an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly chain of wholly unnecessary consequences, I bought a Trabant because I own a QEK Junior East German caravan. I bought the caravan because my professional life requires me to camp in places unreceptive to tent pegs and my other car is a 2CV. My other car is a 2CV because when I passed my driving test in the late 1980s I couldn’t afford a Mini.

Some people would think that having got the Lomax finally sorted (apart from the seatbelt) I should be spending lovely spring weekends driving it about, not trundling gingerly towards Folkingham in a car variously nicknamed “the escape suitcase’ and ‘the racing paper bag’ for my annual season-opening camping meet, country walk and beer weekend. Such people wouldn’t realise that you appreciate country air much more after 50 miles with a slightly leaky exhaust.

“I think it sounds like a motorbike,” I said, on safe arrival.

“No it doesn’t,” said Clive. “It sounds like a bloody miracle.”


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