Ever since I was a little nipper watching M.A.S.H. with my dad (one of those shows we bonded over) I was obsessed with the idea of driving a Willy's Jeep.
And I happened to mention online that it was a lifelong dream to actually drive one.
One thing led to another and an old friend of ours, and former work colleague, Stu, popped up to say he owned a Willy's Jeep and would I like to come and drive it?
So on Sunday evening, once the temperature had cooled down a bit, Rachel, Alice, and I rolled up to their house...
... And I got to drive the jeep.
Stu talked me through the controls - and remember, since my stroke et al I haven't driven for over a decade - then coached me for a few circuits of their old tennis court, before he and his son jumped out and let me fly solo.
And you know what? My initial anxiety faded away, the controls weren't as stiff as I'd feared (okay, I never got it out of first gear), and once I found my groove I had the time of my life.
I loved the sound of the engine, the smell of the petrol, the handling of the vehicle. I really was on Cloud Nine.
There aren't many things on my bucket list, but this was one of them. And Stu's given me an open invitation to come and drive the jeep again. Guess I'll need to get myself a M.A.S.H. t-shirt now.
There's a film at the top of this piece that Rachel shot, and spliced together (complete with a few comedy sound effects!), that hopefully shows you just how excited I was.
Not only to be driving again after so long, but to be driving a Willy's Jeep. Like in M.A.S.H.
I think my dad would have been proud.
|Tearing it up in first gear...|
|Alice, as ever, bemused by her humans' shenanigans...|
|The family Knight enjoying the jeep experience...|
Unfortunately, Rachel has now realised I want a jeep of my own. Which would necessitate us buying a new house with its own garage, so I could store my vintage pride and joy in there!
NB. I had to leave my 'Radar' hat in our car as, even at about 6pm, it was still too hot to wear that.