13 Dec, 2014 @ 09:00
1 min read

Farewell, old fiend

IT’S over. Finally. I’ve taken a deep breath and let go of a long term relationship that was causing me nothing but distress and despair.

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’ll know that my Freelander has been somewhat of a fixture. Normally in the pantomime villain role when it broke down when I had some important business to attend to.

“When she was good she was very very good, but when she was bad she was horrid” is a pretty apt eulogy for the Land Rover, which I christened Tallulah after notorious American actress Tallulah Bankhead – a famously bitchy star.

For the past couple of weeks, normally on my ‘paper round’ delivering the Olive Press, I noticed an increasing number of creaks and groans. Most, admittedly, were from me lugging the damn things around… More than a few, however, were coming from the rear of Tallulah (stop sniggering at the back).

Leaving an art exhibition a few nights later, there was a tremendous ‘BANG!’. Now I may not have the engineering brilliance of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, but I deduced that all was not well.

A trip to the mechanic revealed that both the chassis and the subframe had broken. Top man that my mechanic is he advised me to scrap the car – unless I wanted to have my legs sheared off neatly beneath the knees as the chassis went one way and the frame the other. That might just sting a bit…

Luckily I was able to borrow my (long suffering) father’s car. A piece of Teutonic technology that has never had anything go wrong with it for as long as he has had it.

I am offering no prizes for what happened on the first day that I had it, as I went to fire the car up in the driveway at the Casita. Suffice to say that Murphy’s law must have been particularly strong that day. The only relief that I can take from that Sunday morning before I managed to coax the grua (tow truck) to start the BMW up was that there were no CCTV cameras to record my Basil Fawlty style meltdown!

Breakfast – it’s all down to timing

BEING the Marbella media type that I am, I found myself invited to a breakfast briefing for the foreign media at the Town Hall.
When I was editing business magazines in London in the ‘90s, there were frequent breakfast briefings. These normally took place in the City, featured a huge variety of food – smoked salmon bagels, kedgeree, that sort of thing – and kicked off, being a breakfast briefing, at 8am or thereabouts.

Marbella’s ‘breakfast briefing’ on the other hand, featured a couple of biscuits and took place at noon.

Back in the ‘90s, I would have been on my second Chardonnay in some City wine bar by that time…

Giles Brown

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  1. Oh Giles! I am so sorry to hear of the Freelander’s demise. She (?) was always such a great character in your postings. I hope that she receives the burial with honour that she deserves!

  2. My one and only ‘breakfast meeting w the Marbella mayor’ took place in the town hall without her or coffee…
    And it was around 11am too…
    Oddly I haven’t been back

  3. Maybe you should have reviewed the reliability rating of a Land Rover product before you spent your hard earned money on one. Even BMW (the drivers car” ???) doesn’t do very well on such reliability surveys. Best thing about both marks is their publicity & how they manage to create such a desirable image. Before you might ask, I was caught on both counts (on one even twice) myself. Not again.

  4. The Freelander is not a real Landrover! Besides, the Landrover thing is a way of life, you either regard as an adult version of Mechano or get your cheque book and tow truck out.
    And usually the former drives the analogue version too! Love my ‘Mandi the Landi’ Defender 1994!

  5. Correct Mauby. There’s still a lot to be said for wheels that can be fixed with a Haynes manual, a socket set, a hammer and grazed knuckles.
    My heart sank the first time my car had to be plugged into a computer for diagnosis. I knew then my days of mooching round breakers yards were over.

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