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My One Ten...

 Land rover love

"It will cost you an old Defender 110. That's the payoff. " I said half joking, half serious.

But really, when your husband wants to set up an oil refinery in the garden, one does have quite a bit of room for negotiation.

Biodiesel:: A fuel that is similar to diesel fuel and is derived from usually vegetable sources, according to the Webster.  And that, dear reader is the project that my husband is embarking on, and an admirable one it is to.  Converting used chip oil into fuel that will run our cars.  I'm all for it.  Considering he clocks up over 400 kilometres in a week traveling to work, petrol is a major household expense for us.  Estimates for biodiesel average out at about 30 cents a litre. That's a huge saving in anyone's language.

And I love the fact that you can turn a waste product into something useful, even if the smell of fish and chips does fire out your exhaust as you zoom past.

But of course, the downside is the slightly unattractive oil refinery sitting in your garden, large drums of goodness knows what, filters, sacks of chemicals and worst of all, piles of 20 litres drums of used chip oil.  We're talking the kind of yard that you speed past and don't make eye contact should you inadvertently stumble across it on a Sunday drive through the countryside.  Country Style won't be knocking on our door again anytime soon.

But, if it means that the car of my dreams in within grasp, then I'm ready to embrace the junkyard look.  The Land Rover Defender 110.  I realised this was the car for me whilst admiring Helen Mirren, playing the part of Queen Elizabeth, break an axle whilst driving across a stream at Balmoral.  But really, I think my love of the Landy stems from a childhood spent watching Daktari and Born Free, (which some may already note is a source of inspiration).

The mister grumbles as he pulls out the remains of straw bales embedded in my current car's upholstery.  Perhaps he can see there is some merit in an old knockabout Landy, given the treatment our current car gets carting straw, animal feed, mulch and muddy children.  I won't let the realities of expensive to buy, expensive to run and expensive to fix ruin my fun. Although it will be ages before we even start looking, we're trialling the biodiesel project for six months on one car first, at least it's on the cards.

In the meantime, I'll join up here and dream of piling the Landy with children, dogs, blankets and a thermos as we head off for country adventures.  My hand out the window, I will practice the royal wave as I drive past, leaving a plume of smelly fish and chip smoke in my wake.


  1. Oh Michelle. My dad is a hoarder and our yard was the one you described. And that house is on the leafy north shore of Sydney, amongst an ever growing upper class who would divert their eyes when passing. I know the fear! Lived it! But at least your mister will use the bits and pieces and hopefully save the planet. All the best with the landy aspirations. xx

  2. Daktari...ooooh...the memories
    Don't let anything spoil your fun Michelle

  3. I love the style you dream Michelle.
    My farmer boy once set up and ran a little bio diesel plant at the ATA at Ceres.
    Tell your boy he can call mine anytime if he ever wants to have a chat about it. xx

  4. Hi Michelle, check this Beastie out! mind you these ARE the car of choice for the National Front you know....!

  5. I love the old Land Rovers. We are about to buy a sparkly new Discovery but part of me thinks it would be lovely to have an old series one landrover with a windscreen that folds down and a roof that comes off.

    Good luck with the biofuel - it will put you off any fish and chip craving you have ever had.

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  6. Im sure there is one parked in the front garden of a house in Ranelagh. (On the main road through there). Ive never seen it move.

  7. That's freaking awesome. Who's to say Country Style wouldn't look past the oil refinery and straight to your awesome Land Rover?!

    1. Oh, and P.S. Way to negotiate! You should give lessons. {Can you give me lessons???}

  8. mine and Guys first car over 20 years ago....a series 3 landy troop carrier.
    not kidding.
    it was the best camping car ever.
    totes on same page sista.
    we are still looking for her replacement........