The following is a cautionary tale, illustrating the perils of impetuousness mixed with red wine and laughter.
In October last year, just before leaving for Mali, I had dinner with my old pal Stirling. The wine and conversation flowed,and so did our ideas, as always when I am with him. 'Why are you flying to Mali?' he asked.'Why don't you drive out, through the Sahara?' 'Well, Stirling, for a start I don't actually have a driving licence, and secondly I don't have a car', I replied.'That's no problem' said Stirling. 'We could go out together, I'll drive if you get the car'.
So, the following morning I bought a Landrover on ebay for £3400 before I even had time to wake up properly. Then I called Stirling.... 'Are you MAD?!!!' Well, yes, possibly, but you DID say..., don't you remember?'
To his credit he did agree to come with me after a moment's grumpiness and hesitation, and we were set to go. But since I have never owned a car before I had no idea of all the red tape one has to wade through. I thought we could more or less jump in the thing and head south immediately, but found myself in a most infurianting and frustrating soup involving insurance papers, carnets, export licences- bref-since it looked like it was going to take a month or so minimum to sort out I jumped on a plane, having left the Landrover in the hands of my friend and lawyer Alan, who kindly brought it over to FRANCE since there is scant parking for Landrovers in London and noone was willing or indeed able to look after it for me.
And now I am back again and has to sell the blasted thing. Dear Alan has brought it back from Pas de Calais again, and it is nestled on the Hackney forecourt of my friends Daisy and Francois' place: bless them!
The ebay auction is hotting up: the last bid is at £1420, there are 12 hours 12min and 29 seconds left of the auction. (check Item number: 320112613037)I will lose LOTS of money on it no doubt, but have to get rid of it...will keep you posted..