The Tinkerer
Land Rover Owner|February 2018

Banished from practising his famous tinkering skills in the Christmas Day kitchen, Jerry found the perfect way to keep out of everybody’s way until the turkey was ready

Jerry Thurston

By the time you read this, Christmas Day will have been and gone – a month of endless build-up that subjects us to irritating adverts and the same dozen Christmas songs played incessantly on a loop. All for one day.

Actually, I used to look forward to the Big Day even more than usual when I had my beloved Series IIA, because it gave me the perfect way to spend the 25th.

I’m an inveterate tinkerer. I have a need to fiddle and improve – a trait that unfortunately extends to the kitchen. Now, for 364 days of the year this is tolerated; but when it comes to prepping Christmas dinner, enough is enough. I’m invariably chased out for ‘taking over’, getting under people’s feet or both.

So, rather than watching cheesy telly programmes and not really wanting to take refuge in the workshop (where I have the tendency to get stuck into a job, and even I realise it’s not the done thing to come in for lunch filthy or reeking of stale fuel), I eventually decided that a Christmas Day drive would get me out of the way and provide an hour or two of enjoyment before getting stuck into the turkey and sherry.

Natty flying helmet

So, for several years, it became my custom to open the bonnet of the IIA, check the oil and water, then slosh a drop of fresh petrol into the tank. If it wasn’t raining I’d even roll the tilt up before setting off for a few dozen miles to set me up for the afternoon’s festivities.

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