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Miss Daisy Goes on TV

We roll into Llandeilo ahead of time.  ‘Gosh Old Girl, well done.  New engine eh?

We don’t have to wait long for the others to arrive.  I am relieved to see that The Nice Mister Arthur is among them.  Perhaps we’ll stand a chance of making it now.

‘Okay, where’s the TV crew then?’  The Nice Mister Arthur strolls over.

‘They said ten o’clock,’ Her Ladyship replies checking her makeup.  ‘They said they’ll need us for about thirty minutes and then follow us a bit of the way north.’

‘Well as long as it’s only thirty minutes.  The forecast’s not good and we need to make it to Cheshire today.’  The Nice Mister Arthur turns to spot an estate car pulling into the car park.  ‘Is that them?’

The car pulls alongside us and one man gets out.  I think he must be the reporter.  The other man stays in the car to fiddle with his equipment.

‘Are you really serious about taking these old things all the way to John O’Groats and back?’ 

I bristle at that remark, as do my relatives.  Her Ladyship seems offended too.

‘We’ll do our best,’ she replies curtly.  The second man is now setting up his camera.

‘Right, I’ll talk to you first and then to a couple of the others.  After that, we’ll do some action filming as you head towards Builth.’

‘Hang on Frank, can I just get a few close ups of the interior and the engine before we start?’

‘Yup, okay.  I’ll have chat with some of the others while you do that.’  He turns to Her Ladyship.  ‘Perhaps you could introduce me?’

‘Delighted to.’  Her Ladyship wanders off with the man called Frank while the cameraman proceeds to film his close-ups of me. I sense that The Asthmatic Barking Dog has woken up and is taking an interest in the proceedings.  I wouldn’t open my door if I were you Mister Cameraman.  A deep rumble emanates from my rear seat.  The rumble morphs into a long, low, deep growl.

‘Hello doggy, doggy, doggy, doggy.’  There was a distinct nervousness in that cameraman’s voice.  ‘Hello doggy, nice doggy, you will let me take a few shots won’t you?’ 

Oh dear, that really wasn’t the right thing to say.

‘Grrrrrrrrr... arf, arf, arf, arf.’ 

The cameraman quickly withdraws himself from my interior, but not before The Asthmatic Barking Dog manages to clamp its teeth firmly around a furry protuberance sticking out from the front of his equipment.  A tug of war ensues as the cameraman attempts to pull it free from my interior with Asthmatic Barking Dog stretching every sinew of his body to hang on to his furry prize.  Then with a supreme effort and much grunting, he manages to haul the camera back inside again with a progressively angry cameraman also clinging on for dear life.

‘Dog!  Put that down, NOW, give it back. You bad dog.’  Her Ladyship returns, she’s looking very angry.  But as I have learnt, she has absolutely no influence over the Asthmatic Barking Dog when he is having fun. 

‘Let go!  Drop it!’  She grabs the camera as well and with the cameraman manages finally to haul the camera out through my open side screen with Asthmatic Barking Dog hanging determinedly from the furry protrusion.  Madam proceeds to remove Asthmatic Barking Dog reluctantly from his new found friend.  Tossing him back onto the rear seat and slamming the door, she turns to the cameraman, who is checking his equipment.

By now the others have joined us, obviously intrigued by the events that have been unfolding.

‘It’s alright.  It’s fine.  Can we get on now?’

‘Yes, let’s,’ said the man called Frank.  ‘We need to get this piece back to base and you need to make it through to Cheshire.’

  Her Ladyship gathers herself and glances in my wing mirror to check how she’s looking.  And that’s pretty awful if you ask me, and her hair is all over the place.  She makes her best effort to improve her appearance.  Not very successfully I am afraid.

‘I think we’ll have you standing here by the bonnet.  There, yes that’s fine.’  He turns to the man with the camera.  ‘Are we rolling?’  The man nods.

‘Can you tell me first of all, why on earth would you want to drive these beautiful old cars on a galling trip like this?’  Her Ladyship ponders the question for a moment.

‘I’d like to say because it’s there.  But it’s more than that, it’s a challenge.  Anyway, I’ve never been to Scotland before.’  I don’t think that was the answer he wanted.

‘But you have no heaters and these cars don’t look that comfortable.  And surely at eighty odd years old, you are asking for a load of mechanical breakdowns.’

‘So we wrap ourselves up well, carry plenty of spare parts and a tool kit.  Tell you what though,’ she leans towards the man called Frank.  ‘The chaps on these runs just love it when the cars break down.  But I think perhaps it’s the good old British spirit of adventure, the Dunkirk spirit if you like.’ 

The reporter glances at the cameraman who looks back and raises his eyebrows.  Her Ladyship ploughs on.

‘You climb into the car, start the engine, sit back and think of the Empire.’  What on earth is she on about now?  The reporter seems to have lost faith in the dippy old wrinklie that he is facing and is about to stop her.  But she’s in full flow.

‘Every time we take one of these cars out, we really never know whether it will get us home at the end of the day.  This time it isn’t a short run, but eight days of solid driving, doing around two hundred and fifty miles every day.  That’s the excitement of it all, especially when you consider that I suffer from haemorrhoids.  They are murder at the best of times.’ 

The man called Frank glances at his colleague with a look that asks, where the hell are we going with this?  He turns back to Her Ladyship.

‘Umm, yes, well, umm.  What will you do if you break down permanently?’

‘We call the rescue service and they’ll take us home.  What do you think we do?’ 

The man interviewing is shaking his head now.  He’s terrified that Madam will raise another issue relating to her anatomy.  She’s just not delivered anything he wanted.

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