Peter Pickering - Words and Worlds Interwoven

The Jag, The Cops, and The Aussie Farewell

After my whirlwind romance with the MGB, my eyes started wandering. They landed on a metallic blue Jaguar Mk10 that could only be described as a vehicular beast—a car so stately it should've come with its own coat of arms. Alas, at £495, it was akin to courting royalty: lavish but financially catastrophic.

But fate had a silver lining—literally. There she was, a silver Jaguar 3.4 MkII with an interior dipped in red leather. This car was not just a set of wheels; it was a steely embodiment of rebellion. Manual transmission, perfect for those quick getaways—every bank robber's dream ride back in the day. And at £195, it was a steal (no pun intended) as they were £1,255 when new.

From the moment I clinched the deal, I felt like an utter boss, like I had won life's lottery. This car wasn't just fast; it was an eye magnet. Everywhere I drove, heads turned, almost choreographed by the sheer magnetism of the machine. Ah, and the smell—nothing says "Jaguar" like the olfactory cocktail of wood and leather.

The dashboard was another marvel, a sea of switches and dials so intricate it felt like I was piloting a fighter plane rather than driving a car. But oh, what a quirky dame she was. You see, this Jaguar had a peculiar thirst for oil. It seemed to guzzle the stuff faster than it did petrol. Every trip beyond 20 miles mandated a reserve of oil in the boot. She wasn't smoking, so the best diagnosis was an oil leak. But who had time to fix it? Before long, I was Aussie-bound.

Now, for the pièce de résistance—my last day in England before heading to the land Down Under. Picture this: me, pulled over by the police right on Stratford-upon-Avon's bustling high street. All doors flung wide open as they combed through my Jag. The crowd of onlookers might as well have been an audience at a Shakespearean tragedy—equal parts intrigue and schadenfreude.

What were they looking for? Drugs, of course. A young, long-haired hippie driving a Jag like that had to be a criminal mastermind, right? Either a drug dealer or the slickest bank robber this side of the River Avon. Fortunately, all they found was my stash of spare oil. Oh, the irony.

And so, with my dignity slightly frayed but mostly intact, I bid adieu to England and my beloved Jaguar, leaving behind tales worthy of a pub yarn or two. And even as I made my way to Australia, my heart remained in that driver's seat, gripping the wooden steering wheel, flicking the switches, forever chasing the open road and with a rogue cop or two in the rearview mirror.