This time last year - in fact almost exactly this time last year - I wrote a eulogy to our mercedes, left broken and forlorn in a distant garage, unlikely to be repaired and unlikely to be in our lives again.
I was premature. Our old stalwart was needed (the batmobile in turn broke down and remained so throughout August as we waited for the garage mechanic to return from holiday). So the merc was repaired and has lived a somewhat sheltered life this last year, only used for short local journeys, mainly ferrying the dogs and an occasional plant.
But this cannot continue. Its "controle technique" (MOT) is due and it will not pass, even with repairs. So its time really has come. Taking it to the scrap yard doesn't feel right. So we've asked an English mechanic who repairs and restores old mercedes whether he can make use of our old brute and he says he can.
We were due to drive over there this morning. But the mercedes has other ideas. It won't start. The mechanic is coming round this afternoon. We shall see.