I’ve never really wanted an Aston Martin. No, that is a downright lie. Of course I’ve wanted an Aston Martin, just about ever since diamonds were forever; a DB5, DB7, DB9, a Vantage or even a Vanquish please, since that moment in Dr No back in 1964 when Sean pushes the James Bond’s ejector seat button and the evil henchman shoots up and out through the Aston’s roof, presumably to land very badly. One of those seats may have come in very useful this morning while I was driving and Al was on gate duty.
Press the red button. Kerpow!
‘You may as well, as you are now out in the street sitting on your arse beside the bloody thing.’
Today I need a Vantage or perhaps even a Vanquish, probably in burnished silver, with cream leather seats and the one with the 17 inch wheels. Why I hear you ask? He’s been away from Jan too long and needs to top up the sex appeal?
I bet it would work too. We are heading to Scourie across the North West Sutherland Moor in the far North West coast of Scotland and the A837 road is unbelievable great. It’s wide, by British standards, as smooth as silk and winds its way across Scourie Moor like a black ribbon, banking and sloping like a rally track, and I’ve got it all to myself. I’ve cranked up the car for the first time in ages and I love it. Richard Hammond would be been left gaping at my motoring skill as I throw it about like the Stig in a red Ferrari. Imagine how much more fabulous I’d have been had I had the gas-guzzling, roar-throated, mighty V12s under a Vanquish bonnet, sounding like a whole squadron of Merlin-powered Spitfires pounding away like a Dark Satanic Mill under the bonnet. Dar, dar, dar, dar, dut, dut, dut, dar…
Sutherland is always a place I’ve wanted to go, but I’m starting to wonder why. If Prince Charlie had thought Skye was the Devil’s country then surely Sutherland has been created by the God, Thor, on one of his bad tempered days, hammering the landscape with smote, malice and fire until it stuns you with its barrenness. It has literally been wrought from the rock of ages. The signs say it’s the work of glaciers of thousands of years, but I know better. Nature does not have this much imagination. Thor with his thunder and lightening bolts surely does. Not a tree grows, great, dark grey rocks litter the ground like fallen gravestones and the grass, where if once dared grow, in every shade of yellow and brown imaginable, is as dead as straw. Living, breathing mountains surround and dwarf you and around every bend lakes the size of your entire suburb reflect the mighty mist-covered peaks, reminding you that even though you may be riding very fast indeed in England’s coolest car, you do not matter very much at all. Thor may look down from Valhalla and smile benignly, this time, but be very aware that at any moment he can turn Sutherland into a landscape that kills you as dead as the rocks he has torn asunder. Creating this landscape wasn’t for the benefit of one foolhardy tourist who wants to keep stopping in the middle of all the fastest bits to fill his camera’s sensor with shots of not another bloody reflecting lake. I don’t why Al still bothers as I took the best shot at the very beginning of the A837 anyway. Now where’s that red button for the ejector seat again? Or the rocket launcher. That’d fix the snap happy bugger.