The Fearless Earl And The Honey Badger
The Precious Prince has been on safari, but that’s a story for another day. While he’s been gallivanting all over the Kingdom and beyond the faithful Earl and his troop of knaves have worked tirelessly, not letting up with their determined efforts to complete the task at hand.
Things are running smoothly and much progress has been made with the conversion of the Prince’s carriage, the famous Honey Badger.
To honour the Earl, who has undertaken the huge task the Prince and Princess thought it only fitting that their new fluffy stuffed toy, a handsome Honey Badger, all the way from that faraway land called the US of A should be named EARL, and once they hit the road on their long overland adventure they’ll be sure to include fluffy Earl in their photographs as he’ll be accompanying them wherever they go.
The Honey Badger has been badgered and not a screw has been left unturned. To date the following has been done:
• An entry from the cab to the living quarters has been made
• The existing windows have been removed and boarded up awaiting new windows
• The entire “box” has been sandblasted to remove rust
• Undercoat has been applied
• A Spare wheel carrier has been made for two spare wheels, and a winch installed
• A partition at the rear of the “box” was removed to create more space
• The rear door was removed and all joins and seams securely welded to make it dust proof.
• The box was removed and the chassis was sand-blasted, rust-proofed and sprayed
• A Water tank has been kindly donated by Capt Cook, the Fisherman and once owner of a Shark cage diving company, and being made to fit.
• Fuel tanks have been checked
• Rear of the box was refashioned to improve the angle of departure
• The new roof for the heightened cab has been designed, built, and will be fitted shortly so that the Prince can go flying along the highways and byways with reduced wind resistance.
• Lockers have been made for secure storage of photographic equipment within the space created by the “wind-foil”.
For convenience and to complete a major part of the engineering the Honey Badger has been moved from M&N Bakwerke where it stayed very comfortably. Thank you Basil for allowing our pride and joy to camp out on your property, we really appreciate your practical advice and the enthusiasm you showed for the project.
The galant Earl, who is a charmer, did not waste any time in locating the perfect spot for the engineering to be done, all he had to do was present his dilemma to the good, kind, fiery but friendly Faerie Godmother, Hanli (who is actually the chief-in-charge) at Boland Engineering. Without missing a heartbeat, (while she had problems of her own, their computers had crashed) she said “YES” and the Honey Badger, without any relevant paperwork, was driven off by the eager Earl to its new locale just 500 meters down the road.
The entrance to the Fortress Gate at Boland Engineering, although high, wasn’t nearly high enough for the Badger to enter the new facility, we thought of every possible trick in the book, even letting the air out of the tyres, but to no avail, the entrance was too small! “No matter” the Fairy Godmother said good-naturedly,” we’ll have a new garage ready in wink”. And that dear readers is where it’s parked.
Reassembling the box to the chassis wasn’t an easy task, much head scratching was done, but the very capable forklift driver quickly took matters into his own hands, lifted it and placed it almost spot on, and then Earl did the final perfect placement by using his own 4X4 Pajero and a tow rope to sort matters out.
We’ve met many of the very talented and highly skilled artisans drilling, welding and tinkering away at this most fascinating factory, where farmers in the district bring their tractors, harvesting machines, digger loaders and earth moving equipment to be serviced, repaired or adapted.
It is only on a continent like Africa that one will frequently see the most innovative forms of transport and it was while on Safari that the Precious Prince and Prim Princess looked out for similar vehicles and chatted to a few campers with “African Safari” on their bucket lists. This sort of adventure seems to thrill “older, more mature” folk plus a few very enthusiastic petrol heads from the Netherlands ( Willibrord Voets) who have a yen to travel to far and distant shores. Of course they also met and chatted to Zimbabweans who couldn’t be happier in anything other than their mule carts or ox-wagons and one special vintage Toyota, those workhorses which opened Africa to Land Rover! P.S the P.P hugged his most darling Landcruiser, a trusty steed when it clocked 500 000km as they entered De Doorns just before arriving home again.
After spending 3 fabulous weeks away, the Precious Prince's days at the "office thinking" under the huge tree on the banks of the Zambezi or swaying in his hammock with Jack Reacher drew to a close. The royal couple returned to their pride and joy with much anticipation. They weren’t disappointed. The nights lying awake listening to the call of the wild and dreaming of his Honey Badger paid off, the Precious Prince was simply delighted and hasn’t stopped smiling since. Things are looking up.
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