Island Life Magazine Ltd December 2008/January 2009 - Page 56

life INTERVIEW Reality hits back Nick and Carolyn Pointing had converted a 1973 Land Rover into a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang replica. We left them being wooed by the media in Turkey, but they almost didn’t get that far, finds Roz Whistance. Two people, one fantasy car on one adventure of a lifetime – and two separate stories. From the start, Carolyn Pointing, a police officer, shared with her husband Nick the aching passion to buy the right car to convert. They both spent hour upon filthy hour sanding and scraping the Landrover in the freezing workshop. But their stories remain very much “his n hers”. Anyone who can’t bear a bit of gender stereotyping should look away now. “We’d decided to take a detour through Germany to see the castle where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was filmed – we couldn’t miss that!” says Carolyn. “Then we went up through Italy, which was so beautiful, it was one of the highlights of the trip. The only frustration was we had no money for shopping.” Nick mentioned nothing about wasted shopping opportunities in Lake Garda, and in his version the next noteworthy problem, when they reached Greece, was Chitty’s oil indicating light. “It means the oil pressure’s gone and you’ve got to stop. Real disaster stuff.” They found a garage and broke camp 56 early the next day to take the car in. It was when everything was packed and Nick was pulling the bungee across that a real disaster happened. The bungee snapped and recoiled straight into his eye. “He was on the floor yelling in pain, clutching his eye. I could see blood pouring through his fingers and when he took his hand away I could see a lump of flesh on his nose,” said Carolyn. Amazingly she had noticed a hospital as they’d arrived in the town, but despite his sight being in the balance Nick insisted on taking Chitty to the garage first. “The service was unbelieveable.” This is Carolyn talking about Nick’s treatment, but it might just as well be Nick talking about Chitty’s bit of tlc. While Chitty was just suffering from a case of dodgy wiring, though, Nick had gouged a piece of flesh from the white of his eye, and though it was not a threat to his sight he was in severe pain for several days. “He just lay with his head in my lap as I drove along,” says Carolyn, “like a puppy.” The couple also recall different events when they crossed into Turkey. Nick revelled in the friendliness and curiosity of locals as described in the previous Issue. Carolyn’s memory is more practical. “Istanbul was not as I’d imagined it, and it was a real low point of our trip. The weather was wet, and our bedding got soaked. The recommended camp site turned out to be a concrete forecourt on a garage. Luckily our tents go up on concrete.” They persuaded the owner to let them use a cattle shed with a corrugated tin roof and Carolyn managed to find a men’s toilet block which had a huge sink with hot running water. “I was there scrubbing our clothes when a man came in to use the urinal. I didn’t know where to put myself.” Nick had described northern Turkey as “another planet”, and Carolyn’s views were not dissimilar. “Because of the time of year many camp sites had closed. We ended up camping in the mountains, where it was as spooky as you like. You were woken in the night by howls – your imagination ran riot.” Moving on towards the Iranian border they were surprised by the sheer presence of the military. Soldiers with rocket launchers and tanks constantly overtook them: Chitty likes The Island's new funky radio station