Seems much less than a year since I went to south Wales to buy M304VEJ, my Land Rover Defender 300tdi, but 12 months must have passed because the MOT has expired and the insurance renewal has dropped through the letter box. It quickly proved to be a useful addition to the fleet.

The Land Rover has transported several loads of firewood with its Sankey trailer, towed stranded cars out of ditches, battled its way through snow which rendered our village all but isolated and has been pressed into occasional service as daily transport while other cars have been sick.

I'm hoping it will go through its MOT without too much trouble. The important bits – chassis condition, brakes, suspension, steering – seem in good condition. Intermittent rear lights were fixed simply by removing the bulbs and cleaning the contacts. The only other issue, which I spotted when I was giving it a well-deserved wash (above) is that the windscreen wiper rubbers are falling apart, but that's easily fixed.

Less easy, perhaps, might be to solve one problem which has recently manifested itself: occasionally the starter doesn't turn on the key, suggested perhaps a geriatric starter solenoid. I'll let the garage which does the MOT test take a look at that.