Chapter One – The Last Supper

On the final night before leaving Rodellar the 8 Apostles of SUSS sat down for their final meal (as I recall it was tuna pasta). The meal was eaten in the presence of the Messiah (also known as Glen’s 1994 Range Rover 300 TDI). It was on this most inauspicious of nights that The Range Rover turned to the ApoSUSSles and said (in a way that only the King of Kings would) “One of you will betray me tomorrow”. After the initial shock of a 21-year old vehicle speaking the ApoSUSSles each protested in turn that they would never betray a vehicle so Messianic in nature (and also, more importantly, our only way of getting back to the UK). The Range Rover only repeated itself, adding “the one who checks my coolant system will be the one to betray me”. Chalking the whole experience down to the heat and possibly a bit of off chorizo the ApoSUSSles went to bed without another thought.

Chapter Two – The Crucifixion

After a quick check of the coolant system by Judas Glen, the ApoSUSSles left Rodellar on their long and arduous journey back to the UK. We were all in high spirits but as with any long journey in a car owned by Glen there was that underlying feeling of the vehicle you are sitting in being completely buggered. 8km outside of Huesca an audible groan was heard from Glen, “the temperature gauge is going up” he said, “and it isn’t going down” he added, redundantly. Choosing to ignore the Messiah’s screams of agony Glen continued driving until we passed a fuel station, at which point the weight of the Crucifix chassis became too much for the Range Rover to bear, it slowed down to a gentle stop in a layby on a green hill far away (from the UK at least) just outside the city wall of Jerusalem Huesca. Glen let out a rather defeated sounding expletive, not befitting a follower of the Messiah, he got up and out of the vehicle into the blazing 42-degree midday sun and opened the bonnet. His face fell. In an instant Glen knew he was the one who had betrayed the Messiah, he had left the cap off the coolant tank when he checked it that very morning. It had lasted a tortuous 45 minutes of travel before dying of its wounds.

The ApoSUSSles and Range Rover remained together throughout taunts of passing Romans Spaniards and despite offerings of wine water to cool it down the Range Rover remained stoic in the hot sun until it was removed from the hill and proclaimed dead by the removal guy. Befitting Spanish tradition, the Messiah was immediately entombed in Calvary some garage in Huesca, with no visitors allowed.

Chapter Three – Intermediate State

The ApoSUSSles were devastated, they had no idea what to do. Helen had deserted them by now and was off in Barcelona, the rest were left depressed and alone in Huesca. Glen sought to make atonement for his betrayal by seeking out a new Messiah which we could drive back to the UK but alas it was not to be; Spanish infrastructure is not conducive to the purchasing of new deities cars if you are a foreigner. Numerous plans were formulated under the assumption that the Messiah was gone for good but none had any chance of seeing us home safely or indeed promptly. SUSS were buggered.

For three days and nights SUSS stayed at the Hostal Alfonso 1 with nothing to do but sit, wait and hope that the Range Rover would be able to be repaired. On two occasions the ApoSUSSles visited the site of the Messiah’s burial (Bosch Garage on the Huesca industrial estate) in the hopes that there would be a sign from God, or the mechanic, that everything was to be okay. With no burning bushes or immaculate conceptions to guide our way the mechanic merely gave us vague timeframes and nonspecific diagnoses.

As a last effort to repent their crimes against the Range Rover, the ApoSUSSles visited every church in Huesca, including the Cathedral where they lit every single candle on the prayer stand, this only served to anger the Cathedral’s clientele – but it seemed that The Lord had seen their prayers of desperation and soon an answer would be on the way.

Chapter Four – The Resurrection of The Messiah

Three days and three nights later, the ApoSUSSles lifted the boulder bonnet that housed the final resting place of the Range Rover’s engine to find there was no buggered gasket, but a shiny new one. The mechanic proclaimed that the engine had been fixable and had done The Lord’s work in fixing it. The Messiah had risen again; stronger, smoother and, more importantly, cooler than before. Keen to get off and out of the city of Huesca as soon as possible the ApoSUSSles had a quick ceremonial sacrifice of Creg’s sleeping bag for luck before setting off over the Pyrenees and into France.

The Messiah had no complaints throughout most of France, which just goes to show the sheer levels of divine patience held by his holey-ness – not many men can cover the length of France without complaint. However, even the Messiah’s patience has limits.

Chapter Five – The Doubting of St Leclerc

Upon passing the city of Boulogne-sur-mer which lies just 40km outside of Calais, the ApoSUSSles were convinced that they were home free, the Ascension was nigh and there was no worldly or otherworldly force that could stop them. However, after passing a toll booth the Messiah let out a groan, Glen echoed that groan stating that the temperature was once again increasing. They coasted downhill over 3km on no engine onto the grass verge beside a roundabout to assess the damage. The Messiah was leaking coolant. After struggling to start, the Range Rover was steered into a shopping car park where its resurrection was doubted by St Leclerc, the Patron Saint of French Hyperstores. Fortunately, the thing about French Hyperstores is that they sell bloody everything and the ApoSUSSles were able to convince St Leclerc the Doubter that the Messiah had truly been resurrected (by repairing the coolant system).

Chapter Six – The Ascension

 It was on the third day after the resurrection of the Messianic Range Rover that the Ascension to the UK took place. Despite the separation from St. Pedro during The Doubting, upon arrival at the port of Dunkerque it transpired that forces beyond their control had conspired to make the ApoSUSSles meet up once again – they started off 2km apart in the queue for the ferry but ended up parked a mere 3ft apart on the ferry of Ascension.

Due to various union strikes and droves of illegal immigrants attempting to storm the gates of Heaven Channel Tunnel there were lorries backed up literally as far as the eye could see. Fortunately as the ApoSUSSles had the foresight to book their passage to Heaven the UK and as such there was no question of their passage by St Peter HM Border Force, they breezed through the queue and onto the ferry. SUSS had made it home.

All contrived religious metaphors aside – big thanks to Glen (who will probably not read this) for getting us home, it may have cost you over €1000 but I’ll be damned if we didn’t manage it. Just make sure you sell the Range Rover before it gets knackered.