- After kitchen exploits, Focus ST tackles garden
- British Summertime helps Tangerine Scream paint stand out
- Trip to haunted caves sees Ford fulfil family duties
Easter’s a time for the outdoors; the flowers are starting to flourish, the clocks jump forward and the sun’s out longer. So after the Focus’ last load-lugging trip full of kitchen apparel, I decided it was high time I tested it with some unwanted outdoor kit.
The shed in our garden has been doing its level best to well, level itself, ever since we moved in to the place. But this last Bank Holiday weekend we decided enough was enough; it was time to lend a helping hand.
It certainly didn’t take much effort to reinstate its flat-pack status, but one thing I didn’t expect was for the estate's load bay to refuse the full-length panels. With the seats folded the boot was about 30mm too short for them to fit with the tailgate closed.
Still, some sawing later the Ford swallowed the structure – glass, roof and floor – in a couple of loads. Clearly on a roll we decided to tackle the rickety old fence hiding behind it, and again the ST was dispatched to the local refuse site, wooden cargo in tow.
A none too shabby effort, which is more than could be said for the interior; the cabin bearing the remnants of these garden exploits. A wipe over with some upholstery cleaner and a hoovering later, the carpets and part-leather seats were looking showroom fresh once again.
Now the car was suitable for human occupation, I’d like to say I treated it to the same quality Bank Holiday R&R that I was planning to enjoy – a fast cross country blast enjoying this rapid estate’s other key quality. However a weekend long visit from family member who’s a nervous traveller put paid to that.
To console myself I’d reasoned the enforced period of calm would pay dividends with the car’s fuel consumption. But despite the onset of British Summer time, the cold weather’s numerous morning defrosts and short refuse site runs played their part in the 29.3mpg average too.
Incidentally changing the time in the Focus couldn’t be simpler – the clock button atop the Sony stereo meaning there’s no complicated menu navigation required.
The ST then played taxi for a trip out for dinner on the Saturday, followed by making a visit to the curiously named Hell-Fire caves the day after. Three hundred feet under West Wycombe hill, the caves – a series of chambers and tunnels – were originally mined in the 1740s for chalk used in the construction of the road to High Wycombe.
Later they were extended by Sir Francis Dashwood to play host to various parties and differing levels of debauchery for his Hell-fire club revellers. As you’d expect, this newly invigorated tourist attraction is also said to be haunted.
We didn’t experience any paranormal activity - well not inside - but the Focus ST does a good enough job of quickening my pulse anyway thanks to its punchy power delivery and writhing steering wheel. In fact, the aptly named Tangerine Scream paint sets my heart racing standing still as well.
Personally I think it looks great. With the proviso that the sun is shining though, as if the sky’s dull then so is the paint. In bright sunlight the paint's just another one of the many reasons this Ford Focus ST estate has got under my skin in recent weeks.
Unfortunately though it goes back to meet its maker soon, but I’ve promised myself I’ll shock my other senses with just how capable this fast car – estate body or not – really is by the time the keys are prised from my grasp.
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This, fits into...
.. the Focus ST estate's boot!
Tangerine Scream paint looks great in sunlight
Clock in Ford Focus ST is refreshingly easy to reset
Total mileage: 11,379 miles
Average mpg: 29.3mpg