THERE are times when everything comes together like a well-oiled machine, a piece of toast which refuses to land jam side down no matter how many times you drop it.
Those weeks when a soft-top like the MX5 is on test and suddenly we get summer, if only for a couple of hours.
And so it proved with the Skoda Superb 4x4 estate.
After a winter which could have been compared to the bottom of the Mariana Trench rather than a glacier along came Mr Chillibobs with a truly icy blast.
Which is just what you need to demonstrate the importance of a bit of AWD.
There is always a 4x4 in this household, currently two, largely because roads around here have been maintained by Martians and we live in a swamp. I have friends who find it easier to drive to the pub across their farmland than on what passes for Lancashire's lanes.
You see, to me 4x4 is not just aboutmountain goat abuse but an important safety consideration in ice, snow, wet and side winds.
So when our lane turned into the set of Dancing On Ice I was more than happy to send Mrs O out for a pint of milk and five Woodbines.
We are looking at the Sportline version here, a bit of a bargain at £36,495 when you weigh up what comes as standard. Yes, well there are no cheap and nasty Skodas any more so wind it in.
As a guide there are features like Alcantara sports seats with electric adjustment for Captain Kirk's side.
Other kit includes adaptive lights, privacy glass, leather steering wheel and drive mode selection.
For those with an interest in footwear there are 19-inch alloys with ant-theft bolts.
All this is put together with a quality and classy interior finish. Door panels are soft -touch, interior materials high-grade and comfort a major consideration.
The facia is dominated by a touch screen with all the expected electricals and a navigator with a centre console holding essential push buttons console. There is foot well lighting and keyless entry. Just for your convenience, you understand, along with Skoda Connect which keeps you in touch with the rest of the world and what's happening around you.
There's a rear parking camera, lane departure warning and blind spot detection. The auto baking, especially in reverse, will save many a scrape and bump.
I can hear the wheels of prejudice turning now. It's a Skoda estate therefore something for caravanning with people called Reginald.
Well that's not so.
The two-litre 270bhp TSI engine pushed this big car along at an impressive rate. 0-60mph arrives in 5.6 seconds, top speed is 155mph and yet 30mpg is well within reach via a seven-speed DSG gearbox.
No, I didn't make that last paragraph up.
Sportline models also come with a performance monitor which even gives a G-force reading so you know why your face just fell off.
Is it practical? And the rest.
The rear tailgate is foot operated and electric, beyond it like enough boot space to heard sheep. But I wouldn't because you would make a rather lovely car quite smelly. With the seats folded there is 1,950 litres of carrying capacity.
Leg room is excellent and there are plenty of storage areas including seat side pockets and boot hooks for shopping bags.
Out on the road this power is aided and abetted by a sport chassis with two-level stabilisation control. When you consider how big this car is it handles like a dream but gives of its best over long motorway hauls.
I am a great supporter of 4x4 estates over the ubiquitous crossover and when you consider what lineage the Skoda comes from you would be somewhat deluded to think a fancy badge on you bum is worth paying a premium for.