Monday, 27 July 2015

During all the excitement..

I forgot all about my new little toy.

For my 40th, I decided, in a midlife crisis type of way, I needed a new commuting tool. After checking out some of the online reviews on small bikes, and knowing that the old '93 Ducati Monster does not like commuting that much, I had managed to narrow the choice of motorcycles to four.

They were all Kawasaki's. The Z250 and Ninja 250SL, or the Z300 or Ninja 300. After one trip to P&H Motorcycles, my mind was made up. I did actually like the look of the Ninja 250SL. Luckily for me, P&H only had a white Ninja in stock, and being a fussy person, Kawasaki's only come in green (in my head!).

After a couple of weeks of pondering, I decided on a road trip to On Yer Bike, near Aylesbury. After thirty minutes, I had signed the paperwork to buy a brand new, Ninja 250SL, in lime green of course!.

A week later, and I was back at On Yer Bike, this time with the work van. I just had to sign my life away a couple of times, pay for the extras I had ordered and buy a couple of t-shirts from the clothing shop. Job done.

The little bike is ready and waiting for me.

Time to get the ramp out of the van, set out the straps and get the little bike loaded. This was going to be one of my longest and carefullest drives home ever! There was a very precious cargo loaded on board. After bouncing along the country roads, back to the M40, I decided it would be a good idea to have a break at Beaconsfield Services. It was a good job I did! Two of the straps had worked loose! A thorough check and re-tighten of the straps and it was back on the road again.

You better not move anymore!

Secured again!

Finally, I got home with my new toy. It felt like I was driving forever. Well, ok, more like 40 minutes, but it was a tough drive home. The little Ninja was offloaded, the van parked up for the rest of the day. It was time to dig out my leathers. The first ride was interesting. As this was a brand new bike, it needed running in. 6000rpm was the limit for the first 600 miles. I was on a half powered sewing machine! Well, compared to the 904cc Ducati Monster, it felt like it. The new little Ninja coped with 60mph on the dual carriageways, happily bounced along the country lanes, and even run some good MPG's!

Now, I've had the Ninja for two months. The first service has been done, the bike is all broken in. I've fitted a tail tidy (it was required!), the additional extras arrived from Kawasaki, a pillion seat cover, swinging arm bobbins and tinted screen, have finally been fitted. 

It's all in the size

The updated MiLF. Yes, that is her name now.

The good points; Well, it's cheaper to do the commute to work, from Walton on Thames to Hayes, Middlesex. So far, the fuel saving is about £80. It's quicker to get to work. The car travelling time would vary between 45 minutes up to 2 hours! The little green bike can handle the run in about 35 minutes (on a bad day!). It's bright green, that is a good point!

The bad points; Well, it's a motorbike, so it's rubbish in the rain. If it is slightly windy out on the roads, the poor bike does suffer from a lot of buffeting! I never had that issue on the Monster. It sounds like a sewing machine, but an Akropovic exhaust will cure that.

Other than that, she is a fun little bike, and the third Kawasaki I have owned. I hope she lasts longer in my possession than previous two!

Take three Kawasaki's, add one Loon...

We all start somewhere.

It was Saturday afternoon, 24 January 2015. I had just bought a pair of Mizuno trainers, with moulded insoles from my local sports shop. After a family lunch at the local Harvester, I just decided "I'm going for a run".

That evening, I disappeared out of the flat, dressed in a Batman hoodie, baggy tracksuit bottoms, my very clean new trainers and some gloves. It was freezing! Laura, the Couch to 5k plan voice, was rabbiting away on my iPod, I was listening to her instructions and I disappeared along the Thames towpath. 2.97k and 26 minutes later, I was a sweaty mess. I had fallen down a pot hole, I got wet as it had started to rain, and I was thoroughly miserable! This first run did not persuade me to give up though.

My first Couch to 5k run. God it was cold, wet and painful!

Fast forward six months, through the Couch to 5k plan, 17 parkruns, and lots of training runs around the local area, I stupidly (I do still think that) booked a place for running the Elmbridge Road Runners 10k race.At school I hated long distance running. 400m or 800m was my limit. Anything above those distances was suicide for my little legs. Even though I would cycle everywhere, play football and even walk around London, back when I was a teenager! 10000m! What am I doing??

Saturday 25 July 2015, I got myself organised. All my running gear laid out, then an early night. For a change, I had a good nights sleep. I woke up at 530am, and promptly decided that it was too early to get out of bed. After I got bored of watching the BBC News channel, I finally sorted myself out, and left the flat at 8am, for the short 10 minute walk to the Xcel Leisure Centre in Walton.

Did I feel out of place or what?? The indoor bowling green hall was full of those professional running types. They were all doing their stretches and warm ups around the hall. I sheepishly joined the queue to collect my running bib and timing chip. Once I was given the envelope, I found a quiet corner to sit down in, and just concentrate on breathing. That was an interesting concept, whilst the other runners were stretching, running on the spot, or just kicking their legs up in the air, I must have looked like a sea of serenity, sitting on the floor and just breathing. I was in my zone. A little place of zen for me to contemplate the race ahead.

The five minute warning sounded, and off we all went to the start funnel. A few smiles and pleasantries exchanged with the fellow competitors, and then the klaxon sounded. Off we went for the 10k race, at a very slow walk... Finally, the queue of runners broke into a jog, and by the first bend, we were all going at our race paces.

What I had told the voices in my head (there are a lot of voices in my head) that we were just doing two parkruns, just back to back. The first 5k was the Horsham parkrun, which has a few gradients, and I've managed to run Horsham parkrun at about a 6 minute per km pace, which is the time I had decided on. My legs were feeling a bit stiff in the first couple of kilometres, and I was following a lady, whose legs were bigger and more muscular than mine! And she was in her 60's!! I just tagged onto the back of her, and used her as my (not that she knew) pacer.

There was a makeshift water stop at the 5k marker, then the official water stop at 6k, which I made use of both . Even though most of the water from the cups ended up on my head, chest or floor! After the second water stop, I told the voices in my head we were now running the Bedfont Lakes parkrun, my home parkrun! If I could keep up the pace (27:16 my PB at Bedfont) of that parkrun, I would be back to the finish line in under an hour! At 7k, everything felt good, I was running fine, my breathing was still controlled, I wasn't feeling tired, my legs had finally loosened up, and not a stitch in sight! I decided to start upping the tempo. 8 to 9k was a good pace, then I had just got past Sunbury Lock and the voice in my head shouted, "just go for it!".

That was it, my fastest ever time for 1 kilometre! It just happened to be the final kilometre of a 10k race! Six months before, I thought I was going to die on this part of the course, now I was at full race pace (for me), heading along the final stretch to the finish line. I got back to the start / finish gazebo, I spotted the timer out of the corner of my eye, it had just clicked over to 55:20. I nearly passed out! My goal was to finish in about an hour, but I had managed 55 minutes for 10k. Shocked was an understatement!

Elmbridge Road Runners 10k 2015. It was also wet, but not as cold!

One shiny medal to start my collection.

Split times via Strava

Official times up on the board

After a good warm down session, of walking round in circles, some fluids replaced and some expelled, I spotted a few familiar faces from the Bedfont Lakes parkrun. I said hi, and congratulations on reaching 250 parkruns, to Carol Patton,  which I got the reply from John Patton "I passed you at about 7k, then at 9k you come past me like a loon, at full sprint!" How I managed to get to full sprint, that late in the race I do not know! After showing John my trainers, which have my nickname on them, Loon, I went over to the hall again, and stayed for the awards presentation.

The Loon boots.

Outside, the rain was coming down hard, and I decided to run home, with my medal bouncing around and my number 21 running bib still on. A few of the anglers gave me some strange looks, but I didn't care, I had just finished my first 10k race!

No doubt, this will be continued!!

One medal a month will do!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

The final curtain of the forth decade

So, really from 2010 onwards, I've become a taxi driving, non bike riding general manager. The Jagaur X-Type was replaced with the MINI One in September 2011, as my mother stated "the Jaguar is too big for you!" So, from one extreme to the other!

Out with the odl Jaaaaag, in with the new Dinky

Since then, it has been a MINI adventure. I joined the Surrey New MINI owners club, have done three London to Brighton Mini runs, and lots of other shows up and down the country. It's been great fun, but this year I have been a bit quiet on the car show scene.

Work is still going strong, I have a good team around me. Who somehow have stuck with me, even when we've had a lot of shit to put up with!

New friends have come, old friends have been on adventures and returned!

At times, I think my life is stuck, or just been placed on hold. My mum likes to point out that the only time she gets out of the flat is with me on a Saturday. I try to keep getting her out every weekend for her shopping trip to Marks & Spencer, somewhere in the country.

Just before Christmas 2014 we received the sad news that my aunt passed away from cancer, That was very upsetting, especially for my mum, as it was her youngest sister. 64 is too young. We now try and have a family gathering every month or so, just to get everyone together for a good old gossip over a meal. It's fun, and it gets us out for an adventure somewhere.

Now I'm half way through 2015. I started running just to lose some weight back in January, and after 11kgs, and now 11 parkruns, I'm still enjoying it!  Long may the running continue.

New plans for the rest of the year... Well, Sunday I pick up my new toy.

2005, my 30th birthday, I got an Aprilia 125cc, 2015, my 40th birthday, I've just bought a Kawasaki Ninja 250. I hope to be collecting it on Sunday! So, in ten years, I've managed to double the engine capacity of the bikes I buy near my birthday!!

To my friends I have meet over the last ten years, Malcolm, Kay,and the others, it's been a fun roller coaster, and long may it continue! The world of Loon is never quiet!! Especially if the Monster is working!!

Cars in a bike dealers forecourt?? It must be raining!

10 years in the planning stage

This was finally confirm in Febrauary 2010, He was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus, A non smoking, tea drinking had cancer. He hadn't eaten since Boking Day 2009! It was now February 2010. His weight had plummeted. He was coughing up blood, and he would not go to the doctors. It took my mother and myself to finally get to see our GP, who decided he needed to come in for a blood test. The news came whilst I was replacing the seats in the Eunos. I had the drivers seat out when the old man phoned.

"Your the first person I'm going to tell, I've got cancer. I'm going to make it to my birthday, and see what happens."

I didn't move, I couldn't think. It hit me..... I had to finish putting the car back together to get home. I did, and for the next two months I was getting him to hospital and doctors appointments. Then one evening, he was in bed, and decided at midnight to start sorting out his clothes in the wardrobe. Clothes spread all around the bedroom and on the bed. He just made a mess. My mum was shouting at him, and she went off and left him on his own! I walked in, looked  and just said "why?"

I went to bed, knowing I had a busy day at work the nest day, but the ambulance was coming to take him to Guildford hospital in the morning to start his treatment. It didn't get that far. At about 5am, I was woken up by the front door closing. I checked round the flat, and noticed the old man had gone. I woke my mum, told her, I got dress, and thought he couldn't have got far. He had managed to get out of the flat, found a shopping trolley, and luckily (or unluckily), a pot hole had stopped his 'escape'. The trolley was on it's side in the road, he was sitting on the pavement. I noticed a carrier bag, grabbed it, and saw it was all the bank statements, insurance documents, everything that should be in the flat, in the bag. He kept shouting at me he was going to call the police, and I called an ambulance. Whilst waiting, he did not know who I was, and just kept saying "I've got to get to the hospital!"

The paramedics arrived, lifted him up and brought him back into the flat! He was not in a fit state to come back to the flat, he needed hospital treatment! After I got fobbed off by the NHS helpline and the paramedics, I got him into his car, and drove him to A&E at St Peter's. This was the start of the rubbish. Doctors telling me there is nothing wrong with him, that I should take him home. Ok, explain to me how my step dad does not know who I am, won't listen to the doctors or won't even eat is going to cope at home! Finally, at 5 hours in St Peter's Hospital, I managed to get him to Guildford hospital, who found him a bed on the cancer ward.

Every evening after work I visited him, and every night we talked. The family came down to see him, but he was getting worse. He was being given solid foods, even though there was 'nil by mouth' written on his board. Finally, he collapsed whilst trying to go to the toilet, and that was the start of the end. Now bed ridden. On one visit I was given a bag containing his rings, as they had fallen from his fingers.

He was true to his word, he made it to 19th April 2010, his 76th birthday. The family came down and wish him the best, but we all knew it wouldn't be long. My step brother was speaking to him when I left to come home. I came back for the evening visiting hour, but the old man ignored me. Finally, after 20 minutes he just told me to "fuck off!, we've got nothing in common! Why do you bother coming here!". That was the final words he said to me...

RIP Dave Morl

Friends and family came to the funeral. It was a good service, but I can think of a few things that pissed me off. Why was I the only one to speak of his life?  There were others in the chapel that knew him a lot longer than me! To my friends that came, I thank you, it meant a lot to me.

That was my 2010. After April, I put everything in to keeping my mum sane! That's hard work, as she's more of a loon than me! The Monster was back on the road two weeks after the funeral, but was not getting used as much. Fine, it did manage to chew up it's own clutch near Wm Snells in Alton. But she was back! 2010 finished with me selling the Eunos, probably the best car I have owned, well the most fun anyway!

I bought a Jag. 1; to annoy the old man, as he always wanted one, and two, it was nice and comfy for my mum, who was getting ready for a hip replacement operation.

One thing we have noticed since the passing of the old man, we have more money in our pockets! We know why that is....

10 years in the making

So, 2007, the year of the Italian Nut! A Ducati Monster 900, and god I always wanted one. From the first time I saw the pictures back in 1992, I knew I had to have the Monster. I had always put off buying one, as being a Ducati and Italian, it would be temperamental and expensive. How right I was!!

The usual view of the Monster for at least the first five months of 2007

Or just waiting outside Rosso Corse for them to open!

It was good, just to go from my friends in Chelsea, across London, drop the bike off at the garage, and pick it up a few days later. Of course, after parting with a fair amount of my monthly salary.... So, what did I do, apart from having an Italian bike a wonderful Italian friend, I bought an Alfa Romeo at the end of 2007..... That buggered it up! If I thought the Ducati was expensive, well I was even more skint after getting the Alfa!

Ah, the Alfa GTV.

The photography was going quiet. The wasn't a lot of money coming from the motocross pictures. I was spending more on fuel to get there, and then on food! So, I decided to quit the early Sunday morning adventures, and decided the Monster was the way to go. It took a while to get there, but I did by June 2007! A few summer adventures, two up (the first time with a pillion since the mid 90's!), and it was fun!

This was also my final year of having a holiday! Even though I don't enjoy holidays, this was a good one. This was the reason for buying the Monster! Isle of Wight for two weeks. 1400 miles covered on the Monster, and it only broke the speedo cable! As for the old mans Peugeot, will that leaked water all the way round the island!! It was a fun two weeks, meeting the local 'mad' bikers (local knowledge is the key though), heading off into the unknown, and waking up all the island with the twin Viper cans! And not forgetting the rain, I think it rained for most of the two weeks! Soggy bike gear all the time. But the Monster worked through out.

Work was still much the same, same stuff, same hours, same people!

2008, now this was a game changer year! It started off crappy, it went down hill, and by the end, I was in a bad mood!

The Alfa is dead...

Nine month of Alfa ownership, and she died. The electrics went pop! A melted fuse box, caused by dodgy wiring to the rear heated screen and the radiator had a big hole  in it. I gave up with it. I was back in Walton, and everything was wonderful... Nearly. The Monster spent a year working.

Then on the 6th November 2008, the world was turned upside down. HMRC raided the office. The boss gone, and as the chief officer said to me "looks like you are in charge now!" Thanks....I was now the general manager of the freight company, after one interesting day! This happened the week before I was going to a filming session of Top Gear. Thanks.... We made it though!

So, the close of 2008, I became a hair dressing, biking, general manager! Enter the age of the Eunos Roadster, lots of goodies

The old Eunos at Brooklands Museum.

A nice year of turmoil for 2009. One sacking, a few idiot employees, a few repairs to the old car, the bike was put in storage due to a blown engine (the first one), But driving the Eunos, with the roof down, it was fun! The old man hated it! Well, being small and fun, he would! The roof had to be replaced, the electric window motors, the electric aerial, and I added some touches to the exterior. It was the first car I started to mod!

A year of planning things in the pub, working god knows how many hours, not riding the bike, heading to MX-5 owners club meetings, it was fun! But things change, and it did a big way at Christmas 2009. We didn't expect it, but the old man was getting more and more erratic in his behaviour.

A lot changes in 10 years.

Well, not quite.

It's 2005. I'm working for a freight company based in Hayes, Middlesex. I'm 29 years old, riding a Suzuki Bandit, driving a 1993 green Renault 19. Life is easy, working 9- 5, having fun at the weekends. There we go!

The fleet in 2005!

It all changed on January 1st 2005. A trip to Rykas for the annual Nutters New Years day meet. I think I went on a bike, it was probably the Bandit. Meeting up with old and new friends. Who knew just a chance meeting at Box Hill on New Years Day, that I would end up meeting someone who was fixing stock cars next to where I live, for someone the gang at Sainsburys were supporting at Wimbledon stock car racing about 10 years earlier! It's a small world indeed Malcolm!

As I was 30 this year, I decided I needed a new bike, and I ended up buying a 2001 Aprilia RS125. 11,000 miles on the clock, £1500 from the local Aprilia dealer. Queue the next nin months of being questioned about "how long have you had your licence?", "where are your L-plates?", and "if you've had a licence for 13 years, why are you riding a 125?" Easy, it is fun!

My last track day was completed this year, Brands Hatch on an evening session. The little 'Prila was singing, I was having fun, and the bikers I was overtaking could swear I was riding a 250! Not quite! 

Druids,, Aprilia 125, and me with hair!

Apart from adventures with the Nutters, a blown 125 engine, the Bandit put back on the road for a few months. The next plan was started on an adventure to London one night. Two idiots on their bikes, heading in to the big city, one armed with a camera, the other armed with local knowledge and wit! A new hobby was kick started in my head, photography. Something I was doing back in the days of 33mm film, with an old Olympus OM40 camera. Now, it was time to embrace the digital age.

The final picture of the Bandit still road worthy!

Over the next year, free time was spent at BSB meetings, local motorcross tracks and a few trips to Epsom Downs and London in between. My hard drive on this PC still has the pictures from those adventures buried in it. Some great times heading around the country! But, I was without a bike. I'd given up on the Bandit (shame on me). I decided it should be a project, I will sit down and start rebuilding the Bandit. I will! Then a new toy arrived......

Dusty kit after a Southern Motocross meet

But the pictures came out well!

23rd December 2006, a fecking cold day! It was raining as I sat on the train at Hayes & Harlington. I was heading to Liskeard, first stop was Reading to get on an iIntercity train to head south west! I managed to bag two seats to myself. One for me, and one for my bike gear! Back in 1993, I was just starting to get into the nasty biking scene. I done my test, I got a licence, and I was asked by my instructor, "what bike would you like to get?", a Ducati Monster....

The dawning of the Monster age!

After my doubting friends were telling me I would be coming home on a recovery vehicle, I had to make sure the 1993 Monster made it back from Cornwall to Surrey. She did, just! After annoy the night shift spanner monkey in Fleet, I headed off on the last leg for home, and the gear lever spring snapped. 200 odd miles, and a 10p spring breaks! I managed to get the bike home, and 2007 was spent in Roso Corse, East London.

This was also the arrival of the Italian Nut.....

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Who's stupid idea was this running malarkey??

Being on the cusp of a milestone today. I was preparing a blog about something completely different. I probably will post the blog that is still in my head, but after tomorrow. Today's one can be a nice, simple blog about how stupid I've been since the start of 2015!

I'll begin at the beginning. January 2015, a short bloke (me), sitting on his sofa, enjoying lots of fatty, completely bad for you food, working nearly 60 hours a week, overweight (5ft 6 and weighing a rather portly 82kgs), has that little light switch go in his head!

24th January, that's it, I've gone on my travels to Woking, and pop into Sweatshop with the intention of not spending too much money on a pair of suitable running shoes. Yes, I was a non runner, with no idea about gaits, inner soles, or even the socks! One pair of trainers covers everything, doesn't it?? After having my gait analysed, getting a set of molded insoles, and a pair of Mizuno trainers, I was off on my way home, and nearly £100 less in my bank account (oops). And that is where the madness started...

Why did I chose running?

Ok, it's a long story, but I keep it short.

I thought about taking up cycling again, and decided against that. Only due to costs involved. I would need a new bike, helmet, cycling gear, inner tubes, puncture kits (the list can go on), so I put myself off that idea. Oh, and the fact everyone on the road hates cyclists!

I didn't fancy swimming, I hated swimming at school. I'm not a great swimmer, and the one thing about swimming is you require a pool. Now, living in a flat, eight floors up, I'm not likely to have my own pool, so more money spent joining the local gym or leisure centre, and heading down there every time I fancied a swim. Plus, I hate turning all pruney!

So, I was left with running. Ok, I thought it would be cheap (I did at the beginning). A pair of trainers, stick some music on, the roads or paths never close. Go running when you want. Job done. And really, that's how running has got my choice! Go running when you want. Go as far as you want. Hopefully I won't drown. Just get out of the front door and go!

So, back to 24th January. I got home, happy with my purchases. I went off for a family meal, came home and after a couple of hours, I just decided, "sod it, I can't wait until the morning", put my (vastly lacking at the time) running gear on and headed off. I had downloaded the NHS c25k podcasts on to my iPhone, after being recommended by a friend to try it out. Off I went into the dark evening. 26 minutes later, nearly 3k done, one pothole fallen down, I was broken! My first c25k training session done! Only nine more weeks to go,,,,

Somehow, I kept at it. Even with my family and friends telling me I wouldn't stick at it. "Oh, it's just a fad, you'll give up in a few weeks!" I think that has just made me more determined to keep going. Even when I had to rest up for a week, after injuring my ankle and knee at a park near work, I've still kept going.

Now, I was set a challenge whilst doing the c25k by a running friend. "Come and do a parkrun!" A date was set, 21st March, the venue, Horsham. So, I need to prove to;

1: the voice in my head I could actually run 5k
2: my friends that I could run 5k
3: I need a big fry up!

And that was the start of the slippery slope. I run the whole Horsham course, in 30 minutes and 52 seconds! Success!! I did it! My name was now registered as a 'parkrunner' on the results page.

Bedfont Lakes parkrun, it actually looks like I know what I'm doing!

Now I'm ten weeks into the parkrun Saturday events. I'm enjoying it! Yes, work at times gets in the way of running during the week, but I've always got an hour spare on a Saturday morning for a 5k run. And now I'm registered for two 10k races, the Elmbridge 10k in July and the Bupa London 10000 May 2016! That's like proper running with numbers and crowds cheering you on!

For something I hated at school, to get 39 years of age and start loving long distance running is quite surreal for me.

As for the expense, well, I have learnt that you can never have enough running kit!

Two pairs of Mizuno trainers (a new pair of Adidas trainers ordered today!).
Countless pairs of socks and base layer shorts
Running tights
normal shorts
base layer shirts
kit bags
Garmin Forerunner watch

And not forgetting the amount of running apps and website accounts I have now!

Oh, and after the 5 months of running, I'm still 5ft 6 and weighing 71kgs. Yes, my diet has change a bit, but I still enjoy a good fish and chips!

I would like to say thank you to my friends who have supported me, the organisers of the parkrun events, my mum for saying I wouldn't stick at the running malarkey, and that's about it.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

And we're off. The 2013 car show season is underway

Finally, it's here! The first two meetings of 2013 have been completed.

Last weekend was Mini Day at Brooklands Museum. This is usually one of the top attended events at Brooklands Museum, and this year, it was going to be a struggle against the elements for event. Wintery showers, a bitingly cold wind, not a lot of shelter, unless you ventured across to Mercedes Benz World or hid in the Bus Museum.

I woke up at silly o'clock on Sunday morning, about 2:30am, and went off to find a drink, before going back to bed, I decided to have a quick peak out of the window....

To be confronted with....

One of my lovely neighbours had decided to park his van into my car. Nice! Impressed, I was not! A note left under the windscreen, I grabbed my keys, and off I went to the workshop to check out the damage.

It doesn't look a lot, but he has managed to scuff the bumper, and left a large mark. A replacement bumper is required then.

At least I got the car clean for Mini Day!! It was a fairly good turn out of Minis and MINIs at the museum despite the cold weather. The day was spent venturing out into the cold with my camera, take a few pictures then dive back into the car and warm up. Coming up to 2pm, that was it, everything was frozen, my hands, face, feet and camera!

Another Mini Day completed at Brooklands Museum. It was fun, albeit chilly fun. It was good to meet up with the Surrey new MINI club again and also make our club stand one of the largest at this years event. Lets hope next years event is warmer and we get even more cars on the club stand!!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Roll on show season!!

The new look, 2013 Dinky has now been completed. Well, albeit apart from a wash!

It's taken a few months of planning, a bit of faffing around on eBay and a few MINI websites; Sign My Ride,  My Beautiful MINI, and thanks to Dan @ for fitting the roof decal today (after a slight delay due to the snow last week!).

January has been filled with tinkering. New parts fitted for 2013;

Genuine MINI black spot lights
R112 16 inch alloys
SMR cleaning instructions decal
Genuine MINI spot light covers (R56 ones!!).
New radiator hoses (not a mod, just a requirement!!).
Union Jack interior door pulls and glove box button cover
Union Jack sunroof decal
DM centre wheel caps
Matt black mirror caps (they suit the car better than the UJ ones!)

And that's it!

The first big show we are attending this year is the Mini Day @ Brooklands Museum on Sunday 24th March. At least it's a nice local meet to me!

Now the car is finished for this year, I think it's time to start playing the resurrection of the Monster!!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A small update

As January 2013 chugs along slowly, the depth of winter has arrived to the South East of England. Snow, floods, a bit more snow, cold, dark and damp. In other words, it's just like summer, but with a bit more snow!!

In my world, not a lot has changed in the past couple of weeks. The car is getting dirtier, the Monster is a bit more dustier and the day job is going along slowly.

I'm working on plans for next month already. The starter motor needs to be taken off of the Monster, so fingers crossed the workshop will be a bit warmer in February. The MINI needs a good clean before the next Mini night at the Ace Cafe and then there is the LSMOC Breakfast Meeting on the 10th February. The little local car meetings will slowly get me into the spirit for the 2013 MINI show season, which starts again in March!

I think it is now time for a bit of shut eye.

LSMOC Breakfast Meet January 2013

Just a little bit of icing sugar.