Saturday, 23 February 2013

"E, them's pretty knickers!"

Words uttered by a lovely, elderly lady in a very well known department store in Southport, as she  shopped with her friend, and sufficient to send me into paroxysms of suppressed mirth. It didn't stop there, for the conversation between these two carried on in that beautiful accent and kept me entertained, while I waited for madam to complete her browsing amongst the multitudinous racks of clothes.

This is our regular ritual after we have dropped the Morgan off at Lifes for its annual service: we go for a coffee and then wander around the shops in town, before returning to the sanctuary that is Lifes, whereupon I can start enjoying myself while my wife sits reading a newspaper.

As we returned to Lifes there were two more elderly ladies looking longingly through the Showroom window and as we opened the door to go in, one of them questioned whether we were going to live the dream ( I hadn't the heart to say that we were already living it!) and asked if my wife would kiss the bonnet of the particularly fine red example that the lady was lusting after. This incident reminding us once again of the effect these cars have on many in the population, at least those with a soul, and the fact that we are indeed very fortunate to own one!

Overlooking Windermere

Apparently trade is a little flat at present, but happily, Dave Randall was able to assure me (because I like to keep track of the value) that should I decide to sell, which I am not, I could expect to receive around £4000 less than the amount we paid for the car, FIVE years ago! What excellent residual values our cars enjoy!

Anyway, having feasted my eyes on the muster of Morgans in the showroom, the car was pronounced ready and I settled the bill.

As I busied myself, ensuring that the flaps on our new style hood were well tucked down, because they have an annoying habit of occasionally being forced out by the wind, one of the staff said that one of their customers had fitted a male Tenax fastener to the side of each of the arms of the hood, on to which the female fastener on the end of each flap could be fixed, thus solving the problem.

Home we went with a couple of the said fasteners kindly provided by Lifes and the following day I proceeded with the task, taking photos (now deleted) of each stage for my blog. On the face of it the exercise was very successful and provided a solution to the 'problem'.


However, as I tossed about in bed, my mind in turmoil about the forthcoming budget, the strange celebrity murder 'trial' that was taking place in South Africa, the BBC saga, the banks and where our next trip in the Morgan would take us etc., I suddenly realised that there might be a potential flaw in the modification.

Sure enough as I got into the car with the hood up I realised to my horror that the black material on the hood arm is there to ensure that when you bang your head on entering or leaving, you are not a candidate for E&A at the local hospital. Unwittingly, I had totally nullified this safeguard by adding, what amounted to a centimetre long spear,(the male Tenax fastener) jutting out from the arm, that could quite easily have penetrated my skull!!!

They have now been removed from the car, as has the post on my blog, plus the photos showing my handywork.

The Tenax fasteners should have been fitted to the SIDE of the arm and NOT to the top.

I have decided, on reflection, not to bother and to continue to stuff the flaps down the side of the collapsed hood as usual.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Nought so terrible..... a woman's wrath!

I'm not talking here of revelations about a secret lover, no such luck! But the fact that I had arranged for the delivery of two bags of coal which, in the opinion of  'er indoors', was not necessary. The delivery could have been delayed for another week, such is the fragile state of our finances!

So in an effort to placate the Financial Director, I suggested that I roll the Morgan out of the garage and whisk her off to visit her sister in TransWyrania, a little known area of the Fylde coast of Lancashire.

Thankfully, she readily agreed to this suggestion and has promised never to chastise me again.

The lady and her grandson admiring the car
What a couple of days we have had and today was even better than yesterday. The sun beamed down, the sky was azure blue and there was absolutely no wind, which can have a dramatic effect on comfort in an open topped Morgan, when the temperature is hovering around 1 celsius.

En route we stopped at an old pals house in Hambleton for a cup of coffee, before proceeding to the next village to buy some items for sister-in-law, who is currently awaiting a hip replacement. As I waited outside the shop I was approached by a lady, with a young chap in tow, who I took to be her grandson. She was full of admiration and was well informed about the marque, so lovely to meet people who truly appreciate things of beauty. I refer to the car of course! Her grandson was similarly interested but more keen to know how much it had cost!

Fleetwood and the Wyre estuary from Knott End-on-Sea
In my first employment, District Bank, I used to catch the ferry each day from Fleetwood to Knott End and trudge up the slipway in all weathers to man their branches at Knott End and Stalmine. When men were men and banks were banks!!

On to the in-laws and then a quick drive into that renowned resort of Knott End-on-Sea to visit the very excellent butchers (no supermarket meat for us ever again) and to take a couple of photographs for the blog.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Joy unconfined!!

St Valentine's Day
One of my female followers, a lovely lady from Cheshire, who has been a friend for many years, had the audacity to mention to my wife while speaking to her on the phone last night that she thought that my blog was consumed with misery.

It came as a bit of a blow I must say, being a person who only sees the best in everyone, even bankers and politicians! However, on appraising my recent efforts, I suspect she is absolutely correct and thenceforth I intend on every occasion to be the very paragon of jollity! It'll come as a heck of a shock to my wife!

The other day I arose with a bounce in my step and joy in my heart at the prospect of preparing the vegetable garden, which, after a hearty breakfast, I attacked with vigour, trying hard to maintain an expression of extreme pleasure on my face and ignoring the constant vile thoughts that crept into my head about the present state of the country.

Oh, how I love all the pleasures of gardening, the aching muscles, the bad back, the slugs, the knowledge that the shallots that I had just bought and planted might die a dreadful death by frost or be afflicted by some other awful pestilence. But I must get a grip, you may have noticed a note of cynicism, yet another slide into another torrent of gloom........far be it from the truth!

Yesterday, the Morgan received another polish and is now looking absolutely top-notch and ready to make the most of the, oh so close, onset of Spring. In fact if the weather continues in the present vein, we may yet, as soon as tomorrow, find ourselves enjoying the delights of the Ribble Valley from the confines of the Morgan.

It is that time of year again, approaching the anniversary of our little acquisition of five summers ago and this brings the not unpleasant task of getting the car serviced, MOT'd, taxed and insured. You'll note I hope, the gay abandon with which I totally ignored the cost of these activities, with the calm attitude of a chap at peace with himself, because, don't forget, I have now turned a corner and consider myself to be Mr Happy, with not a bad word for anyone!!!!

Incidentally and seriously, the quote that I have received from my illustrious insurers Gott and Wynne  is excellent and the car is booked in with Lifes Motors  for service and MOT in just over a week.

The Charging Unit

I heard from my Morgan pal in Wales the other day who said that he had had to replace the battery on his 4/4, which is a year younger than ours. Fortunately, touch wood, we have not had any such problem as our car is on continual charge as it sits in the garage. The wiring for this arrangement was completed by Lifes when we purchased the car and I have included photos of the set-up in case anyone is interested.

Wire and Connector emerges from under parcel shelf.

Well, there we are, apart from one slight lapse, a post written with a joyous vein of happiness running through it. I wonder how long it might continue?

Friday, 8 February 2013


Isn't it ironic, in view of the banking crisis and the recent horse meat/halal meat issues, that the Financial Services Agency and the Food Standards Agency should share the same initials, as well as their propensity for incompetency?

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Stuck in a jam!

Today is sunny, 5 degrees with a coolish breeze, but sunny, the sort of day that tempts a chap, who hates being indoors peering out through the murk, watching the rain pour down incessantly, to get out there in his Morgan.

So off I went, top down and remarkably warm, full of the joys of Spring (well almost) with the intention of just giving the car a nice run to the nearby seaside.

In two miles I was sitting in a traffic jam, sandwiched between two ghastly 4x4's of Eastern origin and surrounded on both sides by ill-clad people with not an ounce of style between them. Don't people wear such scruffy clothes nowadays; it was just the other day in a bank, one we don't use regularly, and I noticed that the Manager was wearing a fairly smart dark suit, thoroughly appropriate for his position, but complemented by a pair of the most garish trainers imaginable! What is this country coming to?

Anyway, amidst all this misery and mental contortion I got to thinking about this 'dreadful' double dip, or is it triple dip, recession we are having to endure.

So this is 'Austerity Britain' I thought, sitting as I was, in a huge line of cars guzzling fuel, with hundreds of people out there shopping vigorously in an area that is nationally regarded as deprived. Even the ones who looked like dropouts were busy texting or phoning on their mobiles!Surely someone has got it wrong!

Frankly, to call the period we are going through as a deep recession is an insult to all those people who really suffered, and I mean suffered, in the recession of the thirties. It is a joke.

At last the traffic was moving and having told my dearly beloved that I would be an hour I revised my route.

My mood was sour, to say the least, as I waited at another main road junction for a break in the steady stream of cars, travelling at 50 mph just 6 inches from the car in front, heading for the nearby shopping village complex, tasteless in the extreme, with its incessant piped popular music and coach loads of people, amazingly, often from quite distant places, hoping to pick up a bargain.
I even look grumpy in Burgundy... there something wrong with me!!

You know how it is, once a driver notices that you're driving a Morgan they usually let you out, but not this lot, I doubt they know what make of car they are driving is, never mind a Morgan. Anyway, finally I was able to make my move and at the next roundabout escaped on to a relatively traffic free road where I was able to open up a bit.

The road took me passed one of those hand car wash places and, yes, you've guessed it, there was a queue of 8 cars waiting to spend, £6,£7,£8,£10 or whatever, on having their cars washed, and these were not drivers of prestige marques, but little 'euro-blobs' of questionable age! For goodness sake, if they were that strapped for cash they'd use a bucket and sponge, like those highly criticised 'immigrants' who are about to wash their cars! Have most of our population got an aversion to getting their hands dirty or are they just bone idle?
By this time I was heartily sick, almost suicidal, and I have now made a vow that I shall no longer spend so much time, listening to the news, watching the news, reading the news or analysing current lifestyles. I shall adopt the very sensible attitude of two of our fellow Morgan owners in Inverness who listen to 'Classic FM' all day, avoiding any transmission relating to current affairs!

It was a very depressing drive and next time I shall head off into the country, hopefully for a bit of peace.