Sunday, 26 May 2013

Oh, what a day!

Bank Holiday Saturday dawned sunny, bright and cloudless, signalling the chance for us to go on our first picnic of the year.

First though, I needed to visit our local tyre dealer to check out the nearside front tyre that is showing uneven wear, due I think to a maladjustment of the tracking. This was confirmed, so a new 'Continental' has been ordered and some research is taking place to find out the tracking settings recommended by Morgan....because it's not every day that a 4/4 turns up on their forecourt.

Coffee stop!
With a promise that they would get back to me after the bank holiday, we set off, down what was at that stage, quite a traffic free road, considering it was a bank holiday.

Up into the hills we went, where I was convinced most of the population would not venture, out to the A6, at the little village of Churchtown and on into the Forest of Bowland via Chipping, stopping briefly at Bashall Barn where I spotted a very desirable Austin Healey 3000 with a rather menacing exhaust system that we heard echoing through the countryside during a coffee stop sometime later.

The 'Lower Buck' Waddington
Climbing out of the delightful village of Waddington, we reached Newton in Bowland where we had the most exquisite picnic by the banks of the River Hodder. While I was unloading the picnic chairs from the luggage rack, an MX5 pulled up and the driver commented that our Morgan was looking particularly beautiful. I thanked him and said that his car wasn't looking so bad either, to which he replied that ours was the business though and the real thing! very true!

The beautiful Ribble Valley
This was perhaps the nicest location in which I have read my Saturday Telegraph, but after getting to the 'Obituaries', and feverously checking to see that there weren't any of our lot there, we moved on.

Newton in Bowland
Once more through Dunsop Bridge, one of the main contenders for the geographical centre of Britain, and then through the Trough of Bowland, a fairly narrow country road ,which on Saturday was full of kamikase cyclists sweeping down the steep bits at high speed, regardless of the fact that, unlike the mountain sections in the Tour de France, there is traffic coming in the other direction.

Not a bad picnic spot eh!
What with them and motorcyclists, who lean out over the opposite carriageway when negotiating bends, always at speed, to say nothing of the particular difficulty of spotting potholes through the dappled shade under trees, it is a wonder that we ever complete a trip on rural roads without incident. As for the major roads, well that's another story.........!

Doesn't get much better than this!
On the subject of potholes, I despair. What the roads are going to be like in 10 years time, God alone knows....probably barely driveable! I am convinced that it is the constant thumping into these infernal things that has beggared the tracking on the Morgan.

After the summit of the Trough we were in Duke of Westminster country, listening to the Lapwings overhead that seem to be quite common thereabouts, then down through Scorton to the A6 and back home.

After a wonderful day the Mog was washed and is now back in the garage with a mileage of almost 20000 on the clock, completed in about five and a half years. We will be adding a substantial amount to that very shortly when we venture on to the 'Emerald Isle'.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Does it scare you?....

.....well maybe not, but I hope it will scare the cats that use my vegetable garden as a lavatory and also the birds, who I hope will be deterred from eating, what just might be, an excellent blackcurrant harvest.

The construction of this menacing device has taken a couple of hours and has demanded the selfless sacrifice of a plastic washing up bowl (the pelvis and lower regions), a plastic container (the chest) and two round plastic pool plant containers (the head).

Apologies must be made to the local newspaper, the Blackpool Evening Gazette, whose high visibility coat has been used and also to our new neighbours who look out on to this garden. We haven't met them yet and  hope that they will understand what its main function is and not read into its appearance, some sort of criticism/comment obliquely levelled at them!!

Incidentally, the high vis coat was once regularly worn by yours truly, during inclement weather, to complete newsrounds when a Newsdeliverer failed to turn in, at our former Newsagents business.

Monday, 20 May 2013

...and a fracking we will go!

Not really, but my latest little drive brought me very close to the site of one of the first UK fracking sites scheduled to begin extracting shale gas. The first exploratory drilling operations caused two minor earthquakes in the Fylde and one does wonder about the future effects it will have on the local area.

Raring to go!
Anyway, enough of that. It is a long time since I put pen to blog, due to the fact that the weather has not inspired me to sally forth in the Morgan, the garden has taken up a lot of my time and my wife and I have also spent a delightful week in a villa at Nissaki on the island of Corfu. Sadly, for only a week, six would have been better!The weather was for the most part idyllic and as it was early in their season there were very few fellow tourists. It has certainly whet our appetite for more similar Grecian holidays.

Very close to the 'Fracking' rig.
The moment came yesterday when temperatures soared to a whopping 12 degrees and I had the urge to get out for a drive in the Morgan which, a few days previously, I had cleaned and polished, although it was patently unnecessary....we owners all seem to suffer from this compulsive polishing disease don't we?
Now, as my readers know, it is necessary for me to drive my Volvo out of the back of our first garage into a 'siding' to enable me to reverse the Morgan out of its garage. During this operation, for some obscure reason, probably in my impatience to get out in the Mog, I applied a more lock than normal and heard a ghastly noise as the rear wing scraped against the metal door upright.

It was a mortifying experience, especially as I like to keep the ageingVolvo in as pristine condition as the Mog. So it was out with the 'TCut' and the touch up paint to try and repair the damage. Not a bad job, but I think that I will probably complete the exercise again in an effort to achieve someting approaching perfection!

After all that 'excitement' it was out in the Morgan with side screens off and into the countryside. Great fun as usual but I do look forward to a long, 'proper' drive with a firm objective in prospect and the looming holiday to the Ring of Kerry in Ireland will, in four weeks time, satisfy that desire. So not much longer to wait, but before then I am going to have to grease the front suspension and prepare the car for the trip.

Plenty to look forward to!