Miss Daisy's Diaries

Miss Daisy's Diaries
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Thursday, 20 December 2012

Her Ladyship loses the Will To Live!

“Well Old Girl, this is a turn up for the books!”  It was Her Ladyship...  “Guess what?”

Hmmm, let me see.  I know...  Curiosity has discovered a relative on Mars?  For heaven’s sake woman, how would I know what to guess?

“It’s terribly exciting Old Girl.  Here look at this email.”  She thrusts her tablet thingy towards me.  “Look...  See...  We’ve been invited to Birmingham!  Isn’t it brilliant?”  I couldn’t help wondering whether she wanted a truthful answer or a polite one. 

“We are going to be guests of the Pre War Austin Seven Club.  What do you think of that then?”  What do I think?  How about do you have to come as well?

“Oh,hang on, I’ve just seen when.  It’s the middle of November, and it’s rather a long way.  I think you’ll be going on a trailer.”  Then she was gone.

I’d completely forgotten about this conversation until Her Ladyship hauled me out of my garage one cold November morning. 

“Let’s give you a really good clean up,” she said as she hoiked me off the ground.  “Wheels first.  They’re a terrible mess.” 

It took her two days to clean me up, both inside and out.  “Now Old Girl, I want you to stay clean.  Okay?”  I really do despair of this woman.  How on earth could I get myself dirty without her having a significant hand in these matters.

A few days later she took me down the drive to where there was a car transporter trailer waiting.  One end was attached to Madam’s modern car and at the other end, a pair of ramps awaiting my arrival.  “Up we go Old Girl.”  Her Ladyship revved my engine and quite deftly, planted me safely onto the trailer.  I couldn’t help wondering whether she would be as good securing me in place as she was getting me on board that thing.

“There we are Old Girl, all ready to go.”  She clambered into the modern car and started to roll us forwards.  There was a horrible grating and grinding sound.  Madam slapped on her brakes.

“What have you gone and done now?”  A rather angry Ladyship almost fell out of her modern and came back to look at the trailer.  I awaited her apology with my usual patience.  It didn’t take long.  “Oh sorry Old Girl, my fault.  I haven’t raised the trailer’s rear legs.”  Grabbing a spanner, Madam proceeded to lift up and lock the legs in place.  Once more we were on our way.

We had achieved several miles when she pulled over again and got out.  “Have you put on weight Old Girl?  I can’t seem to get any speed.”  If she hadn’t been in such a rush to get away, she would have noticed that she had left the trailer’s handbrake on.  Now the brake drums were happily smoking away.  The penny dropped...  “Ah.  Oh.  Whoops...  That was a bit daft wasn’t it?”  Her Ladyship released the brake and yet again we were on our way.  I couldn’t help wondering what she would mess up next.

It didn’t take long.  It was Cardiff Gate services.  Her Ladyship pulled off the motorway, swung us round some roundabouts and into a car park.  She spent the next ten minutes driving round looking for a suitable space to park us.  I have to confess to getting rather exasperated at how many times we drove up and down the same lanes.  Then we stopped, Her Ladyship got out, looked around, got in again and moved us on until we stopped again and she repeated the action.  This happened several times until I heard a number of expletives and she stopped in one of the access lanes, scribbled a note and stuck it on the windscreen.  “I need the loo Old Girl.  Can’t wait any longer.”  And she was gone.

We arrived at the NEC as it was getting dark.  “Hmm now where is car park number three?  Ah, here we are...”  We joined a short queue of cars and the security man glanced at a clip board as we pulled up.

“You not supposed to be here,” he said as he stretched himself up to his full five foot two inches. 

“What?  What are you talking about my man?  I’m looking for car park Three.  It’s beside Hall Seventeen.”

“This is Car Park Five...  You’re not supposed to be here.”  This wasn’t a very helpful thing to say to Her Ladyship especially after a several hundred mile trip that took most of the day.

“Then,” she forced one of those smiles that suggested she had accidentally got some battery acid on her tongue.  “Perhaps you would be ever so kind and advise me to which car park I should go.”

“You need Car Park Three.”

“I know I need Car Park Three...  I thought this was Car Park – bloody Three.”

“Well it’s not.  This is Car P...”

“Car Park – bloody Five!  I know.”

“There’s no need to take that manner with me, Madam.”

“If you’d been hauling this thing from Pembrokeshire to Birmingham for the last six hours, you’d be taking on this manner.”  He appeared not to listen.

“If you swing round here, go back to that roundabout, take a left, then straight over the next one with a left at the one after that, you’ll find Car Park Three.”

“Thank you, I’ll do that.”  She smiled another of her sweet acid smiles and muttered ‘Bloody Idiot’ under her breath as she drove off.

“I heard that.” The security man shouted at us as we turned around.

“Now what did he say?  Left at the first roundabout...  Right got that...  Straight across at the next.  There it is...  Soon be there now Old Girl.  Not far, then we can unload you and park you in the nice warm hall.  Here we are – Car Park Three.”  She stops beside another security man and smiles sweetly at him.  “I need Hall Seventeen young man.  Can you tell me where I need to go please.”

“Not this car park, Lady.  You need Car Park Three.”

“But this is Car Park Three.”

“No it ain’t, this is Car Park Seven.”

“Seven?  But the man back there said this is Car Park Three!”  I began to wonder whether Her Ladyship was giving up the will to live.

“You took a left at that roundabout didn’t you?”  Her Ladyship nodded.  “Well you should have taken a right.”

“But he said...”  He cut her short.

“Go back to that roundabout and go straight over, then at the next take a left and you’ll be there.”

“Thank you...  Thank you very much.”  I didn’t detect much gratitude in that reply.  Perhaps it was her emphasis on the ‘You’.  She swung us round yet another roundabout, then slammed on the brakes.  She pulled out her mobile phone and punched at its dial.

“Hello?  Is that Nigel?”  At last...  She’d shown some sense, she was calling The Nice Mister Nigel.  “Nigel, I’m lost.  I’m here, but I’m lost and rapidly giving up the will to live...  What?  The last one?  That was Car Park Seven and I think I am now heading for Car Park Three.  But judging from the directions I have received so far, I could just as easily be in Earls Court...  Oh...  Yes I can see it...  Head that way, yes...  What?  Oh Okay, and I’ll meet you there.  See you in a couple of minutes...”  She tossed her phone into her bag.

“Soon be there now Old Girl...”  We pulled off again and lo and behold, within a couple of minutes The Nice Mister Nigel was in the passenger seat, guiding an exasperated Wrinkled One to Hall 17 where they unloaded me from the trailer and delivered me to the safety and warmth of the NEC.

And a last word from Her Ladyship.  Sincere thanks to everyone of the Pre-war Austin Seven Club team at the Classic Car Show who made me feel so welcome and who looked after me so well.  Apart from some heavy driving rain, we made it home safe and sound. Although it took a week to dry Miss Daisy out.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Winter Draws On

Well, in the case of Her Ladyship I’ve had to gaze out on several pairs of greying winter draws hanging on the line.

“Better get them washed first Old Girl,” she announces without a hint of embarrassment as they hang dripping from the washing line, advertising the fact that they permanently show that her backside has stretched them a bit. “Perhaps I ought to think about buying some new ones. There again, these are very comfortable.”

Hmmph. Comfortable indeed… they look like three bell tents hanging upside down. No shape, no shape in them at all.

“It’s getting colder now and we’ve been having book signings in Swansea and the NEC between the 16th and 18th November. What a haul that was. Usually Madam has been driving me to them, but in the case of the Classic Car Show at the NEC, she told me that she was putting me on a trailer ‘So I don’t get dirty!’ Well luckily for her, we had a spate of dry weather in the days running up to and the 215 mile trip itself. So I actually got there in as clean a state as I left. But I’ve sensed that Her Ladyship has been totally stressed out. The problem is that she is on an opiate pain killer.

“It’s melting my brain Old Girl,” she told me. “But it does sort the back pain and I can move around. The trouble is that I just cannot remember things and I write lists and then can’t remember where I put them.” Nothing changed there then!

I enjoyed the attention at the NEC. Even you know who was quite pleased with the attention I was getting. She wasn’t so pleased at the ‘Petrol Heads’ who simply wouldn’t buy my books. We still sold quite a few though, mainly to the wives of the ‘Petrol Heads’.

The journey home was awful. The heavens opened and I was soaked to the skin, both inside and out. Her Ladyship reassured me that we had to plod on and get home, so it was relentless.

“You are in a state Old Girl,” she said when she unloaded me. “I’m going to have to clean you up before we go to Picton and Pembroke Castles at the end of the month.” You mean there’s more of this? For heaven’s sake, I’m usually put quietly to bed this time of year, while ‘you know who’ hauls out the Grey One. I think I might go on strike. At least when they haul her in for the surgery on her back, I will get 6 weeks of peace and quiet.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Didn’t We Have A Lovely Day? NOT!

“Right Old Girl,” Her ladyship rolled me out onto the courtyard.  “Right, a big day tomorrow.  We are off to Cardiff - The Metropolis of Wales.  I’ve fixed it for you to go to Waterstones in the city centre so that we can do a book signing.”

I had to wonder why on earth she needed me along.  She only uses these events for a bit of cheap self-seeking publicity.  She started to load me up with boxes of books, her luggage and the loud clink of a heavy plastic bag suggesting that she was loading me up with a large stock of wine as well.  The Asthmatic Barking Dog looked on confused.  She was filling up my rear seat, suggesting to him that he wasn’t coming with us.  Undaunted, he plonked himself in front of me and went to sleep, realising as he drifted off into the land of nod, that Her Ladyship couldn’t move me without his acquiescence.

But canny as ever, Her Ladyship then started to toss his things into her modern car.  “Right Dog, come on, let’s go.”  One eye opened to see what the fuss was about, showed some reaction to the fact that all his possessions were now in that car’s boot and then he went back to sleep.  “I said…  Come on Dog, let’s go.  You are going on holiday.”  He ignored her once more and she marched over, lead in hand and attached it to his collar.  “Come on Old man.  Let’s get you into the car.”  The Asthmatic Barking Dog slowly got up and wandered over to the modern car and they were off.

She returned minutes later, parked up that car and clambered into me and within minutes, we headed out the drive and she steered me for Cardiff.  It was a lovely sunny day and I really enjoyed the journey.  Three and a half hours later, I was parked up and Her Ladyship had tucked into her first G&T.

The following Morning, she came out to polish and smarten me up.  “Right Miss Daisy, off to the City Centre now.  The City Council has given me a specific route to get to The Hayes.  So here we go.”  Ten minutes later we arrive at Womanby Street.

“That’s odd,” said Her Ladyship.  “They said that someone would remove the bollards and they haven’t.  Hang on.”  She whipped out her phone and punched at the dial.  “Hello...  Yes…  I was told that if I came to Womanby Street I could get my car through to Waterstones.  I am doing a book signing you see…  What?  Who?  How?  Well they gave me this number…  So you can’t help me then?  Great!”  She threw the phone onto my floor.

“It seems we are on our own, Old Girl.  Hang on, I think we can get through here.”  Her Ladyship then paced the gap between two of the bollards.  “Five of my feet Old Girl.  You are Four foot four.”  She clambered in, started me up and inched me through the gap.  We were nearly through when a shopkeeper came out and lifted one of the bollards out of its hole.  “Oh?  So they come out on their own do they?”  The shopkeeper nodded.  “Thank you, thank you very much.  This is going to be easy now Old Girl.  Come on then.”

We proceeded very slowly towards our destination; that is until two bollards only four feet apart confronted us.  Her Ladyship got out and attempted to lift the bollard out.  “Oh Shit – Damn – Bloody – Bugger – Cuss.  I can’t move it.”  A street sweeper wandered up to us.

“You won’t get that out,” he said.

“I’ve noticed,” Her Ladyship replied curtly.  “I need to get to Waterstones.  I’ve had permission from the council.  How do I get there?”

Well don’t say I told you, but if you turn round and head down there, turn left into Westgate Street.  Then two turnings down, go left.  It’s a one-way street and you’ll be going in the wrong direction.  But no one will mind.”

“Are you sure?”  Her Ladyship seemed worried.   I wasn’t surprised, I was too.

“It’ll be all right.  Go up there, straight across St, Mary Street, up to the end and you’ll be at Waterstones.”  Her Ladyship was very doubtful. 

“Well, if you are sure…  Then here we go.”  It worked, except that we met a Mercedes coming the correct way down the one-way street, but I was able to get out of its way. Then through a couple of bollards with an inch either side, followed by a round of applause from the shoppers and we were there.

“Well Old Girl.  A few minutes late, but we made it.  I’ll go and let them know I’ve arrived.  You sit here and behave.”  Could I do anything else?

It seemed a long day with a lot of people examining me closely.  A Big Issue seller was offering people the opportunity to sit in me and have their photo taken if they bought a copy of the Issue.  I though that very enterprising of him and thank God You Know Who didn’t notice.  There would have been hell to pay.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Hello…  Me again…  Well we’ve had a frantic late July and August.  One of the nicest events for me was the trip up to Warwick for the big 90th birthday party for me and 537 of my relatives.  But first I have to tell you about Her Ladyship’s attempt at camping.

You may have read about it on my facebook page, but here it is in all its gory detail.  Her Ladyship had been doing a book signing at Waterstone’s Bookshop in Carmarthen and then she was due to go to a car show the next day to try to sell and sign copies of my book.  Since the venue for the signing was only five miles from Carmarthen she decided to camp rather than drive the 40 miles home and 40 miles back the next morning.  Now this is a woman of some 66 years who hasn’t actually camped since 1958 when she was in the Guides.  On top of that she has bladder issues and needs the Loo two or three times a night.

“No problem Old Girl,” she announces one morning, waving around some sort of fold down stool with a hole in the seat.  “No worry, I can use this.  It’s a portable toilet and when I wake up in the night, I won’t have to go out the tent to find the portaloos.”

There is really no need to write more on this, as I am sure your imaginations will tell you what happened.  But I really want to…

She had also bought herself an inflatable bed in order that she was up off the ground and felt she’d be more comfortable.  Well that didn’t work for a start.  I was parked right beside her tent and didn’t see what happened, but what I heard was enough…

“God this thing’s uncomfortable.  I wonder if I pumped it up too much.”   An hour of grunts and tossings and turnings passed.

“Oh for God’s sake.  How do they sleep on these things.”  More tossings, turnings and grunts, this time lasting another hour.  Then a massive grunt as she heaved herself off the inflatable bed.  A light went on and I could see her silhouette as she manoeuvred herself onto the portable loo.  I heard the sound of running waters, and then she leant forwards to heave herself off the loo.  At that point, the loo decided that it was far better to be flat on the ground and it collapsed with Madam still on it and obviously splashed its contents all over the tent’s ground sheet.

“Oh, shit, damn, bloody, bugger, cuss.  It’s gone everywhere.”  Her silhouette attempted to stand up and immediately slipped, falling back into the pool.  This time she crawled off and attempted to mop everything up.  Half an hour later, the light went out and this time she managed to doze off to sleep, if the gentle snore was anything to go by.

Eventually the light came on again and she was grunting herself off the bed once more.  Then to my horror she lowered herself back onto the re-erected portable loo once more.  You would have thought she had learnt from previous experiences wouldn’t you?  Well she didn’t and the whole scene happened all over again.

“Well Old Girl, that’s the last time I camp…  It was a complete disaster…  You’ll never believe what happened…”  Oh yes I do!!!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Launched - Well I Think That's What They Call It!

Well what a month…  I’m exhausted.  Barely days into July, Her Ladyship delivered me to the Llangwm village pub, The Cottage Inn.

“They don’t let cars in Old Girl, sorry,” she says.  “You’ll have to wait out here, while I do the signings.”  Excuse me…  It’s my book…  Shouldn’t I be doing the signings?

Four hours later, she totters out.  “Sorry Old Girl, I sshhould have come out earlierer, but we were so busy.  We shigned fifty five books.  Not a bad shtart Huh?  I have to leave you here now; I’m a bit tiddly.  One too many Slippy Nipples?”  Bit tiddly indeed.  One too many Slippy Nipples?  More like five too many, if you ask me.  She’s what you humans call - ‘Pissed!’  “Now don’t forget we have to go to Cardiff tomorrow for your Radio Wales appearance.”  She says in passing as she totters home

Hmmph, I’ll be left in the BBC car park, while she goes on and on, not allowing the interviewer get a word in edgeways.

The following morning, a rather tender Ladyship arrived.  She’s walking with a tentative step.  “Morning Old Girl, we’ve got to get up to Cardiff today and they’ve forecast heavy rain.  Not looking forwards to the M4 to be honest.”

I wasn’t surprised, it was a veritable nightmare.  Heavy rain all the way and the spray from the passing lorries left me in a complete mess.  I was so relieved when we reached our destination.  Her Ladyship checked her hair and make up.  I couldn’t understand why, because she was going on the radio.  “Well you never know Old Girl, they might want to put us on the telly.”  In this weather?  She has to be joking.

An hour later, she was out again, with a rather severe looking producer.  I reckoned that she had messed up the interview and after a brief goodbye; Her Ladyship clambers in and starts me up.

I don’t think I did that well Old Girl.  My mouth seemed to be at least five sentences ahead of my brain.  At one point I found myself talking about my Haemorrhoids…”  Oh my God, I hear enough about them and now the whole world knows…  “And then I used the word ‘bloody’ while I was talking about you…”  Oh thank you very much for that…  “Let’s get to our overnight stop.”

The next day we were on our way home.  But first, Her Ladyship needed to take me to see a TV production company.  I can’t think why, but they were talking something about doing a TV version of my book.  It was still raining, but not nearly as bad as yesterday and we got home later that day, soaked to the skin.

Two days later we were off on another book signing at the Victoria Book Shop in Haverfordwest.  At least the sun was out and Madam obviously didn’t expect rain, because she took my hood down.  The result was that passers by kept getting in and out of me taking photos of themselves.  The worst were the young children, who refused to let go of their ice creams.  The result was an awful mess and a very sticky steering wheel while Her Ladyship smiled on.

“Oooh you are a bit of a mess,” said Her Ladyship as she packed me up to go home.  “Urgh, what is that on your steering wheel?  We’ll need to give you a good clean when we get home.”
We’ve had several more signings and at one, a festival near Llanelli when Her Ladyship chose to camp.  She managed to collapse a portable toilet while she was sitting on it.  But more of that next time…

Friday, 6 July 2012

It's Happened Now

No turning back now. Her Ladyship told me that I am now a published author. How do I feel? To be honest, I don't feel anything.  Any excitement has passed me by. Her Ladyship seems energised by it all. She's loving it. All I want is a bit of peace and quiet. But somehow, I don't think I am going to get it.
"We've got a signing to do in Swansea Old Girl." She'd say.  Then, "Did I mention that reading we have to do in Warwick?" It never ends.  The latest was, "We've got to get up to Cardiff Old Girl. We are going to be on the radio."
Correction Your Ladyship, you are going to be on the radio and I have this awful feeling that I am going to have to carry your ample form all that way.
It was tipping down as we left for Cardiff. "I would take the modern, but they want some pictures of us."  It was an awful drive. I was drenched when we got to the BBC.
"When do you want to do the photos, after the interview?" She was obviously looking forwards to it.
"Oh no...," came the reply. "It's far too wet. You can email us some." He strolled away leaving Her Ladyship soaking wet and now livid.
"Bloody man," she said to me. I could have left you at home. For once I had to agree with her...

Friday, 15 June 2012

She's driving me mad!

Oh for heaven’s sake…  Will someone save me from this meddlesome woman!  Her Ladyship’s becoming infuriating now, almost obsessed indeed as she fusses around getting all the pre-publicity work done in advance of the publication of Miss Daisy’s Diaries.  If there’s any consolation, she’s paying much more attention to me.  She’s out here most days having a chat and giving me a polish.

“Got to have you looking good for the book signings Old Girl,” she says as she slaps a filthy old chamois leather onto my bonnet.  “You never know when the press might turn up to do something and you’ve got to look good.”

A case of pot calling the kettle black, if you ask me.  She’s wearing an old T shirt and a pair of tacky jeans, hardly suitable attire surely for meeting ladies and gentlemen of the press.  I’ll be interested to see what she decides to wear for her first book signing and if she insists on wearing that ridiculous hat, I’ll scream.

You remember that I told you that she had received an offer of £5,000 for the Grey One and that while I hoped she would get rid of him, I doubted she would.  Well I was right.  She did turn down the offer, but promised the people that she’s look for another one for them.  So if there is a nice running Ruby out there please email her at her-ladyship@missdaisydiaries.co.uk and let her know. 

I was supposed to go on a trip last Wednesday, but Madam came out and told me that the BBC had forecast heavy showers all day and since she wanted to keep me clean and smart, she would take The Grey One instead.  Typical of the BBC though, they got it wrong.  It was beautifully sunny all day… not a drop of rain.  What annoyed me was the stupid grin on the grey one’s face when he came home.

I did have a nice day in Bryngarw though.  Her Ladyship usually goes up on the Saturday and back home on the Sunday, but since the forecast was rain, she decided to do it there and back on the Sunday.  “You’ll manage Old Girl,” she said.  “It’s only 170 miles.  You did much more than that every day on the JOGLE.”  Don’t I know it!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

I'm feeling better now... Finally

I have been remiss…  I haven’t produced a blog since my return from the JOGLE back in April.  I am assured by Her Ladyship that I am fit and well again.  Well of course she would know wouldn’t she?

At least the nice Dr John got to the bottom of my engine problem.  It seems that somewhere between Gretna and Bromsgrove, one of the studs which secures my engine block to my crankcase sheared and that caused all the other studs to work loose.  And that resulted in the terrible vibration I had been experiencing and which kept shaking loose various bits of my anatomy.  He fixed that problem and I have been enjoying some lovely trips including escorting the Olympic Torch through Cardigan.

But all was not exactly well.  On the morning of that trip, Her Ladyship noticed that my fan was wobbling badly… again!  “Well Old Girl, Fan belt off I think,” she said.  “I’ll get to the bottom of that problem in due course.”  God help me, she’ll get to the bottom of the problem?  It has baffled two very experienced men.  How on earth can she ‘get to the bottom’ of the problem?

Well blow me, she did!  She dismantled the assembly yesterday and checked absolutely everything.  “Aha!  I’ve found the problem Old Girl.  Look - here – your spigot – the lubrication channel – it’s completely blocked with gunge.  You were not lubricating the bronze bearing.  It being dry, started to destroy the bush.  We’ll soon get that sorted and put a new bush on.  Then you’ll be fit as a flea.”  I wonder what a fit flea looks like.

There’s less than a month now before the official publication of my book and ‘You know who’ is getting terribly excited!  She’s been invited to appear on some radio programmes and the early reviews have apparently been rather good.  Well why not? She’s also been organised to take part in a number of book signings and she’s told me that I have to attend those as well.

But now, I have to brace myself for a run up to Bryngarw Country Park for the Austin weekend.  I’ve been every year you know, but this year HL is worried about the weather.  Last year’s event was a wash out and it looks as though this year might be the same.  Can I cope with the Wrinkled One’s moaning about the weather?  Probably not.  Anyway, I’d rather stay at home in my warm garage than face sheets of rain pelting down on me for two days.

Oh yes there has been another development.  Her Ladyship was offered £5,000 for The Grey One.  Good Grief, that pompous old bore?  That much?  She says she is thinking about the offer, but it’s unlikely she’ll sell him.  Me, I shall get myself ready for the farewell party.

Friday, 27 April 2012

God, I'm Exhausted!

God, I’m absolutely exhausted.  Over ten days at the beginning of this month, I had been driving for nine hours a day and I have now completed another 1,994 miles.  Let’s get this straight… one doesn’t ask a 78 year old car to complete nearly two thousand miles in that sort of time.  But no, Her Ladyship insisted.  I’d tried to get out of it before we left for John O’Groats.

What?  What’s that you ask?  What on earth am I talking about?  I wish you’d concentrate.  I have just completed the John O’Groats to land’s End run over Easter.  But she never warned me that to do the JOGLE once, you actually have to do it twice!  It’s like this; you have to get from your home to John O’Groats first.  Then when you reach Land’s End, you still have to get home again.  No sympathy for me of course.  Oh no, no, no, no, no.  None at all.

So where was I?  You see I am completely stressed out about all this.  Well, I did try to get out of it.  I allowed my cooling fan to go up its own bottom and threaten to destroy my radiator.  But the cow spotted what I was up to.  “We’ll disconnect that before you can do any damage Old Girl.”

Anyway, three days later, with fan fixed, I embarked on my journey north.  We reached Altrincham on the first day, some 215 miles.  Mind you, we had to plough through a heavy snowstorm to get there.  Then on day two we headed for Lanark in Scotland.  I’ve never been to Scotland before…  Nice place.  On Day Three we reached Inverness and by then I’d managed to burn out my brake lights.  Her Ladyship had to use hand signals from then on and it was terribly cold.  She also for some strange reason bought a haggis.  What on earth would she want that for?

We reached the starting line at John O’Groats on Day Four.  Her Ladyship had a quick scone and a coffee and pointed me south.  That night we stayed at Inverness again.  Then on Day Five we headed towards Gretna Green.  No HL wasn’t eloping, well lets face it, who would marry her?  Anyway, that was the day we had trouble.  My so-called repaired fan played up again and she had to disconnect it again.  Then I managed to crack my fuel pipe and it was dripping on the exhaust.  The trouble was, her friends fixed that as well.

Day Six saw some terrible weather.  It absolutely tipped down, but we did make it to our next port of call near Bromsgrove.  Day Seven brought us much better weather and we comfortably made it to Launceston, but I was starting to suffer some discomfort in my engine.  At Launceston, I found out why HL had bought the haggis.  I was parked on a very steep hill and she used it as a wheel chock.

On Day Seven, we reached Land’s End.  Her Ladyship produced the tin of Gin and Tonic from under my seat and guzzled it down.  “Well done Old Girl, you are absolutely brilliant.”  Well I know I am, but we still had to do another 360 miles to get home. 

It was a difficult journey, not helped by the fact that things were shaking loose from the car.  The most important part being my petrol pump, which came loose on the way home, and I spread six pints of oil down a five mile strip of the M5.  Even so, I did make it home two days after arriving in Land’s End.

A week later we visit the nice Dr. John, who did my engine before we left.  “I don’t like the sound of that,” he said.  “Sorry that engine has to come out again.”

Oh Great!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Fit, Healthy and raring to go!

Oh, hello.  I am sorry I’ve been away having heart surgery.  Yes, I have what is to all intents and purposes a brand new engine.  I was returned to Her Ladyship last weekend and I’m raring to go.  I’m even reluctantly accepting the fact that I will have to do this John O’ Groats to Land’s End run over Easter, but I am sure that over the 12 days, I can remind Her Ladyship who is boss.  My engine may be perfect now, but there is still a lot more of me to go wrong.

When we get to Scotland, Her Ladyship tells me that I have to meet a Haggis, whatever that is.  She’s asked me to think about what uses we might have for one?  Do I care?  Look at my headlights – do they look as though they care about what you can do with a haggis?

We had some real excitement yesterday.  Well it all started the day before when she came rushing out of the house to tell me that we were going to do a photo call with a newspaper - Wales on Sunday to be exact.  Then when we went to meet the photographer, Her Ladyship appeared in such a low cut top, I was quite embarrassed.  I mean, she is 65 you know.  Talk about mutton dressed up as lamb!  I could also see that she was freezing.

The photographer was very nice and even the Asthmatic Barking Dog took an interest in proceedings.  At one point he smiled at the photographer, when the said photographer tried to turn him around to face the camera… well I think it was a smile.  Put it like this, he showed his teeth.

The photo session wasn’t for the book; it was for a piece going in the paper next Sunday about the blooming JOGLE.  Her Ladyship did manage to get a plug in for my book though.  Never one to miss an opportunity, that one.  She’s such a media Tart!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

She's At It Again...

“Guess what Old Girl?”  I hate it when you know who bursts in with that eager look on her face.  “Well, come on, guess what?”  What does she expect me to do?  She can’t hear me, but I do wonder what all the excitement is all about.  If she tries to contain herself any longer, I think she’ll wet herself.

“We’ve finally got a publishing deal together, Old Girl.  Your diaries are going to appear in print as well as an E book…  It’s not going to be just a Kindle anymore.  It’s absolutely brilliant and you will become a famous author…  Book signings and all that.  What do you think of that then?”

Well, to be honest, I couldn’t care less.  I’m about to be 78 and all I want is a quiet life, I am not interested in this book.  Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t this book all your doing?  You helped yourself to my diaries and turned them in to a book.  It’s really nothing to do with me.

“Matador, they’re the publishing company say we can launch it on 1st July 2012.  Apparently it takes that long to get all the pre-publicity out.  But printed versions of the book should be available in the spring.  Brilliant huh?”  I am trying hard to look as disinterested as I can, but as usual she doesn’t notice.

“Hopefully the book will be out when we go off on the JOGLE…”  Please don’t remind me.  I really don’t want to know about that particular event.  She stares into my empty engine compartment, probably like me wondering whether the engine will be back in time for her to do the run.

“Oh yes, I almost forgot.  We are going to put magnetic signs on your door to promote the book.  That way as people admire us as we go past, they will see you’ve done a book.  How about that then?”

I wonder who it was who said, “Well frankly my dear, I couldn’t give a damn.”  Because  I know exactly how he felt.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Here we go again!

It all happened last week. Her ladyship had burst in to my garage. “Happy New Year Old Girl. I trust you are comfortable.” Madam wandered aimlessly around, fiddling with things on the bench, opening the tool box and then closing it again.
“Now I have some news for you and I don’t know how you are going to take it. I’ve decided that we should take part in the JOGLE. And before you ask, it’s going to be a run from John O’Groats to Land’s End and we shall be doing it over Easter. This year is the 90th anniversary of the Austin Seven and this run is to celebrate that. You’ll enjoy it, especially as there will be lots of your relatives taking part.” She then started to fiddle with some paint pots on the shelf. She knew exactly how I would feel about this, I had thought that after that run to Spain, she would have realised that the time had come for us both to ease up and rest. But it seems not… Well, not yet.
“It’ll be about the same distance as we did last year, about 2,000 miles by the time we’ve got to the start in John O’Groats and then home from Land’s End.” I didn’t know why she felt it necessary to explain all the gruesome detail. It was a ridiculous idea. I knew what would happen. I would have to slog my way along all these roads listening to her moaning on about the roads, the other cars and their drivers. And she had obviously not considered the trouble she would have with her Haemorrhoids!
“It’ll help promote your book as well. How about that? But Old Girl, I’ve held back the best bit of news.” I thought I’d taken in enough news for one day. Now there was to be more. But this turned out to be a genuine surprise.
“You are going to have some heart surgery. I’ve arranged to have your engine rebuilt. You Old Girl are going to have what is in effect a new engine. It’s going to be completely stripped down and rebuilt in a way that I think even you will appreciate. You will have more power; you’ll be able to go faster. In fact, you’ll feel like new. What about that then?” Well if what could I say? For once, something she said sounded rather nice.
“Therefore in a couple of days, we are going to take your engine out and send it away.”
So here I am, I’ve been drained of oil, drained of water and Her Ladyship with her friends, the nice Mister John and the nice Mister Ed are plunging in to my nether regions with their screwdrivers and spanners. Then…
Clunk… “Right that’s it,” says the Nice Mister John. “We need to pull it forwards and then tip it up and it should come straight out. Did you disconnect the battery?”
“Whoops no,” says Her Ladyship. “We don’t want that shorting out do we?”
Now I’m watching my engine being drawn out forwards and I am beginning to feel very, very tired.