The Nearest Faraway Place

A little art project that I was involved in.  A student in the USA arranged for students all over the world to include their images based on our “Nearest Faraway Place” in this book.  We posted it between us and the book took over a year to collate in this way, getting lost a couple of times on the way, but eventually finding it’s way home.  Thanks to everyone who was involved, especially those who made it happen as I really enjoyed participating.  It’s great to see the finished book.  Can you guess which is mine?

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City Break

I always find it so difficult visiting a famous city with my camera.  So many have been there before you and so many have already captured great images before as shown by a simple search on flickr.  So in my dilemma, I didn’t take many of this famous building, but I concentrated on any details which took my fancy.  Anyone recognise it?…. file names will give it away if you’re stuck!

Summer Trial 2014 in South Wales

Spent an amazing weekend driving around South Wales on HERO’s Summer Trial.  The pace was fast, but some nice long transit sections meant that I got to look up from the maps and enjoy the scenery.  I had always though Wales was a beautiful place, but I was really blown away by it.  I have driven through before on Lands End to John O’Groats for the last two years, but usually it is night, and the unrelenting nature of HERO’s Le Jog means that I never really have a clue where I am in the larger scheme of things.  That sounds scary as a navigator, but you are working off such large OS maps, some without any recognisable place names, and usually concentrating on the route ahead.

Anyway, I amused Clare with my rather bad pronunciation of Welsh towns, we enjoyed the beautiful sunshine in Clare’s Austin Healey Sprite Mk IV with the top down of course and we enjoyed the event immensely.

We were pleased with our start on Friday hitting controls on time.  Some traffic on the roads caused issues to quite few of us making us quite late on a couple of occasions.  Saturday was our first full day and unfortunately in the  afternoon, the Speedo cable decided to snap and we were left without speed and trip meter.  There was a silence as we tried to work out what to do, but we battled on and actually incurred very few penalties relying on tulips and time alone.  This couldn’t be mended back at base even by the amazing Dave from Moulton Garage, as there was a problem with the Speedo Drive in the gearbox.

We finished the event (after a wrong test on Sunday morning – so cross with ourselves) in 19th place, which we were very pleased with and won the Ladies Award (although I have to admit we were the only Lady Crew).  We were third in our class behind two amazing crews – the wonderful Bob and Sue McClean, who helped us out on Le Jog last year and Chris and Fred Winter.

Clare and I can see how much we have both grown in confidence and knowledge since undertaking Le Jog two years ago.  Experience really is the only way to learn in rallying I think and I have a few more this year:

Throckmorton Challenge – I have the pleasure of navigating in an Escort this year so I’m looking forward to tests!

Rally of the Tests – I will be navigating in the HERO Arrive & Drive Cortina GT again, but with a new driver.

Le Jog – Clare and I are participating in this 20th Le Jog in the Cortina GT again.

Lots of fun still to come in 2014 and more in planning for 2015!

Thanks to Tony Large for the photos below.

Enjoying the Welsh Countryside
Enjoying the Welsh Countryside
Stopping astride the line for a test.  Perfectly done!
Stopping astride the line for a test. Perfectly done!
Eat our Dust
Eat our Dust

A Classic Car Reliability Trial through South Wales starting and finishing at the Celtic Manor Resort

"Gone Shopping"  Asda Carpark (a last minute test to replace another that had to be cancelled) where Clare and I managed to get slightly lost!
“Gone Shopping” Asda Carpark (a last minute test to replace another that had to be cancelled) where Clare and I managed to get slightly lost!

Best of British

A couple of shots from a quick seaside visit.  We may not have the weather on our side, but British beaches hold so much nostalgia and heritage.  These places just “ooze” childhood memories for me.  If it hadn’t been for the cider, I think I may have captured a lot more!  A return visit is required.

bestofbritish bestofbritish2

bestofbritish3

Race Retro and Sir Stirling Moss

I attended the Race Retro event yesterday at Stoneleigh Park.  It was great to meet up with some rallying friends and reminisce about Le Jog and Rally of The Tests on the HERO Events stand, who kept us plied with drinks.  The Cortina GT that has seen Clare Nedin and I through two Le Jog events now had pride of place on a stand outside the exhibition halls.  She was later scrutineered for her start today in the Winter Challenge.  Kinky Cortina is booked by us for Rally of the Tests and Le Jog (20th anniversary event) this year.  We will also be taking part in the Summer Trial in Clare’s Austin Healey Lenham Sprite.

Some fellow Midlanders from TR Enterprises in Blidworth (who assisted in preparing the MGC I navigated in last year with Phil Dunmore) had a stand there too, and I was lucky enough to be chatting to them as Sir Stirling Moss came to say hello and sign some posters for them.  I took some quick shots for them.

First in Class!!!

HERO’s LEJOG (Lands End to John O’Groats) is renowned for being one of the toughest historic rallies. I returned yesterday having completed it once again with Clare Nedin in the Arrive and Drive Cortina GT.

No snow this year, but a tiring, challenging, ultra wet course all the same. We were one of only 9 crews (and the first) to attempt Stanhope Ford. Unfortunately, we were also one of the two who attempted but didn’t complete it!! But we got back on the road (thanks to a great load of spectators) and completed the rest of the night, and received a lesser penalty than people that didn’t attempt I believe. Ups and downs are all normal on this kind of event.

Many thanks to all the Marshall’s. I hope I thanked them all at the time, but some may have caught me half asleep. And big thanks to everyone involved in organising this event. It really is the highlight of my year. It’s a strange thing…. although gruelling, the sense of achievement that it provides is huge, and the camaraderie is just immense! Special thanks must go to two fellow competitors, Rob and Sue McClean, who stopped to give us a tow out of the mud when the back wheels were stuck. All during a regularity too! Clare and I owe you one. Lastly, big thanks and congrats to Clare for driving so well.

I’m very pleased and proud to say that we finished 17th overall and 1st in class!!! I never imagined we could achieve that much this year (only our second time). I’m already looking forward to next year!!