Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Minis on Top

What a thrill! This afternoon after stopping the traffic in central Turin, we made our way to the Lingotto rooftop testing track made famous in the original 'Italian Job'.

At first glance the mamouth sloping corners looked terifying. How would the cars hold the turn? How high do you go?

As soon as we were given the all clear any fear went and excitement took over.

It was an amazing day which Chris and I will never forget.

Who said driving in Turin was stressful.

We've arrived in hectic Turin. Chris and Andy have a quick break and talk tactics. I wouldn't say it was busy but Andy's taken to smoking in the petrol station!

Monday, October 30, 2006

BMW tn the rescue

After Monza we made our way to the local BMW dealer who put great buffet.

They allowed us access to all areas. Luckily for team 37 who earlier in the week smelt burning. Ever the comitted jobber they carried on after Mini Assirtance couldn't help.

On getting to the dealers the mechanics discovered that the fan had overheated and the wire burnt back to the fuse box. They are currently scaveging from cars and have said thezy will work through the night if needed.

Now hows that for service?

Farewell Monza

We couldn't leave Monza without showing you a few Ferrari's.

On the grid

Lined up and ready to go.

Chris even let me have a go, although he was very nervous.

Off for a spot of lunch now courtsey of Monza.

Its a hard life but someones gotta do it!


All the cars have arrived safely after a 168 mile dash across Italy.

The day started off a bit murky, but the fogs now lifted and its a beautiful sunny, hot day.

All the teams are eager to get out onto the track, but for the moment we'll entertain ourselves, watching the Ferrara team.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Minis on track

Great day at Adria. Lunch consisted of a massive buffet in the restaurant overlooking the race track.

It was an amazing spectacle to watch the bikes hurtle into the corners of the Adria.

After lunch it was the Jobbers turn on track. Although we were instructed to remain
In formation, the pace was certainly spritely.

We've now returned to the hotel ready for this evenings black tie meal in honour of our hosts at the Holiday Inn, before we move onto Monza and our hotel at Stressa tomorrow.

Lunch with a view

This is the view from our restaurant. Although the food was great it was more interestimg watching the bikes on the track.

Day 3 - Adria raceway

The day started off with a 60 mile run to the curcuit. Upon every team arriving we were challenged with a cup crushing competition (basically an obstacle course).

AndyP tore up the course in an in exciting round in his brand new S Works followed by the GP. Not too easy for either on 18 inch wheels with steering lock limiters!

Off to another lunch now and back out for some more fun in the sun later.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Lunch at Castle Brando

On the edge of the Dolomites. We then went onto Sella Di Fadalto (mountain pass) on lake Santa Croce.

Stop off

Arrived safe at stage one.

We're at a beautiful villa in private grounds. The local police seem to be assisting and everything is well coordinated.

Although there is a chill in the air the sun has come out and looks like its going to be another wonderful day.


Heather and Andy P (team 35) at the starting line.

Each team starts in numerical order, with 30 second intervals.

We're team 41 and will kick off in a while.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Familiar faces

There's some familiar faces here today including-

Heather and Andy P
Jacked up
Ian and chris (newminiseverns)

I think most of the guys are eager to get started tomorrow (i know Chris is) but today was a non driving day to allow those arriving a bit later a bit of a rest (includin one team who started in a classic, broke down on the way and went back to the Uk to get their new MINI cooper works. Thats dedication for you!)

Tonight the hotel provided another fantastic four course meal (with wine) but we're taking it easy after last nights celebrations. Although i havd to say, it must of been good stuff we were drinkin as neither of us woke up with headaches this morning.

8.30 start tomorrow so i had better behave and get on some fruit juice!

Day one registration

First day of the job and the cars are still arriving.
After all cars are checked by 'The Drs' for road worthness, drivers register and recieve their team numbers.

Each car has to meet MOT standards, including rear seat belts. What in a GP?
Did we pass? Yeah but it was noted that the new MINI has crap handbreaks. Tell us about it!

No driving today, so its off on a criuse and a spot of lunch before the drivers start clocking up the miles tomorrow.

More pictures to follow later.

Nite, nite

We've. had the best day.
Thank you for all your kind wishes.

Love Chris and Jax

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The wedding

We've had a great day.

After breakfast we made our way into Venice on the train and a short river bus ride to the Rialto bridge for a few pictures.

After a few formalities, the Mayor of Venice conducted the wedding.
Although the morning had been overcast, the skies cleared as we drank a coffee whilst waiting for our Gondola.

The Gondola took us to Piazza San Marco.
Many people, clapped and congratulated us on our way.

We stopped off at Harrys bar for a Belini (cocktail) and the had a walk round before returning to the Hotel for a meal tonight.

So now the madness begins,,

Bring on the Minis. Bring on the ITALIAN JOB!

Deed done

Fantastic day.

9am Venice

Hi guys

We're just getting dressed and will be setting off soon.

Thank you for all your kind words and support.

We'll try to post some more pictures later on, but for now we'll leave you with a picture of The Rialto Bridge which you look out onto from the window of the registry office.

Love Chris and Jax

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Holiday Inn Heaven

Oh myGod! What can i say?

1 bedroom
1 lounge
1 dressing room
1 shower room
1 bathroom
AND 2 plasma tvs and bar

And thats just our suite!

Are we pleased? Yeah its ok.

What is it?

Sitting down for a quick coffee and panini when we found this.

It looks like a Cooper Park Lane Checkmate according to the badging. EHH??

Weather here is fantastico at a mild 27 degrees.

Hopefully we'll be meeting up with a couple of other 'jobbers' tonight, including HeatherP and AndyP from MINI2.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Venice or bust.

Well the cameras working again, so no longer bust, so i guess that means we're in Venice.

Chris has been busy filming and i've been on the camera.

We was going to have a coffee in san marco square but at 9euros we thought better of it.

It would be cheaper to fill the GP!

GP for Sale!!!!

Hi all,

Humble apologies for not having blogged sooner but our connection went down as we approached Venice.

Firstly what can I say about Bergamo? It's a beautiful city with fantastic coffee, but lacking in nice restaurants. We eventually found one the locals seemed to be using and it was a bit of a result! One downside was the noise. It was like sleeping on the main runway at Gatwick during the night as you could hear every plane taking off.

Our hotel (The Mecure) was great with a fabulous breakfast buffet (two tables long) and overlooking the old city walls.

We had to stop off on the way to Venice to get petrol and note that in Germany and Italy the V-Power is 100 octane. The GP loves it, and is quite spritely with it! Average speed today is 92.6mph.

The weather in Venice at the moment is wonderful and warm, and we're having a bit of a wonder around the city.

We'll try to blog some pictures later, but at the moment the reception is poor and we are staying at the Holiday Inn Express (instead of the Holiday Inn as they are having to do some maintenance work on the Hotel and hence we can't get on to the Internet). We hope they sort it out by tomorrow otherwise they could have 100 plus (very angry jobbers) on their doorstep.

Oh and the GP for sale? Not ours..... No 1279 at the Brescia dealership. If anyone fancies a left hander and a small round trip of 1400 miles to get it?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Afternoon coffee Italian style

Arrived in beautiful but wet Bergamo. 2 double expresso and 4 cakes all for 7euro.

Who said diet?


We're now in Switzerland. As we entered the country it was still raining but we're now getting up in the mountains.

As we!ve come out of The Selisberg tunnel we've come out to sunshine and a fantastic views over Lake Luzern.

Chris said he likes Switzerland because he's put the car in cruise control and the mileage range is going up!

Dammed clever this Swiss, they stop us from poluting their beautiful country and give you more miles for petrol!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Down and out in Colmar

In answer to Celtictricky's question after todays run, the GP's averaging 23.6mpg. Chris says he's trading it in for a MINI ONE D when he gets back coz he's fed up with having to out begging in the evening to pay for the petrol!

Nite, nite and speak to you tomorrow.

Evening In Colmar

Just sitting outside a restaurant in the town square overlooking a beautiful Gothic church. As i'm writing the bells are chiming and its so tranquil.

We've just had a flambe (a kind of light pizza) with a glass of wine. WHAT BLISS!

Colmar has a district called Little Venice (in the picture) and we had a stroll down there earlier on.

Ah well off in a minute back to the hotel. Theres a MINI dealer right next door whth some great neon signs and we want to get some arty pics of of Grampy by it.

Autobahn today

Got onto the autobahn (after finding some petrol!) The traffic was very heavy, which made difficult to get up to speed and get picture before someone would pull out in front of us.

We got this picture (apologies for the poor quality) as we hit 140 mph. We did get a 144 out of Grampy but the camera girl missed it OOPS!

Grampy drove like a dream and it was no problems getting him up to speed. Only problem is i've got the urge to get him on the Nurembeqg ring now - minuse a car full of luggage

Have you seen my bear behind?

Thanks MINIACS for our presents. We had a fabulous evening and it's made the start of our adventure really special.

We've just entered Germany after a small detour for petrol. It was the french weekend all over again. The first station on the satnav didn't exist: the second was closed: the third didn't except our cards! When we finally found one we were literally down to zero on the range. ARGHH!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Evening in Gent

Just tucking into a fondue and lashings of drink.

Sorry i can't talk too long as mz prawns have arrived

Speak to you later whdn we get back to the hotel.

Arrived Belgium

Great roads. Weather not so great

What a clean up already!

Morning. After a full monty we thought we'd better give GramPy a quick clean before we set for Belgium. We're not sure when he'll get another clean because we've got some early starts coming up.

No request by the hotel residents to clean their cars, but I think a couple of the locals thought we we're nuts, including one elderly gent who asked if he could come with us. 'sorry no back seats mate!'

Of course it rained just as we finished. HUMPH!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Oh deer!

Ok so after a couple of double vodkas, we come face 2 face with this beast!

Think we'd better get to bed because tomorrow our job begins.

First blog

Hi all.
Well we've arrived at our first hotel (The Clyffe) just outside Dover. Built in 1584, its a lovely country house in St Margarets Bay.
Task of the day was trying to pack enough stuff in the GP to get us through 16 days. I don't know how the classics do it! Well we're off to the bar now so we'll speak 2 you soon.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gift number 2

Can you guess which which mad MINI2er got us this? You know who you are.. Thank you;-)

Wedding gifts

Thought i would share a picture of our present from work. Both Chris and i would like to say a massive thank you to the girls its such a perfect gift and we really will treasure it.

3 days and a chinese

Evenin all,

Had a great day today. We have both been totally rushed off our feet at work but the girls got us a fantastic wedding present, of a limited edition print, from the original Italian Job film (i'll post a pic tomorrow). We then made our way to the Aroma (Chinese) restaurant.

Started packing when I got home. Well to be honest packing Chris's stuff and thats taken up one whole suitcase. I hope we can get everything in the 'van'.

The guys from Belgium have confirmed that there will be 6 minis meeting us on the way to Gent and then we'll make our way to a Fondue Restaurant.....

Hang on a minute... Fondue + Belgium + Chocolate...... Does life get any better than this?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

4 days and counting

Sorted out our Euros today, so hopefully we won't starve on the way down to venice.

Finally sucombed to buying a new camcorder today. So hopefully we'll be able to run up a bit of a film for you all when we get.

Seems like we still have a massive amount to sort out, but i think i'm just panicking, because i know i have loads to complete before i finish work on Thursday.

I'm out tomorrow night with the girls from work. I'm a bit long in the tooth for a full on hen night so it looks like we're going to settle for a Chinese banquet... must remind myself that i have to get into my dresses on the Italian Job....Ok so i'll have one less prawn cracker.

See ya tomorrow and i'll let you know how the food was.

Monday, October 16, 2006

5 days to go....

Evening All

We had a fabulous day yesterday. To see the 3 GPs lined up and in the flesh was magic.

Although the day had started off overcast, our mood couldn't be dampened. This was our last run out before leaving for Venice and the Italian Job on Saturday, and we were eager to meet up with some friends from New Mini Severns.

The group assembled at the usual meeting point at the Gordano Services, leaving to meet up with a further group at Bridgewater.

Heavy traffic caused the group to splinter, but a short reassemble and we made our way to the Windmill at West Quantoxhead (on the A39). After treating ourselves to some free electric (our mobile phone was running short on power) most of the group piled their plates high from the Carvery. If ever your that way, we can highly recommend the food...

After lunch the convoy made its way up Porlock Hill for a short photo stop, and then on to Lynmouth. We were at the back and by the time we passed the locals and tourist they were fasinated and one even noted "a third GP!"

By now the weather was improving and after parking the Cars we made our way to the cliff top railway. Most enjoyed the ride down apart from Jack (Tiggers' dog) who insisted on trying to sit on anyones lap for a bit of confort!

A quick cuppa and a huge clotted cream scone for Minisoopercooper (who managed to eat the whole thing without dropping a crumb!) and we made our way back up to the cars. After a short chat we said fairwell to our friends and made our way home.

Hopefully the next time we see them we'll be married....

It was dark by the time we got home (after a 228 mile and a non stop 4 hour journey), but it was good practice for our long haul trip to Italy, next week.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

3 GPs on a run

A first for New Mini Severns


The Windmill.

Coastal run

First regroup

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Chris being a DJ

Some should tell him about the headgear

Evenin wiv the gov

Friday, October 13, 2006

A bit of a pre-run Run...

This coming Sunday (15th Oct) we're off with 13 other mini's on the New Mini Severns South West Coastal Run

The plan of action is to drive from just outside of Bristol, through Somerset along the A39 to Minehead.

We will then continue along the road to the famous or should that be infamous Porlock Hill, a 25% (1 in 4) incline with some very tight bends! Then on through Lynton and Lynmouth where we will stop for a bit of sight seeing and maybe finish there.

Follow us over the day and the weekend with Live updates here.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Little Italy

Had a great time at legoland on sunday, we spent most of our time practicing with the phone.

Monday, October 02, 2006