Sunday, November 26, 2006

Mini MINI Malverns

As per usual the Malverns delivered the goods. With spectacular scenery and fabulous roads. The Autumn sunshine added to the days brisk pace.

Autumn has definitely set in, with the cars at the end of the run reflecting this.

Give me sunshine

Especially on the French Weekender. After a couple of drinks Ady does his best Morecambe and Wise impersonation.

Lets get philosophical

As the evening goes on, conversation turns to planning to next years French Weekender,

Saturday, November 25, 2006

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

Also known as, RVW. Jaffa and Chris. You can make your own mind up which one is which.

Things are hottin up!

118 on form and on the Belinis

The French Weekender Reunion

Earlier this year, Cosper (the Cooper) went on a trip, with us, to France. It was dubbed 'Cappuchino Tourism' because of the numerous places we went to and the miles that we covered.

Centered in Ducey the group visit included the Beautiful 'fairytale' Mont St Michel; St Malo Honfleur and Deauville. The was an amazing gastronomic delight, which on Sunday also included a four course meal in a fantastic Chatteau, with wine and coffee, and all for 14 pounds per person!!

So still bouyant from the first trip, we're now looking to repeat this great tour, superbly executed, by the Beastmaster and Peanut (aka Ady and Chrissie).

Tonight, the Normandy Invasion Force reunite (with a few extras wanting for a bit of next years action). Formal dress, including bow ties will be the attire for the night with plenty of cocktails and Martinis on order.

Follow us and the other 'Weekenders' as we celebrate, reminiscence and cogetate on next years trip. Follow us again Sunday on a 'Mini MINI Malverns' run followed by lunch at The Dog in Baughton.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The new NEW MINI

Specialist Cars, Stevenage, put on a good display of the R56 for its clients today. With 3 Coopers on display and 2 Cooper S' (one with aero kit).

Our thoughts on the Newbies? After drive of the Cooper S, we felt it was a more refined car, but lost a bit of its edge. It feels almost lazy and requiring less input from the driver.

Supercharger whine RIP, although Jax liked the the overun on the Cooper S. We both felt that overall the cars were better in the flesh, with even the 'Little Tykes' centre consol, looking better than expected.

Specialist Cars did themselves proud, with a superb buffet , face painting for the kids and a free gift for us..

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Your pot noodle is served!

A lovely end to the day, with the sun popping out from behind the clouds. The light was just right for some excellent photos at the cliff tops above the beech at Ogmore.

The run was superbly executed by Aston. With local knowledge of all the cunning little routes he guided the 14 cars (without the aid of pace notes) around Barry and the surrounding area, managing to keep the pack together but still keeping the pace spritely.

The run finish at Barry Island where i recalled spending many summers as a child. Still recognisable, but noticably minus the Butlins holiday camp that used to be there, it brought back memories of playing for hours in the funhouse at the fair.

Not so different from today really, except now we play in a MINI..

Part 2

After a great lunch (freshly cooked homemade pies etc YUMMY) Aston's decided the cars are too clean and taken us down some nice mucky lanes.

At least he's leading and hopefully clearing any larger bits of horse poo with his GP!

No room at the toby Inn

Lunch was scheduled for the Toby Inn but the shock on the waitresses face as we asked for a table for 30 spoke volumes. So off to the Three Horseshoes at Moulton we went. A cunning plan B i think!

Early arrivals

With shortest route plotted on the sat nav we set off from Malverns Wells. As usual the roads and scenery in this part of the country are wonderful.

With our friend Peanut in charge of GramPy we made good time on the roads and arrived early at Cardiff just as 2 other MINIs arrived. Now what are the chances of that!

Off for a quick coffee before the run, so speak to you soon.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Welsh Pot Noodle Run..

Sunday 12th November 2006

We've only been back 6 days and Chris is getting itchy feet and GramPy greasy tyres, so its off to Wales we go this weekend with the NewMINIseverns. Whilst the other 'Jobbers" hide in a darkened room nursing their sore heads and clutch toes we dare to go on, and on, and on....

So we're having a little jolly and meeting up with a couple of friends (Beastmaster and Peanut) on Saturday night. I think Chris should let Beastmaster loose with GramPy!!!! eek... Chris say's to show him 'what a proper Cooper S Works should be like' not 'one assembled from spare parts at MINI shows!' (I can see trouble ahead!)

The run will start at 11am at CARDIFF GATE SERVICES M4 JCT 30 meeting at 1045am

This run will be split into 2 sections with a lunch stop in between at a Toby Carvery. The 1st section will be a run in to CARDIFF and around the bay. After lunch will head into the Vale of Glamorgan taking in some views of the sea at Ogmore. The run will end at Barry Island seafront, where we'll be having a stroll and playing on the amusements.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The finish

After 16 days: 1 wedding; 6 runs and 3 racetracks what are you left with?

A whole heap of washing: a car full of booze, but most of all-



Chris, co driver of Ian180881.
Is he shocked at Ians behaviour?
I'd liked to tell you but then i'd have to shoot you. (secrets of the Italian Job Gala Ball)

Even more drunk

Very very drunk

Ian E118

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Start of the evening

The meals fantastic with champagne flowing

What an end

Guided by the police, who coordinated the traffic perfectly, we entered Brighton.

After crossing the line each team recieved a certificate and each member a medal. Chris had to wait for his as he was immediately approached by Mike Cooper, who was eager to find out how the GP was performing.

The Return

We're baaack... And having a little play.

Ready to board

After collecting a few essentials from the supermarket we're ready to board.

Onto Calais

After an early and misty start to the day, all the cars are making their way to Calais. With most of the classics taking off a little earlier (followed by the service van in case of breakdown) the suns now out and we're starting to catch up with the earlier pack.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Cheers from Mumm

Free wine tasting - HIC


We've arrived at Reims where the weather has definitely got colder.

Off to a Champagne tasting in a minute

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Down and out part deux

Now i'm not condoning speeding (except for on the German autobahns with no restrictions).

I have to confirm that Chris has been a very naughty boy and caught the attention of the French police!

I think the most gutting point is that shortly after meeting the 'friendly' French, another GP thundered past us. All Chris and i could think was we couldn't play today! ARGH!

At the top

Well we've made it through the pass. The roads were fabulous and the views were stunning.

We couldn't have asked for better conditions. With clear sky but very chilly (the temperature dropped to -1). We found a water fountain that was freezing as the water settled and there were crystal on the grass.

We grabbed a few pictures before starting our journey to Dijon.

Escape from Turin

OK, so we've pulled the job off and now we're on our escape.

As we take on the mighty St Bernards pass we've left the other cars and got E180881 with us.

As we approach the Alps its a beautiful sunny day, i've checked and at the moment the pass is open

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


In Turin of course!

A quick picture of the weir in Turin, which the minis crossed in the film

Evening in Turin

After anotheq great day all the jobbers have been taken by coach into Turin centre for this evenings meal.

The sites we looked at today look so different tonight.

Mini2 invade the villa

So after a busy day rallying a couple of us invaded the Villa della Regina. This was feature in the original film as Charlie and the boys set off to do the job.

We!ve spent the afternoon checking out various film locations around Turin.

Castello Di Rivoli

Situated overlooking a magnificent valley and looking up to the mountains this castle is now home to a crazy collection of modern art.

Although the day started off chilly its now really warm.

We're off in a minute to our stage.