March 5, 2017
One of the downsides of owning a less popular make of car is finding someone to service it. Obviously anyone can change the oil but fiddly bits like sorting kingpins, shock absorbers, balancing steel wire wheels and replacing failing trim etc. then you need to go to a specialist Morgan dealer/garage. So I drove ‘Samantha’ north to Beamish (near Durham) to deposit my weekend mistress for some tender loving care. I was back later in the week to collect her. This is a nearly a 200 mile return trip that involves the train but here things get better because York railway station is an easy link to most places by being on the main North to South line. I don’t take the train many times in the year but it is a mystery to me. It cost me £33.60 for a single to get from Durham to York and the return single ticket, Anna bought me, was £7.00. What is that all about?
However, when I went back, I discovered Aladdin’s Cave next door at the Aston Martin workshop they also own. It is in here they rebuild the bodies, rebuild and test engines, repaint and or service old Aston Martin’s. I asked how much to rebuild an old ‘barn find’. Prices started at £150,000. One Saudi had six cars in here once; all being reworked. You’ll see with the Bentley that they had other treasure.
I reply to a number of Tweets posted by celebs. I suppose I cannot help myself! A number will occasionally reply if you are interesting and somehow can ‘get to them’. Egos are fragile things. I noted that Piers Morgan was following a wacky Tory MP who belongs to a different century, and not necessarily the last one. I called him out on this and he explained why. (Still not a good reason to follow him though!)
Some times you cannot win and life isn’t fair. You may know this. My father-in-law, like a number of older chaps, gets house bound during the winter. As my mother-in-law had earlier informed High Command (my first wife) that someone was required to retrieve the dry cleaning from Morrisons then I thought why not take Eric with me? So armed, additionally, with a small shopping list we embarked on our adventure.
Amongst my responsibilities was to ensure that there was a minimum amount of deviation from the shopping list. Disciplinary action would ensue should this be discovered. So in our cruising up and down the aisles I was horrified to find that Eric was enjoying himself and adding to the shopping basket away from the agreed written instructions. Clearly this was not a liberty to be well received on our return.
You’ll be relieved to learn that I managed to minimise this ill discipline and limit Eric’s enjoyment. However, despite this achievement I was subject to a later one-to-one debriefing to find out that the two tins of fruit cocktail in syrup had been identified as unacceptable by all the women in his life.
Eric, however, was not advised of his role in this misdemeanour but ironically had commented to High Command that whilst grateful for the expedition he was a little disappointed at the speed at which I had wanted to progress down the tinned fruit aisle. Apparently I am to receive further training…..