Thursday, 29 November 2007

The Roman Way.

The time had come for another big spend over at Jeeparts, so I fitted the roof to the old one and set off on a 200 mile round trip to get an engine, plus some other stuff. It would be the furthest I had been in it since visiting the Combo’s in Italy three years ago. I opted for Roman Roads all the way to Shrewsbury, taking the Fosse Way down to Hinckley, then Watling Street the rest of the way. The Romans didn’t piss about. They wanted good road links at any expense. Anyone gets in the way, throw them to the Lions. And here we are today, still using their road network. I had forgotten what a thrill it is to drive my 59 year old Land Rover. A delicate balance of gear changing, brake pumping and vague steering. Having to get a move on to catch Matt at the Overland Preparation Barn, before he went home, I found I had to spread the gate of my feet to maintain balance through the lovely bends between Utoxeter and Matlock. I felt very much like Mr Toad at the wheel. Great fun! I made it and deposited a new engine and various other bits for the next instalment.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

My Aunt's Jeep

I went up to Matlock yesterday and did a tour of inspection. The completed body tub is standing to attention on it’s rear panel in a corner of the workshop and the rolling chassis is being wheeled in and out to make way for real work. Hopefully, before Christmas, we shall formulate a second list of parts for me to collect, no, buy, from Jeeparts UK. It will include a new engine. Gulp! Meanwhile I found this lovely picture of my Aunt Rosemary taken, probably, at the end of the war. She was a bit of a James Bond in her day and talks little of what she actually did in the war to this day. It was all a secret. However, she has clearly wooed a couple of chaps to change a wheel here, whilst her and an officer watch on. I shall email her and ask if she can remember any other details. She would not, for one moment, have been interested in the Jeeps, or the fact that the one at the front has a trailer in tow, but you never know, she may just say that the officer lives down the road and still has the Jeep covered in dust in his shed.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Light me up Giulio.

Sorry for the gap in transmissions Peter, but truth be told, there hasn’t been a lot of activity to report on. The boys in Matlock have had a ‘real’ job come in and that had to take priority. I did have a very encouraging picture emailed to me from none other than Ron Combo, in Italy. Ron has a good pal, Giulio, a singer of note and enthusiastic dancer any time after midnight. The picture shows Giulio, first opening the tenth bottle of wine that evening and secondly, livening up a quiet village main street near where they live. I can’t imagine why the other villager's didn’t come out and join in. They must have heard the music roaring out of the Jag. And it was Giulio on the tape. Great voice! Anyway, Giulio has a yard and in that yard is an old trailer with two Jeep rear lights. My aim is to ask Ron to persuade Giulio to remove them and bring them over to Blighty when they come over to see the Italy v Wales 6 Nations Rugby match next February. If it all works out I shall buy Giulio a pint in Cardiff, if they have beer there. It may be a Sunday. I’ll have to check. I’m worried now. Maybe he’ll settle for a lamb chop.