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“I have always looked upon decay as being just as wonderful and rich an expression of life as growth

I know I have left this Xmas Blog rather late. By now many of you will be well into the “Don’t you dare touch any of that ‘til Xmas Eve” stockpile and are enjoying time with friends and family. I closed the doors on the garage yesterday evening and tried to remember the same scenario, exactly a year earlier……..Couldn’t remember a bloody thing. This was partly due to lashings of Opiates, dished out by the NHS after my appendix did its imitation of a timing belt letting go at 5000 rpm. I cannot see the point of doing a review of the year as by now (some TV shows having started in mid-November) everything has been said and done.

Personally? Bowie and Leonard Cohen were a sad loss, watching my beloved Leyton Orient being shredded by a megalomaniac Chairman has been mildly traumatic but business has been steady, I didn’t need to walk 5 miles to get water and no Sniper has taken a pot-shot at me across a bombed-out street.

The Classic Car Show at the NEC was certainly a highlight of the year was quite an eye-opener. The luxury of being taken and driven (there and back) by my good friend Lionel was a huge part of the enjoyment and I can’t thank him enough. Classic car prices are rocketing, some more than others and at last, there is a trend towards originality rather than total restoration. Amongst the rows of club stands and sales sites full of gleaming, concours exotica, the cars that really stood out were those with a degree of “signs of age”. The surprise star of the show was this beast:

I have no idea why it was at a classic car show but I was very pleased to see it. They say never meet your heroes in the flesh…..they are wrong. Seeing this makes you realise that our current crop of “Play-Station” F1 drivers are a completely different breed. The Tyrell in close up…it is a bit like getting within touching distance of The Mona Lisa and discovering it was all done with felt-pens. How Jackie Stewart drove that box of plumbers left-overs I will never know.

In early November, The Redhead and I took the opportunity to see an old mate in Holland and finally got to see the wonderful Louwman Collection in Den Haag. The cars are one thing and the building itself quite another. If you get a chance, do go. I love this Toyota almost as much as any Alfa.

And The Redhead fell in love with this amazing Talbot

In the spirit of the season I decided not to have a massive rant. Suffice to say that it doesn’t look like Leyton Orient will be back in Europe any time soon, That the NHS is soon to be a thing we tell our grandchildren about in twenty years’ time….and they don’t believe us and no matter where you park your pride and joy at Morrison’s, some Berk in a massive pick-up truck will block you in. Have fun over the festivities and may which ever God you mistakenly believe in, go with you.

Alan S.

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