Friday 14th September 2007, Homewood Chiropractic Clinic.
‘So Mr Mark it would appear that your prolapsed disc is pinching your sciatic nerve more than before resulting in the pain down your left leg. I recommend some rest’.
‘What are you doing?’
‘Taking part in a car rally.’
‘How are you getting there?’
‘In the same car.’
‘What car is it?’
‘A 1964 Mini Cooper.’
‘But that’s got to be over 500 miles?’
Well that’s how my Minis to Ecosse started! Having been on the two previous events there was no way I was going to miss this one, even if it meant the whole event would have to be from the navigator’s seat with a combination of drugs and alcohol!
Barbara and I left home Sunday morning at 3:00 am and having done the trip from home to Perth before, yes it is exactly 500 miles ( and a couple of tenths ) to the Broxton roundabout at the end of the A9. A couple of loo/fuel stops found us at the Scone start just after 1:00 pm.
We checked in and went for a spot of lunch in the restaurant, and the next faces we saw were ‘Monte’ regulars Jim and Julie Redburn. It did not occur to me at first but they were not on the entry list? ‘We’ve come to see you all off’ said Julie. ‘But you live in Norfolk’ I said. They were in the area for the weekend!
I would like to thank the organisers for what was a brilliant event. I thought we had driven some good roads on previous holidays to Scotland when we had said wouldn’t this be good in a Mini. Well the roads on this event were more than good they were great! The crews also gelled well, part of being a small group I guess! So where were the rest of you? On some days I did not have a clue where we had been, as the route book was so good there was no need to plot the route on a map. Having checked things out since we got back, those Nurburgring stickers that people put on the back of their cars look very tame!
I must give special thanks to many people for helping me through the event. Firstly Barbara who got lumbered with doing 2250 total miles at the wheel, Roger the Hat for transporting us to meal venues beyond my walking distance, Marie Louise for my pelvic floor exercises!, Shelia Rainey for the loan of that electrical device! and Paul Wilson for supplying me with the ‘drivers’ samples during the distillery tour (it would be a shame to have put it back in the bottle). Is this why they gave me the Spirit of the event award?
Some of the scenery on the run was spectacular, made all the better by the changeable weather conditions. The rainbows and mists giving a true sense of scale to the landscape we were traversing! Some of the most memorable parts of the journey were following the two Mk II ‘S’s through showers with huge outcrops of rock in the background and lots of black and white Armco at the side of the road! The times when the four Mk I ‘S’s got together and followed Ian Chilcot as he hung out the side of his car whilst father Rodney was ‘giving it some’ at the wheel. There are many more, those that went will know what I mean and those that didn’t will only find out what I’m on about if they come next time!
We will be back for more in 2008 and I’m driving!
Hello all, just an update to say I was admitted to Royal Hospital Haslar on the 21st of October for spinal surgery. Everything seems to have gone to plan and I am soon to start physiotherapy. After the operation I asked why my shoulder ached so much, apparently you get clamped to the bed! (Note to self, stay awake for bondage next time). Thank you again to everyone for being so helpful on the event, see you next September when we can do it all again……..in France.
Car No. 3