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She’s Alive!!

So yesterday Ashley & Chris popped round to finish the work on the halfshaft.

After a nice cup of tea, they got to work, while I supervised (too many cooks spoil the broth etc etc).

It didn’t take too long, as all that needed doing was the half shaft popping back in, and the diff putting back in & everything being topped up with oil, I think the part that took the longest was me having to go & get the oil (and brake shoes, I figured whilst the wheels were off…!)

It was so exciting to see her being lowered off the jacks, and touching the ground properly again!  My heart was, quite literally, in my mouth!

As soon as I was able I jumped right in & started her.

Or rather, tried to start her.

For the past few months I have been driving a modern car – modern cars don’t have a choke – and it took me a moment to figure what was wrong!  She got started though, not too bad considering since 7th December she has only been started once and I took her for a little drive round the car park (she is currently declared SORN and sans MOT so no proper driving just yet!) and it was wonderful to be in a ‘proper’ car again!

Ashley & Chris did a little fiddling under the bonnet and she’s now running like a dream, she sounds like a real car and I can’t wait to get her back on the road properly!

She is just needing a crank shaft bolt and the MOT and we are good to go!

HUZZAH!!

In other news, Ashley is now the proud owner of not 1, but 3 Morris Minors – one of them is smooshed, and the other 2 aren’t going anywhere any time soon, but I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s managed to get one working car out of the three! 😀

A little word of advice for road users, and a sad sad goodbye

A few weeks ago, I found out via Facebook that Ashley had been involved in a car crash. ‘Some cuts and bruises’ he said, then I saw the pictures…

Moggie was a 1955 Morris Minor, and so had no seatbelts.  A guy (in a BMW) jumped a red light and hit them, causing the car to go into the air & hit a road sign (impressive if it wasn’t quite so horrific).  Luckily Ashley & passenger, Bobby, were both able to get out of the car, and are both on the way to a full recovery.

I can’t get over the stupidity of some people on the roads.  I often find myself wondering how people managed to pass their test if they drive the way they do, but I am fast realising that the law only matters if you are caught, and I guess that’s the problem.  Frequently on my way to & from Worcester University, I see people driving in excess of the speed limit (seriously, set off 10 minutes earlier & you won’t have to rush) and driving whilst on their mobile phones (I can’t see what could possibly be so important).  A lot of cars come without indicators these days too…

It’s exceptionally upsetting to hear about Ashley losing his car like this.  Sure, I know, cars can be replaced, but I am not sure this is something you can understand unless you are the owner of a classic car.

Of course, we are all exceptionally happy that both Ashley & Bobby were able to walk away from the accident, but we shall still lament the passing of Moggie.

Plus, the weekend after the accident, Ashley was meant to be coming round to sort out Martha’s broken half shaft, so he buggered that up royally 😉

Best wishes you two xxxx

GET WELL SOON!!

For anyone who is friends with me (or Martha) on Facebook, or Twitter, you will already be aware that Martha is currently sat in the garage down the road.

On Wendesday, as I was driving from work to home at lunchtime, Martha’s gearbox kind of went…THUNK, then she made an awful clunking noise, but only in 2nd gear.

Stupidly, I drove her back to work, then I managed to get stuck on a corner coming back.  It seems as though she is trying to select 2 gears at the same time (reverse being one of them).  I had to be picked up in a tow truck and taken home!!

So yesterday, Bob (my boss) and I went to Flitwick to pick up a new gearbox.  Well, new to me, anyway.  And tomorrow, the lovely men at ATS are going to take out the old gearbox, and put the new one in.

The funny thing is, we have no idea if the ‘new’ gearbox will work or not, so this could just be a whole waste of time (and money).

The thing is, tomorrow I am starting a 2 week trial as a graphic designer, which requires me to travel to Wilnecote, near Tamworth – a 30 minute car journey, or a 1 and a half hour public transport journey!  So really, I need to try what I can!!

I am crossing my fingers that she is ok tomorrow, and will be able to take me to work.  And hopefully to Leeds next weekend too!!  EEK!

On a lighter note, Thursday saw me get a tattoo in honour of Martha!

(a not too great picture, I apologise!)

GET WELL SOON MARTHA!!!!

TTFN

Katiexxx

The Minor Mafia Take Over Cadbury(s) World (DARLING!)

On 25th June I had another visit from Steph & Cat, who this time were joined by Emily, Cat’s sister.

It was fun times as we also made Matt Coles (founder of the MMOC  Young Members Register) pop over from Wales for the day on Saturday.

We had a convoy going from Halesowen to Birmingham, which was the first Minor Convoy I have had the pleasure of being involved with, which included Derek (Matt’s Car) and Martha (Steph’s Car) as well as my Martha.

On the Sunday, we drove the Martha’s and Cat’s Car, Morrisey, to Cadbury World for a fun day out.

The Minor MafiaSeriously, how much do you need to know about chocolate?  I’ll bet it isn’t actually as much as Cadbury (Kraft) World tell you.  A bit of a disappointment that the packaging plant wasn’t open, yet we still had to pay full price (I found out later that it’s not open on Sundays, and can’t help but think this is a bit o a swiz!!!!).  However, I did get a couple of bars of chocolate (which melted in the crazy hot weather), and I got to spend the day with some other awesome Morris Minors.  I mean people.

Ashley came to meet us in the afternoon & we had an impromptu photoshoot in a pub car park.

On Wednesday, 29th June, I went over to Shirley in Solihull to sit my driving test, and guess what! I only bloody passed!!!  I couldn’t actually believe it when the examiner told me I’d passed, and actually asked him if he was kidding!!

I have to say, this was the 2nd time I had sat a driving test, and has to have been one of the most traumatic  45 minutes of my life.

I think what helped me on this occasion was the fact that it took me 3 goes to get the car in the right gear to reverse out of the parking bay in front of the test centre!  After this, I think I must have just decided I had failed & relaxed, which seemed to do the trick!  I was driving thinking ‘oh well, better luck next time, eh?!’ maybe not the right attitude, but it also worked for my mum who passed her test after a similar kind of thing!

So now I am on the road fully, without the need for a co-pilot, though I do miss driving everywhere with someone to talk to.  But, driving alone has some good points – I can listen to the music at full blast like a proper boy racer 😉

My New BFF (Paris ain’t got nothing on me)

I was exceptionally happy to learn, when I joined the MMOC forum that there was a fellow young member in the same town as me (technically this is not true, actually, it is the outskirts of Halesowen & Quinton, but I digress).

I caught Ashley having a sneeky look at Martha one Sunday after I was having an afternoon nap, and was awoken by what I thought was someone stealing my car (those Morris Minors make a very distinctive noise).

On that day I learned an awful lot about Martha, mainly by asking stupid questions, like ‘what’s that then?’ and ‘what does this do?’ and Ashley was everso patient with me, gowd bless ‘im!

Ashley has since become my ‘pop up mechanic’ (will you even fit in my boot, Ashley?), and has visited a couple of times to help out with various things; he made a little box to hide my cigarette lighter in, and yesterday he came down to help me check the gearbox oil (see previous post!).  Turns out the gear shift problem was down to my funny changing of gears due to wearing bracelets – it hasn’t happened since.

Not only is Ashley a great help with Martha, but he is a top lad too, they don’t make boys like him often!  I promise I will be making your cake very soon (i.e. when I get some eggs!)

Anyway, Ashley, here’s to you & your massive tool box!

Sunday Mornings = Martha & Me Time

Sunday mornings are generally the time when I like to go & have a tinker with Martha, I get little chance the rest of the time.

This morning, as is usual or a Sunday, I was awake before 8am (seriously, it’s a Sunday, why can I not have a lie in? Why does my body hate me so???!!!), so I decided I’d go down & take the bonnet flash & bonnet lift handle off so I caould give them a good clean, pain the bits that needed painting, and wack them back on again.  No problem, easy little job!

So off they came, in pretty good nick really, not rusty, but very dull, and the handle is quite badly pitted, but a polish would make them nice enough until I get new ones!

Bonnet Flash, Bonnet Lift Handle

Before

I put the screws & washers into a tray of WD40 (ok, so it’s not WD40, it’s a cheap version, but still…) to get the rust off & loosen them up a bit, and also used a sponge & a spray of the oil to polish the metal a bit.
 
The enamel has also worn off the flash, so I decided to touch that up a bit with…….NAILPOLISH!  Unfortunately, I could only do the red for the time being, but I like how they turned out, and so simple too!
 
Bonnet Flash, Bonnet Lift Handle

After!

So off I went to put them back on, this is where the trouble started! Putting the bonnet lift handle back on, the screw shirred off, and so won’t stay put!  The screws on the flash wouldn’t tighten properly either, so that was flopping about a bit, but at least it was on.

After a particularly terrifying drive yesterday, where the gear shift kept sticking in between 2nd & 3rd, I decided I would definately have to check the gear box oil.  I have been meaning to do it since I got her, but never got around to it!

Unfortnately the tool I had wouldn’t fit in the little hole properly to get the screw out, so a trip to Maplin was on order to buy a socket set!

Happy days, £4.99 spent, and the largest socket was not big enough to fit in.

So I still haven’t been able to top up the oil in the gearbox.

When I was out, I also noticed that a bit of metal was coming off the side of the bonnet, and when I was driving along, the glove box surround at the drivers side came off.  Crazy day!

However, I did have a bit of a clean up in the engine bay, and the sump now looks very clean, and I even found a bit of metal underneath a lot of grime.

I polished the bumper too, but then found the boot won’t lock.

Ce’st la vie, and all part & parcel of owning a classic car.  So if anyone has a spare boot catch, lock handle & bonnet lift handle lying around, you know what to do…I have cake…

TTFN

Katiexxx

Fundraising…

So, maybe some of you are thinking ‘why the hell is she still asking for money, she has the car!’. 

Well, for starters, I thought you might like some cake, and I am still saving to get some bits & bobs for Martha, so I figured, why not keep it open, until I am doing the actual road trip, then I can visit even more of you!  Of course, you are under no obligation to donate, but then you won’t get any cake, so it’s a fair deal, right?!

So, do you want to know what I have planned?

No?  Oh, well, you’re here, so I’m going to tell you anyway.

First of all, I’d like to get a new gearstick gaiter, as the one currently in my car is looking a little worse for wear, shall we say!  I also need to get the heater fixed (last night was the first time I have really wished it was working! It was so cold in there!!), I also need new buckets & rims for the headlamps as they are quite misshapen & rusty, I also want to clean up the chrome on the bumpers & the bonnet, as well as get new rubber for the windows, fit static seatbelts in the back (she currently has none), and get some clip on quarterlight mirrors, I have to get speakers so I can hear the CDs I will be able to play, and the cover on the indicator stalk has broken off, so that is at least a new cover! So not much to start with, huh?!

I would also like at some point in the future to re-spray Martha, a lovely red.  I know, I know, some of you will be mortified, but I like red.  I’d like to have her body red & the interior black, which involves new carpets, new seat covers & new door panels, parcel shelf & so on!  The carpets I intend to make myself, but I need black carpet for that, I am also wondering if I could make some of the other bits myself, such as seat covers, but I’m not sure about that.

So, if you are able to donate anything at all, it will all be going to good use, and you will be put on the road trip map for a nice cake delivery!  If you happen to have any bits lying around that you think may be of use, get in touch, all donations are very gratefully received, be it £1 or (I can still hold out hope!) £100, a bit of rubber for the quarterlight, or a brand new bumper!  All in return for masses of cake, of course!!  Don’t forget the cake!

TTFN

Katiexxx

Thank You Lovely People Of The Interwebs!

I am still amazed at how many people donated to the car fund, and helped me to buy Martha, and your generosity continues to overwhelm me.

The other day I got a message via Twitter from @HeydayVS, asking if I was still after a CD player for the car.  I replied I was, and we arranged a swap of knitting for the CD player!  Fantastico!  In case you didn’t know, Heyday is a wonderful online shop selling reproduction vintage clothing, and should definately be checked out if you are after vintage style clothing, plus the lady who runs it, Shona, is an absolutely wonderful person, and provides the best customer service!  I have quite a few items from the shop now, and can highly recommed them, top quality stuffs!!  Thank you Shona!

I have also been offered some weatherstrips by a fellow MMOC member, Matt, and as previously mentioned, Ashley is the fixing-things-that-go-wrong man (I am baking this weekend by the way, Ashley!!).

If you would still like to make a donation to the car fund, and be included in the Cakey Road Trip (hopefully taking placed July/August time) you can do!  You can donate money via Paypal by using the link on the right, or if you are welcome to donate something specific if you prefer!  If you have any spare bits lying about, drop me a line!!

TTFN

Severn Valley 1960’s Weekend

Today Martha & I went up to Bridgnorth for the ‘Morris Minor Takeover’, as part of the Severn Valley Railway 1960’s Weekend.

It was a day full of fun & I got to meet some other local Morris Minor owners, the weather stayed dry, which is all we can hope for really, and the girls in the cafe were wonderful, keeping us topped up with excellent cups of tea throughout the day!

It was lovely to talk to other Moggy owners, and I was welcomed by everyone there, despite little Martha not being perhaps as shiney & spearkly as some of the other cars there!

We had a great time, and tomorrow we will be doing a bit of a tour of the stations to see what is going on along the line!  If you are around, look out for us and come & say hello!

Martha & Me!

Tying to rescue the original blog still, which has lots about the fundraising effort & the story of going to pick up Martha!  I hope it can be saved!!

Anyway, it is over a month since I picked her up from Leicester, and apart from a holiday in Prague, and a trip back up north, we have been or a drive pretty much every single day!

In case you didn’t know, my buying Martha was part funded buy donations through the original blog, by the wonderful people of the interwebs!  It was a silly idea I had one evening, and I don’t think anyone was more suprised than me when the money started coming in!  In return for donations, I offered home made cake, which would be delivered by me, in a UK wide road trip.  I am yet to do the road trip, but I am in the process of planning (so if you did donate and haven’t done so already, please email your name & address to kdexeter@yahoo.co.uk!).

Anyway, Martha & I have been having a wonderful time, and over the next few days I will be updating with all the little bits of work I have done on her so far, and then upadating regularly with more of our adventures!

TTFN

Katie