Category Archives: Driving

driving, maintaining, ROC, meetups, the rally, droolworthy cars, F1…

Southern Belle Road Trip day 2 & 3 (Bell reception at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium and launch of 525 Relentless)

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Filed under Adventuring, Driving, Learning, Memories, Photography, USA Road Trip 2012

Planning my USA road trip…

In February I’m off on a road trip round the southern states with my parents. We’ve been meaning to do this trip since waaaaay back in 2000, but somehow it’s taken this long to find time when all three of us can go!

We’re flying into Dallas Fort Worth, and will spend time there at the HAI conference (working) and at the stock yards and Billy Bob’s (not working!).

We fly home from North Carolina ten days after arriving. In between, while visiting our friends along the way, I want to see Nashville because last time I was there, I was too busy competing to see much of the city.

Parentals reckon we should see Sun Studios, which they did once before… And in between, I’m open to suggestions!

Is there anything I should see? Special places to go? Bars I should try? Things I should do?

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Filed under Adventuring, Driving, Planning, USA Road Trip 2012

Hello 2012 – we’re going to get on famously

This will have to be quick, because I should have been in bed half an hour ago… oh, how I have really not missed the 5.30am starts at all over the break!!

I’m starting 2012 in an incredibly happy, uplifted and motivated frame of mind. I am surrounded by people I love who love me, I have my little haven of a flat and my much adored Poppy-car, changes at work in the last couple of months of 2011 mean I’m much happier there than I thought possible to begin with, and I’m ridiculously lucky that my main stresses are usually that I have too many people and fun things to fit into my social life. Terrible, isn’t it?!

But genuinely, I’m very lucky and well aware of this fact. I’m also intending and hoping for 2012 to be my best year yet… full of all the things I love to do, all the people I love to see and empty (or emptier, at least) of things that make me sad and stressed out. I’m not completely in la la land, I know that various things will be impossible and hard and tearful through the year, but right now things are rosy and I intend to make the absolute most of that.

Things I am muchly looking forward to this year:

Julia’s wedding ~ this is the big one, my best friend and twin soul is getting married on 7th July and I CANNOT WAIT! I’m honoured to have been chosen as one of her bridesmaids and I’ll do everything I can to make sure her big day is perfect.

USA road trip ~ a road trip round the southern states with my parents that we have been talking about doing for close to ten years, we’re flying out to Texas on 9th February and I’m so excited I can barely breathe!

CAE 2012 ~ Camping Auto Extravaganza with the ROC boys and girls is always a highlight of the calendar – this will be my third one, and each one makes me marvel that a bunch of people who only met each other because of their cars can be such very good friends and have such an awesome time.

Neverwhere ~ one of my favourite books by the awesome Neil Gaiman, and my best friend Lou of Contrariety Rose has been working on the costumes for the play for months and months. I’m off to see it on 20th January and am very excited!

Goodwood Revival ~ another one of those things I’ve been threatening to do for ages, Lou & Paul said they’d like to go and much to my surprise so did Rob when I mentioned it the other day… and dressed vintage too! So I’m hoping we’ll get to do that in September… fingers crossed!

My 26th birthday ~ not a traditional landmark I know, but I feel like I’m hitting my prime, and will be taken more seriously once I’m in my late twenties, and I’m hoping to celebrate with lots of friends and lots of family.

Unofficial Ireland rally with Rat Patrol, Team Allegro and Bucket of Doom ~ Assuming we actually manage to get this organised, I would completely adore to see the others again. I am perfectly prepared to abandon the idea of a banger and just go in Poppy if that’s the only way I can afford to go (as the £250 banger car spending limit would probably pay for most of my petrol and camping costs, lol). I’ve missed those guys!

And last but not least, launching Teasets to Typewriters, rejuvenating Ducking Fabulous jewellery as part of that and hopefully becoming involved with a new website, What Simon Said, with a friend I met on the rally and have kept in touch with via Twitter. I have many, many goals this year… some of them are listed on the 2012 Things page of this site, which can be found on the tabs at the top.

So, enough photo-free waffling from me – it’s been wonderful blogging and tweeting and ‘meeting’ people (I’m mostly looking at you, @craftyguider,@fairlyairyfairy@meanyjar, @CraftyThINKer, @MissJimJams, @ShhimUK, @LucyMoose ) in 2011, and I hope the friendship and support continues into 2012 and beyond! Happy 2012… enjoy it!

xx

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Filed under Adventuring, Blogging, Business Wafflings, Collecting, Creating, Driving, Family, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Lists, Love and Stuff, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Personal Development, Planning, Poppy, Projects, Recording, ROC, Thinking, Travelling, USA Road Trip 2012

Sunday evening thoughts

Sunday evenings are my time – after a busy week and usually an even busier weekend, I always try to spend a couple of hours reading, pottering and planning for the week ahead. I cross all the things I’ve achieved off my to-do list, add some more, write cards for any birthdays/anniversaries coming up in the next week (ok, I don’t do that yet, it’s one of those things I perpetually intend to do, lol) and generally prepare myself for the week ahead.

This week I’m struggling more than normal to get back into work mode, because I’ve had four days in a row off and I’m just not functioning in office mode. However, I have finished my Curious Christmas box to send, and am off to see Louise this weekend for a vintage tea party and much girlie fun. I also have another parcel swap to plan and create, which is muchly exciting, so I shall keep smiling over the next couple of weeks! I’ve also managed to make stuff this weekend, so my state of mind is more balanced – it’s amazing how much crafting helps me stay calm!

Here’s a quick this weekend i am mostly… roundup!

Reading: Meet me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan, The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon and Chances by Freya North

Writing: this blog post, lists of things I’d like to stock in my shop one day, cards for people

Drinking: pepsi max, squash, rose wine

Listening: smash hits radio from the TV, sandi thom on youtube, adele and dj fresh in the car

Buying: things for the curiosity project, vintage pyrex, books, beautiful notebooks

Enjoying: four straight days off work, seeing annie, making stuff, scanning my books into library thing, planning for next weekend’s vintage tea party and the Christmas party the week after

Loving: driving with the roof down even though it’s nearly December, late night texts, my bauble wreath, crisp clean sheets, that Christmassy feeling

Have a fabulous week! :) xx

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Filed under Collecting, Creating, Driving, General crafting, Interiors & home accessories, Poppy, Stationery

Happy November

Happy November, y’all!

I have no idea where 2011 has gone… but it’s been one hell of a year so far. Fingers crossed the last two months are as good as the previous 10 have been… minus the bad stuff, obviously.

In other news, StreetSafari’s 2012 season opens for registration at 10am today. They’re only running two rallies this season – Staples2Naples 10th anniversary, limited to 100 cars, and BABE rally (New York to New Orleans). http://www.streetsafari.com/ if you’re interested.

I shall be on neither of those – I’m going to do Ireland with some of the teams from R2R, I hope… Christmas project is to see just how possible it would be to take the Micra… :D

Right, back to work – and to daydream about Christmas!

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Filed under Adventuring, Christmas, Driving, Happy Thursdays, Rallies

r2r 2011

I haven’t dropped off the radar but I’m touring Europe in a banger this week – separate blog at rustymclusty.wordpress.com and on twitter with hashtag #rustymclusty :) I’ll be posting here again September 12th :)

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Filed under Adventuring, Driving, R2R 2011 (Banger rally), Rallies

Fear and exhilaration in equal measure

** Warning – waffly post, no photos and may not even appear because has been scheduled. My fingers are crossed.

I am having a feel-the-fear-and-do-it-anyway phase in my life at the moment… with a whole plethora of things in both my work and my personal life. Taking the plunge and just doing something, and leaving my comfort zone way behind, seem to be the order of the day.

This is not a bad thing, but it’s not particularly restful either… my naturally fretful side (which is usually eclipsed by the laid back, anything-goes side of my personality, but which does rise to the surface during times of stress) is having an absolute field day worrying and analysing and generally freaking out.

However, I am doing these things regardless and I have to say, afterwards, it’s a fabulous feeling! We’re talking a relatively long list of things ranging from wearing red (proper red) lipstick and a vintage dress to work on dress-down Friday, to starting skating again, to organising the company’s Staff Day (which is a massive undertaking I would have sworn I wasn’t able to do, but have actually managed ok so far, touch wood) to my biggest piece of madness to date, agreeing to go on this utterly mad rally.

It’s going to be exhilarating and freeing and liberating, and it will be a massive sense of achievement when I’ve done it, knowing I can drive abroad and sleep in cars and cope with not knowing the language and be in a different country every day and make new friends and let’s not forget talk to blokes on an even footing (as opposed to melting into a terrified puddle every time one approaches). There are all these positives and I am still terrified.

But sometimes, life really is too short not to do things that scare you. And that kind of mood comes around so infrequently (to me, at least) that I’m embracing it and doing things I definitely wouldn’t normally.

On the list of things I would like to do while this mood continues are things like attend a vintage themed event, set up another collective, this time with a theme (that’s an ongoing project anyway, but is going to take courage and luck to actually launch), finally get my shops back up and running, make a start on the book, read my old diaries, have a jumping lesson (on horseback), drive through London, etc. They’re all quite small individually but looking at the things I’ve done, I do and I want to do, and comparing the girl I am now to the girl I was just a few short years ago makes me realise how far I’ve come and how much I am, now, the girl I want to be.

Here’s to adventure and happiness… and a healthy dose of recklessness! (Hell, I’m in my 20s – it’s practically compulsory!)

What do you do that’s unusual, that scares you or that you know might not be entirely sensible?

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Filed under Absorbing, Adventuring, Driving, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Loving & Living, Personal Development, Planning, R2R 2011 (Banger rally), Thinking

CAE 2011 – the ultimate epic weekend, 22-24 July 2011

Bit of a late post, but here goes…

So first of all, CAE stands for Camping Auto Extravaganza. Which should give you some idea of the type of event it is. Last year was the third, and my first. And the first time I’d met the majority of the club members, even though I’d spoken to them all online via the club forum.

In the intervening year, friendship and bant has developed and I now consider them all to be friends and some of them to be close friends.

I had Friday off to get ready and get there, and Brad suggested I join their convoy from Birchanger Green services. So I got there ridiculously early and sat and sunbathed and read a book in the sunshine (and had a sneaky KFC for lunch!) while I waited for him, Jim & Karine and Nigel to turn up.

(Can’t find a pic of my car in the car park )

As it happened the traffic was completely horrific so I had longer than planned to read and chill out, but eventually got a call saying they were there and to head off, and they’d catch me up. Knowing they were all in turboed cars, I did.

And spent the next 30 miles driving as slowly as I possibly dared, letting trucks overtake me and desperately looking in my mirrors for signs of MR2s coming over the horizon! Eventually decided to go off at a junction and over the roundabout to delay myself – got back on the sliproad and they all shot past me! But I beeped and they’d seen me so I caught up, and then the drive got fun! (the traffic was stil horrific and there was lots of stopping and starting, but it’s fun driving in convoy with friends. Jim & Karine livened up the journey by dropping back and chucking jelly babies at us – hit my car but not me, sadly, but the thought was there!

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We arrived in Peterborough about 4ish I think, although I was so excited to be there I didn’t actually look at the time. The rest of the afternoon passed in a blur of chatting and hugging and catching up with people, it was so lovely to see old friends, and be introduced to new ones! It was also fantastic to finally meet the people behind the usernames I’d been chatting to for so long J

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Michelle and Ian’s place is beautiful, with space for us all and beautifully put together both inside and out. The pool was warm, the hot tub was warmer and they had two BBQs and several fridges for all our drinks J and a BAR!

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Friday night was spent munching takeaway, deciding on treasure hunt partners (for anyone curious, this is the closest we got to keys in a bowl, lol – just names in a hat for who drove and who navigated the next morning!) and then drinking, dancing, swimming (Anna and I got in the pool at stupid o clock) and talking. I even braved the hot tub. I drank far too much, to the point where I flashed my floozies (only a little bit!) for Rob and Russ (and Luke – who I then spent ages trying to convince I was normal. I hope I succeeded!) and had an unexpectedly fabulous time – much better than every time I go out clubbing and try hard to have fun. I think I eventually went to bed about 2am, and did that really annoying thing where you try to be quiet and make more noise than you would have done normally. Oops.

Saturday morning was a convoy of all of us, which definitely ranks among the most exhilarating experiences of my life – was such a kick to see so many roadsters and other toyotas all together, revel in the looks we got and know that every car contained a friend of mine J (yeah, I’m a sappy idiot, lol).

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IMG_4407  My Poppy is the car on the very far end :)

Then the treasure hunt was on, and we all met back at the house for a photoshoot and lunch. Look at the pretty cars…

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Took the opportunity to get a new profile pic too..

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Saturday afternoon was really chilled, involving chatting, playing pool, reading magazines and in my case napping *blush*. I came back outside blinking at about 6ish and asked if I’d missed anything. Someone said ‘yeah, you’ve slept so long Amy Winehouse is dead’. Which obviously I dismissed as the usual bant. Then realised it was true and was actually quite sad!

The chilled vibe continued into the evening, only with added alcohol, and I remember sitting at one point by the pool, lit by candles, laughing at something ridiculous (I believe spiderman pants and a drawing of thongs and mankinis were involved) with some of my favourite people in the world and just being the happiest and most content I can remember for ages.

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Then we had dinner, then we drank and danced and talked some more, I dropped my duvet in a puddle, we realised it was actually quite cold and broke out the sleeping bags, and I continued drinking and got sleepier and sleepier. We had some ridiculous but wonderful conversational moments (and ahem, educational too) and I gave up trying to stay awake and went to bed somewhere between three and half three.

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Anna and I having a silly moment in the hot tub

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L-R Brad, Luke, Jim

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Sunday morning… was mostly full of people ambling around sleepily, talking about the weekend and their plans for getting home. We had an amazing full English breakfast, then people started to wander off. Which made me really sad, actually.

So we said our goodbyes and promised to get on facebook/keep in touch/do this again really soon, and then Anna and I went and spent the afternoon sat in a pub garden talking about how lovely it had been.

Returned home, helped my housemate pack some of her stuff, and then settled down to the flurry of photos, new friends, messages and comments on facebook. Turns out that this year, it’s not just me that’s soppily nostalgic about the weekend and would much rather it hadn’t ended. Everyone’s struggled to get back to reality this week. And I’d like to think that we’ll all stay friends for a very long time, having experienced it together. There’s not many groups of people I could have an entire weekend with without getting seriously cross with some of them at some stage. And I’ve never in my life met so many new friends at once!

Best. Meet. Ever.

And I really hope we do another big one before next CAE – I can’t wait a whole year to see these guys again!

*apologies to anyone reading this who went, my words and photos don’t do justice to how awesome it was.

**apologies to anyone reading this who didn’t go, who is probably bored senseless. But really – if you do one thing this year, buy a Toyota and join us next year!

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Filed under Adventuring, Blogging, Driving, Inspiration and inspiring things, Laughing, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Photography, Poppy, Recording, ROC

Things that make me happy Thursday

This is really all about CAE – the happiest weekend I’ve had in a very long time.

Meeting up with old friends and making new friends
Swimming and hot tubbing at daft o clock in the morning
Laughing – I giggled so much last weekend
Driving with the roof down
Driving to the weekend in convoy and chucking jelly babies between the cars, while singing at the top of my voice
Having my best friend in the car with me for lots of the weekend
Driving with the roof down in convoy with 30-odd other cars filled with some of my favourite people in the world
Realising I’ve achieved a lifetime ambition of having waist length hair
My new vintage-style swimsuit from Floozie

And then after the weekend…

Buying a car for the rally – we’re definitely,actually, really going! It’s a 1996 Laguna – squee!
Impromptu shopping trips with Julia to buy exciting stuff for our new flats (well, mine’s the same flat, but you know what I mean)
Work is improving – I feel less out of my depth and more like I belong.

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Filed under Adventuring, Driving, Happy Thursdays, Poppy, ROC, Travelling

Happy Thursdays

  • a lovely colleague bringing us all rock from Brighton. ROCK. So summery!
  • getting the giggles (proper ones) with people in the office – maybe I do fit in a bit, after all
  • sitting in a roofless Poppy, stretching my legs after a skate, watching the sunset on summer solstice evening
  • Caitlin’s email which brought an actual smile to my face after a day of hell
  • Pink, purple and turquoise fountain pens for work, so they don’t go walkies (boys don’t like writing in pink, haha)
  • Theatre and dinner with my girlies on Saturday – completely gorgeous if a little bit bittersweet, I’d managed to forget how much I miss them
  • my accidental blue scarf – realised on the train my dress was much too low-cut, Sar suggested a scarf, I found a perfect one (blue paisley) in the sale at the station and it worked beautifully with the blue dress I was wearing!
  • unexpected drink and chat after work with a colleague/friend who made me feel so much better
  • a revelation about a postcard
  • my MP3 player is working again after a prolonged sulk – the music on it is a bit out of date but I can block out the pesky commuters!
  • I entered a competition to win a classic Pashley bike – crossing everything to win, I adore them!

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Filed under Driving, Happy Thursdays, Laughing, Loving & Living, Poppy, Stationery, Staying in touch...