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Life on the Open Road

Phew, it's been a busy few days.

It started with a reasonably early morning start. For a musician, anything before 11am counts as early, but if you must know, it was 6am. This was in order to reach Birmingham, some 70 miles distant in time to jump into the tour bus, which then proceeded on a route that took me halfway back whence I'd just come.

I was playing three dates in Scotland, drumming for The Beat. Great fun and the closest I've come to having any time off in weeks and sandwiched in the midst of these was a performance at the Loopallu festival, Ullapool, way up into The Highlands.

After coming off stage at around 21:30, I took time to sample a couple of the hostelries and in the second of these, I was quickly spotted by a 'Car SOS' viewer. After his initial surprise at me turning up in his local, the conversation turned rather naturally, over a couple of single malts, to classic cars.

He regaled me with the trials and tribulations of his projects and I remarked how jealous I was of his fantastic Highland roads, with their curves and hairpins punctuating every journey made from Ullapool.

It was then that he asked what classics I had on the road.

My bottom jaw fell slack, like a rusting basketball hoop on an abandoned court as I feebly admitted that apart from my 1992 Land Rover Discovery - Series1, I was without right and proper transport and had been so since the sale of my BMW Isetta 300, back in May.

A couple of days later, I was over in Denmark, shooting for 'Car SOS' and much of the time saw me happily behind the wheel of a £$%^$^^%% (I'm not allowed to give the game away). This made me realise just how dull motoring life had become, behind the wheels of various bits of modern machinery.

The result of this double whammy hasn't been a flurry of keyboard-led, old tin purchasing activity, but a resolution to get my Austin Seven and Jensen 541R cars back to the road, before a year passes without me having something decent to step out of at supermarket car parks.

Apart from a set of Jensen body rubbers, I now have just about everything I need to finish both cars. Everything that is, except a 'round tuit' and having admitted my state of classic car nudity, I shall be getting one of those straightaway.

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