Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Midsummer Magners

I'm going to start this blog post with the question on everyone's lips:  Where did summer go?  First Freedom Day is snatched from under our feet and now someone's turned the heating off.   

Here's me, getting ready for another Friday night in and planning what to wear for a weekend's outdoor trading with an ever changing forecast ranging from biblical to middling.

Yes, last weekend we were trading at the Mid Summer Mini & VW Bus Meet in our home town.  Naturally, the clouds gathered and the gods of wind got busy.  Mercifully, we had decided on a low key set up, treating the event as more of a PR occasion and deliberately selecting a few key items to add to our display.

People were desperate for human contact and there was a good turnout of campers on Saturday night.  Thankfully the sun made an appearance later in the day to greet them.  Soon, there was the sound of music (not the soprano nun type of music) and eau d'BBQ permeating the air.  Cider was consumed.  It was almost like old times.  Visitors were requested to take a lateral flow test prior to arrival, although, I was disappointed to discover that some elected not to.  This was particularly galling when you consider that some traders were so keen to do the right thing, that they had paid to take the gold star PCR test.  

I have to say I think the entire system is fundamentally flawed.  After getting used to twice weekly tests by virtue of being parents of a school age student, it seems ridiculous to me that to record the results of a test, you simply have to scan the QR code.  This does not provide evidence of a positive or negative result - that bit is down to the honesty of the individual recording it.  Am I alone in thinking that it's likely that there will be a large percentage of people wishing to cram into large events who might be tempted to report a negative test even if they are positive - particularly if they are symptom-free?  Maybe I'm a suspicious so and so, but judging by some of the conversations I overheard at the weekend, I'm genuinely worried at the level of resistance to vaccinations and continuing conspiracy theories.
Anyway, as promised, here are some photos of the classic Minis and VW buses that graced us with their presence.

Mini owners tend to lavish time and attention on their vehicles and the cars are usually in mint condition.  This one has been subject to the same level of care, but we loved the owners' bravery in embracing a slightly more "ratty" look, giving the Mini heaps of character.  We were thrilled to spot one of our logo stickers in the rear window.

This Beatles inspired Mini caught my eye with its Sgt Pepper roof rack.

Here's Hetty's owner huddled beneath the car's blanket in Sunday's Autumnal temperatures.

I have no idea what this is, but it was attracting plenty of attention.

I loved the little tea tray set up inside this Mini van.                        

Mr Bean was Covid compliant.

Spotted - a BMX enthusiast sporting one of our hoodies.

Pretty Minis all in a row.

And finally, my favourites - the seniors, aka VW split screens - living the dream.

Eventually I did get a little distracted by the poppies growing next to the spectator stand (the show's setting was the local Football/Rugby Club).

Incidentally, here's our lone poppy - delivered by the birds no doubt - and springing up in a crack between the stepping stones at the side of our house.

Ultimately the show was a success.  We sold well and my photos were shared by the British Mini Club.

In other news, I have discovered a way to make my morning coffee more exciting - a life hack of sorts.  I have been dairy free for a few years now and Alpro have introduced a new Barista soya milk, said to froth really well.  Sadly I don't have a posh coffee machine (I try to limit my intake of coffee to a couple of cups a day) or one of those little metal whisks/milk frothers (never had a need for one).  However, I purchased this milk out of curiosity and decided to decant some of it into an empty and freshly washed Mentos Gum container.  

A few shakes, which will also keep the Bingo wings at bay and hey presto!  Frothy coffee!  Now all I need is a curiously shaped stencil for the chocolate powder, or am I over-thinking this?

I'm also dipping into this book with a curious title.  

Save the cat?  Lotte needs saving from a life of unbridled luxury.

The one big lesson from the book so far is to nail the logline (or one line pitch for a story).  Here's mine in its current incarnation.  I'm always tinkering with it.  

"Spirited Shropshire lad Eddie, can't believe his luck when he cheats death in WW1 and returns home to live the rural idyll and sets about building his dream roadside garage, but fate has other ideas for Eddie, who is destined to live a big, eventful life in a small, nowhere town and has yet to face his biggest challenge."

What say you?  

Anyway, we're off to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Twenty years today!  There's a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge courtesy of my father-in-law.  Cider is more Gareth's thing.  Apparently, the traditional gift is china.  We don't usually bother with gifts, but I decided to look it up for once.  We will have to see if we can find something interesting on our travels.

Next week's post might be a little delayed as we're taking some time away.  See you all soon!


  1. I love all those cars. My first car was a mini and I still have a soft spot for them. I would like one now but with all my girlies I need five seats so a boring old Micra it is!
    Lateral flow tests at the girls schools is voluntary and I know a lot of parents don't agree with them. We were on the beach the other weekend and a man behind us was moaning to his companion that he was being harassed to check that he was self isolating as he had been on holiday to an amber country. Er no he's sat on the beach! It's very annoying as a lot is down to trust and a lot of people don't give a s***.

    1. My first car was a mini too - the 25th Anniversary one. I love them too, but yes, as well designed as they were, I don’t think they would house the three of us and our luggage, so you and your girls would stand no chance! It’s terrifying to think so much trust is placed in people in such a serious situation, given the level of opposition the Brits show. It will make me nervous of going to big indoor events for a while yet, which is sad.

  2. Hello Claire, glad the mini / VW event went well. I’ve always wanted a VW van! Unfortunately there are plenty of muppets about. My folks have an Airbnb in their road which has been vexing them throughout the whole pandemic. During all lock downs there have been people blatantly holidaying at it. One couple from the new forest ‘rented it for one week because they were waiting to move into a new house in the New Forest and couldn’t find anywhere closer’ !!!! Another couple, from London, flew back from South Africa and drove all the way to Cornwall ‘ to self-isolate’ with visitors dropping in every couple of days, before driving back to London. The neighbours reported all cases, but I suppose some people don’t think anything of a £200 odd fine :0

    The poppies are beauties and happy anniversary to you both xXx

    1. Hello Lulu, Thank you! I think one thing this pandemic has taught me is that I would rather be where other people are not, save for a select few. Unbelievably selfish behaviour! It must have been hard for your parents. Thing is, they are the ones who will enjoy the freedoms on offer, whilst the rest of us are forced to keep our distance because of them. It really winds me up. Sometimes I read some of the dross on Twitter (it's not good for my health, but I can't stop myself) and the Scandinavians, for example, are utterly bemused by the Brits' resistance to measures designed to protect others. Anyway, I shall try to be more zen next time. And

    2. The Scandinavians just naturally know how to be cool. They must think us all rather silly. I forgot to ask what you sell at the VW events ?... I spotted the sticker. The closest I've ever been to owning a VW camper is a T-shirt I had, but wore it out because I loved it so much x

  3. We started out as a streetwear/skate brand and had an outlet at a local indoor skate park but Gareth’s always been into classic cars, campers, hot rods etc and our first show was a last minute decision - a local VW show. We ended up sponsoring it and producing their artwork and show stickers. So we fell into it that scene by accident really. We sell stickers designed and created to look as if they have aged and weathered over time, T-shirt’s, beanies, bucket hats and a few other things. The paint is a more recent addition and again Vdubbers and hotrod owners love it because they can achieve the barn find patina look with it. That said, we’re open to other events (when and if they ever happen). Luckily we can still sell online in the meantime. Bet you wish you’d never asked! xx


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