It’s that time

First things first, lets talk cars before we talk leg.

So the Mini, it has been at C&S Coachworks in Passfield now since January 3rd and they have not even started the paint repairs that is how busy they have been. I spoke to them on Friday about collecting her this week, Friday, and they are getting her in this week!! So I am really excited about getting her back, taking her out for a drive and preparing her for our drive together to Blackpool for the regimental reunion.

I have also decided to use Meerkat  (@paulwbaker) on my drives around, I don’t want the broadcasting of my drives to take over my life in the way it obviously has for some, but it should be great fun if I get the set up done right.

Next, the Driving School Car, two things really that come to mind. I have had her resprayed at the rear. Some idiot decided to let their shopping trolly go and it chose my car to bounce off scratching the bumper, well I can not have that and I had to have it repaired (£120.00 ish) BUT what a great job!! Well done A&Js 🙂


The bumper, before the respray.

After the respray – No sign of the knock!

It has also been serviced in readiness for driving lessons to recommence hopefully this coming weekend! During the service is was discovered that the car had what they called a lazy alternator! I thought what a load of bollocks (what do I know), never heard of that one. The car is returned covered in bird shit so I sent it back, returned cleaned so I checked it over, rear door seal is lying in the boot and had not been put back on, they sent a guy out and fixed it, yay I thought all is well.

So my son, who I taught to drive some two or so years ago goes on about wanting to drive all the time so I let him take me to the Mini (BMW) garage to show him a potential new car for the Driving School (more later) and guess what, the alternator light is on (just trust the mechanics “Note to self”)! God damn it, I now have to go and ask them to repair that, more spending.

So the new Driving School Car, have I mentioned my hobby, well one of them? I am a qualified ADI and I set up my own Driving School when I became qualified, the hardest course I have ever done!!! But I passed on the second attempt. The school is called CLUNCKCLICK ( and I use a Ford Fiesta 1.25 car, and I hate it. It is a good car to learn to drive in, does everything it says on the tin, it is just so boring!

So for a while I have been looking to replace the Ford and being the Mini lover I am I have been looking at the BMW MINI (it is NOT a Mini!!), they look nice and potentially attract those wanting to learn to drive. The thing that puts me off is the cost of the dual controls (£400-) and the pain that is the cherished plate.

New driving school car????? Maybe!!!

Mini 1

I sometimes think I should wait until I have passed my check test, if I fail I could get a sporty car but why would I fail? Anyway, the decision will be made this weekend! But she does look really good no marks inside or out and would be a very welcome improvement.

So this week we travel to Bolsover Street in London to the National Orthopaedic Hospital where the brace will be removed, OMG you have no idea how grateful for that I am!! The damn thing is in ruins, straps no longer hold, the velcro is in tatters and the pads now feel like they are burning the skin. And just the fact that I will be able to walk, drive, swim and whatever else comes normally in life. I am not sure I would go through this again, the recovery process is too long and painful. Wearing the brace has given me back pains and my groin feels like I have another hernia.

Staying at home recovering for nearly eight weeks, missing out on the trip to Spain has been awful and we do not even know if this whole process has worked!

I was ‘awarded’ is that the right word? my blue badge last week, so I am now marked as disabled, that is sad, so very sad when you consider how fit I used to be just 30 or so years ago whilst in Berlin in 1985 – 1989 with the army. I am not going to claim the benefits which come with it as I truly feel that others deserve them more, I see so many people in such a worse state I would feel I was robbing the system! Still that may change in time should my legs continue to deteriorate in the coming years ahead!

Still life is good, my mini comes home on Friday all being well, the brace comes off and I return to work in about 5 – 6 weeks if I can walk, start driving lessons again, the Ford looks great and there is the small matter of the regimental reunion in Blackpool where I get to see some of the finest men I have had the pleasure serve and work with! No complaints really 🙂

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