Tuesday 2 March 2010

springing on

It's beautiful weather, and I pop up onto the roof every now and then to witness the spring unwinding itself from the last of the winter.

Got a call last night from C. Her car's in the menders and she needs to get out into Somerset for work. Can she borrow the Morris?


We go out for a run so she can get the hang of things. It's quite funny when someone is not used to old cars.

"This is the choke..."

"The choke?"

We kangaroo up the hill, pause at a junction and go hippity-hop upward in second gear with the engine screaming and the clutch making a worryingly toasty smell...

Things get better soon. C is very adaptable. I wave goodbye as she and the Trav disappear into the night, with the faintest crunch of the gears.


  1. I know that toasty smell all too well. You'd think people old enough to have driven these cars when they were new would have some memory of how to do it four decades later but not my mother!

  2. I loved our Morrie! I miss our Morrie!
    Ah - the choke, the bakelite gear stick thingy, the sunken seats!

    The way Morrie drivers wave to each other...

    aaaaah... (toast - yes, I think i remember that too.)


  3. Did you know that you seem to have subsidence problems with the house or is it just the chimneys?

    Caroline xxx

  4. I don't remember the toast but I laughed when Dom confidentely tried to steer our dear old car - much to much like hard work.

    Blue skies here too and we were hot in the car on the way to the station this morning

  5. Old cars are great to drive :) The way that you have to use them in a very special way that just confuses most people.

    With the Spit the three that confuse most people are 1) Starting without choke to allow the oil pressure to build, before using the choke to actually start the engine (the amount of people who think the car has broken down when you just wind the engine for 15 secs), 2) No power brakes - stops fine, but you have to *press* the peddle as opposed to resting your foot on it and 3) Overdrive. 'Whats wrong the revs just changed but you didn't do anything!'. Yes I did, I pressed the magic button.

    Great fun. I am wondering what Mrs Stace will make of it when it's back on the road - she's never driven anything older than a '96 Volvo. A bit different.


  6. Ah! The lost joys of overdrive on third and forth, magic button indeed.

    Caroline xxx

  7. The lost joys of being able to say overdrive and not have people look at me strangely and say 'huh?' :)


  8. "If you know what it is
    And you wanna stay alive
    You better go to overdrive
    Go to overdrive"
    "Overdrive" by the Steve Miller Band, 1968.

    Sometimes I worry about you, Dru.
    But not for long.

  9. Ah, pigeons on roofs. We have seagull on ours. They rear a new brood each year. We have to replace the roof felt on the dormers regularly. Oh, how I detest seagulls. I prefer your chimney pots to our. Much more photogenic.

  10. We do wave to each other, don't we? -I borrowed a friend's SAAB to go down to Dorset for a new bit of engine when mine was broke last year, and everyone seemed so unfriendly as I drove along. Guess I'm just used to people smiling.

    I almost wish I had overdrive, though. I'm sure the car would be happy going a bit faster...

    The crows are the worst, Graham, they chip bits off the masonry and drop them onto the skylight to annoy me.

  11. This seems like a Spring that has not yet sprung. It's tantalising me. Occasional sunshine? Check. Crocuses emerging? Check. Peugeot 206s around town with windows down and crap rap ramped up? Check. And yet .. every morning a sharpish frost, daytime still too cold and windy to spend much time outdoors. C'mon, Spring: spring!