Thursday, 4 August 2011

Can't wait any longer!!!

The front of the line up!

First sight of the ginger car in with the posh cars! All the cars were either black, whire or silver (apart from three other cars - red Ferrari, yellow Ferrari and green Chevy) we stood out like a sore thumb in our 70's ginger!

Craig and Jim the photographers about to be squashed by Richard and Jamie in the Bentley!

Perfectly framed by to beautiful cars! From the front of the line up it was Lambourgini, Aston Martin (carbon wrapped), Aston Martin, Jaguar, Dodge Viper, GRANADA, Porsche!!!!

Cannonball Run Europe 2011

So the big day finally arrived and we were heading to a very posh hotel in Surrey to meet everyone and get ready for the off! The excitement was unbelievable - people had come from America and Norway to take part, all the cars were lined up ready for photos!

Everyone had time to wonder around, take pictures and admire the beautiful cars before lunch. We had a lovely barbeque on the terrace, I don't think anyone believed us that it was the first time this year John and I had sat outside without coats on!

The line up of cars was fabulous! We were the only "old" car there and we certainly got a lot of attention. As we lined up someone commented "that's a PROPER Cannonball car" John was chuffed to bits! We were feeling much more confident with the car as we had a very good run down from Cumbria with no problems.

We were setting off on the same day as the Silverstone Grand Prix, luckily for all the Formula 1 fans we had time to watch it before the Drivers Briefing at 2.30pm. It was definately getting difficult to sit still after a while - knowing we were going to be driving all night and just not being able to wait to find out where we were going!!!!

Watching the F1, I don't think anyone could sit still! We were on tenterhooks and we weren't going to find out until we were in the car which ferry port we were going to!!!!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Day One of our big adventure.

Our first day was at Twickenham for the Middlesex 7s! It really is a good day out and it is great fun to watch 7's rugby - it is a lot faster than "normal" rugby! The 7's match day is always geared towards raising money for charity, three this year Wooden Spoon (a childrens charity that helps young people who are challenged either physically, mentally or socially), Help For Heroes (supporting our Armed Forces) and of course the RFU Injured Players Foundation who support people who have had a catastrophic injury through rugby - as you all know John is an injured player so a member of the club!!!

A rare picture of us both together! All ready to go and have fun! The IPF always have a hospitality area at the 7's and they were very excited to see us in the ginger car!

We were there good and early, the stadium is never full apart from "big" match days so there is always an atmosphere of a party - everyone always dresses up for some reason - we saw monks, where's wally (about 20 of them all dressed identically!) a group of santa's, men in togas, cowboys, and even Elvis! It's always a shock to see big burly men in little pink tutus!!!

We had a lovely lunch and got to meet up with people that you only ever email or talk to on the phone, so it really was great! There are some other injured players who you only ever see at Twickenham because we are all from different parts of the country and only ever meet up on match days!

We watched some awesome rugby, we were supporting Esher who got all the way to the final only to be beated 12-19 by Samurai. Pictured above are Brazil and Durham University, Brazil won that match! Afterwards we took the banners off the car and were waved off, ready to prepare for the excitement the following day - and boy was it exciting!!!!!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Cruising on Windermere

I know I am supposed to be telling you all about the Cannonball Run but this is something that John and I were invited to last Thursday and it is to do with fund raising so I thought I would tell you about it! We advertise on the Bay Radio, they have really gone out of their way to help us with publicity for the Cannonball Run, even to the extent of doing phone interviews every day with updates of how we were getting on and really pushing the charity side of things. We of course are incredibly grateful and had great fun going to the studio in Lancaster for our preliminary interview. Silly me I completely forgot to take any pictures!

Every year The Bay organise a cruise on Windermere for all the businesses who are associated with them. So last Thursday evening we went to Lakeside (the south end of the lake) to board the steamer!

It was a cloudy evening with a few spots of rain, a typical Cumbrian summer day in other words!

The Mallard - the little car ferry that runs from Bowness-On-Windermere to the Sawry side of the lake so you don't have to spend hours driving round. The ferry is on chains connected to each side that pull it backwards and forwards, the only problem is if there is too much water in the lake (if it rains to much!) the ferry can't run!!!

Catching the last of the sunshine looking towards Great Langdale, very beautiful!

Going back past Bowness looking back towards the north end of the lake. We had a lovely time despite not being the life and soul of the party! John and I were still struggling from a lack of sleep and the gentle rocking of the boat really made it difficult to keep our eyes open! At one point we were propping each other up hoping no one noticed our lack of conversation! Not to worry we are nearly back to normal now - it was worth it!!!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

We're back!

We have made it! What an amazing week we have had, you will have to forgive me, I know I promised to keep you updated but it was the most full on experience of our lives! I have masses of photos and stories to tell but I really need to catch up on some sleep first! So watch this space over the next few days and get ready to see the most amazing cars (and people!)

Friday, 8 July 2011

Unofficial start!

The ginger car has come to work! We are all packed and ready and have come to work until lunch time, then setting off to Lancaster to be interviewed on the local radio station The Bay! The car has been having lots of admiring looks from the general public! I have just finished doing a few last minute jobs like having a spare set of keys cut - we only had one set and have spent the last year worrying about shutting them in the boot by mistake! John and I are a mixture of excitement and fear at the moment, the car is running beautifully apart from one small problem - starting! The automatic choke is not working as it should (even though it has been to the garage a LOT in the last few months) once you are going it is fine, it just takes a few minutes to think about it! Hopefully she will behave herself on holiday! Well all that remains is to wish us luck and keep your fingers firmly crossed for us! I will be putting up lots of pictures and videos over the coming weeks so look out for us!

Friday, 1 July 2011

We have a winner!

We have a winner! M Philips from Bristol is the lucky winner, we will be posting your prize today! Congratulations!

Last chance to enter.

Don't forget this is your last chance to enter our competition to win an IPAD2! All you have to do to enter is type "IPAD PLEASE" into the promo box when placing your order, it's as simple as that! We will be picking the winner (at random) tomorrow 1st July 2011 and announcing the winner via the usual channels - Twitter, Facebook, here on the blog and on our website. Good luck!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Preparations in full swing!

It feels like we have been preparing for a long time now but really we have just begun. The long haul of getting the ginger car in a fit state to get to the motorway (let alone all the way around Europe) is finally nearing completion. We have now started doing the fun stuff and stocking up for the trip!

The check list is impressive;

  • Passports

  • Driving Licenses - we are still waiting for John's new photo one - but not panicking yet...

  • Insurance documents

  • Car log book

  • MOT certificate - got a nice new one!

  • Medical insurance card

  • Breakdown cover

  • Roadmaps of Europe

  • Sat Nav

  • Headlight adapters

  • Warning triangle

  • Fluorescent jacket

  • Spare bulb kit

  • First Aid kit

  • Fire Extinguisher

  • Tool kit

  • Crash Helmet for track day

  • Red Bull and Buzz Gum!!!
There is also an "if you have space"

  • Tyre weld or mini spare

  • Spanner/socket set

  • pliers

  • oil

  • cable ties

  • gaffer tape

  • water

  • petrol can (with petrol in it!)

  • spare fuses

  • wheel brace and jack

  • hose clips

  • cooland hose repair kit

  • coil of stout wire (to tie your exhaust on with when it falls off!)

We are taking EVERYTHING on both lists as well as some extras - oh the joy of an enormous boot!

  • Haynes manual - bible for how to mend car!

  • tow rope

  • extra oil (special stuff for our old girl)

  • pillow - for sleepy heads in the middle of night drive

  • spare parts - hoses, spark plugs, etc

  • mobile phone - for when we break down in the middle of the night/on top of a mountain!

  • laptop - to keep you up to date

  • Sports mix sweeties

  • A big bag of GOOD LUCK

Fame at last!

John is famous! We have had a few mentions in various magazines, yesterday we received this months copy of Touchline magazine (it's the rugby magazine from Twickenham!) It's a really nice write up, John is very excited about it!

You may recognize the picture, it is the one we used on our website here. The picture was taken last year by the signpost that said "L'Alpe Du Grand Serre" (the start of the REALLY BIG MOUNTAINS in the Alps. Thats why John is looking excited and a little scared!

Back to this year at the moment everything is so far so good. The ginger car is now the proud owner of an MOT certificate and we had a short test run on Sunday. It went well but we have decided to fit a new thermostat and a new top hose on the radiator. The car was running slightly hotter than we thought it should (it had a new radiator last year so it isn't that) it is more a case of being on the safe side - we really don't want an overheating car on our big adventure! That means this weekends work is organised!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Update on Ginger...

It's less than four weeks before we set off and the ginger car is still in the garage! So far she has has had her electrics checked, her spotlights put back on, the cigarette lighter works again (and we need that for Sat Nav!!) and made the horn work again - we need that for the MOT!

We also had a bit of a problem with the battery draining itself overnight so obviously that was a top priority, I really did not want to ask a Ferrari driver if I could use his car to jumpstart ours every morning on the Cannonball Run!!!

Now every thing electrical is up and running so a big thank you to Phil Benson he did a brilliant job.

Now the car is at a different garage (Phil only does electrics)having last minute things done like a spot of welding on the sills, little bits and pieces and then an MOT. After all of that the car gets to come home and we get to test drive to make sure everything is ok before the adventure begins!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Would you like a pretty picture?

We have been framing canvas pictures for nearly a year now! We sell them in our shop and they are a great success. We can now offer them to our internet customers! And of course at the same prices as the shop, i.e. no postage and packing! The beauty of these pictures is that they are completely personal as it is your picture that we frame.

  1. You email us the image you want.

  2. You tell us the size you would like.

  3. We print the image onto canvas.

  4. We frame the canvas.

  5. And we put it in the post to you!

The only things you have to worry about is making sure the subject in the picture is not too close to the edge, as the framing involves wrapping the canvas around the bars, we don't want to chop the top of your head off!!!

The canvas pictures have been very popular (especially in the run up to Christmas) they are also very popular for birthdays. We have also done christenings and this morning framed a picture celebrating cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End! Anything to do with sporting achievements is also popular, we have done pictures of everything from cross country running, equestrian to ballet! Have a look and see what you would like done! You can find out more information by going to our website

This is so new we haven't even got a button on the front page - but it is so exciting I just couldn't wait to tell you!

Friday, 10 June 2011

YAY! We have success!!!

We had some really good news today! We are on the first page of Google!!!! We have been working very hard "behind the scenes" on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and this is an incredible result!

We have been targeting certain key phrases they are:

I know that this doesn't make a huge difference to you dear customer (because you are already here!) but it will do a lot to get our name out there to new customers. And we are really excited about that!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Getting closer......

It is getting more and more exciting the closer is gets to adventure time!!! We got a letter giving us pointers to remember before we set off, details about driving licence, maps etc, the letter itself is nothing to get bothered about, but at the same time it is SO EXCITING!!! How often do you get a letter about the Cannonball Run?? Don't forget we are doing all this for charity so if you feel you can donate even a little click here. You can read a bit about John, if you scroll down to the bottom you will find the Just Giving links. Thanks!

Epson compatible cartridges - pre order now!

We finally have an arrival date for the new range of Epson compatible cartridges! We will have them in stock on MONDAY 20th JUNE! You can pre order them now, you can find T1285 here–_Prices_include_VAT/

We have had a very long wait for these compatible cartridges! The problem was the chip - manufacturing by hand worked perfectly, it was just mass producing them that caused a few headaches, it has all been worked out now, but that's what the delay was! You can find T1295 here–_Prices_include_VAT/ Don't forget you can pre order these cartridges now but they won't be posted until 20th June! Of course we always have the genuine cartridges in stock if you just can't wait!