By Mike Peake
Windy Woodward is an IDIOT! An evil, conniving, nasty, Idiot! Not only that, but he isn’t even nice!
OK. So something blogworthy might indeed have happened at the fair. That nasty man Ian made me, MADE me I say, get on the Waltzer! Kicking and screaming, he dragged me into that car! Well – ok – maybe it was Merlot and bravado that made me do it, but I’m pretty sure Windy Woodward had something to do with it. He WAS sat next to me after all.
I was fine though. Thoroughly loved every minute.
OK. So maybe I became a little queasy and rather rudely, told the ride man to “go away” when he spun the car faster, but even if I did, no one would have heard over Windy’s evil super villain, uncontrollable laughter. I was absolutely fine as soon as it stopped though. I leapt off the ride as happy as Larry.
Ok. Maybe “leapt” and “happy as Larry” aren’t strictly accurate descriptions but I was absolutely fine just a couple of minutes later when everything stopped spinning. I certainly wasn’t going to be sick or anything like that.
Hmmm… Nice to know you can rely on your mates for sympathy and support when you’re poorly sick isn’t it?! Indeed, the “sympathy” is still on going with no evidence of it stopping anytime soon! At least the hysterical laughter from all of my friends drowned out the noises of my discomfort.
For some reason, the rest of the evening is a bit of a blur but we were back at the campsite at about 10pm whereupon I took myself off to bed as I was still feeling a little off colour. Ok. Grey. I was grey coloured!
Saturday Morning came round quickly and after copious bacon, I was fully revived and we were back over at the group stand setting up for another day. We had 4 extra cars today.
In addition to Chris Ball and Phil Allin, we were Joined by Phil Rendle and Scott Morris Simon Wright in their rather fine Morris Minor traveller, a Triumph 2500S Estate and a hooligan Morris Minor.
Several more waifs and strays joined us through the general public entrances today. My wife Anita, my daughters, Sophie and Emily-Fleur and Emily’s new boyfriend Ryan joined us on the stand. I have to say, I thought it was a brave decision of his to join us and was a little worried about him feeling isolated and left out. I was pleased to see though, that every one of my good mates there made Ryan incredibly welcome by taking him to one side and letting him know that they would be more than happy to give me an alibi or help me hide a body should the need arise. Thanks Chaps. Means a lot to me. I’m tearing up here – sniff - .
Anyway, Emily and Ryan weren’t the only new relationship in the group. Gus has got a ladyyyyy friend!!! “Gus and Lyndsay sitting in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G!” Sorry. That was childish. It was great to meet you Lyndsey. I hope you felt very welcome.
Yet another new relationship, Chris Ball’s new lady, Amy. Things got off to a slightly rocky start when she appeared frightened of Bella and Jake, two of the soppiest, friendliest dogs in creation. Things settled back onto an even keel though when it became apparent that Amy was here to choose a classic for Chris to buy for her. I’m sure Tosh can sort out a good Triumph Stag for you Chris! Great to meet you Amy. I hope you enjoyed yourself.
Ian and Bernard’s wives, Sarah and Thelma, also joined us, but much later than everyone else. Ian said this was because the broomstick park was a long way away this year. Personally, I thought this was very, very rude of him to say such a thing and couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing. Especially as Sarah had just agreed to let Ian buy another car! Oh. Sorry Windy. Perhaps I shouldn’t have written that down? Sarah doesn’t read these does she? I hope I haven’t jeopardised the Rover SD1? (Ha! That’ll teach him for making me go on that Waltzer!)
Another day was spent chatting, laughing and ooohing and ahhing at all the exhibits at this fantastic, friendly show until it was time for the classic cars turn around the show ring. Always a great experience this and a chance to show your car off at its best and wave at all the muggles drooling. As always, Apollo was much loved and made a great impression on the commentators.
What didn’t make such a good impression was the eye-searingly yellow and extremely conspicuous MG Midget breaking down in the middle of the show ring. Amazingly, Super Enthusiast Man didn’t have it running again immediately, requiring the Zephyr to leap into action as a tow car again and bring Gus and the MG back to the campsite. Yet more evidence, if it was needed after the Codgers and Peaks tours, that SEM has lost his MOJO.
I have a theory about this lost mechanical mojo. I think it is because – Gus has got a GIIIRRRRLLLLLLL FRIEEEEEND! – and taken his eye off the ball. Back at the campsite, we soon had it narrowed down to dirty points and a swift rub with Allison’s nail file had it running again.
The same could not be said for the poor Bedford CF though. Thirty miles into its journey Thursday evening, the oil light came on. Darren pulled over immediately and found that all the oil had fallen out of his newly and expensively rebuilt engine. He topped it up but there wasn’t enough juice in the battery to turn it over again, so Darren had it recovered to the show. When fired up Saturday afternoon, it sounded awful and was belching huge clouds of smoke. It was quickly shut down and left for the recovery service to deal with on Sunday. The general theory was that by the time the oil light came on, the oil scraper rings had already burnt out. Fortunately, there is a 3 month warranty on the work so Dazzer was taking it straight back to “have words!”
Of course it wouldn’t be a Gloucester Steam Fair unless Tosh did a deal. This year it was more wood from the steam saw mill demonstration area. So yet again the Honda’s tow bar, 5 strapping lads and Paul Cheetham were pressed into service to go and collect. Tosh was busted. Unlike last year, the chap who’d done the deal came back just as we were finishing loading the trailer. Apparently, we had more wood than he anticipated we could take. Tosh had to hand over more money. We could all see his pain.
We were further busted by site Security on the way back to the campsite. After a long, high speed chase around the perimeter road, their flashing light-equipped golf buggy pulled us over. We thought they were going to accuse of stealing the wood but no. Apparently the 5 strapping lads and Paul Cheetham weren’t allowed to sit on top of the wood pile on the trailer while it was moving. They had to walk back. It’s a big site too.
Once back at the campsite, they made me reverse the trailer back into the tiny space between Kurt’s tent and the BBQ where it had come from. I’m sure they were hoping for a belly laugh as I crushed the tent under tons of wood and trailer. However, the one - and probably only - thing I’m not a bumbling incompetent at, is trailer and caravan manoeuvring. It was done on the 1st attempt with millimetric accuracy. They all looked very disappointed, except Kurt.
The BBQ was fired up. Mountains of meat were cooked and there was even salad as there were ladies present. The alcohol and chat flowed until it was time to decamp for the fair again.
As it’s a big site someone, not sure who, thought it would be a jolly wheeze if all of us went up in Apollo. It would be hilarious to watch everyone’s face outside the beer tent as 15 people came out of Apollo’s accommodation door.
I’d bagged shotgun and watched as Gus selected reverse. We went nowhere! Apparently, 15 people weigh about 1.2 tons altogether and this was just too much for poor Apollo. We were right about one thing though. It was hilarious watching 15 people come out of Apollo’s accommodation door.
We had to walk to the fair.
To Be continued…
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