Don’t Mess with Texas

Riding with the Ridings

The MX5 Owner’s Club is a dynamic and friendly organisation which provides a wide range of resources for owners of our favourite sports car through their excellent forums; they also organise the annual MX5 National Rally and other events throughout the year. On a regional basis there is a large number of sub-groups who arrange sunday drives and social meetings for their members. If you would like to join in the fun, visit the MX5 Owners Club website to find details of your local group.

My home region is the Yorkshire Ridings and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.  The group has hosted a variety of National Weekends, several “Coast to Coast” drives and “Around Britain 2000” which was was one of the most ambitious projects so far, a 3640 mile drive around the coastline of mainland Britain. Drives are normally on a Sunday, once a month in winter and twice in summer, with social evenings on the second Wednesday of the month. Take a look at their website for more details, just click on the logo:

You could be forgiven for thinking the MX5 was created for the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and all the roads in between, they are indeed, a perfect match!


Desert Treasure

Autumn Crocus

Winning the BBC Big Band Competition!

Both my sons went to Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and, in addition to performing in the famous symphony orchestra, they really loved playing in the big band. When they were away at school I only saw them every three weeks and it was always exciting to catch up with the latest additions to their musical  repertoires.

My youngest boy became particularly fond of jazz piano and  it is still his first love. He was studying for his grade eight piano exam and, having been playing some very serious stuff, turned up one weekend and played the most delightful melody I have ever heard, a piece by the 1930s composer Billy Mayerl called “Autumn Crocus”.

This lovely piece still takes me back to those exciting days, if you would like to download it for free then right click on this link:  Autumn Crocus and click “save link as”. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. If you want to know more about Chetham’s School then click on the logo:

The School’s aims are to educate musically gifted children between the ages of 8 and 18, whatever their social, ethnic and cultural background and financial circumstances, to provide as broad an academic curriculum as is possible within a specialist school and to develop the whole person, furthering the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of each student.” Chetham’s does exactly that, outstandingly.

The Most Magical Place

Evening at Kleine Scheidegg

Everyone has a special place, somewhere they love more than anywhere else. When I was eleven years old I went on holiday to the Bernese Oberland in the Swiss Alps. The highlight of a wonderful stay was the ride on the train inside the Eiger to the Ski resort on the Jungfrau at 11,000 ft. Thirty years later I took my own sons on the same journey and it still remains the most dramatic and beautiful place I have ever visited.

Jungfraujoch station

The Jungfraubahn railway was completed in 1912 after sixteen years of work. It runs from the mountain resort of Kleine Scheidegg at the foot of the Eiger’s north face, through a 5 mile long tunnel, to the saddle beneath the summit of the Jungfrau where you can ski and eat and take in the most dramatic mountain views in Europe. The train stops twice on its climb and you can look out onto the Eiger north wall and down into the valley over a mile below.

The view from the top

The Bernese Oberland is not just a winter resort, plan to go in August when it is very warm and the alps are a mass of wild flowers. You can travel throughout the region on a superb network of trains and enjoy wonderful food. There are endless beautiful villages to explore with cable cars, waterfalls and mountain-top rotating restaurants! If you have children they will be entranced by the whole experience and will remember it forever.

The Schilthorn revolving restaurant

Start now by visiting the cafe at Kleine Scheidegg and take a look up at the ever-changing Eiger with their wonderful webcam; just click on the Rostizzeria logo:


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