Monday, 13 June 2016

Cars, Castles and Cake

At the beginning of June I was offered a trip down south, to the exotic location of, well, Tatton Park in Cheshire for the annual summer Classic Car Show.  It's been a few years since I last attended, and with a quiet weekend ahead the invite was readily accepted.

The plan was to get there bright and early, and I'm very glad to say that the first part of the day went according to plan.  Just after 9.00am on the Saturday we were rolling through the gates at the country park with barely a queue to join, and soon got through into the event itself.

There was a lovely busy atmosphere already, with the sights, sounds and indeed smells of old cars as they trundled into the show.  I had a look around the autojumble that was there, which seemed to be full of various old parts for cars -  want an old rear bumper bracket for a 1973 Morris Marina?  It was probably here, along with a million other bits and pieces that I'm sure could have made one full, mongrel car.

There wasn't too much here to attract my attention... apart from some very lovely 'petrol pump' styled storage cabinets.  They would have been perfect for my little whiskey collection... if only I'd thought of it at the time.  Oh well - maybe next time.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Car Show, Tatton Park.
With no need for anything else in the autojumble, I made my way onto the first line of cars.  A beautiful Ford Mustang caught my attention, immaculate in the already blazing sun.  I had a good chat with the friendly owner, half-dreaming of a midnight cruise up the Californian Pacific Coast Highway in the lovely machine.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Mustang, Classic Car Show, Tatton Park.
Nearby, a Morgan stand offered a different kind of automotive fantasy - mmm, how about a blast through the Cotswolds on a bright hot summer's day?  It brought back fabulous memories of my Morgan trip to Shelsley Walsh last year, with the thrum of that V8 engine still resounding in my thoughts.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Car Show, Tatton Park.
All around, preened and polished cars stood waiting to be admired - some, well, a little less polished and and preened than others...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Car Show, Tatton Park.
It was a very eclectic range of cars on display - old Fords nestled alongside more exotic machinery from Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari, so there was plenty for me to admire.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Car Show, Tatton Park.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Car Show, Tatton Park.
Away in one corner of the show a group of Jaguars held court, which I managed to admire whilst having a cup of tea at a vintage tea-room.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Classic Car Show, Tatton Park.
However, the sweltering sun was beginning to take it's toll - it was a recorded 27°c, and there was very little shade.  Even under my parasol, I was really feeling the heat.  A decision was made and, just after 2.00pm we headed back to the air-conditioned comfort of the car and started off home.  I was really glad that we'd got there early, though - the queue to still get into the event was colossal.  It took a long cool shower when I got home to properly cool down, but still a lovely day out.

Following that came a minor celebration of a kind.  It's hard for me to believe, but early June saw my five-year anniversary of starting in this industry.  Five years!  There is a sense of pride  and satisfaction that I still enjoy what I do, and that I've so far stayed the pace.  It seems a very long time ago that I caught that first taxi across Manchester to a city-centre hotel (back when I didn't have my own place to work from, and so only did out-calls) for that first booking.  I remember being very nervous and wondering what lay on the other side of that hotel room door.  It was actually a rather pleasant chap, who wanted me to sit on his face whilst I wanked him off.  It was, thankfully, an easy introduction to my new working life, and I remember leaving the room decidedly horny, so when I took my next booking a couple of nights after in another hotel (I got to know quite a few of them in Manchester!) I was more than ready for that first 'full-service' session.  So my fifth year anniversary called for a little celebration... which meant a Lemon Drizzle Cake.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - anniversary cake.
 Unfortunately, it also meant I had bought a cake that, due to certain food allergies, I coudn't eat.  Hmmm... what could I do with a rather squishy cake that I can't actually eat....

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - anniversary cake.
Let's say that some ended up in places that I'm sure the bakery didn't imagine...  The photos are a little too rude for my website and blog, but I will have to see if there are any that I can put up on my Adultwork private gallery - I'll let you know if and when!

Anyway, celebrations over and onto this weekend.  No plans, again, until the last minute.  D, a very dear and long-time friend emailed me this week - if I didn't have any plans, then would I like some free tickets for the Cholmondeley Pageant Of Power (or Power And Speed Weekend, as it now seems to be known).  Oooh, well, why not?

Unfortunately, the weather for the weekend was in very stark contrast to the Tatton Park weekend.  Heavy, biblical downpours that would have old Noah hammering away to finish his ark were predicted, but armed with my heeled wellies and pervy waterproof mac, I thought I would be well-protected anyway.

So, another very early start - this time involving a 4.30am alarm call.  It was just over an hour's drive from Manchester to Cholmondeley castle in Cheshire, and again I'm glad to say that the early departure meant little traffic and little queueing.

Thankfully, the weather wasn't as bad as anticpated, so my pervy mac stayed at home (stop booing!) but the wellies stayed on.  Heavy clouds still welcomed us as we parked up and headed into the show.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
Being so early did have it's drawbacks, however.  Many of the stalls weren't open, and a few of the vehicles were covered up.  Nevertheless, the lack of crowds meant a very relaxed start to the day and a great opportunity to glimpse some of the cars without huge crowds around.  Under a nearby canopy, some gorgeous metallic curves caught my eye.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Trident Iceni, Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
I know one or two classic cars, but this was something I hadn't seen before.  It turned out to be a Trident Iceni, and it was simply gorgeous.  Trident, it appears, are a small Norfolk-based company (with Lotus over there, too, it means there must be something in the water!) - I hope they do well.

Cholmondeley Castle itself provided a rather picturesque backdrop to a bunch of brutal rally cars from across the years (the venue will host part of the Rally GB event later in the year).

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
More exciting for me, though, was the nearby covered area that sheltered the cars and bikes that would be challenging the Cholmondeley circuit later in the day.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
I wandered in to the enclosed area, enjoying the fantastic cars that were assembled and once again relishing the relative quiet of the morning.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
I especially fell in love with this little cute chap...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
Size really isn't everything, of course... unless it comes to the next car that was quite special and particularly caught my eye - not that it was exactly unnoticeable.  It was a Packard Bentley, the crazy brainchild of a certain Chris Williams.  With a fuel consumption of 4 gallons per minute, it's not quite ideal for the city centre commute, but I was definitely looking forward to seeing it run later in the day.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Packard-Bentley, Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
After a late (second) breakfast, it was time to watch some of the cars complete the short sprint course.  The slippery track meant that some were going for the relatively safer option of regularity times rather than sheer speed, but it was still nice to see the cars in motion.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
A break in the action meant I had time to wander around the shopping area and back to the start line in time to see the moto-cross bikes having a go on the track - that also meant trying to be very quick with the camera as they shot past in the blink of an eye.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
Hearing that the Packard Bentley would be running shortly, I headed off in search of a less crowded spot to watch from.  I found the ideal site down near the entrance.  Firstly, that meant I was in time for some single-seater race cars to come speeding through under the entrance bridge.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
Not as quick as the motorbikes, but fast enough on the short and narrow course.  Soon, across the other side of the track at the start-line, the sound of thunderous engines split the air.  Firstly, it was the turn of the Napier Bentley.  With 'only' 600hp it was the warm-up for the main event.  It still managed to thunder past like an express train, though...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Napier-Bentley, Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
Shortly after it disappeared from view, the 42-litres of the Packard-engined Bentley fired up.  It was certainly a noise and sight that was going to be hard to forget as it blasted past...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Packard-Bentley, Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Packard-Bentley, Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
And so it was time to head back to our slightly less impressive steed back home, and with heavy rain-drops starting to fall as we left I thought it was perhaps good timing.  A fantastic surprise of a weekend - and a great start to the summer.

Looking back at the blog, it occured to me that there is a certain connection between my recent car events and my experience from five years of being in the business.  Mainly that, as mentioned earlier, size doesn't always matter.  So, whether this...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
... or this...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Cholmondeley Speed Weekend.
... you can still have a lot of fun, regardless of size, power, speed and prowess.  Care needs to be taken with the bigger stuff, and quite often the little ones are more fun, but it all comes down to how they are used... and I can certainly appreciate both when they are handled well..!

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