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Restoration the headache and hardwork begins

Monday 1st February 2016 / 0 comments

Finding and restoring a 1975 Alfa Spider

A friend of mine spotted this Alfa while on holiday on the East Coast of Scotland, he saw it in someone's drive covered in tarpaulin so wasn’t sure what it was but knocked on the door anyway and asked if he could have a look. When he saw it was an Alfa he knew I had mentioned in passing it was a car I might add to the fleet, so he asked if it was for sale, it was and I bought it. I always thought an Alfa would work with the cars that I ready have, it is a car I like and it is a bit of an icon. I hitched up the trailer and headed north. 

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The tragedy of no time

Friday 10th July 2015 / 0 comments

Everyone seems so incredibly busy, we all seem to be trying to fit things in rather than taking the time to enjoy them. The way some people speak about their life reminds me of watching a young child trying desperately to squash a square shaped object through a triangular hole. When someone overtakes me on the road (with no blue light flashing) doing 100 miles an hour, I wonder what on earth is causing them to drive fast enough to kill themselves or someone else. I bet it is something totally trivial, just trying to cram everything in.
I think living in the countryside helps you take your time, although I feel busy most of the day when I head out on my daily walk through the woods I have time to notice things. I look at flowers that have come into just come in to bloom, I spot the buzzard sitting on a tree stump looking for something to eat, I hear the birds chattering above me and I often look up in the clouds just for a few minutes and escape the metallic noise of the modern world.
Life it seems has to be instant or it is not very good. I find people’s expectations get higher and higher while their empathy towards others gets less and less. If something small goes wrong disrupting plans it is like a huge deal and people do not seem to be able to cope with any sort of disappointment. I think we have all probably got a rather inflated idea of our own importance. When you hear and see the recent tragic news, it really makes me want to take time to spend on things that really matter.
One thing is for sure time marches on towards the end for each of us, it is precious and we don't get it back.

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Seeing things differently in a classic car

Tuesday 26th May 2015 / 0 comments

The reason behind people deciding to hire one of our classic cars to tour round Scotland seems to be because they just want to drive something a bit quirky, a bit unique.

What we have found over the last 11 years is that they set off in a classic car expecting a new driving experience but the same holiday experience you would get when driving a Euro box.

When they return after the tour the first thing everyone says to us is what a different holiday experience they’ve had.

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THE YOUTH OF TODAY

Friday 8th May 2015 / 0 comments

When we started this business 12 years ago (often feels like 112), we were in our early 40’s and all our clients seemed to be in their 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s, we assumed it was the nostalgia thing, memories of a rich Uncle who used to turn up on summer days in his E-Type Jaguar or the old lady next door who teetered about in a Morris Minor and always wore a hat.

My memories are mainly of my mother kangarooing from one village to another in various motors but that’s another story.

Over the last couple of years we have noticed a big shift in age group of our cliental, we still get middle aged people (which is what we are now – scary) and we also get lots of customers in the 25 to 35 year old age bracket, people that have never driven a car without power steering and as for using a choke, what’s a choke?

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RICHARD III . IT WAS EITHER HIM OR ME

Monday 20th April 2015 / 0 comments

I was interested to hear that they had found King Richards’s remains under a car park in Leicester as his death had a direct impact on my own life. I had looked in to my family history long before it became popular and through Mr Alan Worsfold who had done all the amazing groundwork, I could trace my ancestry right back to one person, a German mercenary who fought at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 on the side of Henry VII.

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FEAR OF FLYING MY OWN

Wednesday 1st April 2015 / 2 comments

When I was young, I loved getting on a plane, it was my transport of choice, then on a trip back to Menorca where I was living at the time, everything changed. I was on a Dan Air flight and as we boarded the plane a group of guys sat down opposite me and laughingly said ”hope this one doesn’t have to land on the motorway like the last one did’. Being 24 at the time I laughed with them. We were 15 minutes into the flight when there was a very large bang; lots of silver bits flew past the window, smoke and an acrid smell filled the plane

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CLASSIC CAR HIRE SEASON 2015 OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Wednesday 25th March 2015 / 0 comments

It seems to be ages away and then all of a sudden we are open for business.

The 2015 season starts this week. All the cars have been serviced and ready to go.

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APRIL IS A REALLY PRETTY MONTH IN SCOTLAND

Tuesday 10th March 2015 / 0 comments

I really enjoy April in Scotland we often get dry and quite sunny weather.

We have held our group classic car tours in the middle of April in the past and we have great photographic evidence of sunshine and hoods down.

I think people always think the summer will be better and April gets forgotten.

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NEW 2015 SEASON

Wednesday 18th February 2015 / 0 comments

I always think we have a long time when we close in October to the beginning of the next season but before you know it we are into spring.

This year we open on the 26th of March, the E-Type Jag is being stripped and ready for a re-spray, we have purchased a restoration project in the shape of a 1970’s Alfa it is in bits in the garage, the rest of the cars are taking their turn for a general check over and service nothing major.

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IT WAS A GOOD GAMES!

Monday 4th August 2014 / 0 comments

I really think the commonwealth games were a hit, lucky with the first week of weather too.

I listened to quite a bit on the radio and watched the highlights on TV in the evening.

I think the back stories of some of the competitors are truly inspirational, I have never been sporty myself but I deeply admire the dedication of sports people and all the people that back them up.

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SUMMER DOES SEEM TO BE HERE

Tuesday 22nd July 2014 / 0 comments

The south of England has had some really hot weather; my mum keeps calling me from the south coast about walking on the beach hoping for a sea breeze. 

Up in Scotland we don’t quite need a sea breeze to cool us down but the sun has been out and we’ve had lots of dry days.  We have even had to water the garden which doesn’t happen often.

It’s great to wave our customers off in the classic cars with the roof down and the sun splitting the sky, everyone is happy. This is our busiest time of year we have most of the cars out on tour in various corners of Scotland.

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NEW LIFE IN THE GARDEN

Friday 4th July 2014 / 0 comments

Our garden is full on new life at the moment we have never seen it so alive and we have lived here for ten years.  Young birds queuing up to feed off the fat balls we have 9 feeders and lots of homemade bird baths scattered about on tree stumps which get mostly used by blackbirds. All the nesting boxes seem full and we have two wrens’ nests, one in my potting shed the other in a clematis bush on the wall of the garage. Just behind us is a rather haphazard buzzard’s nest containing one young buzzard perched preciously up a pine tree.

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MEMORIES OF THE 1980S

Monday 9th June 2014 / 0 comments

Alex has purchased a new car for the fleet a Mercedes 280SL.

My memory of the SL is from the TV program Dallas which I used to watch avidly, Bobby Ewing had a red one, ours is white.

We had to go up to Aberdeen to pick it up with the trailer in howling wind and rain. I wasn’t sure what I would think of it as we have mainly stuck to British cars but we thought this being larger and an automatic it might suit the American market.

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THE SCENT OF BLUEBELLS

Friday 30th May 2014 / 0 comments

High up above the little village of Tillicoultry is a beautiful sea of blue on the hills. The other day we decided to drive up to the bluebell wood.  As soon as we got out of the car the scent hit you. I had forgotten bluebells had a scent it was so beautiful and like with so many smells it took me right back to my childhood and holidays with my grandparents in East Yorkshire.

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HONG KONG HELEN IS SICK AGAIN

Monday 12th May 2014 / 0 comments

Poor old Hong Kong Helen one of our refugee hens is sick again I think its crop rot which is really unpleasant she is back in sick bay (the laundry) in the hope she will recover but she looks very sorry for herself, we might have to visit the vet tomorrow. We really care about our hens and would hate any of them to suffer. When I go onto Facebook I am amazed at all he animal pages – so many people doing so many amazing things and so many animals being treated appallingly.

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SUNSHINE ALL THE WAY AT EASTER

Monday 21st April 2014 / 0 comments

We could not have wished for better weather over Easter, not a spot of rain just sunshine all the way.  We had four cars out over the Easter weekend and the hoods stayed down the whole time, in fact there was a case of a bit too much sun for the top of someone’s head.

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THE AMAZING KELPIES

Monday 14th April 2014 / 0 comments

I regularly drive to Falkirk to visit the chiropractor as I have a pretty ropey back, this is not brilliant when you run a bed and breakfast, all that bed making doesn’t help of course. However the winning lottery ticket is still eluding me so the bed making continues along with pain killers and a regular trip to get my back cracked to keep me going.  So I have watched the Kelpies being built from the beginning. They always take my breath away whatever the weather or time of day. I even take the motorway on the way home just so I can get a better look.

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A BAD COUGH & THE VISIT SCOTLAND EXPO

Monday 7th April 2014 / 0 comments

We went to the Visit Scotland Expo again this year; we have found it very useful in meeting travel agents from abroad. We join Carolyn on the ‘Visit Clackmannanshire Stand’

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THE HIRE SEASON STARTS

Sunday 30th March 2014 / 0 comments

Well this weekend was the start of our hire season for 2014. The E- Type Jaguar and the MKII Jaguar have been out. We were quite lucky with the weather before the weekend but it was a little dull over Saturday and Sunday at least only a bit of rain so spirits were not dampened.  We have had some lovely Aprils, with lots of sunshine so maybe again this year. 

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THE DIET FOR SPRING

Sunday 9th March 2014 / 0 comments

Having indulged too much over Christmas New Year and January we are both on a diet, Alex has never been on a diet in his life and I have been on thousands, slight exaggeration but I have been on every diet that is ever mentioned. Anyway we are on the five and two diet, first week was not so hard, the premise eat normally for 5 days of the week and cut the calories down for two days.

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IS SPRING HERE?

Monday 3rd March 2014 / 0 comments

The hills had a slight dusting of snow on them this morning and the sun was out in fact we’ve had a few sunny days which makes you feel so much better. On my walk this morning with the dogs we came across the three deer that hang around our garden, it is so wonderful to see them up close. The dogs don’t really give chase any more like me they are getting old. Molly has found a dead deer somewhere in the woods because every day she comes back with a rotting body part clamped tightly in her jaw, not pleasant and it is a fight to get it off he.

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SNOWDROPS

Monday 17th February 2014 / 0 comments

The garden is full of snowdrops, carpets of them, so pretty.  It does feel like spring is here or at least on its way. We had a dry weekend, with a little snow on the hills but greeted with rain today.  It is hard to get enthusiastic about the garden until things dry off. Our sickly hen, Hong Kong Helen is still alive, still in sick bay, she is going to the vets today as we just don’t know what to do next.

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SICK CHICK

Tuesday 11th February 2014 / 0 comments

One of our hens isn’t looking so good, it’s ‘Hong Kong Helen’ (long story), she is one of our refugees.  The rest of her brood belonged to our neighbour and were killed by a fox , she was the only one standing so we took her in. HK Helen is a real character the guests love her; she’s a loner but always manages to find her way to the kitchen door while the other hens are still shaking themselves awake. Her favourite dish of the day is bacon, pretty lucky she is living at a bed and breakfast establishment.

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SUNNY DAYS

Wednesday 29th January 2014 / 0 comments

Just back from a great week in Spain, we were in desperate need of a bit of sunshine, we were not disappointed, sun every day.  We visited the Almeria area somewhere we have not been before, quite barren in places but still lovely in it’s in own way.

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AND YET MORE RAIN

Friday 17th January 2014 / 0 comments

I can deal with the cold but the rain makes doing anything much harder, the garden now has patches of no go area because it is so muddy. The hens escape to the garage when Alex has the door open to try and get some shelter, shaking their feathers unhappily. At least we are up a hill, so no chance of flooding.

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BACK IN THE GARAGE

Monday 13th January 2014 / 0 comments

As soon as Alex gets back in the garage, friends pop round with their own car problems; he’s a good sort so he always helps out. Most people find the garage freezing, so they wander off to collect wood and light the large log burning stove that Alex fitted years ago but hardly ever lights himself. You don’t find me in the garage much. I pop the odd cup of coffee across but when the fire on it’s lovely. We have an old rocking chair in the garage that I sit on in front of the fire and enjoy a cup of tea, Molly our black Lab, sits my feet and we sit there roasting, while Alex works away.

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EMPTY HEAD

Saturday 11th January 2014 / 0 comments

I have worked from home for the last 10 years and it is really hard to get away from the business mentally, even when walking through the woods at the back of the house my head is full of what I need to get done that day. Today I went a little further a field for my walk along an old disused railway track, it was just what I needed. Silence and stillness and my head began to empty itself of the all rubbish. I just allowed myself to enjoy the walk. I stopped to look at things of interest which I never normally do because I am always in a hurry to get back to work.  So today started really well, peace and a clear head and I nearly forgot to mention NO RAIN.

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MORE RAIN

Wednesday 8th January 2014 / 0 comments

I am sick of the rain. I miss the cold, I wish we could have a frost. Taking the dogs for their morning walk through the woods at the back of Kennels Cottage is like an army assult course with great big lakes of water everywhere and trees down across the paths. I met the deer again this morning. Trying to clean the dogs takes about half an hour to remove all the mud. The chickens look fed up as well trying to find shelter under the hedges, we are due to get six more hens at the end of January from friends who are moving to spain (lucky them).

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GARDEN VISITORS

Sunday 5th January 2014 / 0 comments

The festive season is over and we are trying to get back to normal. The winter is when we can get all the things done we need to do before the arrival of guests in 2014. Most people think we take the winter off – I don’t think so.

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DECEMBER 2013

Friday 13th December 2013 / 0 comments

We closed the 2013 season in mid-October looking back it has been a good year. Things started slowly I think when we have a cold winter people put off booking holidays as Spring came so did the bookings. This summer was the best summer we have had since we came back to Scotland weather wise, July was a complete joy sunshine all the way. It was great for Alex because he didn’t even bother showing people on one day hires how to put the hoods up on the cars – no need, we even got people coming back with a tan on their faces!

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WIN A MINI ESCAPE WITH CALEDONIAN CLASSICS

Saturday 15th June 2013 / 0 comments

Two nights Bed & Breakfast and one days classic car hit and dinner for two at the Castle Campbell Hotel in Dollar.

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MINI TOUR OF SCOTLAND

Saturday 15th June 2013 / 0 comments

The Mini Tour of Scotland Classic Car Break is based on two nights’ accommodation in our four star guest house and two days classic car hire (this can be tailored to suit your requirements). Arriving couldn’t be easier, we can organize taxi transfers from Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports or local train stations.

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HIGHLAND FLING WEEKEND TOUR

Saturday 15th June 2013 / 0 comments

We have two separate tours planned set over three days. The dates will be 14th, 15th and 16th of September and the 28th, 29th 30th of September 2013. We expect to cover approximately 500 miles.

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