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Time to merge the mini blog…

HI Everyone….

Just wanted to let you know that I am merging my mini blog with my normal everyday life “me” blog.   It’s easier to manage if i just have one.   So for those who wish to keep hearing about my mini adventures, please do follow my main blog.

Hope to see you there.


A few photo’s of Henry Austin…

The coolest car on the M54 tonight was mine…
I am so sorry for what I almost did…

So I have been driving my mini for a few weeks now and I was enjoying it.  But then I had a wobble.  Listen to this… After I had the oil leak fixed - which was a cracked oil filter and pissing the black stuff everywhere - The guys in the garage advised me to let the car stand still for a day to see if the leak stops. So I did and I took the wife’s Megane to work, although now I’m not sure what she did to get to work or how she picked up our little boy from nursery?? Anyway that isn’t the point.  The drive to work in the Megane was smooth.  If I compared it to the drive in the Mini, the Megane is like being transported to the office in a soft warm quilt.  No bumps and no noise.  Before the Mini was in my life, I hated the Megane, I would have quite happily burned the car on a school field.  Then I had the car for one day and I was instantly thrown in to a bubble of doubt.  I began to think about the the pro’s & con’s of having a mini as my main car and logic was beginning to get the better of my mind. 

The Pros to owning a mini are:
• It’s a mini
• It’s insurance is unbelievably cheap

The Cons to Owning a mini are:
• High Maintenance
• Unreliable in winter (I have no factual evidence for this particular mini - but i can only presume this because it’s a 30 year old car)
• If I have a fairly bad crash, there is a good chance my life will end.
• Add in any other silly excuse you can think of and I would count it as a negative towards the mini.
So within a day, I had convinced myself I was going to sell the mini.  I knew somebody that wanted to buy it too.   Good job I had the sense to wait on my decision and go to play five a side.  All the guys there told me I would be stupid to sell it. 
The next morning on the drive to work, the sun was shining and the roads were clear.  My music was playing and Henry was happy.  I was thankful that my bubble of doubt had burst and as I looked at all the other miserable drivers on the roads, I knew that I could never sell Henry.  They get in there cars, that practically drive themselves and they grump all the way to work.  There is no fun in driving a Megane, or any other car.  It’s boring.
So the mini stays - and im going to love it and make my alterations to it.  Making it truly my car that people will look at and go “Ooooh… Mini”….
I have some plans for Henry - I will reveal all soon.

A few photo’s of Henry Austin…

Rainy Morning Drive
Well the M54 in Shropshire this morning was an interesting experience. Been driving that route in my mini for the last four weeks. I’ve driven in the rain a few time but this was torrential rain. Visibility was shockingly poor and the wind and lorries were not making it easy for me and Henry. I don’t think I pushed it past 57mph when usually in normal conditions I fly down that route at 70mph. I’ve driven that route in the wife’s Megane when it’s been heavy rain and I’ve never been concerned about bad weather. This morning was a whole new experience for me. Concentration levels were high…
Mini Vocabulary… #1

Words I have learnt this week:
Air Filter
Oil Filter
Grease Joints
Deferential (still not sure what this is)

You may have guessed that I’m a little uneducated to when it comes to knowing how a car works or is put together. I can drive them fine but that’s about it.


The first 3 weeks

Well, the adventure has started…

I bought my mini 3 weeks ago and I am using it as my main car, traveling to work and back 5 days a week.  I will do a 60 mile round trip each day so I’m looking at a minimum of 17,000 miles a year.  I bet right now that some mini owners are cringing at this.  I have been commuting on the train for the last 5 years and frankly, I needed a change.  It was time for me to drive to work.  I was relying on my wife and others to pick me up and drop me off at train stations and it wasn’t ideal really. 

So when the time came for me to buy a car, I thought to myself “What should I drive?  What do I want to drive?”  Me and my wife already have a Renault Megane, which she uses to drive to work and ferry our little boy to nursery.  Then one day about a year ago, I saw Richard Hammond running a mini through India. That was it… That was my moment.  I knew I wanted a mini. So now I have one and the moment I bought it - my face has been a constant smile.  A 1982 metallic Blue Austin Mini. It has been in shows, featured in the Mini Magazine, ran the Nurburgring and Oulton Park.  Not racing I might add, but like concourse Rallies.

So what have the first three weeks brought me?  Well I have seen my happiness levels whilst driving go through the roof.  There is nothing more fun than driving a mini.  Especially compared to the Megane.  With the Mini, you get to experience the feel of the road.  The bumps, the noises, the vibrations and the rattles that seem to pop up anywhere and everywhere for no reason.  All of this adds to the charm of the ride. 

Over the first week though, I notice that the mini was shaking when i reached 55mph. Not because that’s when it reached the limit of it’s comfort zone but more because the wheels were out of balance.  So that needed to be sorted out.  Then towards the end of my first week, I noticed that I had a small oil leak.  I took Henry (that’s what I have called the car) to have the wheels balanced and I noticed an instant improvement - no shaking.  So moving on to the Oil leak, I took it to the garage to ask if they can help.  They advised me to get the underside cleaned first so they can pin point the leak.  So into and throughout week two I had been checking the oil levels on the dipstick.  They seemed to be staying put so I was happy with that.  Then today, I check the levels… Holy Crap! Oil level was below minimum levels!  I’d better get my arse down to halfords and get some oil to fill up back to safe levels.

The first photo of my new car and the first post of this blog.  Enjoy what is to come as I embark on my classic mini adventure.

The first photo of my new car and the first post of this blog.  Enjoy what is to come as I embark on my classic mini adventure.