Before setting out to collect friends from the airport, I generally have a quick look at one of the live flight information sites to see if the plane will be on time. I happened to notice that on this occasion, a box on the bottom of the screen told me that there were 5197 (visible) aircraft in the air at that moment. Taking an average of 200 people per aircraft (which I think might allow for freight, general aviation and stuff that takes double that number) and that equates to 1.03 million people in the air as I watched the screen.


In-flight catering must be a pretty good wicket.

A7 crankshaft

I perhaps didn’t mention that Leon and Awkward’s epic trip to the South of France was marred only by the breaking down of the A7 on the way home. Once the car was back in the workshop, a strip down revealed the cause. That’s a very impressive crack across the web. This is a shelled, 3-bearing engine and the shells and journals were none too bright – even so, it seems a strange place for the crank to let go.

New wings

I’ve half done the wings on my A7 – I keep getting interrupted with alterations to Project ‘X’ (some of which have been self-inflicted as measuring stuff is not my strong suit) but I’ve now only 2 brackets to make up and ‘Sunita’ should be ready for a test drive in the next few weeks. There’s also the on-going work with the 1908 Rover (we’ve discovered that the big casting for the gear lever quadrant is probably from a later and possibly larger car so it won’t be able to be used) and a couple of jobs for a chum with a Riley Special – a seat repair and an exhaust bracket.


I turned up at the powder-coating chaps the other day and no-one was there. I don’t know whether the presence of this piece of ordnance was anything to do with the mass evacuation but I didn’t hang about for long either.

Lotus Europa

The Lotus Europa chassis is beginning to come together with the front suspension and hubs in place.

Lotus Europa

Everything seems so spindly and lightweight but nevertheless very business-like – as you would expect from Mr Chapman.


Years ago, when I was teaching myself to paint (something art school failed to do) I copied a painting purely to get to grips with rendering skyscapes. The painting was part of a ‘100 Years of Painting’ exhibition to celebrate the Millennium. I was messing about in a boat on the River Stour when The Ambassador’s Daughter pointed out the reflections in the water.


They put me in mind of the picture. I wouldn’t have noticed them at all – the brain does a lot of filling in and filtering – and it reminded me that looking is only half the story; seeing is the important bit.


2 comments on “Looking.

  1. Harry Pope says:

    How old /length of seasoning is the ash you used on your bodywork.I am attempting to repair an old ash frame body and have read it needs to be at least four years seasoned ,what do you think.

    • Hello Harry,
      I really couldn’t tell you. If you’ve read it needs to be 4 years old, I’d go with that. I used what was given to me and didn’t go into the technical stuff as I needed to get the job done. Kiln dried ash might shorten the seasoning process but I don’t think it’s quite the same thing.
      Sorry I can’t answer your question; thanks for your interest.

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