Friday, 10 June 2016
This model, with the wooden trim, was actually known as a 'Traveler'.
My uncle had one, I remember it well. In the early 70's my father had a dark blue Moggie van, which he fitted out with two London bus benches in the rear. I have fond memories of driving to the seaside at the weekend with my brother and cousins, it was before my sister was even born, in the back of that classic old car. I loved it, and I used to clean it every Saturday morning.
After all these years I can even remember the registration number - 219 HLE. This dates the car as being originally registered before 1963.
The Moggie was designed by Alex Issigonis, who also designed the Mini. The car was conceived in 1941, when Morris were concerned with war production. However, thinking ahead and knowing that they had massive production capacity due to military requirements, they wanted a 'ready to go' design for a civilian vehicle to go into production as soon as the war ended. And so Issigonis, who was a junior designer, was given the job of designing a car that could be built without requiring too much retooling of the existing production lines.
This particular car, which has Belgian plates, is a Minor 1000, which entered into production in 1956. It is so perfect that it looks like it has just come out of the factory. Even in my childhood I didn't such a perfect example as this, and it sent a shiver up my spine just to touch it. It brought back many memories.
The interior of the car is as perfect as is the exterior, and the tyres are the original crossplies. Somebody has invested a huge amount of time, money, and love into this car. Note the British tax disc on the windscreen - the car was clearly registered in the UK until at least 2014.
The Moggie was never the safest of vehicles. It had a rigid construction, and did not absorb impact well. It was only in the mid-60s that modifications were made to the design to allow for the fitting of seat belts.
More than 1.3 million Moggies were produced as far as we know, but there was also some production in India, and total production there is somewhat uncertain.
Fings ain't wot they used to be.........
Wednesday, 8 June 2016
But now it has become really serious.
Climate change has landed on my doorstep. My local Petanque pitch is flooded.
I must admit that the reflection of the moon and the trees in the water at 9.30 this morning was rather pleasing, but my son and I were planning on a few games at the weekend. This is a ritual that involves the odd tipple, some snacks, and a small wager (which I always seem to lose).
Thursday, 2 June 2016
This is an account of the events of the Euromaidan protests of 2013 -14, when student led protests called for an end to the Russian backed regime of Viktor Yanukovich, and for a Ukrainian future as part of the European family of free and democratic nations.
Evgeny filmed the resulting tragedy as it unfolded before his eyes.
This is a somewhat hard film to watch: some of the scenes are extremely harrowing, and interviews with some of the peaceful protesters are shown alongside footage of those same innocent people being taken down by snipers.
The file is brutally honest, and Evgeny spoke openly about his feelings after the event. Such sights and sounds cannot help but traumatise those who witness them. I know that only too well.
The movie is available on Netflix, where it has attracted huge attention.
These things should not happen in 21st century Europe, but they do. We must not turn our eyes away.