Saturday, 30 August 2008

Only 7 days to go...time for a pitstop !



Well, only 7 days to go now, and still there seems to be a mountain of things still to do.I popped around to see those nice people at Pitstop in Sleaford the other day so they could have a closer look at the car and trailer.Many thanks to John,Chris and the fellas for assisting us with several aspects of the car including replacing drive shaft gaitors and supplying items such as batteries and other spares to keep us on the road.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Joel has a donor !



As you may have read in one of my posts last week, Joel, a little lad from Farndon near Newark, was seriously ill and was appealing for people to come to a donor identification session organised by the Newark Advertiser newspaper, at Kelham Hall last Thursday. Well, it is my pleasure to be able to tell you that Ann, Joel's mum, sent me a text on Thursday evening (last night), to say that a donor had now been identified amongst those who attended the session. This is fantastic news, and just proves how having these sort of sessions can help people such as Joel to find that "special person" that they so desperately need.I think that perhaps he has plans to be the third member of the S2M team also, judging by the way he jumped into the car when I popped around to see him on Wednesday night after work !. He especially liked the "Dixie" hooter and the "half car" that is attached at the back :-).Thanks go to all of you out there who attended the session for gave up a little time for this young fella. All of you are special and caring people, and one of you may be Joel's "Special person" that he so desperately needed.Well done !

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

RAF Cosford Meet a success!

On the 23rd August, Andy and I attended the Scirocco Registers National meet at RAF Cosford and Im pleased to report that the show went well.

The event had a stunning turnout of cars (41 in all) and Scarlett drew quite a lot of attention for the Scirocco2Morocco cause, promting several generous donations and gifts to help us on our trek. There are too many names to thank for their donations but you know who you all are - over £100 raised towards our drive - a heartfelt thankyou to you all.

There are still a few more details to tie up in the following week before we depart including sorting out insurance, preparing documents for our trip and finalising details of our two departure points. Lets hope it all goes smoothly from here....

Thank you Total !


Got a luvvley big parcel from the Post Office this morning which, on inspection, revealed a nice little selection of goodies for us to use in raising money for our challenge,such as a fleece,some adventure packs and a 1:18 model of the Renault F1 car signed by the drivers of the 2007 season.


This is another classic example of a company using it's initiative, so although it was not possible for Total to sponsor us for the cost of our fuel during the drive, they have still helped us along by way of the donation of some branded items for us to raise some cash with.


In complete contrast to some other fuel companies who could not even be bothered to say NO ! (no names mentioned, but they are M*rco and T*xaco !).


Total can congratulate themselves on being the most thoughtful of the companies that we have contacted regarding fuel sponsorship, and the goodies sent will definitely help us to complete our challenge.So well done Total, and the others?, 1/10 see me !

Thursday, 21 August 2008

I had something of a reality check today

It's a funny thing, but i was so wrapped up in all of this Scirocco 2 Morocco stuff that i almost (but not quite entirely!) forgot that i had leukaemia !. I suppose its because i keep my head so full of things to do, people to speak to and emails to write, that there was not much time to do the mundane stuff like consider your own mortality.....then my dad told me about an appeal he had heard on BBC Radio Nottingham earlier today and it gave me a reality check as to one of the reasons myself and Glen are attempting this drive.

The appeal was made by a young lad,6 years old to be precise, and he was asking the listeners to save his life. The sad thing was that he is amongst approx 16,000 people who are currently waiting for a bone marrow transplant to attempt to cure them of diseases such as leukaemia, and he was there, in a radio station appealing for someone to step forward and do the most honourable and magical of things...try to save him.

Donating bone marrow is not such a major thing as i was (as are most folk) made to believe.The hardest part about the whole procedure is finding the match, that special someone who is able to provide an incredibly special gift to a person that they may never have ever met before in their lives, and to me that is the saddest fact.That the "special" person could pass you in the street, live next to your home or even work alongside you, but unless they take courage,step forward and offer to be tested....they may never be found.

Joel Picker-Spence is pleading for his very life.Imagine just for a second it was your son,brother,nephew or friend,surely it is not to much to ask someone to take a simple blood test and possibly,just possibly give the greatest of all gifts....the gift of life.

This is the link to his story in the Newark Advertiser. Could you be that special person ?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/7575051.stm

http://www.newarkadvertiser.co.uk/template/temp1.asp?id=978f6493-b5a7-102b-9d57-3047d247ecca

Monday, 18 August 2008

Scirocco2Morocco at RAF Cosford















As you may have read, this weekend the Scirocco2Morocco team will be going to the Scirocco Registers National meet which is being hald at RAF Cosford.

The meet promises to be a good opportunity to raise a few more funds as well as getting some good photos of the car with others of its type - around 50 cars if all goes well! Hopefully there will be a chance to catch up with Andy about whats been going on although he has covered most things in the vid below I think - sorry to hear your feeling a bit under the weather mate.

There will be plenty to see on Saturday 23rd so why not come down and check it out?

Sunday, 17 August 2008

And now...a short video blog (Actually it's rather long !)

video

Oh no, the X-Factor is back on the box :-(. So it was straight outside for me, and time to do a little "to camera" work. Sorry about the ramblings, but this was all "off the cuff" stuff, and as anyone who knows me will tell you, i can talk (or moan !) for England if the mood takes me.

The video is a little long at just over 25 mins due to me trying to cram all the info into it in one go.......funny, it didn't seem like i was waffling for such a long time :-)

Anyway.If you can manage to stand listening to my inane ramblings for the first 12 or so mins i will then give you a tour around the car/trailer and explain a little about some of our key sponsors......that good eh ! lol :-)

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Scarlet goes to Sheffield to visit the Tigers





On Thursday myself plus 3 mad children (yes they are mine !) went on a short hop over to Sheffield to pay a visit to the home of the Sheffield Tigers, the Owlerton Stadium. We were met on arrival by Neil Machin, the owner of the speedway circuit, and after a short chat we parked the car up on display and then spent 3 hours completely enthral ed at our first experience of watching a speedway event !.A very good friend of mine, Sean (a fellow hospital walla) had arranged the visit, and he and his wife and 2 children made us feel most welcome as we enjoyed a drink and later some luvvly chips and mushy peas/curry at the food counter/restaurant.

The master of ceremonies announced our event later on during a break in the action, and at the close of the meeting myself,Sean and the kids gave out about 100 flyer's to visitors as they left.
Special thanks to the very nice man on the gifts counter (sorry, but i can't remember your name !) who gave us several stickers to put on the car, amongst them was my favourite "Speedway riders do it sideways"....:-)

Friday, 15 August 2008

South East departure set for Bluebell Hill....

I have been hard at work this week plugging away at various contacts to try and sort out a decent send off for the Scirocco2Morocco adventure. It looks like the local press are now on board, with a few local papers and journalists interested in covering our departure. I have even had some interest from local TV, although this is not confirmed yet.

The plan is that after Scarlett leaves the classic car show, she will head down to the Bluebell Hill Picnic site near Rochester - where Andy and Teresa completed their 'Roc-around-the-clock' challenge last year. Hopefully we will be all set for a grand send off by 5pm, by the press, friends and a few representatives from Macmillan.

Its all getting closer now, not long to go..............

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

And now a few words from Dick..........

video

Received this the other day from non other than that really funny fella Richard McCourt from the hit kids CBBC TV series "Dick and Dom in da bungalow".

It's great to get the involvement and support from well know celebs like Richard so we'd just like to say a great big thank you to him for this promo for our event. Oh yeah, just one more thing to say really........................................"Bogeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !" :-)

Thanks Richard :-)

Friday, 8 August 2008

1 Month to go.....so much to still do !

Well it's now the 8th August and that means that we now only have around 1 month to go before we set off on our challenge.
Over the last few days i have been seeking more assistance from both local and International companies, and at this moment in time i am waiting for confirmation on a few possible leads. I spoke to a fella from the Lincoln CO-OP on Monday who seemed sure that he would be able to rustle up some sort of help through their travel service, so that would be a most welcome source of assistance, also i spoke to a lady from Vodafone based in Newark on Tuesday, and she was looking into the possibility of helping us to stay in touch during the journey by way of providing us with a couple of sims that would allow us to make free calls for the duration.I hope that this particular lead comes good as it is a major feature of our journey that we can chat to the press,family and well wishes whilst on the road, and of course these days it may also allow us to get online and keep our blogs up to date.I did take the car around to the Vodafone offices, and made a point of the fact that the red that adorns the Scirocco is almost the same shade as their logo sports..well you have to push your benefits don't you :-)
I have also been in touch with SNCF the french rail and (apparently !) ferry service,they have replied to my email and have forwarded my request for their assistance in crossing to Morocco to the relevant people although i have learned during the course of arranging this trip, never count your chickens until they have hatched !.
I also sent an email to Shell and Texaco(the fuel companies) a couple of days ago to ask if they would consider assisting us with our fuel expenses...no word so far, but these things sometimes take time to filter through the corporate systems.
A friend of mine at the hospital (Sean) has also managed to source us some last minute coverage of our event at the Sheffield Tigers Speedway arena, so on Thursday night next week we will be appearing (one night only !) at the venue.Hopefully at the very least we can spread the word to a few more people, and of course there is always the chance that we can secure some last minute sponsorship also...that would be nice :-).
Glen called the other day to tell me that the guys over at the Phirm (VW Specialists) had offered to give the car a going over to identify any possible problems before the off....trouble is that they are over (or down perhaps ?) in Kent, and I, and the car, are up in sunny Lincolnshire, so getting it down for them to work their magic on could prove a problem.....need to think about options on this issue !.
On the 23rd August there will be the first National meeting of Scirocco Owners at RAF Cosford. It's called the National meeting, but in actual fact we are expecting quite a few of our fellow Scirocco enthusiasts from over in Holland ,Germany,France and other parts of the EU.In fact i am sure that i heard that we may be getting visitors from as far afield as Australia, although, as you may appreciate, he will not be in his car :-)
More details about this event can be sought at the Scirocco Register website forums here : http://www.sciroccoregister.co.uk/

video

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Celebs to see off Scirocco 2 Morocco Challenge




Just got some information this week that the Annual Sleaford Classic and Vintage car show is hoping to boast some celebrity faces to help send us off on our challenge on the 6th September.

Apparently the well known TV meteorologist,weatherman and vehicle enthusiast Bill Giles, top TV Chef James Martin and Top Gear Presenter and journalist James May are all looking to attend, so i will have to get my autograph book out and give it a dust down maybe ! ....although if they want our autographs, myself and Glen could always sign a copy of one of their books for them :-)


We have now been asked by Heron Volkswagen if it would be possible for us to attend their launch of the New Scirocco, which just happens to be taking place on the 18th September, the day that we are due to arrive back in the UK and complete our challenge.


Details of the show can be found here: http://www.shcms.sleafordevents.co.uk/


Yesterday (Saturday) i took my three kids out for a small trip (!) over to Manchester.The reason ? Well we have at long last managed to locate a matching set of alloy wheels to fit to the trailer. Many thanks to Peter and his family for looking after us when we arrived, and also for the "extras" that he has donated to our challenge, namely shock absorbers,radiators,fans and even a spare carb !. Once again it has been members of the general public that have shown exceptional generosity in helping myself and Glen achieving our goal.....shame that some of the bigger companies that we have approached don't appear to be anything like so helpful....you know who you are !

You know, If i got a pound for every time someone on the A1,M62,M1 either pointed at us,took pictures or simply stared at our rather unusual rig as we made our way up to Manchester the other day,then myself and Glen would probably not need to travel 4000 miles to Africa and back to raise this cash for our worthy causes..mmmmm,now that's a damn good idea !