Thursday June 27th
Dear Family & Friends,
After I left Cambridge I continued riding east. I spent the night in a classic British B&B Pub and relaxed with a good dinner and a gin and tonic...
The next day I planned to ride to a friends classic car business on the east coast of England.
The east is much dryer than the west side since most storms come from the west and weaken by the time they reach the east side. Still lots of trees and greenery but actual brown grass here and there. It looks like northern California. To add to the dryness England is in a bit of a heat wave and droubt. People are starting to worry because it hasn’t rained in almost two weeks!!
What’s really crazy is it is actually hotter here this week than back home in California.!!
From where I stayed to my friend‘s shop is barely a hundred miles on major roads but I set my GPS to avoid all highways and freeways so what should have been a 1 1/2 ride took almost four hours but I saw lots of beautiful country side and villages so it was worth it..
My first stop was Suffolk Sports Cars. It is owned by an old friend of mine Roger Williams and his son Fraser who now runs it. Some of you have seen me over the years with the beautiful SS100 replicas I have built, well the components to build those cars comes from Suffolk Sports cars. Since Roger has pretty much retired and turned over most of the operations to his son Fraser the business has greatly expanded. They now do a beautiful C Type Jaguar replica, they sell classic cars, and they repair classic cars. The size of the operation has grown at least four fold since when I first met Roger.. The son Fraser came and spent a summer working for me at XKs a few years ago and I knew then he was a very smart and capable young man. I am totally impressed with what he has done.
Having seen what Fraser has done with his father’s business along with my friend Aubrey and what his son Nick has done similarly with his business Classic Auto I can see that us old guys need to move out of the way and make room for a younger generation with more energy, ideas, and drive to make these businesses grow and keep relevant.. Now if I can only find one of my daughters that wants to do that….???
That evening Roger, Fraser, and I went out to a wonderful traditional British pub and restaurant and actually sat out side on the patio until 9pm enjoying dinner, wine and good conversation.. The current heat wave sweeping England is tough on the grass but makes the evenings delightful. And of course after we spent a reasonable amount of time talking cars they brought up politics.. Again they were totally bewildered how such an unqualified man could become president.. The other big political topic hear is of course Brexit which we talked about.. I listened more than talked since I don’t follow that issue as closely. It seems the difficulty is separating the sovereignty issue (immigration) from the large economic benefits the EU offers. That is going to be a tough one to resolve.
After a good visit the following morning I started riding again back towards London. I know I get teased a lot for being a FACEBOOK addict which I freely admit I am, but I do meet interesting people from all over the world through FACEBOOK. One gentlemen I have gotten to know is British movie producer who learned about me by following my travel stories on FACEBOOK.
Last year while in LA he made a special trip to SLO to meet me. I was honored that he made such an effort. It has developed into a nice friendship. So when he heard I was coming to the UK he invited me to his house.
He lives just north of London in a town called High Wycombe. I used to go there 40+ years ago and while the old part of town was pretty much how I remembered it, the old town is surrounded by new development and it has really grown and changed the character of the town.. The entire country is growing like mad.
My friend‘s name is Danny Rogers and he is a movie producer. Last year he sent me a script to read about a new movie he is working on and it was quite exciting to see how it would develop. I met his wife Emma who is a script writer. They also have a friend from Los Angeles visiting named Duncan who was very charming and interesting to talk to and another local friend John.
Again it was a warm summer night so we sat outside for an hour to have a few drinks, then went out to a local restaurant where his daughter works, that specializes in GREAT hamburgers and I was not disappointed. Dinner also included a few rounds of drinks.
Then we went back to the house for a few more rounds of drinks… By near midnight I was glad I was walking distance to my hotel.. I would not have wanted to try riding my motorcycle…..
Of course with all the drinks flowing the subject of politics came up and I am sure you can guess the subject… The general opinions I hear here is it is so obvious he is unqualified and immature, how come the American’s didn’t see it and voted for him???
After a throughly enjoyable visit the following morning I rode back to London to my friend Aubrey’s house.. So after four weeks on the bike I am going to look forward a few weeks off it.. Tomorrow Bonnie meets me in London, flying in from Ireland to spend a week in London with me. Our daughter Hannah and her husband John arrive Saturday for a week of site seeing with us.. I am really looking forward to Portabello Road antique shopping, some good museums, and an evening or two at the great London theaters..
After that Hannah and John go home and Bonnie and I take off for Italy!
So I am not sure how much blogging I will be doing over the next four weeks. The first week in August friends from SLO will come over for another motorcycle riding adventure around England, Scotland, and the Isle of Man..then I will definitely be blogging.
In the mean time I will of course still be posting on FACEBOOK because I am an addict…
For photos of Suffolk Sports Cars, dinner parties, and towns go to my blog.
Two more distinguished British gentlemen would be hard to find… Roger and Fraser.
Notice the sticker on the upper right of the Suffolk Sports Car’s door??
The patio where we enjoyed a proper gentlemen’s evening out. Well Roger and Fraser are gentlemen, I am just out.
A few photos from downtown High Wycombe.
I pushed my daughters Shannon and Sarah through those arches in a stroller almost 40 years ago!
My friends Danny and Emma on the right, and my new friend Duncan on the left.
Danny’s back yard..
Danny and his friend John
An evening of drinks and good conversation, what more could you ask for.??
Had to take this photo. This company belongs to a friend of my friend Aubrey. His family has owned this hair brush company for 240 years!! The are the official brush supplier to the queen. Must be a good business, that’s the owner’s McClaren sports car in the lot.
A local school.
Unloading the luggage from my motorcycle after four weeks.. No one will accuse me of traveling light….