Alastair's Blog

Mum the Brave (in Scotland)!

Alastair Caldwell - Friday, August 08, 2014

Mum the Brave (in Scotland)!


Fresh from the Paris to Madrid rally, Mum came over towards the end of June and joined me for a holiday up in Scotland with some friends and their dog. We took the Rolls as that is Mum’s favourite car and is lovely and comfortable on such a long journey.

Our trip took in the Isle of Skye, Harris, Lewis, Glencoe and the Highlands – it was lovely to spend time with Mum en route. All was going well until Mum tripped over a ship doorway on the Ferry to Harris and she fell badly, injuring her head. 

We had to call an ambulance which took her to Stornaway Hospital on the Isle of Lewis, where she had many stitches in her scalp and spent the night there.





Before and after photos of Mum! 

   

Injured head. What injured head? Mum fully recovered!

The next day she was fine, never upset or bothered by her first unplanned visit to a hospital in 96 years! The amazing woman was alert and cheerful as ever and carried on with the rest of the trip as though nothing had happened and is now absolutely fine. 



And the thrills and spills of driving with me - as seen by my mother

The glorious countryside of Scotland - not to be missed!






Being watched by the local wildlife

We had some encounters with the local wildlife, meeting deer on the hotel lawn and even a highland cow feeding her calf in the middle of a road. All in all a lovely holiday and fantastic to spend such a special time with Mum.



  

      

 


Social media links updated

You can now post on facebook or twitter by clicking on the social media icons on the left of the page and follow me on facebook, twitter and youtube by clicking on the social media icons at the top right of the page (these are all at the base of the page on a tablets & mobile phones). If you want to share on other social media channels just click the '+' icon on the left and select another social media channel

 

End of the 'Road to Mandalay' on to 'Marrakech Express Rally' via New Zealand

Alastair Caldwell - Monday, March 03, 2014

Currently enjoying a 3 week break with my mother in New Zealand after we got to the end of the 'Road to Mandalay' rally. It was pretty good all round considering the number of problems we had. End results were:

Result: We came 3rd in class & 7th overall

As always I wanted to finish first in class and overall but it wasn't to be!

I posted an update when we were about halfway through, but because of terrible WiFi I wasn't able to post as regularly as I wanted so I saved it all up for an end of rally review! Here are some of the high points:

24th Jan: Up to the second week the Rally had been pretty good and Burma was just great. Everything in Burma is good, roads, people, scenery, food and the weather. Mother is also fantastic coping with everything, she's so alert and interested, and still continuing with the great navigation!

Other ralliests are suggesting that Mum should be in the Guinness book of records as the oldest rally navigator... now that's an idea! We stayed two nights in a hotel on Inle lake - it is just fantastic! Lovely hotel and lovely long boats that wisk you through wonderful scenes that are straight out of a Travel brochure. The Burmese people are just so nice and sweet it is almost too much. They have great reverence for age so treat Mother with great respect and tender care. It's so nice to be here and just loving everything about Burma. 

Here's Mum ready for the Guinness World Record for oldest rally navigator!

3rd Feb: Rally was still going really well and Mum was being just great and getting on famously with the rally and everyone involved. During this rally we were joined by Peter Hall, a Journalist from the Daily Telegraph, who wrote a weekly review column for the Telegraph website which you can check out by clicking here (see below for links to his full rally review). Peter is also producing a feature article for Saga magazine on Mum, I am told it is Britain's biggest circulation magazine, so looking forward to seeing that!  The place was just lovely and we were in Bagan for three days, did a fantastic hot air balloon trip over the city which has huge Temples and thousands of smaller Stupas everywhere - just outstanding. 

The balloon trip was marvellous, amazing views and great fun


9th Feb: End of the road for the rally and we flew from Yangong to Bangkok and then on to Sydney to stay with my daughter Elizabeth and her family.

The Road to Mandalay rally was one of the best. I'l take memories of Burma and the Burmese the roads, scenery and weather with me as we go. So nice to be with these people, they couldn't be nicer, such as shame to leave but we need to move on.

The good news is that it inspired me to take a whole heap of photos, some appear on this page and the previous blog and you can see a lot more on my facbeook and twitter channels.

A long rally but yet again Mum was fantastic, always alert and interested, never sleeping in the car, doing a superb job of navigation with the road book and generally people watching observing all and everything passing by and enjoying herself!

We were taken by surprise by the fact there was some competition so had not taken any equipment for this but still tried to do it - though not very hard. We got some nice trophies for coming third in class. We stayed two days in Sydney then went off to New Zealand for three weeks. We'll be popping back to Oz for a while then back to UK on the 12th March.

Marrakech Express rally 29th March to 9th April

Need to get back by 29th March and ready as we are off to the Marrakech Express rally which takes place 29th March to 9th April. This is 15 2CV Citroen's starting in Spain then rushing about Morocco then back again. The route includes Meknes, Midelt, Merzouga, the Todra Gorge and the Atlas Mountains. Should be a great hoot as my friend Hayden Burvill, Porsche fanatic, owner of WEVO Porsche specialist parts company is coming from California to co-drive. He knows me well as we did the London to Capetown rally together. Watch this space for updates on the Marakesh rally!

Can't get away from the Space Station elephant logo - as expected in Mandalay elephants are everywhere!

 

Peter Hall's Road to Mandalay Coverage in the Daily Telegraph:

Peter Hall, Daily Telegraph, Classic cars: the road to Mandalay

Peter Hall, Daily Telegraph, Classic cars in the Road to Mandalay rally: week 1

Peter Hall, Daily Telegraph, Classic cars in the Road to Mandalay rally: week 2

Peter Hall, Daily Telegraph, Classic cars in the Road to Mandalay rally: week 3

 

Social media links updated

You can now post on facebook or twitter by clicking on the social media icons on the left of the page and follow me on facebook, twitter and youtube by clicking on the social media icons at the top right of the page (these are all at the base of the page on a tablets & mobile phones). If you want to share on other social media channels just click the '+' icon on the left and select another social media channel

 

The Road to Mandalay

Alastair Caldwell - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Well, just a week after we started the The Road to Mandalay rally and I got my first mention of the rally in the Daily Telegraph yesterday - I must be slipping! Normally my antics get me much more press coverage. Still it was good to read and see that mum got the headlines!:

"...the ever-determined Alastair Caldwell, navigated by his formidable 96-year-old mother, Dorothy."

 

So a quick recap of the first week:

On 23rd, all started well with mum at the start line and the car being blessed by a Monk - hence garland on the grill

The following evening, saw Mother with 60ft long dugout canoe 400 years old Racing canoe and waiting for a coconut to drop! Not too much pressure at this time.

There were lots of sugar cane trucks on the side of the road, waiting to sell their loads. They tried to get us to buy - they figured that Rolls Royce drivers must be able to buy the odd load of sugar cane, not really essential fodder for a rally.

Scenery is beautiful and the rally has been good so far and Burma is just great, everything is good, roads, people, scenery, food, weather. For me Rudyard Kipling, in his Mandalay poem summed it up:

   But them spicy garlic smells,
   An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells;
   On the road to Mandalay...

Mother is also fantastic and coping with everything, alert, interested and doing great at the navigation. Other rallyists are suggesting that she should be in the Guinness book of records as the oldest rally nav! Will try to keep updates coming but  Internet tends to be very poor so far everywhere.

We are staying two nights in a hotel on Inle lake. It is just fantastic, lovely hotel and lovely long boats that whisk you through wonderful scenes that are from a travel brochure but they are real. The Burmese are just so nice and sweet it is almost too much, they have great reverence for age so treat Mother with great respect and tender care.

Just a marvelous rally so far - bit off the leadership pace, but plenty of time to go yet and as The Telegraph said 'ever-determined'!!

Can't get away from the Space Station elephant logo - as expected in Mandalay elephants are everywhere!

 

 

 

 


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