Tag Archives: California

Scenes on Sunday ~ Road Trip

keep cool ~ drive a Mustang convertible

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

California, a Mustang

and the girl riding shotgun

it doesn’t get any better than that

Baring My Soul

to let go of the past, we first have to accept it

just one of the cars, just one of the hotels

For more than five years I was in a dysfunctional relationship with a woman I believed I cared for very deeply.  Just about everything you can imagine being wrong, was wrong with that friendship ~ if that was what it was.  And I was too willfully blind to see it.  Call it lying to myself, or ignoring the obvious facts, or just call it denial.  The plain truth was that because of my own unrealistic expectations, I was on a down-bound train to some very personal hell, and my conscious mind did not want to know.

My subconscious mind, my inner child knew all right.  I spent years being miserable, torturing myself, and looking for some easy escape from my pain.  I started to write this blog….  No that is not true, she found me through this blog, in March 2014, (or maybe earlier).  What happened was that the things I started to write here changed.  My posts became darker, filled with pain and angst as I tried to find some relief from my feelings.  I went back to drinking, and every time my feelings got the better of me I would get the better of a few bottles of booze.  I even tried therapy ~  although I never told my therapist the truth of it.

The worst thing I did was to invest more and more of myself in that one-sided relationship.  I visited California often, and took my friend on great road trips, including to Wyoming to see the total eclipse of the sun.  We went to some very expensive new-age seminars in Sedona AZ and Albuquerque NM.  We found some great restaurants in Orange County, and breakfasted on the Queen Mary in Long Beach.  I would send flowers and gifts on every possible occasion.  And. I couldn’t see that everything I did made it worse.

Perhaps because I was going crazy during the coronavirus lockdown, but a couple of weeks ago I admitted to myself and others that I was in deep, deep trouble.  Then I finally admitted why, and found the sense to tell my Californian friend that we needed to say goodbye.

I know that she is still in my mind, and will be for a while.  But I have an Angel at my shoulder, and as long as she is watching over me I will stay free of the chains that once bound me.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

alone again, naturally

Songs on Saturday ~ Against the Wind

birds fly highest against the wind, not with it

There is a part of me that yearns for the better art of my youth ~ not that I ever owned a hog, or a switchblade, or a studded leather jacket.  I was a little too prudish for that.  For a while I rode a 400 x 4 to work, bought and sold cars that I shouldn’t have touched with a barge pole, and knew an older woman called Janet who owned a Bonneville T120.  (MBL (Married but looking.))  And BTW, if I go over the Rockies it will not be on a bike.

Please listen with skepticism, or maybe cynicism.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

surprising ride for a married older woman

 

 

Monochrome Monday ~ Zzyzx

some places are even emptier than the back of beyond

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

four and a half miles to nowhere

Monochrome Monday ~ Getty Villa

Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, Southern California

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

not quite The Getty Villa

but from exactly the same part of the world

California Wildfires

sometimes all you have left is prayer

Here in England we almost never get wildfires, instead we sometimes have devastating floods, and every few years a hell of a lot of snow.  Sadly, my friends out on the USA’s West Coast are in real physical danger from the bush fires burning out of control through California, Oregon, and Washington State.

The fire services are doing the very best they can, and President Trump is due to visit California tomorrow to see for himself the scale of destruction.  But when fires even threaten the freeways and interstate highways, things are obviously our of control.  Some of the fires may have been caused by arson, or smokers casually discarding their butts, or by electrical faults, or even lightning.  But they have spread so far and wide because of a 20 year mega-drought.

The only thing that will end these fires is heavy rain.  And all the rest of the world can offer is our thoughts and prayers.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

perhaps now it is time to pray for heavy rain in Southern California

Triumph TR7 V8

so, after a lot of committee work they came up with a curate’s egg

Here in England there is a long tradition of curious and interesting sports cars, with a few names being right at the top of the list when it comes to cars the classic enthusiast admires.  Sadly, the Triumph TR7 was never a car to put stars in the eyes.  Mostly that was because it was so different to it’s better-looking and more hairy-chested predecessors.

The original TR7 was a two-seat fixed-head coupe, powered by an overhead-cam four that churned out some 100 bhp.  Underneath was a fairly sophisticated suspension for the time, bolted to an incredibly strong monocoque, which made the little car heavy at just over a ton.  (Trust me, if you are ever going to roll a sports car, and expect to live through it, then make it a TR7.) But, deep down, the TR7 was a great car waiting to get out from under something far more ordinary.

The TR7 had two basic problems; #1 it wasn’t a convertible  #2 it was underpowered for its weight.  Despite that, and despite its terrible build quality it sold very well in the USA.

To give the TR7 more power the designers chose to drop in a 150 bhp version of the Rover / Buick 215 cu in aluminium V8, producing what was either a TR7 V8, or a Triumph TR8, (depending on who you talk to).  This thing went like shit off a shovel.  Then, to make it more appealing to Californians the steel roof was chopped off.  The thing was, the original TR7 was so strong that not at lot of additional strengthening was needed to compensate for the lack of a roof and those hefty C pillars.

What resulted was a pretty little proper sports car that was fabulous to drive,  so long as you remembered all that weight up front.

I’ve never driven a TR8, but I did like its less powerful TR7 FHC variant.  Imagine a stiffer and more powerful MGB and you will have an idea.  The ohc four up-front revs better than the venerable B series four-pot, and the shorter wheel-base makes the TR7 more nimble.

If you want one of these things, then first of all they are rare.  The TR8 drophead is a rare as hen’s teeth.  Finding one in as good condition as the gold number pictured here could take a very long time indeed.  Outside of California any un-restored example is likely to be infested with rust.  Any original car is likely to have problems with the electrics, cooling, gearbox, rear axle, suspension…..  But do not let that put you off.  Given a decent garage / workshop I could rebuild / build one of these things from the front spoiler backwards.  Just about everything is available, and there are thousands of bits languishing from other British Leyland cars of the era.  In fact you could take a rotten TR7 FHC shell and build a convertible with as much performance as you want / dare.

Some say the Triumph TR7 is like a curate’s egg, good in parts.  And that only a hairdresser would want to own one.  All I know is that the TR7 intrigues me ~ in any form it’s like a beautiful woman hiding her charms.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you might want to do something about that ‘period’ interior upholstery

 

Scenes on Sunday ~ Pacific Ocean

out to the west of me the sun is going down

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

shadows on silk as the night rolls in

Scenes on Sunday ~ California

being anywhere with anyone has got to be better than lockdown

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

California, mostly empty

Scenes on Sunday ~ Waves

waves are the voices of time and the tides

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

nothing like Californian noonday light

to brighten a photograph

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