Tag Archives: California

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

a soul just cries

break my heart and my soul cries for love into the desert dust

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letters lie there helplessly

in a pile inside the door

I’ve tried but I just can’t

remember who they’re for

the past fades

the future hides

and time just glides

then you say America

and that makes me smile

I haven’t seen America

for such a long long while

a soul just cries

new thoughts arise

of blue skies calm seas

But you said California

and it made me smile

if I ever see California

my blue eyes will shine

and as for love

it’s much to old

a story to believe

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the Pacific listens to my crying soul

Hot California Nights

I can’t stop looking at you, can I buy you a drink?

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on a stool at the bar

a foxy woman, solitary

older, alone in a dark corner

drinking straight bourbon, heavily

staring blankly down at the counter

conversations offered ending unhappily

perhaps I could and should have ignored her

I knew it could only end in one way

her bad memories, bitter tears

but gently I lead her away

carefully to my car

where she vomited, noisily, messily

the fox confirmed my worst fears

but later I still had my way

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

wealth, foxy women, and too much wine

can make anything happen in this life

 

(the poetic form is a bastardized Rondeau)

 

Hospital Introspection

knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom

I think that it’s acceptable for me to be apprehensive, introspective, and a little depressed ~ I’m pretty certain this is day #5 of my lying on this hospital bed.  I haven’t been able to get up at all, because of the tubes, drips, and because moving is painful for me.  Being immobile on a hospital bed, with very little control of my own life, and very little privacy isn’t a joyous time.

At least the catheter was removed this morning, right after the phlebotomist took my blood for the umpteenth time.  Nobody tells you that catheter removal is painful, and that there’s probably going to be blood.  At least the nurses make me a cup of tea after they wake me up at 5 a.m.  I thank them profusely for that.

As it happens I am not looking forward to going for a pee.

I have been trying to make the best of things;

We ought to hear at least one little song every day, read a good poem, see a first-rate painting, and if possible speak a few sensible words.  ~  von Goethe

My concentration has come back sufficiently for me to do most of that ~ the sensible words thing may still be eluding me.  Maybe the things I write on here contain a few sensible words.

One good thing has come out of this, I have realised that many of the people who know me on here, genuinely care about me and my welfare.  I am pleased to call them my friends.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I like the California desert

I wish I was there now

Scenes on Sunday ~ California Road Trip

the life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

sometimes, only a convertible Mustang will do, with a very cute girl riding shotgun

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