Well, home again. I am a terrible photographer, so will let others post those and just write some words. There are some pictures already on the book of faces, which I don't think you have to log in to see (CCC page
and BX Club page
I didn't get there until quite late on Friday night - about 9.30 or so - after a long hot day in the office. There was plenty of space in our little corner of a very large campsite (shower/loo blocks in Leicestershire). Tim had eaten, I cooked some mess or other which Mark and I despatched before we all turned in reasonably early.
I woke up at 6 am on the Saturday to an overcast sky - convinced it would "burn off" I sensibly smothered myself in Factor 50 suncream, but it remained overcast all day - at some points it was even chilly. LOVELY after such a long hot week and probably for the best rather than everyone walking round the campsite looking at shiny metal in blazing sun. Tim and I did first shift on the gate and it was great fun talking to people as they came in and admiring their P&Js, but you can have a bit too much of a good thing: 4 hours and only one cup of tea later I'd really had enough of that. Mark, later joined by Jane, manned the gate whilst Tim, Michael and I shot off into Kettering to entirely fail to find McDonalds and Tesco. Subway and Morrisons proved to be perfectly adequate subsitutes. Fortified by lunch and with BBQ makings in hand we returned to the field of dreams and had a wander round. Great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones throughout the rest of the day. Excellent turnout for the first day of a weekend, I do believe that the Xantias won hands down, which was only right and proper, given their 20th anniversary. One of the nice things about being on the gate was talking to a number of people who weren't club members but loved Citroens so had come to visit and admire (either on foot or in German/Japanese/other tat).
I'm really not a big drinker but after a very tiring day decided that red wine was both deserved and required and lack of same was an issue that could only be resolved by getting into a complete stranger's car (OHAI Dave) and this time, actually finding Tesco (well, he did). BBQ (lovely), erudite comparison of sub-fiver bottles of wine, merriment, mess, and setting fire to things (inevitably) ensued: I'd loaded up the boot of my car with some wood for Mat, which at a couple of points during the next few hours seemed an *alarmingly* bad idea ... Finally made it to bed at 2.30 am to wake up at 5 when it got light.
Despite entire lack of hangover (much envied in some quarters), adamantly refused to face the day on only 3 hours sleep, managed to get a few more in and actually wasn't the first up and about - those honours going to Tim and Mrs Tim. Messed about with concours forms, hijacked Nigel to insist that someone not from the BX Club should really take a turn on the gate now, babysat raffle tickets whilst entirely failing to be of any use whatsoever in responding to punters' questions except for being able to point 'em at where concours entries should go. Wandered round the field with Mrs Tim, made a valiant attempt to sell him a Visa with the admirable aid of a very nice man who let him sit in one and play with the funny switches. Lovely to catch up with more people, vote for concours - some really tough choices to be made there - and generally 'hang out. Some beautiful cars again, good turnout from most marques, RWDs absent but especially lovely to see a Bijou. I think the BXs won the day on turnout today: good to "meet" the black GTI Hurricane and see some other old friends again - A/RBX, "that" gold GT with only 8K miles on the clock, Rob M's elegant blue TRS amongst others. A few late late entries for NEC nominations to be posted tomorrow when I'm a bit less wiped and will get the poll opened this week for voting to be completed by end August.
Helped the Chair count up concours votes: Tim was most embarrassed to have to announce his own car as the winner of the BXs, hopefully he wasn't too crestfallen by Mike's, Mark's and my Pythonesque shouts of "We didn't vote for you" - C1 TBX was truly the people's choice then. Luckily there wasn't a 'shed of the show' category as Timex may have been given a run for its money by a gloriously tatty Xantia.
Packing up and goodbyes are always sad, but the sun came out to cheer us on our way, and (several) final cups of tea later, the weekend was over. Thanks - as always - to Mark for letting us all run in and out of BX Club HQ, using the gas and water, creating washing up and mayhem. Hopefully he'll enjoy having it to himself tonight in peace and quiet as he finally gets a chance to look at his ICCCR book! Thanks to Tim for organising - he did such a great job that he has been nominated to organise next year's National too - I'm hereby confirming my offer of co-ordinating/assisting to co-ordinate volunteers/rotas so that we don't end up with people stood at the gate for too long. Thanks to Jaba for o/s/f wing, Tim for fitting same and Mat for slotting in a relay which will hopefully prevent the car's intermittent starting fault recurring. Thanks to everyone else for what was a smashing weekend - looking forward to the next event