MG on Track October 2011 – Donnington Park


My shot of our car...

On Monday 10th October my fiance took me to Donnington Park Race Course. The plan for the day – to join other MG enthusiasts on a ‘track day‘ where we could drive our own MG around the Grand Prix circuit! To say I was terrified is an understatement!

I have never done any ‘fast’ driving at all, the fastest most dangerous driving experience I have had is go-karting; and then I was thrown out of a race for being a dangerous driver (apparently I didn’t use my brakes enough…?) Still I agreed to go along despite being petrified, as I thought (as I do with most things) if you don’t try something how do you know if you like it or not?!

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Blog Round Up – The Three C’s and BPD


So, I’ve reached the half way mark of my #30dayblog challenge and it’s time to do a round up of the most popular blogs since I started. Traffic, comments and subscribers to my blog have all grown immensely since the challenge began and even on the odd day where I don’t add any new content I still averaging over 50 hits per day! I can’t express how pleased I am and my thanks go to all of you for reading and sharing my posts!

Let’s have a look back at which posts have attracted the most interest over the past few weeks…

The three C’s – Chivalry, Cruise, and Cars… Coincidentally the posts which have proved most popular are all on subjects beginning with the letter C! lol

Chivalry –  Is Chivalry Sexist? – this was the first blog I wrote specifically for the #30dayblog challenge.  It involved me going outside my usual boundaries of writing and finding a ‘topical’ subject in the news to write about.  When I found the original news article I did not realise just how controversial my own take on the issue would be, despite my reason for choosing to write about this being that I found the subject provocative myself! This post continues to have the highest hit rate of all my posts since the start of the challenge – I wonder how much longer it can retain the ‘most read’ crown!? And it has also attracted the most comments!

The Grand Princess

Cruise – Where can I smoke on a cruise ship? – This was part of a series of posts related to my own recent cruise.  Between this, my  cruise ‘hints and tips‘ and the daily entries of my journey (which can be found under the ‘travel‘ category on my site) the hit rate probably accounts for more than 50% of my overall viewings!

Cars – MG Live at Silverstone 2011 – This was my most recent post and it attracted the most hits I have ever had in a short time period – 60 hits in the first hour it was posted!  An personal look at an interesting event I attended, I wonder if it’s the fact that it was about ‘cars’ that caused it to get some many visitors so quickly – shame site stats don’t really provide such in depth analysis for determining that!

BPD – Two posts in this category, both controversial. The first ‘How do I live with Borderline Personality Disorder?‘ was mainly  controversial for me, as it revealed my own personal battle with this disorder. It was the first time I had publicly revealed my condition (do the the stigma people attach to BPD and their fear of ‘mental illness’) and it was also the first time I wrote a guest blog for another site. The second – Which celebrities have Borderline Personality Disorder? was in response to the news that Marsha Linehan (an important figure in BPD circles) had ‘come out’ as a sufferer of the very condition she has worked so hard to help treat. I’m sure I will write plenty more about BPD, seeing as I have to live with it, but I also expect it will continue to bring in traffic for a long time as it is definitely very popular with my readers!

Well that’s the round-up for this half of the challenge, still to come over the following days and weeks posts on the topics of – how did I start?, FAQ’s, guest blogs, opinion pieces, more on BPD, an interview plus much more… why not subscribe to my blog so you can be amongst the first to view new posts as they appear!?  To do this just click on the ‘keep me informed’ button on the left hand side of the page and enter your email address; or click ‘notify me’ at the bottom of this article when you leave a comment! 😀

Thank you for reading!  If you have enjoyed reading this post why not retweet this blog to your followers for me? Share a link on your facebook page? or promote this blog wherever you can (without spamming!!!)

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And feel free to contact me on twitter, facebook or email – crystalbear96@hotmail.com if you have any questions, would like to write a guest blog for my site, have a suggestion about something you would like to see me blog about or would like me to write a guest blog for your blog/website 🙂

MG Live at Silverstone 2011


On Sunday I spent the day at Silverstone with my fiancee and his parents.  We went to see the MG Live show, which had been on all weekend.  It was a great day (even though I got very sunburnt!) and it was fascinating to see all the old – and new  – MG cars on show. Many people had driven their own MG’s to showcase at the weekend, including my other half – driving us in his MG ZS 180. The cars were parked by type which made for a great display, although my fella did joke that with the parking area for the ZS, ZR and ZT’s being tucked out the way on an embankment at the back made them like the ‘red-haired step-children’ (in other words, not ‘good’ enough to gain pride of place next to more popular/classic MG’s such as the Midget, MGB or MG F/TF).  The pride some people take in their cars is fascinating, although these are not the type of car’s/owners you will see ‘pimping’ their cars or having them supe-d up – keeping the originality of the car is important to most MG owners.

The MG Car club have been holding their main annual event at Silverstone for the last 61 years.  I wonder if they will still be there to celebrate their 100th anniversary in 13 years time!?  I wouldn’t be surprised if they are! Before I tell you about our day I’d just like to share a bit of the 87 year history of the MG Car…

MG Cars have a long history in the UK with the first MG sports car rolling off the production line back in 1924 (when the company was part of Morris garages) the MG 14/28. 

Super Sports 14/28 :: 1924-27 (source copyright of: mgabingdon.co.uk)

Various cars continued to be produced, including the classic ‘Midget’, until World War II put a hold to car manufacturing.  After the war production continued with new midgets being a staple, along with the first MGB being released in the early 1960’s. 

In 1980 the Abingdon factory closed having been home to the MG for 50 years. 2 years later production recommenced under the umbrella of the Austin-Rover/Rover group in Longbridge at this time Metro’s, Maestro’s and Montego’s were the key series’, however these are often not considered ‘real’ MG’s and it wasn’t until the release of the MGF in 1995 that MG’s were truly ‘back’ in production. 

As Rover entered it’s troubled period the ‘Z’ range of MG’s entered the market in the early 2000’s before finally production ceased with collapse of the MG Rover Group in 2005.  But still this was not the end for MG, with Nanjing taking over ownership of the brand the TF series cars launched in 2008 and the first ‘all-new’ MG for 16 years went into production in 2010 – the MG6 is the start of a new era for MG Cars.

MG6 (source copyright of: mgabingdon.co.uk)

So, the first thing we did was have a good nose (look) at the other ‘Z’ series cars parked near us.  Having a ZS and a ZTT we just need a ZR to complete the ‘Z’ family – which is exactly what the other half wants to buy next! (He also has an MGTF!)  While he was focused on taking pictures of engines, I was more interested in the cool effects of the photochromic paints (colour changing) – well I am a girl with very little technical knowledge of cars, a nice looking paint job catches the eye far more than even a very shiny engine! (why else would I write about the history rather than technical stuff!?)  Although I do know that the K series engine is notorious for Head-gasket problems… (is that technical enough? lol) 😉

We then watched Russ Swift (of the Montego parallel parking advert) demonstrate his amazing precision driving skills, the X-Treme Motorcycle Stunt Trials Display Team performing unbelievable stunts with a great injection of comedy from the ‘non-riding’ member of the team and a breathtaking over head flight of aerobatic displays by British National Aerobatic Champion, Gerald Cooper. 🙂

MG ZT400, Ford V8 plus supercharger

During our stroll round the Autojumble/Trade City; where all manner of car parts, accessories and interesting memorabilia were on sale; we stopped for a chat with the publishers of the MG Enthusiast Magazine where as well as taking out a subscription the other half gave them some feedback about keeping ‘new’ enthusiasts interested by including more articles about the newer MG models. They appreciated there is a need to move with the times, but getting the balance right is difficult – they have to include at least 1 pre-war car, 1 MGB and 1 MGF in each issue to keep them broad readership demographic happy, as well as various other ‘must-have’ topics, which now includes trying to juggle features on ‘Z’ series models and other ‘modern classics’.

MG TF grouping

Indulging in the opportunity to view so many other MG cars was clearly a high point of the day for the other half! As we were both very burnt and his parents were growing tired we sat down on the embankment to watch a bit of the MG’s racing on the Grand Prix track before finally calling it a day and heading home, laden with brochures, leaflets and business cards of many useful contacts to help keep out little ‘MG Family’ in tip-top condition 😀

Thank you for reading!  If you have enjoyed reading this post why not retweet this blog to your followers for me? Share a link on your facebook page? or promote this blog wherever you can (without spamming!!!)

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And feel free to contact me on twitter, facebook or email – crystalbear96@hotmail.com if you have any questions, would like to write a guest blog for my site, have a suggestion about something you would like to see me blog about or would like me to write a guest blog for your blog/website 🙂