Ben's Blog - 55,000 Words and an ovloV

It’s now just over two months since I got back from the inaugural Eagle Rally, and you know what I’ve learned in that time?  Yep, books take a pretty long time to write.  I kinda knew this before, from when I wrote ‘Survival of the Quickest’, about my trip across Africa in a Porsche, but  over the last few months, I’ve been re-learning the lesson.

There is some good news on this regard though – I’m nearly there.  The first 55,000 words of ‘To the Bar’, the Pub2Pub Expedition book, are currently with my editor, and I’m on track to have the whole thing finished around the end of the year.  This means it’s not long until I get my life back, and can properly get stuck into making 2019’s Pub2Pub road trips as awesome as possible, and expanding the merchandise range beyond critical mass.

So, if you’ve been following us and wondering why things have been slightly quiet on the Pub2Pub front, that’s why – my life has been dominated by smashing out between one and two thousand words a day, and hopefully getting them in the right order.  To the Bar will be released by Veloce Publishing in the spring – hopefully you’ll find it worth the wait.

So, what else is new?  Well as you've probably seen, we’ve teamed up with one of the UK’s best automotive illustrators – Mark Lacey – to produce a T-Shirt which previews the direction in which we’re going to take the Pub2Pub merchandise range.  If you’ve got yours already, thanks for supporting the Pub2Pub project.  And if not, well, you know what to do.  One last thing on the merch side - last orders for Christmas is Wednesday lunchtime...

And what news is there on the car front?  Well, as summer has given way to winter, there’s been a change in Pub2Pub’s regular wheels.  Yep, after 33,000 miles and 28 countries in only 16 months, Kermit is having a well earned break.  As of the start of December, he’s been SORNed and once the book is finished, I’ll be getting stuck into the maintenance work required for next year’s season of road trips.  So, what does someone who considers a TVR to be the ultimate overland vehicle drive in the winter?

Simple.  The TVR's opposite, the Neo to its Agent Smith.  A 30 year old Volvo 240.

I bought this fine old hector last summer, when I needed something with a little more in the way of space, and it’s been giving fine service ever since.  The last owner had it for 27 years and it’s only covered 110,000 miles, so the old tank has a lot of life left in it, and as a daily driver to see Pub2Pub through the winter, it’s ideal.  Something else which is ideal is that Classicline Insurance are sponsoring it, just as they are with Kermit, because despite the two cars being such opposite, they both fit into Classicline's ethos, that any classic is something to be celebrated.  Thanks guys!

The old ovloV isn't only for seeing through the winter though.  Next summer we’re launching the Camembert Run, a slow-paced, Cannonball Run-inspired bimble across France for the unsung heroes of the motoring world, and just as Kermit is Pub2Pub’s Eagle Rally beast, the ovloV will be the Cannonball Run’s ‘Grand Fromage.’  And funnily enough, I can’t wait.  It may be as sporty as a clog, as slow as a glacier and as sleek as a ‘60s tower block, but I kinda like it, and am greatly looking forward to taking it down to the Mediterranean in August.

Because let’s face it, nothing says you don’t give a f@%k quite like a thirty year old Volvo.