Tag Archives: August 10

“Brandy’s Writers Cramp” Blog Of Aspiring Alton, N.H. Author Brandy DiFauda.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
..
..
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
++++ Check Category ‘books for most of my other posts about books and authorship >>>>


brandyblog1a

Click to access Brandy’s blog.


I met Brandy at last Thursday’s “Bucket List” writers group at Alton’s Gilman Library. Holly Brown our Alton librarian had been urging me for month’s that I should put in an appearance. I just had some time that day so I dropped in.

Brandy is nearly finished with her first book, a work of fiction. I have nothing but admiration for people that can write fiction. I haven’t tried as yet but I know that I will struggle if I try my art at that form. But I plan to try down the road IF I have enough time. 

Brandy appears to write quite a bit and is keen to share her writing with others. Hence the blog. It has both fiction & nonfiction work. Check it out. Some interesting stuff.

I am glad I can give her the publicity. I always try to help other authors irrespective of their status as an author or their stature in the field. I was always lucky in my life that people seem to appear from the woodwork to help me at various points in my life. I know, for a fact, that I would not have been able to write, or at least write like I do, if not for Dr. Tom Westerdale a U.S. Vietnam exile who taught Computer Science at Birkbeck College, University of London, when I was doing my Master’s, and for reasons that I never understood at all, took it upon himself, totally voluntarily and way outside of his assigned teaching responsibilities, to be my ‘shadow’ tutor when I was writing my dissertation. I was 25 and since I was 16 my life had revolved around computers and having fun. The last English class I took was when I was 15 — though I did win the English prize (per the British system) that year, and that amused me because everybody else in my class was either British or American, and English definitely at the time was my second language. Dr. Westerdale, a lovely gentle man, one of the cleverest people I have met (and I have met and worked with quite a few), used to brutalize my then writing. He would spend about an hour every Thursday afternoon going through my writing. He would sit on the floor of his spacious, book littered study with my manuscript in his hand. I would sit wherever that allowed me to take notes. He would read each of my sentences out loud. Then he would say: “so what you are saying is …”. Without fail he always managed to find an alternate interpretation to what I had said. I would, of course, argue that that was not what I had said — at all, at all. He, a gifted intellectual, far, far cleverer than me, would push back. He would laugh at me. Given that I am a bit slow on the uptake it took me a few Thursday afternoon’s before I finally got it sorted out. He wanted me to be precise in my writing. He didn’t teach me how to be precise or how to write. My intentionally intensely idiosyncratic style is all my doing. What dear Dr. Westerdale taught me was that you can be and as such you should be very precise when you write in English. It was a gift that has served me well. Dr. Westerdale was but one. I think of him often. Sometimes I write a sentence and my mind drifts back to his study in the late 1970s, both of seated on the floor. I can hear his voice asking me if this was really what I meant to say. Invariably I go back and rewrite the sentence. I dedicated one of my books, with gratitude, to Dr. Tom Westerdale. All of us would do well in life to have a Dr. Westerdale for help.

Brandy used to be a professional photographer. This is one of her pictures.


CW Fencing

Click to ENLARGE. By Brandy DiFauda and it is HER copyright.


“Brit Bits” in Rye, Another Place For British Car Care & Shopping In New Hampshire.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
..
..
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
MGB returns from Steve Barlow.
>>
Steve Barlow at Christmas
>> Tree lighting.

>>
MGB goes to Steve Barlow.
>>
Green MGB — Sep. 14, 2014.

++++ Search ‘MGB’, ‘MG’, ‘Stag’, ‘Jensen’ & ‘cars’ for many other posts >>>>


britbitsrye4511a

Click to access the “Brit Bits” Website. The greyish Morris Minor in the Sales section brings back memories. Ceylon was full of Morris Minors when I lived there. Never owned one. Don’t think I ever drove one. But have been in plenty. Love that red MGB at the top. But I can see it is WAY OUTSIDE my pay grade.

britbits545121a

I have owned both of these cars, in these very same colors in the UK — though my Red 1977 Spitfire 1500 did not have the ugly rubber U.S. bumpers. Owned the 3rd but last TR7 built. Silver gray. Registration read MGM 327X. Kind of neat since I was a product manager for the IBM 327X line. Click to ENLARGE.


I can’t honestly say that I was aware of ‘Brit Bits’ in Rye, N.H. If I was I would have been checking their Sales page 3 times a day to see what they had.

Steve Barlow brought them to my attention and told me that I should get to know them. That was very kind of Steve. Appears that they provided Steve with a wiper ‘head’ that he required to fix our Green 1968 MGB. I have, as you can see, checked them out.

Funny about Rye and Hampton. I think to many of us in the Lakes Region Rye might as well be in Massachusetts. We go to Portsmouth quite often — twice since Thanksgiving. But we only make it to Hampton or Rye once a year at best.

I will, though they appear to have nothing in my bargain basement price range, keep an eye on their Sales page. Though I have owned a MG Midget in the U.S. I am, I am sure, a Triumph person. In addition to having owned 4 Triumphs, and a Triumph 1250 was my first car, British Leyland was one of my favorite customers when I was the Customer Support Manager at ITT. That I solved a thorny technical problem that had plagued them for months by working the night shift in their data center and reading I/O traces had something to do with it. They liked me, I liked them. Great location north of the Midlands. Intrigued that they don’t sell Jags. As some folks know I will be in the market for not one BUT two Jags this coming Spring.


This was the work we had done on the 1968 MBG, first (and as yet only) time around, by Steve Barlow in Wolfeboro, N.H. Number of people have asked me exactly what I got done because I posted the pictures on the “MG Experience” forum. So here it is. To avoid blushes on all sides I conveniently took out the major prices. Those of you who own British cars in the U.S. will be able to estimate — pretty damn good. Plus, as some of you have sussed it out, as I get older, I use this blog as a memory aid. If I post something here I know I can always find it (and SEARCH helps) plus WordPress will guarantee that it will always be here.

Click to ENLARGE.


Devanee’s 1968 Green MGB Returns After Getting ‘The Treatment’ From British Car Expert Steve Barlow (Wolfeboro, N.H.).

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
..
..
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Steve Barlow at Christmas
>> Tree lighting.

>>
MGB goes to Steve Barlow
>>Nov. 2014.

>>
Green MGB — Sep. 14, 2014.

++++ Search ‘MGB’, ‘MG’, ‘Stag’, ‘Jensen’ & ‘cars’ for many other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.
The copyright of these images will be vigorously enforced.








As I outlined in this post this 1968 MGB roadster required quite a bit of work. I knew that when I bought it. We are real glad that one of our Clearlakes Chorale friends, Richard Hale (the photographer), told us about Steve Barlow of Wolfeboro, N.H., having seen in documentary about Steve on WMUR. Thank you Richard.

I had the MGB trailered to Steve’s place, Barlow & Company, on November 21, 2014. Steve, a Brit (like I), was going to work over it prior to Thanksgiving. But we hadn’t banked on the BIG snowstorm. So he had to keep the car till Monday, December 1, before we could pick it up (though we were fortunate enough to get a synopsis of what to expect when we serendipitously ran into Steve in Wolfeboro ahead of the Christmas Tree lighting on Saturday.

We picked up the girls from school and got to Barlow & Co. just past 3 pm. Steve gave us a rundown of all the work he had done. It needed a lot of work, but alas it still needs more. Yes, I knew it was a money pit when I got it — but I have done crazy things like this all my life. I should have learnt. This is my 5th British sports car and we won’t even talk about the Camaro Z28s, Firebirds and Corvettes. Part of it is nostalgia. If I just wanted another sports car it would have been much easier and cheaper in the long run to have just gone out and got a Camaro or Mustang convertible. But in my dotage I want to go back to having British cars.

Steve, from what I can see, wrought miracles on this 47 year old car. It starts first time, at least for now. Yes, I will need a new battery in Spring. It has wipers, the horns work, the directionals blink (and the stalk doesn’t flop about). Above all it has a New Hampshire inspection sticker. The car is now fully legal. Steve had to replace the fuel pump (with a solid state replica), redo the clutch hydraulics (though I need an ‘original’ master cylinder in Spring), repair the distributor and bunch of other stuff.

Compression on cylinder #1 is down. We knew that.

Devanee and I drove it back from Wolfeboro to Alton. It was fun. It goes OK. Doesn’t go very fast! But, then again as those that know me know I don’t drive fast. So it suits me. Would be nice if it had a bit more pep. I know that I am looking at a full engine rebuild somewhere in the future. Yes, it is like a spectre looming ahead of me …

Steve put in nearly 20 hours of work and being the gentleman he is didn’t charge me for all of that. For that I am relieved and grateful. Looks like I will have to get a fourth mortgage on this house to keep this car on the road. Steve wants me to put 93 Octane in it. Am I glad that gas prices are down.

So that is the story. I mothballed it when we got home. Took the dying battery out. Covered it up. Put a quilt over it to keep it warm. Maya barked at it because she has never seen a car wrapped up in a blanket. She can be a smart dog sometimes. I will take it out of hibernation once the snow has melted in the Spring of 2015 and the roads are dry. Will need a new water pump by then. And that master clutch cylinder. And a battery. But that is next year. I can’t think that far.

Thanks Mr. Barlow.


A photo montage, with music, of all the pictures we took on
this the FIRST Steve Barlow works on the Green MGB.

Click to access YouTube slideshow montage.

mgbstevetreat1montyt


Devanee’s 1968 Green MGB Is Delivered To British Car Expert, Steve Barlow, In Wolfeboro, N.H., For A Lot Of TLC.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
..
..
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Green MGB —
Sep. 14, 2014.
>> Yellow MG T in Gilford —
Aug. 24, 2014.
>>
1964 Red MGBAug. 30, 2014.

>> Cars Alton Old Home Day — Aug. 10, 2014.
>>
1940 Buick Eight — June 24, 2014.
>> British cars in NH — July 27, 2013.

>> Triumph Stag story … – May 11, 2013.
>> Jensen Healey in Alton – Aug. 28, 2012.
>> 1977 MGB (BMC) in Pittsfield – Oct. 8, 2012.


Click to ENLARGE.
The copyright of these images will be vigorously enforced.


It is a family tradition. All the kids have had a sport car assigned to them before they turn 16 — so that they can have it when they get a license. Matthew got a Camaro Z28 (though he, alas, never got to get his hands on it, but that was outside of my control). Danielle got a 1995 Yellow Corvette convertible. She had it for a few weeks and sensibly traded it in for a brand new Ford Focus. Now it was Devanee’s turn. Because she hangs out with me so much she likes British cars. So this MGB is for her when she turns 16. She can trade it in and get a more practical car if she wants though, right now, she is adamant that she is going to keep. That is fine too.

Well, being a 1968, it needs some work. It wasn’t going to get fixed sitting in the garage. Though I can do some work on a car like this I am not into any of the ‘heavy’ stuff.

Multiple people told me about Steve Barlow of “Barlow & Company” in Wolfeboro, N.H. I drive by his place every time I go to Wolfeboro though I have never seen any British sports cars parked outside. It took me 6 weeks to get Steve to come and have a look at the car — even with me pleading that I was a fellow Brit. He is busy. Finally, this Wednesday, after some phone-tag he managed to get around. We arranged to have the car delivered today. That we have AAA helped though we had to pay for some of it. But, it wasn’t a bad deal. Thanks AAA. We definitely have got our money’s worth from them this year.

Steve has quite the operation. He is doing a FULL restoration of another 1968 British racing green MGB roadster. That is in much better shape than ours and will be amazing when it is done. It will also be worth quite a bit at that point. We can’t afford even a 1/4 restoration! Just want it so that it is safe, runs and has a sticker. Keeping our fingers crossed. Right now I don’t even have an estimate. Just a long list of what needs to be done. Just hoping that we don’t need an engine rebuild. It runs. Devanee and I drove it from Francestown to Alton, 62 miles. Well, I will keep you posted. 


1968 British Racing Green MGB In New Hampshire.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
..
..
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Yellow MG T in Gilford —
Aug. 24, 2014.
>>
1964 Red MGBAug. 30, 2014.

>> Cars Alton Old Home Day — Aug. 10, 2014.
>>
1940 Buick Eight — June 24, 2014.
>> British cars in NH — July 27, 2013.

>> Triumph Stag story … – May 11, 2013.
>> Jensen Healey in Alton – Aug. 28, 2012.
>> 1977 MGB (BMC) in Pittsfield – Oct. 8, 2012.


Click to ENLARGE.
The copyright of these images will be vigorously enforced.


Click to access MORE pictures in a gallery.
Enjoy.

greenmgbmontage


Red, 1964 MGB Roadster, From Gilford, N.H.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
..
..
.
.
.
.

by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Yellow MG T in Gilford —
Aug. 24, 2014.

>> Cars Alton Old Home Day — Aug. 10, 2014.
>>
1940 Buick Eight — June 24, 2014.
>> British cars in NH — July 27, 2013.

>> Triumph Stag story … – May 11, 2013.
>> Jensen Healey in Alton – Aug. 28, 2012.
>> 1977 MGB (BMC) in Pittsfield – Oct. 8, 2012.


Click to ENLARGE.

This car is not mine! And the original claim that it was a 1962 was an error.

Only the pictures are my doing.

The copyright of these images will be vigorously enforced.


A Resplendent Light Yellow, Pre-1955 MG T-type At Gilford Old Home Day 2014.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
..
..
.
.
.
.

by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
 Cars Alton Old Home Day — Aug. 10, 2014.
>>
1940 Buick Eight — June 24, 2014.
>> British cars in NH — July 27, 2013.

>> Triumph Stag story … – May 11, 2013.
>> Jensen Healey in Alton – Aug. 28, 2012.
>> 1977 MGB (BMC) in Pittsfield – Oct. 8, 2012.


As far as I can tell per my cursory research this is an
MG (Morris Garage) Type-T.

I don’t have the time to work out exactly what model,
viz. TF, TD, TC, TB, TA etc.

The support bars on which the headlamps are mounted
is what is throwing me.

They might have been an embellishment.

To be honest I only know MGs as of the MG Midget in 1961.
That does makes sense given my age.
I can’t remember any MGs in Ceylon.

Anyway enjoy this beautiful gem.

Click to ENLARGE.

The copyright of these images will be vigorously enforced.








Alton, N.H. Old Home Day 2014: The Sunday — Historical Society BBQ & Car Show.

The FREE hot dogs and burgers were GOOD — though I didn’t eat the rolls. No carbs. This picture, taken around 2pm, doesn’t do it justice. Fair number of people milling around. Click to ENLARGE.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
..
..
.
.
.
.

by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> 2014 Alton Old Home Day
>> 2014
Alton Old Home Preview …
>>
 2013 Alton Old Home Day Fireworks
>> 2013 Alton Old Home Day
>>
2012 Alton Old Home Day
>> 2012 Alton Old Home Day Fireworks

+ Heartwarming ‘Annie & The Orphans’ At Cate Park, 2014.
+  Delightful ‘Annie & The Orphans’ At Cate Park, 2013.
+ “Annie & The Orphans’ Cate Park preview 2014.
+ Couple dancing to ‘Annie …’, Cate Park, 2014.


++++ Search ‘fireworks‘, ‘Alton‘ & ‘Annie’ for other related posts >>>>


The kids & I, after our customary dump run, stopped by Alton Main Street to get some local color and free grub — saved me having to go to McDonald’s.

So it was the Historical Society BBQ, Police Station ‘open house’
and Car Show.

Fair number of people around.

Decent show of cars. No British cars, but that is acceptable. This is Alton.

Beautiful day. We walked around.

Here are some pictures. Enjoy.

Click to ENLARGE.

For Saturday night ‘Annie & the Orphans’ & Fireworks click here.

Inside the Alton Historical Society barn. A float on skis! How cute. They must have pulled this across snow — maybe on the Big Lake.





oldhomedayalton2014carshow ontage134a1


Alton, N.H. Old Home Day 2014: ‘Annie & The Orphans’ Outdid The Fireworks — A Grand Night.

Click to ENLARGE. August 9, 2014, Alton Bay.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
..
..
.
.
.
.

by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> 2014
Alton Old Home Preview …
>>
 2013 Alton Old Home Day Fireworks
>> 2013 Alton Old Home Day
>>
2012 Alton Old Home Day
>> 2012 Alton Old Home Day Fireworks

+ Heartwarming ‘Annie & The Orphans’ At Cate Park, 2014.
+  Delightful ‘Annie & The Orphans’ At Cate Park, 2013.
+ “Annie & The Orphans’ Cate Park preview 2014.
+ Couple dancing to ‘Annie …’, Cate Park, 2014.


++++ Search ‘fireworks‘, ‘Alton‘ & ‘Annie’ for other related posts >>>>


What can I say about the fantabulous “Annie & The Orphans”
that I haven’t raved about before?

They, now in their 50th year, have become a Lakes Region treasure.
Such great value. Just like ‘1964 the Tribute‘ from the day before.
They just go out with one simple but admirable mission:
‘Please the crowds. Make them feel good. Make their day’.

I have nothing but respect, admiration and good will towards
Anatole Paquette and his Orphans.
Very nice group of men to boot.

Thank YOU Anatole and the Orphans:
Bob McNab, Steve Giotas, Peter Previte, Roy D’innocenzo & Scottie Groleau.

To access their Website … please click.


“Annie & The Orphans” at Alton Old Home Day 2014.

Click to ENLARGE.








Picture perfect evening in Alton Bay.

A near ‘Super Moon‘ providing a vivid backlight.




The Fireworks were “OK”. ‘Annie & the Orphans’ were better.
But a grand, memorable night.


Altonoldhomeday2014montage141a

Click to access close to 70 photos!


Alton, N.H. Old Home Day 2014, With ‘Annie & The Orphans’ + Fireworks, Will Be Weekend Of August 9, 2014.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

..
..
.

.
by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
 2013 Alton Old Home Day Fireworks — Aug. 11, 2013.
>> 2013 Alton Old Home Day — Aug. 9, 2013.
>>
2012 Alton Old Home Day … — Aug. 5, 2012.
>> 2012 Alton Old Home Day Fireworks — Aug. 11, 2012
.

++++ Search ‘fireworks‘ & ‘Alton‘ for other related posts >>>>


The always fun Alton, New Hampshire, “Old Home Day”
will be over the weekend of Friday, August 9
to Sunday, August 10, 2014.

Though the event has now been extended to cover a 3-day weekend,
‘the fireworks’, quite literally, as ever, will be on
Saturday night — and remember that the “Old Home”
fireworks are invariably better than those for July.

Added bonus this year.

“Annie & The Orphans” that I always rave about,
including just a few weeks ago after their
concert in Wolfeboro are playing
just ahead of the fireworks.

Weather permitting this should be quite the night.


The 5K race, the antique boat show and the Parade through Town is on Saturday — so is the traditional, chicken barbecue at the Alton Fire Station.

In addition to the customary Craft Fair there will be a ‘Car Show’, in Town, on Sunday.

Click here to access the Alton Town Website with the schedule.