I emerged from a full 14 days’ worth of self-isolation after recovering from the symptoms surrounding COVID-19. With having a lot of downtime from the usual day to day life of a 9-5 working schedule. It gave me a chance to reflect on club related matters and to keep busy during a period of uncertainty.

Day 7 would see me leave the 4 walls of the bedroom for the first time by going outside to start the car following the fear of a potential flat battery. Not that it was likely to happen but at this point it was just nice to hear that custom exhaust awaken from its slumber and give off that almighty growl we’re so used to hearing on a daily basis. It was great to hear it while sitting behind the wheel for a few minutes to give the Abarth some life. Granted, there’s a lot more things happening in the world at the moment but for those few minutes it was a chance to hopefully look forward to what we have planned going into another big year for the club.

Going into the second week of isolation had our event pencilled in for the 29th March at the Sunderland Air Museum cancelled, like the majority events across the country. It was one I was really looking forward to knowing it was going to really kick start the beginning of shows we had in place during the busy show season. But it wasn’t to be. Event rightly cancelled and then to notify the club members that it wouldn’t be going ahead. I suppose rather than focusing on the negative from it. The positive side of it was the generosity from those who had paid up front to attend it to have their event fee donated to our club charity JPC Community Farm. Despite a lot of bad going in the world, there is still a lot of good out there and I’m proud of the fact we are still making a difference in some capacity.

A day prior to this event, I had won a competition back at the end of 2019 with our club sponsor JBS Detailing based in Newcastle. The Abarth was going to be well looked after ready for our first major show the next day. Likewise with the event I had to cancel the booking. Here we are days later with the car completely covered in all sorts, looking really sorry for itself. I’m no detailer by any means and quite frankly find the idea of cleaning the car from start to finish one of those mind numbing things that I’d rather do without. Fair play to those who actually enjoy it, but it’s not for me. I don’t mind giving it a once over with the quick detailer for events. But the start to finish gimmick, someone else who’d rather have that job satisfaction can take the lead if they wish!

Towards the end of the number of days being stuck indoors. I wanted to break this up by going live within the group via a video stream. With not knowing what to expect, I assumed maybe 1 or 2 may tune in and then it would be over within a few minutes. Surprisingly it wasn’t the case. At one point having 27 people joining in asking questions that I was more than happy to answer. It felt like being at a meet again surrounded by fellow Abarth enthusiasts even though I was sitting in the garden staring back at a mobile phone. It was great for that mental state of mind talking to others rather than doing it behind taping a phone screen. It’s certainly something I will be doing again in the future for sure.

So here I am now after sticking to the guidelines of being self-isolated. I can now return to work. Not that I’m in any rush to return to doing the actual work itself. But after being stuck in the same room for 95% of the time, the thing I was looking forward to most is giving the car a blast. Although the journey to the workplace is only a 5 minute one from where I live, it was the anticipation of hearing those pops during each gear change that I had sorely missed. Two weeks can feel like a lifetime and as I’ve mentioned, I know there are lot more of challenging situations currently for everyone across the globe. For me, it was nice to have some normality albeit living in a weird environment.

Even if the car isn’t looking its best right now. The journey to and from work reminded me of how much I love this brand and why they are so much fun to drive. Most are glued to the media waiting for that bit of news to say when this is likely to go away. I’m sure once the notification of it being safe to return to normal. We will see a surge in more people wanting to attend the club events. A chance to go out and showcase their pride and joy for all to see. I know it’s something I’m really looking forward to and I hope to see as many of you there along with me enjoying it in full.

For now, I hope that everyone is doing their bit regarding their health and wellbeing. We all have to play our part during the madness but as each day passes. We’re one step closer to those convoys on route to the events where we can show why we’re one of the best clubs in the country.

My messages are always open, so if anyone would like to discuss anything relating to the club or anything else. Feel free to do so.

We’re getting closer to those days again, so stay safe.

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