Monday, 20 August 2012

The Fastest Pensioner in the World?

Peter Baldwin set a new record when he won his sixth Dunlop Mini Miglia Challenge title at Thruxton yesterday.  The 72-year-old driver from Cambridge has won more championships than any other driver in the 47 year history of the Mini 7 Racing Club and has won races in a Mini in six different decades and even though he has been eligible for a bus pass for the seven years, he shows little interest in hanging up his racing boots anytime soon, heading to Spa next week for the historic races in Belgium.



The 2012 title came about almost by accident when he decided to take the car, which had been left standing after Sarah Munns decided not to race this season, to Donington Park for Rounds 2 & 3 of the championship.  He duly set pole position and took a win and a second place in the two races.  Further wins came at Brands Hatch and Snetterton.  At Thruxton he added another win to his tally in the first race of the weekend and looked like he was heading for the double when a clash with Paul Thompson at the final corner dropped him down to 3rd.  It was still good enough to secure the title with two rounds at Croft in North Yorkshire next month remaining.

Further information at www.mini7.co.uk


nr33 Mini Miglia

Podium celebrations

Peter Baldwin celebrates in racing style

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Saturday, 18 August 2012

The Medieval Manhattan


As you crest the hill coming from the east, the 14 towers of San Gimignano look like a medieval Manhattan. The towers, which once numbered 72, were symbols of the power and wealth of the city's medieval families. San Gimignano delle Belle Torri is surrounded by lush, productive land and the setting is altogether enchanting.




San Gimignano was the first Tuscan town on our list of places to vsit.  We decided to wait until the late afternoon to visit the town due to the heat and also due to fact we had been advised that the tour buses leave at around 5pm.  When we arrived in San Gimignano there were still plenty of tourists around, but the streets were far from crowded.



We parked the car and headed towards the main square, the Piazza della Cisterna, visiting several of the souvenir shops and art galleries on the way.  Our first Italian ice cream of the holiday was purchased while we enjoyed the sights of this beautiful medieval city.




We also visited the San Gimignano 1300 museum which contains a ceramic recreation of the city as it existed in 1300.





Driving back to our base near Barberino we stopped to take some pictures of San Gimignano from across the valley.













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MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON FLICKR AND ON OUR WEBSITE

Friday, 10 August 2012

'The Waverley' Limited Edition Canvas Print


The latest limited edition A2 Canvas Print has been released and is of the Paddle Steamer Waverley passing by the Isle of Skye in June.

The image is a black and white print with the Waverley in full colour to stand out from the dramatic background.  

Only 125 signed A2 prints will be available and they cost just £75 + P&P.

The shot is also available as a 12" x 8" or 18" x 12" photographic print for £13.50 and £20.00 inc P&P.

For more information and to order CLICK HERE 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Sunshine and Wine

For the past week we've been on holiday in Tuscany just south of the little hilltop town of Barberino di Val d'Elsa.  We had an apartment in the Agriturismo Due Piani, a wine and olive farm of seven hectares and we had seven days to soak up the Tuscan sunshine and sample the local wine.



Due Piani
Due Piani (meaning Two Levels and referring to the two levels of the farm) has three apartments and we had the largest with the most stunning view across the valley of Tignano, which was perched on top of the hill opposite our balcony.  It was very pleasurable looking out as the sun set behind us eating our evening meal.  The warm welcome we received from Brunella and Alberto was fantastic and we were made to feel right at home.


The Wine

The vineyard produces about 4000 bottles a year mainly for local consumption in restaurants, bars and direct sales at the farm.  They produce the classic Chinati, Other Due Piani Wines are the Rosso Toscano and the Bianco da Tavola from Moscato's grapes, which is perfect when served cold with a plate of pasta.


Tignano

The Agriturismo is centrally located, situated 30km south of Firenze (Florence) and 30km north of Sienna.  We visited several places but in the 38 degrees sunshine we also spent a couple of days relaxing by reading and swimming in the pool (not at the same time!).  More on our visits to Florence, Pisa, San Gimignano and Colle di Val d'Elsa in later blogs.


Barberino di Val d'Elsa

We were also treated to an aerial display each night by bats that were roosting in the roof of our balcony.  At around 8:30 each evening the bats would emerge just above our heads.  We counted 32 bats one evening and they then spent the next couple hours wheeling around in front of our balcony.




This was our first trip to Tuscany and it is highly recommended to anyone wanting great food, sunshine, wine, art and beautiful countryside.

For more information on Due Piani visit the website


Olive Groves

Val d'Elsa

The Pool at Due Piani

Due Piani

Due Piani

The Vineyard

The Vineyard

Sunrise over Tignano from the apartment balcony

ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

MORE IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED ON FLICKR AND ON OUR WEBSITE