Well, the clock is ticking down to our Italian Job adventure. Monday 20 October – will see us among 50-60 other Minis, mainly classic cars, as we queue to board the 10.15 DFDS sailing from Dover to Calais. Finally we’ll get to meet the other Mini “nuts” like ourselves. It’s our first time on the run but some people have done it many times before – some as many as 18!

The Kings Peach is ready – although we’re still biting our nails waiting for the DVLA to return Peach’s log book (no stress!). The excitement is building, the cats know something’s up…


some of the toys accompanying us to Italy

Here are some of the soft toys that will be accompanying us, they are for children living in an SOS children’s village in Trento, Italy. Thank you to friends and colleagues who donated toys – and the PDSA charity shop in Dover, which let me rummage through their store room stock.

There are 547 SOS Children’s Villages in 134 countries, providing long-term care for almost 62,000 children from babies to teenagers who are orphaned, abandoned or in difficult family situations. Children live in small family groups with an SOS “mother”. When they are older they are helped to find work or go on to higher education and move into shared accommodation sponsored by local supporters.

From Calais we drive to Spa in Belgium, then on to the Nurburgring and Munich in Germany. The rally begins on October 23 at 2pm in the Piazza Dante, in the centre of Trento, with registration and scrutineering of the cars. We’ll get to drive on the Lingotto test track on the roof of the former Fiat factory – it featured in the original, 1969 film, when Michael Caine says: “Do get a move on… we can’t drive around here all day!” The Minis will also be escorted on a tour of Turin by a phalanx of police motorcycle outriders which should be fun!

So… all that’s left to say is a huge thank you to the University and friends and work colleagues for your unfailing support. You can keep up with our progress through this blog and our Facebook page. We’ve raised over £3,200 so far (to be boosted by sales of official lottery tickets, £400, and whatever the Italian Job film screening at the Gulbenkian Cinema on 2 October netted – watch this space)!

If anyone wishes to make a donation you can do so via our Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/kingsontherun – any amount, however small, is much appreciated.