I have a Morris Minor and some time before Covid I had to replace the head gasket which I did with the assistance of my friend Tony Donnelly, quick name check there!

My memory is awful I have to admit, for example I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast so the timeline in this story my not be as accurate as I would like, however it is not the most important aspect of the tale.

Some time after doing the head gasket the car started puffing out smoke again so I assumed as there was no oil in the radiator it must be the valve stem oil seals which also needed doing but Covid came along and I just put the car in the garage and occasionally started it until eventually it was running so rough and chucking out more smoke that I left it until I had more time.

I was recently at the time when I thought, I must finish the Morris Minor but was a little upset that an MBG GT that I also own had also recently started smoking which made me think I now had another car requiring a new head gasket, however it also prompted me in the direction of a different solution to my problem, one that was both cheaper and a damn sight easier.

My concept of time is also rubbish but I suddenly thought, ‘I wonder how long the petrol has been in the cars?’ With this in mind I rushed to drain the fuel tank and took the opportunity to replace the rubber fuel lines with modern R9 ones which will not fall apart the minute they have contact with the beastly methanol which is in modern petrol.

Blow me down, sure as eggs is eggs, the minute I changed the fuel and started the car it was running as smooth as silk with no smoke emerging from the exhaust, which on the positive side made me quite pleased as it was an easy and cheap fix, however on the negative side it made me hate this modern fuel with Ethanol even more than I did before.

I was so elated with my cheap fix that I thought I would wash the old girl as she had accumulated quite a bit of dust during her Covid hibernation in the garage, all I have to do now is to change the seized brake cylinders for her to be back to her normal self.

Sadly, I still think modern petrol is absolutely awful and look forward to the promised synthetic petrol which is being developed by the F1 industry and which will be the saviour of petrolheads everywhere.

It will also be interesting to see in a few years time when people have finally cottoned on to the fact that electric cars are nowhere as green as they are made out to be and there will be advertisements asking, ‘were you miss sold an electric car, sign up here to apply for your compensation!’


About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother who had dementia, hence the lack of acting work but shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse.
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  1. I’ve heard that jumping jacks stimulate the hippocampus and improve short term memory . . .just saying

  2. Perhaps I should give that a try although it’s a trifle warm to start in the next few days I think,

  3. I think you may well be right about the miss selling of electric cars Joe. As usual we seem to be going off half cocked!

  4. SueW says:

    A chap I know who owns a motor repair shop once told me never to buy supermarket petrol. He said the quality was poor. He explained more but I’m afraid that part went over my head!

    • I’ve heard that but at the end of the day it all comes from the same depot so I don’t think it’s too bad, I use E5 in all my old cars as it has less Methanol in it and put an additive to make up for not having lead in it anymore and I shall also be adding another additive called Stabil which stops the petrol going off, if it keeps going like this my tank will be full of additives with no room for actual petrol!

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