President's Report - June 2012

Greetings All,

Groan! Sadly the gallant French forces were again outgunned by the dastardly British enemy in the annual Battle of Waterloo event – that’s three years running the Brits have triumphed. Held on the lakeside Rond Terraces at the southern end of Anzac Parade on Sunday 17 June, there were about 100 cars on display – approximately 60 British cars and 40 French cars.

Although the weather was fine on the day, the wind was cold. Hot coffee and goodies from the PAC BBQ were both popular with attendees, particularly the egg and bacon muffins we offered. Overall it was an enjoyable day with French and British contestants happy to intermingle and chat about their respective cars. However, it was noticeable that the British cars, and their owners, left earlier than their French opponents, so we claimed a moral victory of sorts. Thanks to Barry McAdie from the Renault Club for doing the bulk of the organising, and to Shannon’s for sponsoring the event. I’d also like to thank Neil Sperring for ably assisting me in running the BBQ. There is talk of moving the event to a warmer month, next year – we shall see.

My wife, Sue, and I, drove up to Newcastle for the June long weekend. We optimistically left Canberra at 12.30pm on Friday afternoon, and enjoyed a quick trip as far as the northern end of the M7. Then we hit a wall of traffic in the dreaded Pennant Hills area about 4pm and it was a crawl from there almost to Newcastle. The trip took 6 hours instead of 5, but the good news was the fuel economy – we averaged 4.6 litres/100km from Canberra to Sydney and 4.9 litres/100km overall. Not bad for a big car, and we easily travelled up and back on a single tank of fuel. Fuel economy on the return trip from Newcastle was about 5.2 litres/100km, but by then we had a full boot of wine and, of course, it’s uphill from Sydney to Canberra.

The wine had found its way into the boot courtesy of a bin-end sale at the McWilliams Mount Pleasant winery in the lower Hunter Valley, where the prices were so compellingly low that we were ‘forced’ to buy 5 dozen bottles of excellent white wines – mostly our favourite, aged Hunter Semillons. After Mt Pleasant, we nipped up the road to the Lindemans winery, where we joined a throng of longweekenders at the tasting counter. “Shame we can’t taste your good wines”, we said (all the expensive wines had an asterisk on the tasting list – “not for tasting” it said in the footnote). To which the guy behind the counter replied, “Would you like to come upstairs for a private tasting?” In a flash we were upstairs, being invited to taste whatever wines we wanted – just the two of us, in a big room, with a senior winery staff member, who promptly brought out a cheese platter and looked after us for more than an hour.

Must have been a case of mistaken identity, I thought afterwards – but who did they think we were? We bought 6 of their best red wines and continued on our merry way……

In July we will again be celebrating Bastille Day at Le Très Bon Restaurant in Bungendore – 12 noon on Sunday 22 July, a week later than normal because I will be away the previous weekend and I don’t want to miss out. While not the cheapest restaurant around, those of us who went there last year were not disappointed and, being truffle season, there will be truffle dishes for those who wish to truly indulge. For further information check out their website. The club will be offering a small subsidy to attendees, courtesy of profits from the club BBQ at BOW.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

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