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Annual MCH meeting in Syros - the funny side of things I

by George J. Reclos

Well, you have now seen and read what truly happened in Syros this year. What's more, you know that next year, our annual meeting will be in Italy or Belgium - so you can start packing since we would love to meet with as many of you as possible.

It was a funny meeting this time. It was not until June 2003 that this meeting was agreed. Francesco just asked me if we would be taking our vacations in the second half of August... and the rest is history ! It was more than I expected. If I was to make a general comment I would say that this time it was like a meeting of old friends. We knew each other and the people who didn't know Francesco and Stefania didn't lake long to appreciated the open hearted couple from Rome. Not to mention the world famous BT (aka Leonardo). It was a pity that Frank and Hilde couldn't make it this year, too (however, I know that they managed to meet a transatlantic friend.. more to follow in Frank's update). All in all, I already miss those days. I will not tell you what happened there, not in detail anyway. The two fellows (Andreas and Francesco) have already done a superb job on this issue. There is no need to read the same things a third time, is there ??

Just after the Italian team arrived in Athens. Well, this is a very rare photo - exclusively for MCH - a true Capo enjoying his espresso fredo in Athens. In the background you can even see me.. smiling and very happy since the Capo seems to approve his coffee (the twentieth I prepared for him till I got his OK) !!

A happy mother holding the precious heir : the world famous BT Leonardo (who obviously doesn't care to pose for the camera) !!

On the boat to Syros.. from L>R Stefania, BT Leonardo and John (my son). Yes, as you can see though the window, it was really early.. (as Frank surely remembers from last summer !!). Too early for my taste anyway. The only guy who didn't care about this was again BT Leonardo. He just went on sleeping. I really envied this little guy sometimes. I would just love to do the same. Unfortunately, my mother is aged 68 and I weight more than 95 Kg..

Stop Press !! Please watch this photo very - very carefully. What you see here is the one and only genuine Rover WRC NA/C 1.6 L triple Turbo, driven by fellow hobbyist Nikos Mpalaskas. In the other seat - not shown in this photo - sits Christos (yes, the famous Christos). In case you were wondering, WRC stands for World Rally Championship, which has to do with the tremendous horsepower of this particular car. Rumor has it that it can deliver more than 2500 donkeys on the road (measured in a specialized German Lab as approximately 60 HP). NA/C stands for "no air condition".. a fatal combination during the Greek summer. With this marvel of modern technology, Nikos achieved a top speed of 5 Km/h on the road from Kini to Delphini smashing his previous record of 4 Km/h which he set during his vacations last summer.

This technological marvel carried Christos and me many times during our stay in Syros. Although Nikos used to search us before we entered his car to make sure we didn't carry any measuring devices that would reveal his secrets (dynamometer, tachymeter etc.), I managed to smuggle a thermometer in it. Well, the temperature inside this marvel during noon hours exceeded 85C (185 F)!!

I will also mention that whenever we complained to Nikos about the overall conditions in the interior of his WRC he would always come back with the well thought of dilemma: "Do you have anything against this car ? Would you prefer to go on foot?". Nice way to persuade people about the technological advantages of your car, isn't it?

However, I have to admit that the navigation system of this car is unsurpassed. Manual, digital and gyroscopic compass, magnetic field insulation, GPS and so many other gadgets. Unfortunately, none of them was working when we got lost that night in Syros, so we had to visually identify each and every tree in the island to find our way to Andreas' place. If you were in this car with us, you would have laughed to death. Especially when you would hear the philosophical questions of Nikos (the driver) to Christos (the navigator) in the middle of nowhere : "Are you sure this was the same tree we saw the other time we came to Andreas' house ?"

The HighSpeed ferry leaves Piraeus for Syros. Yes, the Rover WRC is also on the boat (kept in the fridge to cool down a bit). Francesco, Stefania, BT Leonardo, Johnny, Christine, Nikos, Christos and me. It already sounded good. Very good to be honest.

Already in Syros. For the very few of you who care to keep track of our meetings, this short guy in front of the door is Andreas Iliopoulos (you know, the guy who spent a whole year of his life to translate MCH in Greek).. Why are we standing there, in front of the door ? Because Andreas is explaining to Johnny and Nikos his plan to break in the house. Since Andreas would probably break a bone or two - but surely not the door - if he tried it alone, he is asking the truly muscular guys to give it a try...

Well, finally we managed to bring down the door. In this shot, the whole gang relaxes a bit. Johnny holds CJ (the cocker Spaniel of Andreas and Kalliope), Stefania holds BT Leonardo and Christos holds.. I don't know what he holds down there.

Continued in next page

Take a look at the other reports : Andreas    Francesco   George

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