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It's all a load of bollocks, quite frankly

A lot can happen in a year, you know!

A year seems like an awfully long time. Three hundred and sixty-five days. Literally some time longer if it happens to be one of those pesky little leap year wassanames. My way of gauging years though has changed throughout time. Whereby most people would rely on the fact that New Years Eve and New Years Day are generally the accepted time to greet the arrival of a new year, generally mine would be the last weekend in March. Why? Because that is when my kitchen clock can begin to tell the correct time again. That’s my new year, when British Summertime (haaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh. Erm…) arrives. It’s only because I can never be arsed to change the thing back and forth. For the record, my kitchen clock was one of the first things Jayne bought me, and it appeals to my motoring nerdiness. It’s an alloy wheel and tyre with a drilled, ventilated brake disc, calipers and pads behind it. It’s awesome, get over it!

However, this is about to change. In a little over a days time, it will be my sons’ first birthday. One year old. Crikey! A lot of things have happened in the last twelve months. Other than the blindingly obvious fact that my wife gave birth to a cracking little boy, quite a turn of events happened. I jacked in a job as an aftersales manager at a car dealership to sell architectural ironmongery at a local family owned, erm, architectural ironmongery firm owned by friends of me and my family. It’s brilliant and I have never looked back. I sacrificed my beloved Fiat Stilo as it was totally impractical and bought a slightly knackered Punto five door, which despite its faults (of which there are many) is a likeable little machine. I even borrowed Jayne’s Corsa for a while and I liked it! What’s going on?

Leo, and us obviously, spent a fabulous Christmas and New Year with Jayne’s family. Leo spent most of his first Christmas playing with wrapping paper and not much else, despite being spoilt rotten with many things! During the first part of this year, Jayne returned to work. Typically, though, she wasn’t at work long before the hotel next door to the one she works decided to inconveniently burn to the ground. Leo started nursery and still continues to love it.

Watching Leo grow and progress over the last year has been my favourite thing. From a fairly traumatic, unplanned home birth to now where he’s chattering, crawling and to some degree, walking. Having to deal with his early onslaught of Colic was not good. Nor is still having to deal with his reflux. He is learning to walk by pushing a walker across the living room floor or one of us holding his hands, though he walks with all the grace of a Thunderbirds puppet. Or if you watch the old Softmints advert, Mr Soft is an accurate depiction of how the little blighter walks.

He’s becoming far more devious as he gets a little bit older, however does tend to give himself away a little. When he knows he’s doing something mischievous he lets off a little cackle and laugh. We hear that, we know he’s up to something. He knows he’s not allowed to play with his Grandad’s TV equipment. So detract attention away from that, he scoots to the other end of the room and collects the most exciting toy he can find and scoots back toward his Granny. At this point, she is sat in front of the TV equipment. Leo hands her said toy and whilst Granny inspects it he scoots on past her to the TV stuff that she is guarding. Not only has he picked up on the idea of decoys and deception, he does so in such a manner that you cannot help but laugh.

He’s also the master of getting to where he wants to in the fastest possible time and the shortest possible distance. He doesn’t crawl so much as drags himself along like a Commando who needs to find a medic. He shuffles along on his legs and arms but at such a rate that Usain Bolt couldn’t keep up. As the poor lady who was a potential client of the Nursery Leo goes to found out. The manager of the Nursery was showing this client around and explaining the facilities whereby at this point Leo has spotted something he wants from the other end of the room. He wants it. He’ll get it. He’s going for it! He scoots over, ploughs his way through the womans legs to grab this object. Poor woman didn’t know where to look and the staff of the Nursery found it incredibly amusing. But we always get feedback that he’s such a chilled out, yet happy little boy. Yay!

In my next little Leo tale, he doesn’t appear quite so chilled out. He’d managed to get the knife out of his plastic cutlery set off the table in the living room and disappeared with it. Only to come back in yielding it in his right hand, which was held aloft whilst scooting toward one of his teddy bears. He then proceeds to give this teddy bear a right old bollocking and shouting a right load of old verbals at him before holding this knife to the body area and stabbing the hell out of it. All I can say is he may have picked up on mine and Jayne’s love of the US hit TV series Criminal Minds.

It’s also a fantastic sight to see him playing so well with our nearest and dearest’s children, and the fact he gets on well with most people. Especially the females. He’s a right bloody tart. Anything female and regardless of his mood and he’ll turn all gooey eyed and becomes a right flirt.

So, that concludes that Leo’s birthday is my new way of seeing in a new set of twelve months. Here’s looking forward to the next year!

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Other Stuff! | 1 Comment

I’m Adam-ant it’s a Vauxhall

Vauxhall have confirmed that they will be launching a Fiat 500 and Mini-rivalling city car. Now, I do like the current crop of Vauxhalls. I like the Corsa and love the Corsa VXR, the new shape Astra and the lovely new Astra GTC. I also like the Insignia, it’s a good-looking car, too. The names are generally acceptable, too. Well they were, until that is I’d realised they’d be calling the new city car the Adam.

Now, as I’m sure you are aware, Vauxhalls are simply rebadged Opels and are essentially the British arm of General Motors. Nowhere outside the UK will you find a Vauxhall – in Europe and Ireland they are Opels, in the US the Astra is rebadged as a Chevrolet and in Australia they’re Holdens. So, while I understand the Opel version being named Adam (after founder of Opel, Adam Opel) I really cannot understand why they’ve decided to keep the Adam for the name for the Vauxhall variant.

I have prattled on about stupid car names before (cheeky plug: Part one is here, part two is here), but I think the Vauxhall Adam is an incredibly stupid name. I can just see it now, a group test in Auto Express between the Vauxhall Adam, the Ford Gary, the Hyundai Trevor and the Volkswagen Klaus. News item from the same issue informs us of the launch of two new Hondas, the George and Mildred, the new Terry and June from Kia and a long-term test of the Fiat Giovanni.

Having done some more “research” on the old interweb I have found some other stupid names. Ladies and gentlefolk, please be seated and enjoy the following.

Toyota Deliboy – It’s a van, but not a shitty yellow Reliant you plonker! It’s not very good at making sandwiches either.
Honda Life Dunk – Is it a new form of biscuit, or is it just implying that your life is nothing more than something that is dipped into a cup of tea? Hmmmm….
Nissan Prairie Joy – There is no joy in this car at all. It is vile in the same way that so is Little House on the Niss… er Prairie.
Nissan Big Thumb Harmonised Truck – WHAT?????????????????????????????????????
Toyota Synus – Sinus pains generally are far more appealing than Toyotas. My sinus pains also appear to stop better than a Toyota too.
Suzuki Van Van – This is, ironically, a motorcycle.
Daihatsu Rugger Field Sports Resin Top – Indeed
Isuzu MU – Doesn’t seem so bad until you realise that MU stands for Mysterious Utility. In fact its full moniker is Isuzu Wizard Mysterious Utility
Daihatsu Applause – Could have been worse, could have been called the Daihatsu Clap.
Mitsubishi Chariot Grandis Super Exceed GDi – Not sure what it exceeds at, except its stupid name.
Renaultsport Mégane 230 Renault F1 Team R26 – Nice car, long winded name.
Toyata Corolla II Super Windy – Does that refer to car or driver?
Citroen BX Cottage – Unfortunate

Well, that wraps up one truly dire blog entry from yours truly. I’m sure there will be more rehashed, recycled nonsense on car names in the near future!

May 14, 2012 Posted by | Motoring | Leave a comment

eBay… Why the hell did I decide to look at eBay?

Ebay is both fantastic and the absolute bane of my life in one fowl swoop. I’ve sold so much stuff on there, I’ve lost count. Other than the couple of cars I’ve part-exchanged, I’ve used eBay successfully to sell my motors when I’m done with them. I’ve bought a few from there and both car and eBay on these occasions have done me proud. Having said that, though, strangely the last car I bought I used a social networking site that will remain Facebook and we’ll call nameless.

Where it’s the bane of my life is late at night where the boredom sets in and I have to go looking through the Classic car category. Now, I’m sure I’m not the only bloke that goes on eBay late at night and clicks onto the Cars category to look what’s around. Luckily I don’t drink often as if I did, my garden would have to be converted into a car park, I’d be in serious debt and my wife would have taken our child and buggered off. Or killed me, whichever would work out more convenient. Now, as I’m sure my one reader will vouch for, I’m quite partial to slightly unorthodox cars. Or as I’ve been told, unorthodox is another word for “fucking crap”.

I’ve made a list of my favourite eBay motors that if I’d had a lottery win I’d rip the seller’s arm off for. Keep your Ferrari, Astons and Lamborghinis, for there is a Talbot Samba on the list. No, really! Just don’t expect me to explian why I find a small French shopping car more interesting than a supercar.

1983 Talbot Samba 1360 GLS, one owner and 11,000 miles from new, in red.
1984 Citroen Visa 11RE Convertible, in red.
Another Visa 11RE from 1984 but a hatchback and in blue
1990 Lancia Dedra 1.6
1971 Mini Clubman Estate in orange, 12,000 miles from new
1980 Escort RS2000 in red
1984 Talbot Alpine S in blue
1980 Austin Maxi 2 1750 HL in blue, less than 40,000 miles. Yes I do quite like these!
1983 Fiesta XR2 in white
1984 Sierra XR4i, white
1991 VW Corrado G60
1985 Lancia Beta Coupe
Late Ford Capri 280 Brooklands
Peugeot 504 2.7 V6 Pininfarina Coupe
1983 Fiat 127 1300 GT in burnt orange
1990 Fiat Uno Turbo i.e in grey
1986 Alfa 33 Green Cloverleaf, mostly red!
1981 Golf MK1 GTi in red.

That’s just the last week! Previous stuff I’ve seen on eBay I’d quite happily give garage space to include a 1981 Citron GSA, 1992 Fiat Tipo 16v, 1985 Renault 11 GTX, 1990 Citroen XM 2.0, Fiat Strada Abarth 130TC, Alfa 155 Silverstone, Lancia Thema 8.32, Mk1 Astra GTE, Opel Manta, and another Samba – the convertible.

You see, most of these cars aren’t of any interest to most people. Unless, you’re probably thinking, a complete moron with a strange taste in cars. What they offer, to me, is (except the Golf GTi) something a little different. Something outside the box. I’d rather have any of the cars in the lists above than anything new on sale today. Or indeed, a Ferrari.

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May 13, 2012 Posted by | Motoring | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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