Andrex Extra Soft Blog Roll

It's all a load of bollocks, quite frankly

Paul’s latest miserable motoring mishaps

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Fiat. Not broken. Yet

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve bored people with my yapping on about my old bangers so I thought I’d bore you all with the details of my latest incidents, break downs, purchases and general motoring mishaps. Oh joy*, you’re thinking.

Well, it starts from where I left off in the previous blog entry with the Fiat Punto Active. About a month into ownership, I heard a ticking noise from the engine then an almighty bang. All power was lost and the dashboard lit up like Blackpool. Managed to coast it to out of harm’s way and left it whilst cursing it. Walked home, had a pasty and a cup of tea and walked back with some tools. Turns out the number three spark plug had decided to part company with where it should be. Quite conveniently, I had a service kit in the boot as that was one of the jobs I was going to do that weekend. Took out the spark plugs, noticed that whoever serviced the car before had fitted two different makes of spark plug – two Bosch, two had some Chinese script on the side. It was one of the Chinese plugs that went popped out. So, new set of plugs, started up and ran like a dream. Quick engine service done there and then and all good.

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Bastard Hyundai Broken. Accent left at work. Again. Fiat not broken, to the rescue. Again

In the mean time, the Hyundai’s electrical system was proving to be a bit problematic in that it some of the time it didn’t want to start if it was cold. Or hot. Or warm. Or wet. Or dry. Or if the day of the week ended in Y. WD40 and a hammer generally worked quite well, as did replacing God knows how many sensors. On more than one occasion I had to leave the sodding thing at work because it wouldn’t start. Many swearings were sent in its direction, many Basil Fawltys were sent its way and how did it reward me a few weeks later? Spewing its oil out of the rotten oil filter and cam cover gasket.

Back to the Fiat and coming up to a year into ownership, November meant it was MoT time. Dreading handing over the keys as I generally do, I left it in their hands awaiting that bloody phone call. Not that I needed to worry, it went straight through no problems! Nothing else really happened in 2015 with the cars, but 2016 started off pretty shite. Not only were a whole host of famous people I like dying, things were happening to the cars too. The Fiat developed a stress crack in the windscreen, which was replaced.

The Hyundai, however, was a bit worse than that. It had developed a knock from the driveshaft and the running and starting problem returned. The nail in its coffin, mind, was the left hand front brake sticking fully on whilst driving along. On one occasion the damn thing pulled me into a hedge, and it wasn’t the sort of hedge I wanted to be in. It need a driveshaft, a front brake caliper and the electrics sorting and was going to cost far more than I wanted to spend on it to keep it running. To celebrate* this, I deliberately crashed it into some things then put it up for sale for scrap money, but no takers. In the end, I loaded it up one evening with an old washing machine and some old scrap metal ready to take it to the scrap yard the following morning. As it happened, I got a text message 7.15 the next morning with someone wanting to buy it. Before 8AM, I had exhanged money and keys, signed the log book away and had double what the scrap yard wanted. Bonus thing too, he took the scrap metal away with it.

So we were on the lookout for a new chariot, had a look at quite a few and although we same a few nice cars along the way, we saw a lot of really shocking nonsense. By far and away the nicest car I saw was a 1996 Fiat Bravo 1.8 HLX which would have fitted the bill quite nicely. But it was pretty much factory fresh, 22,000 miles from new unmarked interior and totally original. I walked away from it because doing the school run in that everyday, it would end up wrecked thanks to other morons – the main reason I parted with my 205. Plus, I needed a daily driver that would take a four year old boy with all his mess and a 33 year old wife with all her mess. This was far too nice, and we didn’t have the funds to buy two cars.

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New MG ZR. Not broken. Then it was.

The search continued and my wife and I were doing the very modern thing of ignoring each other and having our heads stuck in our phones. We were both looking for cars and we were looking at a particular car at the same time. The wife and I agreed that we should look at it, so she made the arrangements as she had a day off. Now bearing in mind the last car she bought home and did the deal for was the Rover 25 (which turned out to be a pretty damn good car), it’s only fitting it should be the car pictured on the above right there somewhere.

So, Domestic Management did the deal and later that day we were literally some pounds lighter and driving home in a turbo diesel MG ZR. Yes, I know, me with a diesel! It pulls superbly, handles well and is great to drive. It’s not without fault, though. The sunroof leaks occasionally (standard feature), the goon that had it before me disconnected the rear speakers and CD changer and installed the current stereo like a complete minkey. About four weeks into ownership, it developed a knock from the left hand front, which a replacement drive shaft sorted. The driver’s side window doesn’t always align properly when returning to the top. Most of these are tiny niggles that can be lived with, but thankfully the money we knocked off the asking price of the car paid for the drive shaft.

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Fiat’s clutch slave cylinder end bit. Broken.

With all this attention the new addition to the family, the Punto felt left out which it decided to prove on the Thursday before Good Friday. A phone call from the wife at 7am with the words “The Punto has broken down. I heard a bang and the clutch pedal stayed down” sounded expensive. Intitial thoughts were clutch, probably gearbox but whatever it was, it was going to be expensive. The RAC collected it and dumped it with the mechanic who looks after it and MoTs it, when he then informed me it probably wouldn’t be ready until after Easter. Oh fuck it. But then, a phone call three hours later informing me it was the slave cylinder and that he managed to obtain one and fit it was excellent news. Later that week, I decided to paint the rusty sump and give it a damn good clean. It’s been good as gold since, but need to put a new set of tyres on it before very long.

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The MG and the Punto. Not broken. For the moment.

Both are behaving themselves at the moment. I’ll leave it at that…

April 30, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Far from being alone in the universe

d0058360Alone In The Universe

I meant to write about this back when the album came out, but being lazy and neglecting my blog to a certain degree, I never got around to it. However, I’ve got my backside in gear thanks in no small part to going to a certain gig a couple of weeks back.

But first, the album. I don’t really look forward to new releases except for a few artists. Jeff Lynne is one of them – I pre-ordered the deluxe version and it arrived the day of release. So, armed with a set of headphones I gave it a spin. Now under the moniker Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Jeff plays all the instruments himself, aside from some background vocals by his daughter Laura, and a few bits of percussion by his sound engineer. As before, he writes it all and produces it all. I’d already heard When I Was A Boy, the autobiographical single, and as well as opening the album brilliantly, fits alongside the old classics with consummate ease.

Love and Rain has some very pleasing guitar sounds and I defy anyone not to sing along with Dirty To The Bone after the first listen. When The Night Comes sees Jeff put a slight reggae slant on proceedings, and pretty successfully too. The Sun Will Shine On You is one of the best ballads Lynne has penned and is the stand out song on the LP for me.

Ain’t It A Drag takes inspiration from Mersey Beat and is a great up-tempo number, brought back down to Earth by another slow tune All My Life. I’m Leaving You is more than a cursory nod to Roy Orbison, but if I’m honest is probably the weaker song on the album.

Another stand out track on the album is One Step At A Time. For all the nay-sayers that say this isn’t ELO, listen to this song, it has all the ingredients you could want and sounds like it would fit in on Discovery after Last Train To London very well indeed. Title track ends the proceedings, if you haven’t got the deluxe version, and again sees Lynne penning one of his best ballads so far.

So, to sum up, Alone In The Universe doesn’t break any new ground but it doesn’t have to. For those that see ELO as nothing but a guilty pleasure (a phrase I hate), this album proves that Lynne is a master of his craft and certainly still has a knack for knocking out irresistible melodies and choruses. My only criticism of the album only applies to the deluxe version. The title track finishes off the album perfectly, then Fault Line kicks in, a song I don’t particularly care for. The other bonus track Blue is brilliant and should have been on the regular release, but slightly further back in the running order. But hey, this is nit-picking, it’s a fantastic album.

It’s a four and a half out of five for me.

Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Genting Arena 16/4/2016

The tail end of last year saw me purchase tickets to go and see Jeff Lynne’s ELO in his home town of Birmingham. The fact he was planning to do a tour was an event enough, especially as much as Jeff disliked touring. The radio 2 Hyde Park gig went down so well, it prompted this tour and the album. Time seemed to drag waiting for it, checking the post every day to see if the tickets had arrived. The excitement building up like I was a school boy again.

Fast forward to the night of the 16th April. Genting Arena at the NEC, we arrive and carry out the act of purchasing the obligatory tour programme, t-shirt, mugs and keyrings. We were sat quite far back, but as it happened had a perfect view.

The support band came on, and it was a band I had liked for a number of years. The Feeling, evident in their own song writing that they are fans of ELO (and 10cc, Wings and Supertramp) kicked off the night in great fashion performing some of their well known hits – Fill My Little World, Love It When You Call, Sewn, Never Be Lonely and an outstanding number from their new album. Best support act I’ve seen and I urge anyone who doesn’t own their material to buy some, and I would definitely recommend seeing them live.

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A small wait, then it was time for the main show. A musical introduction morphed into an album track, Tightrope, a firm fan favourite, then went into hit single after hit single. Evil Woman, All Over The World, Living Thing, all brilliant songs and brilliantly played. When I Was a Boy, as I mentioned earlier, fits in wonderfully with the old classics and seeing it performed with them here just proves that further. Not only did it not sound out of place, but the whole audience sat and listened to it and it got one of the biggest applauses of the night. It was also the start of a nearly 34 year old man shedding a tear or two.

The audience and atmosphere were brilliant, the crowd singing along with Wild West Hero was spine-tingling as were the vocals from Jeff and the band. More tear shedding occurred during Can’t Get It Out of My Head but my personal highlights of the evening were 10538 Overture followed straight away by Secret Messages. These are two of my all time favourite ELO tunes, and the arrangement for Secret Messages live was fantastic.

More hits such as Turn To Stone, Don’t Bring Me Down, Sweet Talkin’ Woman were played with precision and the rendition of album track Steppin’ Out was superb. Everything right up to Mr Blue Sky where realisation crept in that this was near the end of the set, but this was played in its entirety and did it sound good. Off stage for a few moments before coming back on to do a rocking rendition of Roll Over Beethoven for the encore. Then that was it, all over and far too soon. A little under two hours went very quickly indeed, too quickly.

The sound was excellent, the playing from Jeff and the band was superb, the vocals were on top form as were the strings and keyboards. The icing on the cake was the light and stage display – you had to be there. My wife and I were, we were two of the 170,000 people that have seen ELO on this current tour. If they do it again, we’re going. One of the best concerts I’ve been to, and a real master class in how to do it properly.

April 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Heralding freedom of speech

Freedom of speech, something that a certain Scottish newspaper (without mentioning any names, but the clue is in the title) really believes in. Which is why it chose to remove some well reasoned comments I, and some of my friends, made on their Facebook page.

Normally, I really wouldn’t bother making comments on the Facebook page of a newspaper because generally I hate newspapers and Facebook. Combine the two and you have a match made in hell. But for once I felt I had to make comment, due to a gathering of words hastily cobbled together by a “journalist” and passed as a column by “editorial”.

Cast your mind back a short while back and you may remember a news story that involved a dash cam filming footage of a father keying an Aston Martin. To the tune of £7,700 worth of damage and, rightly so, he is awaiting a possible prison sentence. The general population would agree with this except this excuse for a journalist that submitted her column to this newspaper*.

This young lady believes this vandal should not receive any form of prison sentence, but instead should be awarded a medal. Because people should not be allowed to own or enjoy supercars, because the impression this “journalist” gives is they are all owned by bellends that drive them like they stole it or think they are The Stig even when they are parked. Being one for generalisations, she also proclaims, incorrectly, that boy racers don’t drive around in things such as the Fiat 500 (she has obviously forgotten about the turbo charged Abarth, and I’ve seen lots of these being driven by complete crayon munching assholes). She then goes on to say just how much she would like to key these “swanky”, high performance cars herself.

What she fails to comprehend in her “column” are many things. She hasn’t given a moment’s thought that the Aston Martin more than likely was the result of many years hard graft. Keying someone’s car is vandalism whichever way you look at. Doesnt matter if it’s Aston Martin or an Austin Maestro, it’s criminal damage and is punishable. She is basically condoning criminal damage and encouraging it. Hang around long enough and the silly bint will probably give you a medal and a pat on the back.

The message this ill-advised column puts out is it’s okay to break the law and cause criminal damage, a view that is seems to be backed up by her editors and newspaper whilst playing the freedom of speech card once again. Ironically, if you look back at Catriona’s Twitter account, you can read a tweet where she got irate when someone reversed into her car. Seems damage to cars is only acceptable if they’re expensive and fast.

To put it mildly, the article annoyed me. Full of snide, self righteous drivel. But what annoyed me moreso was the actions of the newspaper’s social media team. Endlessly preaching on about freedom of speech, yet felt the need to disable the comments section on the online column and also felt the need to delete well reasoned comments from a wide variety of people. When I asked the editor via the means of the Facebook page why my post was deleted, the response I got was a further deletion of a post.

I reposted my deleted post screenshots and for the love of whatever, they are still there. I would assume that someone had to report to an office in Scotland this morning to belatedly explain what the fuck that was all about. I’m pretty sure they weren’t expecting it to go quite as viral as it did which shows their naivety. This is 2015, things travel on the internet and social media quicker than you can say “key that Aston”. But lo and behold they have released a flimsy statement that claims what she had written was intended in a “sardonic” manner. Whilst still pulling the freedom of speech card. Yes! Once again! The newspaper claims the article was intended to “stimulate interest and debate”. This backfired dreadfully and make the journalist look like a jealous nobody with an axe to grind with no real valid point other than portraying a message that it is okay to cause criminal damage. The paper just looks inept.

I have once again asked why my posts were deleted, but as yet have had no response. I am also waiting to see if the newspaper and the “journalist” are likely to make apologies. Looking at the spiel she spouts from her Twitter account and the newspaper’s failure for stopping the story going to print, I am not holding my breath.

September 14, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Other Blog – The Lightning Seeds Archives

As you may be aware, I’m a Lightning Seeds fan. I’ve set up another blog.

Go visit it: http://andrexlightningseeds.wordpress.com/

Cheers and gone!

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Extremely original and well thought out title for 100th post.

Warning: content of the blog is as well thought out as the title. No, really. To be honest, quite a bit has changed since me setting up this blog. I’ve moved house, bought several cars, annoyed several people and best of all, I became a father. It was originally conceived as an outlet for me ranting in general and getting annoyed with Bono (again) but I’ve mellowed a bit since then. Generally, it is now a vehicle for me to write about my two passions: cars and music. I assume you’re here because you also share a similar passion or have followed a link from my Facebook or Twitter feeds and have clicked it to either pity me or shut me up. Or both. I would just like to say thank you if you have taken the time to read my blog in the past and hope you don’t get too bored with what I post next.

April 25, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Make poverty quieter, make Bono history. Caution: Naughty words

Mr B. Ono-Twat

This is one of my old stock images of Bono. It’s still VERY relevant

I’ve lost count how many Bono rants I’ve done, but I make no apologies as the twat winds me right up and I’m going to fire another one at you. I hate the bastard. The man is a conceited, fraudulent, hypocritical cunt as far as I’m concerned and it would appear I’m not the only one. My old friend Michael refers to him as “a cunt” and I’ve pinched one of Michael’s quotes for the title of this piece of bollocks I’m forcing upon you.

This man, pictured here, is an activist and “global spokesperson” for ending world poverty. He has given his defence for tax avoidance in Ireland. The Irish Independent has reported that Bono has defended his band’s decision to move its publishing arm to the Netherlands because it is “inline with government policy”.

I quote “It is not an intellectually rigorous position unless you understand that at the heart of the Irish economy has always been the philosophy of tax competitiveness,” and “Tax competitiveness has taken our country out of poverty. People in the Revenue accept that if you engage in that policy then some people are going to go out, and some people are coming in. It has been a successful policy.” He also added “On the cranky left that is very annoying, I can see that. But [that] is why Ireland has stayed afloat”

FUCK OFF! So, that has nothing to do with the bailout Ireland had from the EU and IMF that was around the tune of €85 billion, then? No, God, I can see it so clearly now! Get your country out of an economic disaster by fucking off and avoid paying your tax bill. Now, I don’t enjoy paying taxes any more than the next person, and yes the amount I pay is like a penny in comparison. But in the same token I’m not a multi-millionaire alleged rock star that spouts his mouth off that everyone should pay their fair share of everything and that we should end world poverty. Indeed he is a co-founder of something called the ONE Foundation which does it’s best to remind us that THERE’S POOR PEOPLE IN THE WORLD AND THAT THERE IS LOADS OF POVERTY THAT NEEDS SORTING. I’m sure he doesn’t need reminding about the report that was made public about the ONE Foundation back in 2010.

But I’ll thrown in a reminder anyway. Bono received in excess of £9.6 million in donations, yet only managed to hand out £118,000 to the relevant causes. Now, I understand with these kind of things that they are awareness schemes and not every penny goes to the selected charity and causes, but come on, it was NINE FUCKING MILLION QUID YOU TIGHT ARSED OIRISH TWAT! That works out that the good causes this foundation supports received a little over 1%. Ah! Maybe that’s why it’s called the ONE Foundation is because ONE percent is all that will be handed out to the relevant causes. Also, according to the New York Post, £5.1 million in wages were paid out. Hmmmm.

I wouldn’t have a problem so much with Bono if, firstly, he wasn’t part of an utterly underwhelming and mediocre rock band. Secondly, I cannot ever take anything seriously from someone who is basically avoiding paying tax in his own country, yet has no shame in asking other countries to get their citizens to use their own tax money to pay for issues he wants to support. And that’s after the concert tour that grossed $736,421,586. With his nett worth, he could solve most poverty problems, but he constantly gets you or I to do it rather than dipping his hand in himself. I’m not saying he should give all his money away as that would be stupid. Like it or not, he has earnt a good share of the money he has received by being in a successful (I’m not quite sure how, though) band. Fuck me, if I were in a band the size and popularity of U2, I’d want to be rich and see the cash flowing in. Yes, I would also do my bit for those less fortunate as I try to do in my own small way now. But I certainly wouldn’t preach as to who people should give their money to. However, what infuriates me most is the nice, tidy living he’s made off the back of things such as Live Aid, G8 and this ONE Foundation bollocks, as has that twat of a mate of his, Geldof. Did I mention he’s avoiding tax bills, did I mention that? Did I?

Certainly a far cry from his days of being just an anti-establishment cunt in a mediocre rock “band” who speeled socialist bollocks.Nowadays, he’s very much “the establishment” and tells us who to give our money to whilst putting on a façade that he is “the voice of the poor people”. Yeah, because preaching to an audience to give more money when they’ve spent anywhere between £70 and £100 a ticket for a fucking rock concert is fucking bang on isn’t it?

I believe at a Glasgow gig once, he started clapping and slowed it down whilst saying “every time I clap a child in Africa dies” to which someone responded with a typical Glaswegian slant of “Well fucking stop it then!” My sentiments exactly…

September 23, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blow Compare

Now, I’ve made it no secret that I really hate the Go Compare adverts. However, as a friend of mine pointed out, they got the brand noticed. Every Tom, Dick, Harry, James, John, Frederick, Arthur and indeed Brian knows it. However, I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in the new advert and the supposed controversy that surrounds it. Warning, though, this blog contains recycled Facebook statuses! Shock! Horror!

The story line of the advert, if an advert could have such a thing, is the Go Compare tuss goes around singing the Go Compare shiz to this stricken couple outside their residence. Every so often the camera view pans across to a crosshair aiming at the aforementioned tuss. As the advert progresses, the area of ground that tuss is standing on is blown up by a bazooka, which, as it turns out, has been fired by Sue Barker. Yeah, ‘er off the tennis. Personally, I thought “great, that’s that fucker over and done with.” Clearly, not everyone agrees with me because forty three people have complained about this. Yes, forty three out of Lord alone knows how many millions, but that’s serious stuff! And because of those forty three people, some action has to be taken. Why have these people complained? Because they’ve been offended, that’s why!

Can you honestly believe it? Offended? Fuck off. I have only two complaints about the advert. One, the bastard survived, and secondly, why did no one have the foresight to do it fucking ages ago? If you ask me, Sue Barker and the people behind the advert haven’t done so much as offend people as performed a public service. They should be applauded for it, and I for one would love to see this as an end of this particular string of adverts. They have been running for far too long, and I’ve yet to meet someone who actually likes them. Then again, I’ve yet to meet someone who hasn’t sung “Go Compare” when the words go and compare have been spoken in that order. It’s in the bloody public psyche. I’d love to do a Men In Black special in that I save the world by erasing everyone’s memory of the damned thing. The next step is getting rid of that bouncing anaemic turd off the bloody EDF advert bouncing around to Giorgio Moroder and philip Oakey. Fuck off now, if you’d be so kind.

My other bugbear this week is the Americans remaking The Inbetweeners. I’ve said much on the subject on remakes of television programmes that I don’t need to repeat, but why do they have to go and do it again? Especially as I cannot see it working, personally. They’ve also gone and decided that a remake of the Inbetweeners film was also neccessary. Oh for the love of Monkey testicles! Leave it alone you unoriginal, stupid, idiotic, useless, plagiarising, aardvark smacking, do you want cheese with that, hateful excuses for film producers. Seems to me that they wouldn’t know an original idea if it came up to them in a high-vis jacket, some pink jewellery, a bright yellow hard hat, red boots and a huge bright green nose, bashed them over  the head with an original script of something original and said “You don’t know me, I’m an Original Idea.” For starters I’ll have Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, main course I’ll have Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr with a side order of Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, and washed down with a pint of best Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. It especially won’t work as English Will talks and looks like me. My name at work is, amongst other things, Will. I’d put up pictures but I cannae be arsed. 

I saw this week someone had put a “Nurburgring” sticker on the back of their Vauxhall Astra. If, and only if, it were the VXR model I’d maybe understand. But it wasn’t. It was a boggo-standard 1.7 CDTi with plastic wheel trims, a National Trust sticker in the window and a tow hitch. The owner of this car deserves Sue Barker and a bazooka. 

Which brings me on to someone else who deserves Sue Barker and a bazooka. Bloody seller off eBay. I had ordered something four weeks ago. It showed up yesterday after the seller had presumably forgotten to send it. How do you think it arrived? No, you’re wrong. It turned up in a bloody Tesco bag, with an address label and a postage stamp. A spilt Tesco bag at that. Genius!

On a slightly sadder note, I’m saddened to hear of the loss of two great people this week. Eric Sykes, a wonderful comedian and actor has passed away and will be sorely missed. Sergio Pinninfarina has also passed away this week, one of the greatest car designers of them all and one of my heroes, as such. He was responsible for the Ferrari F40 among many, many more of my favourite cars. 

July 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MoT the 9 o’clock news

So, it would seem the government is back stepping out of something yet again. Only this time I’m in utter agreeance.

You see, what those cretins intended to do was reduce the frequency of MoT tests from annually to once every two years. I’m sorry, but that decision was so bad the only decision that would rival it was the man at Decca who said no to the Beatles. I would like to know what man in a suit thought that was a good idea. It simply isn’t practical. I can remember seeing cars only six months after their MoT test and the condition of the cars was shocking.

From my experience, you cannot educate pork, and most car owners are just that. You can’t tell them that certain items will need to be sorted in X number of minutes / days / weeks / months. Trying to get customers to seriously look at their advisory sheet and think about getting the work done was a job in itself. Trying to get them to have the work done that the vehicle may have failed on was something else too.

In some ways the MoT test isn’t strict enough as it is. For instance if your car has brake pipes enclosed in plastic shrouds then the tester isn’t allowed to remove the shrouds to inspect the brake pipes. Those are guidelines. If you want them checked, pay the garage the labour to remove all the ‘packaging’ and get them looked at. Or get the spanners out yourself. Otherwise, the only way you’ll know that the brake pipes have corroded to buggery is when you’ve put your foot on the middle pedal, it’s gone to the floor, you’ve hit that lovely Larch tree at sixty and your nearest and dearest will be visiting you in hospital.

Don’t expect the tester to check your sills either if your car has side skirts. He’s not allowed. Things like your ABS and traction control are checked as are many basic checks. But the fact that some cars don’t get serviced in between MoTs is firstly stupid and secondly in some cases dangerous. Would you drive your family around in a motor that’s as roadworthy as a Top Gear road test car after Clarkson has finished with it? Thought not. Your car should be serviced or at the very least checked over every 12 months irrespective of mileage.

Because of the amount of unroadworthy cars that supposedly have fresh MoTs but actually have been incorrectly tested, and the amount of electronic gizmos such as the aforementioned traction control, the government have been forced to rethink having MoT tests every two years and stick with it annually. The nail in the two year test’s coffin were the statistics. 35 million cars were MoT’d in 2010-2011. The figures from Vosa suggest a staggering 4.3 million cars (that’s 12.4%) were incorrectly tested. 10 million cars had at least one defect that wasn’t picked up. So if we’re up against this when vehicles are tested annually, where is the logic to reduce to a test every two years? There just isn’t any. MoT testing guidelines need to be seriously looked at, as do some of the testing stations and testers.

But let’s not forget that the owners of vehicles are at fault too. A lot of them need to wind their neck in and stop assuming that ALL garages and mechanics are evil, money-grabbing scum. True, some are and spoil it for the rest, but there’s a lot that are there to help you, but don’t forget they need to earn a crust and pay wages too.

The moral of this post? Keep your car regularly maintained, it’ll cost you less in the long run. Get it serviced once a year regardless. Cars that do little mileage often need servicing as much as those that do high mileage. And the next boy in a suit that suggests that the MoT should be more than a year between, punch him in the face for he is a twat. You have been warned.

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February 3, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Remixed, remade, remodeled. Now fuck off!

The Professionals, The Prisoner, The Sweeney, Only Fools and Horses, Minder, The Italian Job, Get Carter. What do these television programmes and films all have in common? No, you’re wrong. They’re amongst my favourites and have all been subjected to or about to be subjected a remake.

Why? We don’t bloody need them! Honestly! The Professionals worked brilliantly as Martin Shaw, Lewis Collins and Gordon Jackson catching the villains screeching around in various rear wheel drive Fords, notably the Capri and RS2000 Escort. Not as some bird, a yank and a pussy Brit driving carefully around in a couple of Datsuns. Likewise with Minder, it worked with “loveable rogue” Arthur Daley played by George Cole and his long-suffering minder Terry McCann played suitably and brilliantly by Dennis Waterman. Hell, he even wrote the theme tune, sung the theme tune. You expected that, right? But the new one? No thanks, I’ll stick with my DVDs of the old series.

The Sweeney with Jack Regan portrayed by good old grouch, the late great John Thaw, cannot be bettered. Especially with Dennis Waterman (again) as his foil character George Carter. “Get your trousers on, son, you’re nicked” and “We’re the Sweeney son, and we haven’t had any dinner” are two of the best lines to eminate from Regan’s orifice. I have every confidence in Ray Winstone and wish him every success, but The Sweeney was a programme of its time and is where should stay in its own original format.

One remake that should never have got the green light is The Prisoner. Never has a programme fucked with my head so much, but in a good way. No programme has ever been a product of its time as much as this. Conceived by a rather smashed Patrick McGoohan (whilst still working on his other programme Dangerman) in the late sixties, it suits the whole psychedelia era and was limited to one series. That was enough. It’s my all-time favourite TV programme. None of it really made sense, it was confusing and the end of the series made you think “What the…” Perfect! So what about the modern remake? Never has a programme fucked with my head, but in such a terrible, spirit crushing manner.

Don’t even mention that God-awful 90s film version of The Avengers. Eeeeeeeek!

The original Italian Job to me is cinematic perfection. Italy. Minis. Old Alfas. Old Alfas being left for dead by Minis in a cheeky English chappy kind of way. An excellent storyline, a great cast and of course Michael Caine and Noel Coward. And the best ending of a film ever. You could make your own mind up as to what happened. The new one, however… Oh dear. It’s an okay film as it is and it has Charlize Theron in it so all is good on that front. But Charlie Croker was a Londoner, not a bloody yank. And it’s just trading on a name, hoping it will sell more. Very little of it is in Italy and they have those massive, quite frankly fucking dreadful, Minis made by BMW. Wasn’t much of a job either. Perhaps if it were just called “The” rather than trading on the name, I’d have liked it more.

Get Carter? Another Michael Caine flick and another of my favourites. Sly Stallone? Next please!

Now the latest culprit is Only Fools and Horses. One of my favourite sitcoms. To be remade for American audiences. Oh dear. I’ve nothing against Americans. I like some of their cars very much. I like the occasional cheese burger. With cheese. I like some of the people very much too. And one of my favourite current TV series (Criminal Minds) is American. But why in the name of all that is holy must they take everything that is good and remake it? What are you going to do to improve on it? You can’t really recreate two brothers who look nothing alike selling cat flaps from a suitcase out the back of a shitty three wheel van (which incidentally is NOT a Reliant Robin, it’s a Reliant Regal Supervan 3) in some grotty Peckham market. We’ve already had the prequel Rock ‘n’ Chips and the bloody awful Green Green Grass spinoff. No more please.

A remake of Red Dwarf, which by the sound of it was so disastrous that the pilot episode remains unaired, was commissioned by the Americans. I shudder at the thought. If you want Red Dwarf, you watch Chris Barrie, Danny John Jules, Craig Charles and Robert Llewellyn. A remake of Fawlty Towers was also commissioned. Not set in Torquay. Without John Cleese. Listen to me: IT WON’T FUCKING WORK YOU BUNCH OF RETARDS!! That was proven as it never went past the pilot episode. There are many, many more.

The same in some instances applies to music. Cover versions are fine if a:) played by a band who is a fan of the song live as a tribute or b:) takes the song and does a totally different take on it. Sampling of certain songs over and over again, largely by hippety-hop artists is getting tedious. Listen hippety-hoppety bluds, innit: You haven’t improved on the original, but instead usually robbed a old song’s best to avert the attention away from essentially the fact that wot you writ is a load of shit.

There are one or two exceptions to the rule. For instance, Jimi Hendrix’ version of All Along The Watchtower is a far, far superior version to Bob Dylan’s original. And I was never a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, but I do like Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC’s new Sherlock.

But on the whole, remakes are something that is causing me a great deal of stress. Why TV bosses cannot commission something new and original rather than try and remake and rehash stuff every five minutes is beyond me. Eight times out of ten, remakes shouldn’t get any further than the mind of the twat that thought it was a good idea to do in the first place. Now fuck off, there’s a good chap / chappess.

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February 1, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remixed, remade, remoddled. Now fuck off!

The Professionals, The Prisoner, The Sweeney, Only Fools and Horses, Minder, The Italian Job, Get Carter. What do these television programmes and films all have in common? No, you’re wrong. They’re amongst my favourites and have all been subjected to or about to be subjected a remake.

Why? We don’t bloody need them! Honestly! The Professionals worked brilliantly as Martin Shaw, Lewis Collins and Gordon Jackson catching the villains screeching around in various rear wheel drive Fords, notably the Capri and RS2000 Escort. Not as some bird, a yank and a pussy Brit driving carefully around in a couple of Datsuns. Likewise with Minder, it worked with “loveable rogue” Arthur Daley played by George Cole and his long-suffering minder Terry McCann played suitably and brilliantly by Dennis Waterman. Hell, he even wrote the theme tune, sung the theme tune. You expected that, right? But the new one? No thanks, I’ll stick with my DVDs of the old series.

The Sweeney with Jack Regan portrayed by good old grouch, the late great John Thaw, cannot be bettered. Especially with Dennis Waterman (again) as his foil character George Carter. “Get your trousers on, son, you’re nicked” and “We’re the Sweeney son, and we haven’t had any dinner” are two of the best lines to eminate from Regan’s orifice. I have every confidence in Ray Winstone and wish him every success, but The Sweeney was a programme of its time and is where should stay in its own original format.

One remake that should never have got the green light is The Prisoner. Never has a programme fucked with my head so much, but in a good way. No programme has ever been a product of its time as much as this. Conceived by a rather smashed Patrick McGoohan (whilst still working on his other programme Dangerman) in the late sixties, it suits the whole psychedelia era and was limited to one series. That was enough. It’s my all-time favourite TV programme. None of it really made sense, it was confusing and the end of the series made you think “What the…” Perfect! So what about the modern remake? Never has a programme fucked with my head, but in such a terrible, spirit crushing manner.

Don’t even mention that God-awful 90s film version of The Avengers. Eeeeeeeek!

The original Italian Job to me is cinematic perfection. Italy. Minis. Old Alfas. Old Alfas being left for dead by Minis in a cheeky English chappy kind of way. An excellent storyline, a great cast and of course Michael Caine and Noel Coward. And the best ending of a film ever. You could make your own mind up as to what happened. The new one, however… Oh dear. It’s an okay film as it is and it has Charlize Theron in it so all is good on that front. But Charlie Croker was a Londoner, not a bloody yank. And it’s just trading on a name, hoping it will sell more. Very little of it is in Italy and they have those massive, quite frankly fucking dreadful, Minis made by BMW. Wasn’t much of a job either. Perhaps if it were just called “The” rather than trading on the name, I’d have liked it more.

Get Carter? Another Michael Caine flick and another of my favourites. Sly Stallone? Next please!

Now the latest culprit is Only Fools and Horses. One of my favourite sitcoms. To be remade for American audiences. Oh dear. I’ve nothing against Americans. I like some of their cars very much. I like the occasional cheese burger. With cheese. I like some of the people very much too. And one of my favourite current TV series (Criminal Minds) is American. But why in the name of all that is holy must they take everything that is good and remake it? What are you going to do to improve on it? You can’t really recreate two brothers who look nothing alike selling cat flaps from a suitcase out the back of a shitty three wheel van (which incidentally is NOT a Reliant Robin, it’s a Reliant Regal Supervan 3) in some grotty Peckham market. We’ve already had the prequel Rock ‘n’ Chips and the bloody awful Green Green Grass spinoff. No more please.

A remake of Red Dwarf, which by the sound of it was so disastrous that the pilot episode remains unaired, was commissioned by the Americans. I shudder at the thought. If you want Red Dwarf, you watch Chris Barrie, Danny John Jules, Craig Charles and Robert Llewellyn. A remake of Fawlty Towers was also commissioned. Not set in Torquay. Without John Cleese. Listen to me: IT WON’T FUCKING WORK YOU BUNCH OF RETARDS!! That was proven as it never went past the pilot episode. There are many, many more.

The same in some instances applies to music. Cover versions are fine if a:) played by a band who is a fan of the song live as a tribute or b:) takes the song and does a totally different take on it. Sampling of certain songs over and over again, largely by hippety-hop artists is getting tedious. Listen hippety-hoppety bluds, innit: You haven’t improved on the original, but instead usually robbed a old song’s best to avert the attention away from essentially the fact that wot you writ is a load of shit.

There are one or two exceptions to the rule. For instance, Jimi Hendrix’ version of All Along The Watchtower is a far, far superior version to Bob Dylan’s original. And I was never a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, but I do like Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC’s new Sherlock.

But on the whole, remakes are something that is causing me a great deal of stress. Why TV bosses cannot commission something new and original rather than try and remake and rehash stuff every five minutes is beyond me. Eight times out of ten, remakes shouldn’t get any further than the mind of the twat that thought it was a good idea to do in the first place. Now fuck off, there’s a good chap / chappess.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

February 1, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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