Wednesday 17 July 2013

Red hot

When I drove back from Brighton the other evening, I was overtaken by this

It is indeed a stretch-limousine Ferrari.  I can only hope that it is the result of two written off Ferraris being rebuilt as one, rather than someone taking a fabulous sports car and ruining it.  My one other thought though is that from my (limited) Ferrari experience, it'll be so noisy and low inside that nobody will be able to either converse or enjoy themselves.

With just four days to go, I have discovered that I will be competing with Paula Radcliffe at the Anniversary run.  Now we all know lovely Paula, so I have decided that at all costs I must start the race ahead of her and keep ahead, in case she has one of her 'incidents'.  Mind you. I have less of an issue chasing after Victoria Pendleton.

The Boy let me know that tonight he is going here.

Oh dear, oh dear.  What happened to my baby boy?

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Now or never

I drove down to Brighton by myself on Saturday.  As the sun was shining, I was able to take the top off the this isn't like a fancy BMW or Mercedes where you push a button and it magically disappears in a few seconds, this is a Jeep, so you twist the latches, unscrew the bolts and lift the roof panels off.  With  a bit of patience you can fit them in the back of the car.  With the poor summers over the last couple of years, you won't be surprised to know that this hasn't happened for a while...if there's a sudden downpour, you just get soaked whilst you struggle to put it all back together.

Anyway, it was a lovely drive, and when the traffic ground to a halt, it was quite fun to be able to stand on the seat and have a look around, just like Rommel in North Africa.  Even better was the return journey home.  There is something truly special driving in the dark with the sky above you and the wind rushing through (what's left of) your hair.  I've even done it when it's been snowing, although many would class that as foolishness.

Whilst the temperature hit 30 degrees as I passed Gatwick, by the time I'd gone through the South Downs, we were at a rather more pleasant 20 degrees.  The sky was still blue, and there was not a spare inch to be found on the beach.  Brighton at it's best.  In the early evening I continued my preparations for next Sunday's run, managing a very creditable 5.8km in 38 minutes.  I will have one more run on Wednesday, when I aim to do the full 8 km, then I'll be set for the Olympic Stadium and ever lasting glory (cough).

I had travelled to the south coast because The Boy and his Sister have a whole pile of stuff in storage there.  In the aftermath of their mother's death, much was put into storage rather than put them through the trauma of having to shift through her belongings and through away stuff that would they would have been emotionally attached to.  However, more than a decade has now passed, the storage costs are phenomenal at £100/month, so the time has come to sort it out.  But we've not visited the facility for ten years so I had to act as the advanced party...firstly finding the place again, then making sure the code for the entrance was still working before opening the combination lock.  I fell at the last hurdle when I realised that the padlock didn't contain two of the digits that I 'knew' the code would consist of.  I had to ask the man to cut it.  Fortunately just as he was about to, he realised that I wasn't pushing 'the button' I did, thought of a number, doubled it, added 45, divided by three and then took away the number I'd first thought of and it sprung open.  A quick check shows that most of it is just going to be junked.  I shan't be there as The Cat's Mother and I will be away, so it will be The Boy, his Sister, their Uncle and Grandma in Wales who will be looking through everything.  It will be a very emotional moment I don't doubt, but better now than ten years ago and better now than never.

Monday 15 July 2013


Here's some art being painted by ROA, who remains my favourite street artist:

If you want a small moment of amusement go to the Vogue magazine website at then using the arrow keys press up up, down down, left, right, left, right, b, a. Keep your eyes at the bottom of the screen.
There is no news from Magaluf which I regard as a good thing. They may be up to some terrible things, but at least (so far) nothing has gone hideously wrong.
We can't help but read the reviews of the things we've been to see at the theatre/ may be a sign of insecurity I guess. We read one review of Despicable Me2 which had the story so wrong that we concluded the reviewer hadn't actually see the film; we read a review of Kenneth Branagh's MacBeth that a) told the story b) quoted some of the lines as if this was the first time they'd ever been spoken...really if this is what being a critic is all about, I've missed my vocation. I was highly amused to read that after JK Rowling was revealed as the author of a detective novel, sales of the thing have rocketed. Robert Galbraith, as she calls herself, had penned a fine book called The Cuckoo's Calling which had garnered praises from many critics, but sold just 1500 copies. What I wonder suddenly makes it so much better now that JK is known to have written it? Of course I do know...people are like sheep and find comfort in familiarity...I working in the 'brand' industry so understand the value of a brand...this is a great case study. But really, really, really...either a book is something you want to really doesn't get better just because you know who the author is. In my case, I don't like detective stories usually so I'll be saving my pennies.
I love where we live...Epping Forest is a beautiful place.
But, but, but... I struggle with the people who live in our neck of the woods, and the town of Loughton itself. It is a cultural desert. If you walk down the high street, the culinary highlight is a Kentucky Fried Chicken, most of the shops are dull and uninteresting and the place simply has no heart. Is this really the state of small towns across the country? I hope's desperate. The houses in general are also dull and uninspiring - mostly mid-war, many post war with a sad conformity. Even the people who have money (and there are many) choose to create hideous nouveau-riche mansions of which the main feature will be a couple of romanesque pillars either side of the front door, and an electronically operated gate to the paved 'front garden'. The need to show off your wealth means that even the smallest terraced house will have a Porsche or Range Rover parked outside. The people too are a challenge...I notice this mostly when I've spent a few hours in Brighton. They are brash, aggressive and inelegant in their perma-tans and buttock-clenching short shorts or bright scarlet velour jumpsuits.
Friday night was the highlight of the local social calendar - the local sports club Ball. The sight of so many middle-aged and beyond women with their bleached blond hair, even more orange faces and rolls of fat pouring out of dresses that were at least two sizes too small for them and acres of blingy jewellery was hideous. Not that the men were any least it's difficult to go wrong with a Dinner Suit, even if some of the shirts would look better as curtains in the Sound of Music. Obviously 'present company excluded'.
Anyway, I'll no doubt get lynched when I head home tonight.