Sunday, 15 July 2018

24 hours at Le Mans

This impossibly titled post covers an unexpected and fantastic day and a half at Le Mans, where a pal of mine was racing a 1960s Marcos car at the Le Mans Classic. It was a Marcos his father built and raced for the 24 hours in 1965, and it still looked fast 53 years later. I took two trips to the circuit and had an access all areas pass. The circuit was full of impossibly stylish French gentlemen-racers who most likely had a vinyard to go with their Ferrari, Porsche or GT40.

My day visit was car prep’ and I actually helped in a very minor way (helping Chris adjust the anchoring for his seatbelt, and holding the bonnet for a fibreglass patch). The night trip was a racing visit, with three races between midnight and three. The noise was fantastic, the atmosphere electric and the speed of the Jaguar D Types thrilling! A faboulous, spawny and surreal day, for which I am super grateful!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

News about shoes.

This week my repaired shoes came back after a good few days away.  I am a chap and therefore my shoe excitement is modest  and my variety goes as far as black or brown. However, these are epic and well worth the price of repair. I am heavy on shoes and walk a good deal for work, so let's see how they go.

They are Clarke approved too!

Wednesday, 2 May 2018


Last night, 606 days after purchasing it, my fine 10kg bag of rice from The Sweetmart came to an end. Endless curries and Asian dishes were graced by its mightiness and it was rather a lark to investigate and purchase it back in September 2016.

The final grains went to a large rice-prep' Tuesday ready for a few portions of egg fried rice later in the week.

Mighty stuff indeed and a giant cost of 1.65p a day for the duration!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Toby dog - a fine hooligan hound.

A sad first post of 2017 to remember Toby, my brother's fine hound. Toby dog was a chocolate brown labrador, never inclined to the obeying rules as a general principle. He was fond of shoes and I don't think he ever chewed a whole pair, just one shoe, left or right of any pair he might have encountered. He was also a bit trigger-happy on trying to eat working hosepipes, lawnmowers, vacuum cleaners, car washers and laundry baskets. He was shiny and healthy-looking right from day 1, with a wet, cold nose , a taste for mahoosive sticks and an unending inclination to fool about (and snooze). Greg had Toby for about a year and then Quaddy came along, adopted after his owner, who shared the same walking routes, passed away. Between them, Toby and Quaddy made a happy pair and a happy decade. Poor old Quaddy dog will be forlorn and sad this week as his brother stops being there.

Here is Toby from happy, active days with Greg.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016


For the adventurous weekend just past, Jemma and I spent a few days in Malaga, Spain. We rose at an unGodly 03.00 on Friday in order to make a flight out of Bristol Airport. Jemma could not face breakfast but a 3am omelette seemed a reasonable proposition to me so I made one before we left the house (via a taxi driven by an Egyptian chatty man).

This same weekend last year we had a few days in Berlin looking all around there together and seeing Martin Luther's Cathedral. Malaga was as explorative but this time in the same city as my brother, so the pace was a little gentler. Unfortunately it was also Malaga's rainiest weekend in four years.  It was not cold but it was certainly wet!  In no particular order we took in the massive ferris wheel overlooking the port and the city; the Thyssen museum; the Picasso Museum; The Alcazaba; the covered market; the cathedral and the old city with many a winding street and secret bar.

We ate tapas, fish, tapas again and a moderate few beers and wines.  No churros at all!  The first Sunday of advent fell across the weekend just as it did in Berlin, but Malaga was much more demonstrative about it than Lutheran Germany a year ago.

A fabulous rainy-weekend and we are both keen to return when it is a little more in character and continuously scorchio!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Taking steps

One of my very favourite days in knowing Hazza was when he and I  larked about on holiday at Tar Steps. We experimented wading in just beyond the cover point of our wellies (being boys and all that) and we fished for sticklebacks, skimmed stones and raced pooh sticks. We made sure we became wet and cold and unsupervised! We thought about trying to go under the bridge but even our common sense ruled that part out. We sat on the steps, swinging our wellie booted feet in carefree delight. My feet skimmed the water and Harry's were miles away.

For a year or two, I thought of Tar Steps frequently, as a fabulous structure full of happy days as it had quietly sat there for centuries awaiting visitors just like the two of us.

This morning, five years and about half a foot of growing later (for Hazza), I was sad to hear that Tar Steps have been partially washed away. Given that many of the slabs were estimated to be around 70 tons, that really is a hefty day of rain, courtesy of Storm Angus!

Here is the bridge in a panoramic shot I took on that August day in 2011. Young Harry is contemplating the day, armed with a useful fishing net we had purchased at the top of the hill that morning.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016


Just recently I have hurtled into the 21st C and embraced the Podcast. What a terrific find!

People all across the planet podcast about subjects you might like or subjects you maybe never imagine - and about subjects even I find too niche, so downloading something top to listen to is never difficult.  It really is easy through ITunes, and as  you may well know, iTunes is about as intuitive and stable as a bomb factory on a volcano.

Anyhow, all I need to do is add a podcast to my preference feed and every time a new episode is available, I receive a little nudge to my phone, Mac or Ipad.  This has been terrific in the run up to the US Election and once a day Monday to Friday I receive an hour of  entertaining chat from uber cool Anderson Cooper. Sometimes it is interesting  and sometimes it is less so but then I can just skip or delete. Each day as I head to work it just beams into my phone and pops up for my free listening pleasure. It's a winner.

My choices thus far are pretty political and biographical but surely woodworking, machinery,  sci-fi and Star Trek will follow right along. Thus far I have signed up for Anderson Cooper 360, a daily US magazine summary of all things political, and in the last few days, The Axe Files where David Axlerod has an hour one-on-one with interesting people such as Samantha Power - a big blog subject back in the early days of Blog BS5. I love it .

I have had Iphones for about 7 years and have used my headphones on a regualr basis just in these last 8 weeks. Welcome to the century.