Sunday, 27 January 2008

Four by Phwoar...

A few months ago, a friend and I took advantage of a free
Mercedes M-Class off-road driving experience course.
Basically the chance the rag the arse off expensive motors that aren't yours and take them places you'd never dare drive your own car :]

The course took place in hundreds of acres around this manor house

The lovely shiny Mercs awaiting a good soiling

We all had some very posh nosh with the lord of the manor

Ahhh, the upper claaass humour - oh how we all laughed*
*Inserts tongue into left cheek

Now for a bit of postprandial action!

388bhp and being told not to let the power off no matter what, just keep it straight, is remarkably good fun!

Tearing up the country side.
If the car looses traction, it pre tensions the seatbelts pulling you right back into your seat as the car anticipates you hitting something.

Driving through dense woodland is quite scary (for fear of damaging the car), but these beasts have many tricks.
E.G. If you need to make a tight, turn on a sixpence, turn: You stop, turn the wheel to where you want to face and then floor it - it puts all the power to the back wheels and cleverly spins the back end out to line up with where you're pointing the front wheels!

Bewildered cows wondering what us humans were fannying around at!
(In bovine tongue of course)

Nowt like getting a car filthy dirty, safe in the knowledge you don't have to clean it afterwards!

There were a few sections that were really slippery, but after making it up this boggy incline myself, I did the gentlemanly thing of getting out and filming those who couldn't :0)
[Watch the wheels intelligently try different things]

Lesson learned: 4 wheel drives like this very much can go off-road with normal tyres, if driven correctly!

Today, I'm Most Angry About:
Reversing into a car in town...oops...and the person was in their car at the time...double oops...and I wasn't driving my own car; I was driving a friend's car...triple oops!!!
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 7.9/10

Today's Top Tip:
Gents: Putting your mouth and chin inside a pint glass, sucking the air out and then removing it quickly, is an excellent way to give yourself an instant 'Homer Simpson style' five o'clock shadow!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Letter to 13-Year-Old Self...

I be tagged by Hutters and Kat to write a letter to myself aged 13:

Dear Phil,

This is a letter to you from "the world of tomorrow"!
Well actually it's just you aged 30 in the year 2008.
I'm not going to say too much, but here are a few things I think you should know.

Obviously you're alive, so stop feeling like you're not going to make it past the age of 19, because you very much do and in good health too.
Things are a bit rough now I know and it's not going to be a smooth ride, but trust me, things slowly get better.

It's not easy for you at school at the moment. There are a few nasty people in your year and although it goes against your ethics, please feel free to punch them in the face (really bloody hard) the handful that are making your school life a misery. It may get you into trouble, but you regret not ever doing it.
Don't let them get you down any longer!

Anyhow, you soon end up making friends with whole load of cool people, both inside and outside of school, and have a ton of great times with them all, some of whom you're still good friends with to this day.

Don't smoke... EVER!
Oh, and don't admit to something one rainy dinnertime - You'll up end up with an unsavoury nickname for the last 6 months of school!

Don't worry about not having a girlfriend either, you soon get your chances with more than your fair share, although you end up getting hurt lots too.
Go along for the ride if you wish, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Try harder in your upcoming exams. You could of done better, so put some more effort in lad.
Saying that, you gain a brilliant career and end up very sorted in life, so keep your head down for the last few years at school, as you're about to embark upon one hell of a rollercoaster of life, experiencing truly amazing things and visiting wonderful places around the world.

It's never going to be a perfect life, but it's going to be pretty good!

Take care of yourself,

Phil x

P.S. The 'millennium bug' - nothing happens.

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Drinking too much whisky last night :[]
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 5/10

Today's Top Tip:
Bare patches on your lawn? Simply stop mowing a patch at the side and let it grow to a significant length. Then, with a rake, sweep it over the bare patch to create a realistic look of healthy growth like football's
Sir Bobby Charlton and TV's Robert Robinson!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Roundabout Rage...

I've worked in the same area (geographically speaking) for the best part of 15 years and only recently have I noticed many fellow motorists are blatantly queue jumping using a dirty little trick!

Here goes - Rant mode ON:

When I leave work, it's normally pretty busy and I have to join a queue of traffic to turn left at a roundabout.
Someone normally flashes me (now think headlights here folks, headlights) and kindly lets me pull into this traffic jam.

There's always about ten cars in front of me and it takes a few minutes for me to reach the traffic island, as the cars in front are giving way to traffic coming from the other directions.

HOWEVER! I've recently noticed that about half the cars passing me in the right-hand lane, are NOT ACTUALLY TURNING RIGHT AT ALL!
They are cars from behind me, that are pulling out and joining the right-hand lane, then going all the way round the island, actually exiting left, jumping the queue!!!
[See 'the red line of effrontery' in figure #1]

[Figure #1]

So there I am, waiting patiently in line, like the Highway Code abiding citizen I am, while cars are tearing down the outside lane "indicating right" and then actually doing full circle and turning left, so I have to queue twice as long because of all these arseholes!!!

I honestly can't believe the f'ing audacity of SO MANY PEOPLE!!!
Have they got no shame or conscience?
It winds the hell out of me that these people have no problem openly queue jumping!
How are they getting away with this???
Has this 'little trick' become acceptable or

To entertain myself in the prolonged wait, I've started taking a mental note of the last three letters of cars' number plates passing me on the right and then I guess to see if they will emerge again, and I reckon I can spot a 'queue jumper' 90% of the time now!

Doing stuff like this doesn't even cross my mind and I would feel so guilty if I did it.


*exhales slowly*
Rant mode OFF

Has anyone else experienced stuff like this?

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Changing the batteries in my smoke alarms, but inadvertently replacing one with a dead battery. It then took me about an hour to figure out what the occasional little 'chirp' I could hear was! Duh...
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 2/10

Today's Top Tip: Busy Executives: Don't buy a Dachshund - Their amusing sausage shape means they take 50% longer to stroke than other dogs, and time is money!

Sunday, 6 January 2008


I've been on a few adventures over the festive period, one of which was a lads' walking weekend in Clun

We all stopped the night at The White Horse Inn.
...and also got slightly rollocked by the waitress for eating our own monkey nuts! Oops
Take that any way you wish - LOL

Check out this old door I found round the corner from the pub.
What a lovely knocker :]
The town had lots of character and history, including it's own castle!

The toilet in my room was fitted with a macerator and stuck to the cistern was this ambiguous label...
Please do not dispose of the following items [anti-clockwise]:
1. Asteroids
2. Broken rolling pins
3. Half finished works of origami
4. Windsocks
5. Candy sweet lips
6. Pairs of oars
7. Miniature Roman arenas
(A little specific one may presume, but rules are rules I guess)

The next morning - All geared up and ready to take on a 10 miler!

It was bitterly cold and ice clung to everything

A frozen fence

Razor blades of ice on a thorn bush

Funky patterns in a frozen puddle

Some of the walk followed Offa's Dyke* (the ridge on the right side).
A 1200 year old, 177 mile long line of historic defence!!!
[* Huh huh huh, I said 'dyke']

Looks like one of these moles has learned the art of fortification.
Now that's impressive! :0]

One man and his dog - A fab carving I found along the way

Holly bush with berries - Relatively rare round these parts

A sheepy hill, "Baaaaaaaaaaaaah"

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Having to spend £99.99 on a new car battery :[
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 3/10

Today's Top Tip:
Sharing accommodation? Take a picture of yourself naked and looking surprised then pin it to the bathroom door.
That way, if anyone bursts in on you, they won't get such a shocking surprise.