Pepped up by Pussy..

blog pics3Driving along the M25 the other day, I saw a huge billboard advertisement. ‘PUSSY,’ it read. ‘An energy drink that actually tastes good.’

Clever? Or clinching proof that society has degenerated even further? In fact, is it a bad thing, do you think, that few people would bat an eyelid nowadays when ordering a “screaming orgasm” to round off the evening in a bar?

Well, let’s check out your sensitivity. Hands up if you’re offended by the pussy ad? No, well what about the old joke that the smartest thing ever to come out of a woman’s mouth was Einstein’s cock?

Theory of Relativity

 

No, well how about… Einstein was jolly clever, if you’re frowning. Tell you what, I’ll move swiftly on, without stopping to pick daisies by the wayside.

This billboard got me thinking about the marked dichotomy between today’s ads and yesteryear’s. It seems incredible now, for example, to think that sanitised tape worms were once marketed at the podgy element of society. ‘EAT! EAT! EAT! & ALWAYS STAY THIN!’ ran the mission statement. ‘No Exercise! Easy to Swallow! No Ill Effects!’blog pics

WeightWatchers

 

Yes, I daresay it boosts one’s ego at Fatty Club when there’s a round of applause instead of a chorus of ‘Pig’, but come on. Isn’t it a bare-faced dereliction of duty not to mention the deadly parasite bit?

These pictured ads are laughable now, of course, and would join the banned list. But at the time, they were perfectly acceptable…which got me wondering what people will think in another fifty or even a hundred years when looking back at botox, Xboxes and eating pussy. Drinking pussy, rather. Sorry about that.

Anyway, amongst all this cut and thrust of commerce, I’m doing my own advertising. Should you wish to read a properly researched, well-organised and thought-out article by yours truly, the September issue of TRUCKING magazine will be out in all reputable newsagents today. In it will be my feature on Royal Saan, a company specialising in both cranes and events logistics.

P1100536And while you’re rushing out to WHSmith, what will you buy if thirsty and need uplifting? Yes, that’s right – water. It’s far too early in the day for PUSSY..

Bulgarian Diesel Mafia..

bulgaria 1Here’s a funny thing: you can’t drive trucks in Bulgaria in the afternoons. I know, you couldn’t make this stuff up, could you?

‘Children. Weekend,’ said a policeman, by way of explanation. ‘Right, but it’s OK to run them over on a Saturday morning, is it?’ I retorted. ‘Da,’ he said, probably thinking he’d misheard. ‘Go 22.00.’

Oh, brilliant. Without boring you to death with tachograph rules, this news was a stinker. If I was stopping till 10pm, I would have to stop overnight – until 3am. But there weren’t any facilities; this was a lay-by. And remember it was hotter than Satan’s ballbag? Well, he’d just undone his flies.

The policeman, realising a young lad couldn’t possibly wait six hours for his supper, let me drive another mile or two to a proper rest area. Well, about seven miles, actually. Give somebody an inch and they’ll take a yard.

Safe parking areas

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‘No parking,’ said the service station manager – with unnecessary belligerence, I felt – when i tucked the truck in discreetly. (Can you park an eighteen-wheeler discreetly?) But there was an unlit dustbowl area opposite, filling up rapidly with trucks as two more policemen flagged down transgressors.

I approached the police and asked whether the dustbowl would be a safe place to park overnight. ‘Maybe yes,’ one of them replied, which was about as useful as a chocolate teapot. ‘But diesel Mafia here,’ he added. Hmm, that sounds like maybe no, then. A nearby Bulgarian driver, however, confided, ‘OK, no problem.’

Now, whom do you trust in life? Would I waken after midnight to he and his buddies sticking lighted matches between my toes? In fact, would that be a prelude – a mere grace note, if you like – to something more sinister such as sexual deviance? Thinking about it, he’d looked a little like a mare on heat.

I spasmed with anguish and took a short stroll to think things over.

Bulgarian Diesel Mafia

 

bulgaria 2Despite the Bulgarian driver’s specious assurances, the recent conference with Mr. Plod had left me with the distinct impression that things here were looking sticky. I mean, even the stoutest heart quails at the thought of being struck with blunt instruments, doesn’t it? Or sharp ones, come to that.

So, it was a toss-up: the possibility of a fateful assignation between a cosh and my head, or firing up the engine at 10pm, bending the rules and driving an hour to Greece. In the end the decision was made for me. At 9.55pm, the arm of the law – well, the knuckles, at least – tapped on the door and instructed me to drive on.

Shame really, I was rather looking forward to running over some children after breakfast..

Da Da Doodah..

P1100451Romania fizzles out after Craiova. Faced with a choice of routes to reach Bulgaria – drive over the new Calafat bridge or take an open-decked ferry from Bechet to Oryahov – I chose the latter. It sounded jollier; in half a shake of a duck’s tail, I veered south rather than southwest.

DKV card?’ I asked, showing one of the accepted forms of payment for trucking across Europe. ‘Da,’ replied the woman at the barrier. Splendid. Scarcely could the world have been be rosier if ginger beer had poured from the sky.

I dined like a prince on another four-egg omelette and used up my remaining Romanian lei on a sandwich to take away. Or tried to… ‘Hamburger?’ asked the waitress in the neighbouring restaurant. Well, no, I’m not Fat Paul or Namibian. Having just ordered an omelette with bread, does a burger sound a likely dessert? I started again.

How To Make A Sandwich

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‘You have a bread roll?’ I asked, illustrating a broad knowledge of hamburger ingredients. ‘Da,’ she rejoined, all buck and joviality. ‘Right, well slice open the roll, fill it with cheese and salad and you’ll find that’s a sandwich.’  Another ‘da’ floated from her larynx. Five minutes later, a hot burger going soggy in a sandwich bag was summarily brought to my table. Honestly, it’s enough to try a man’s soul.

Then it was back to Barrier Girl. ‘Only cash,’ she reneged as I produced the same card I’d showed half an hour earlier. Her demeanour, if not fully wintry, was certainly verging on late autumnal now. Still, €15 (in actual euros) wasn’t going to break the bank. And it seemed a fair price for a rusting hunk of iron – posing as an international ferry – that ought to have been scuttled years ago. She let me through.

Extortion

 

‘Ah, George,’ said the chap at the next barrier. This is more like it, I thought. He was smiling and, for some inexplicable reason, using my middle name. But then he flicked his thumb across the photo page of my passport in an importuning manner; clearly he’d learned wickedness at his mother’s knee, had cheated in his O-Levels and was now indicating some form of baksheesh would oil matters considerably.

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I attempted to look confused, then mimicked his gesture but turned it into a thumbs up. ‘Yes, Romania very good,’ I lied, ignoring this rapscallion’s attempt at extortion, and thinking how very far from good my experience had been thus far. It foxed him; realising I was no longer to be corn before Romanian’s sickles, he pointed at the “ferry taxes” window instead.

 

Bechet Ferry

 

‘€70 cash?’ I reeled, having driven another whopping ten yards. ‘Well, what the da da doodah was the €15 for, then?’ Ginger beer was in short supply again by this point and petty distinctions between ferry tax and port tax was getting up my nose.

Don’t get me wrong, Romania certainly has some smashing spots but, on this particular morning, the blasted place couldn’t fizzle out fast enough for my liking..

Dirt Tracks and Dacias..

 

P1100436Where did we get to on the Slayer Tour? Oh yes, Deva in Romania. In my road atlas – which excludes Romania in any detail, as if to say ‘Don’t bother unless essential’ – I’ve now written “Dreadful but no police” for that stretch we did down from Oradea last time. The reason for the dearth of law-enforcers on it? Nobody in their right mind would take that road.

Shall I let you in on a little irony? After being launched out of my seat for a couple of hours over potholes, one hand on the wheel, the other defending soft parts of the body from dislodged umbrellas raining from the top bunk, the authorities had then put up a sign indicating uneven road ahead. Oh, they must have dined out on that one for a while, laughing themselves all the way to the gritting station. (That’s if they had any grit, of course. There’s barely tarmac.)

Having survived this road – a road sharing properties with one described in a 1910 road atlas as ‘Surface becomes a bit loose after Eastbourne’  – it was time for a refreshment stop. Comforting to know I suppose that, well on my way to neural impingement of the spinal column, it was only 1300km or so to Athens. Groan. And it was getting hot – hotter than Satan’s ballbag.

P1100439Romanian Restaurants

 

‘Omelette?’ suggested the stout attendant rather firmly, indicating with her fingers that it would be a man’s omelette made with at least four eggs. Cholesterol seemed to be the least of my concerns in these parts, however – even the grass looked ill.

While I waited, I watched a glassy-eyed, slack-jawed man at a table nearby, wearing an overcoat several sizes too large and incongruously thick for the season – the sort of fellow that collaborates with the end of the dole queue.

He had the air of a wastrel, frankly, ripping the filters off endless cigarettes and drumming his fingers rather than reaching for an improving book. Had he missed the bus and decided to wait three days for the next one? I pondered this as a crinkled-skinned shepherd churned through the entrance in a blunt gait, ordered nothing and then left. What a funny place.

Congested Roads

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Pushing off again – into the seething mass of cattle and battered Dacia 1310s, one car crabbing so badly from being whacked up the arse that it drove forwards at an angle of 45 degrees – I began noticing roadside stalls manned by bandy-legged women.

‘Look, Darling, that woman’s selling plastic bottles of liquid that looks like wee,’ you might say if driving past. Moonshine? Unpasteurised fruit juice? Or actually wee? I wonder who actually stops to buy this refreshing nectar and whether selling three bottles in a day pays the bills.

More intriguingly, though, how do these women become so bow-legged? Surely they weren’t all high-profile cellists in their day. Perhaps the curvature resulted from gripping watermelons between their knees on long journeys over these bumpy roads. Ah, the mysteries of the Balkans…

The Scourge of the Seven Seas..

2013-07-21 14.41.52School’s out, Baby – let’s steal a Ferrari. Yes, the dreaded “end of term” is upon us tomorrow; the provinces will be flooded with children. Help! But as the burlesque of summertime unfolds, there is plenty going on for them to do.

Take last weekend, for example. ‘Arrrgh,’ I roared, tapping my brother on the shoulder as he weaved his way through the ever-shifting crowds. ‘Arrrrgh,’ he growled in return, and turned to continue battling the procession. Shiver me timbers, he didn’t recognise me.

Well, he wouldn’t – I was dressed foppishly. Nothing wrong with wearing eyeliner and having a cock drawn on your bicep in permanent marker, of course, but I ought to explain. Last year Hastings attained a Guinness World Record by having 14,231 “pirates” in the same place – the biggest pirate day in the world. That’s an awful lot of pirates. And parrots.

Scurvy Dog

 

This year, managing by the skin of my teeth to be in the country, I walked down the West Hill to the festivities. Despite a broiling sun, I donned leather trousers – cough, GAY, cough – a bandanna and a wig. Absolute torture. ‘Couldn’t you have dressed as a Somalian?’ asked my father afterwards. ‘They probably wear shorts.’ Smart Alec.2013-07-21 14.28.53

To complement the ensemble, an ersatz telescope with a gold filigree handle poked from my pocket. ‘Wanna see my golden shaft, Poppet?’ I leered to myself in the bathroom mirror, practising before heading down to Blackbeard’s Bazaar. I squinted from behind a skull and crossbones eyepatch.

Keelhauling and Cat O’ Nine Tails

 

‘I can’t sail the Pearl single-handed, you know,’ I continued sotto voce. ‘I’m commandeering you and that bodice till dawn.’ Crumbs, what a pervert – even more perverted, perhaps, than a straight man going to yoga classes. Having made my own skin crawl, I stuck in public to ‘Call me Jack. That’s Captain Jack, if you please.’

But, hello, what’s this? After a couple of quarts of Nelson’s Folly, and posing menacingly for stangers’ cameras, there was something afoot in the beer garden of the Jenny Lind pub. Far away from the gauntlet of freebooting warlords in Hastings High Street, a bottom was being spanked.

Bring ‘er Alongside

 

2013-07-21 18.05.27In broad daylight, a “dom” had become a “sub”. Pressganged into lowering his pants, this scallywag corsair was being soundly thrashed by some brazen upper crust crumpet, each flog of the whip compounding the pain and jiggling her six-pounders.

Jolly Rogers’s bum steadily reddened…until the inevitable, expletive-laden signal was voiced, indicating that his threshold had been reached – the “code word”, I believe they say in the world of S&M. (That’s not Marks & Spencers, if you’re skim reading.)

Well, all jolly suitable stuff for the school holidays, I should say. And 3rd-11th August is Old Town Carnival Week. Goodness knows what’ll happen, but there’ll definitely be pram racing. Do get down to Hastings over the summer if you can..

Be a Trucker for Five Minutes…

2013-06-27 18.57.26Get your map out for a minute. Or open Google Maps if you haven’t got one. The latter might be preferable, actually, given that a) you’re already online and b) Tokaj, Hungary is minuscule, barely even a village. If you can face it, put some Slayer on the stereo, too.

Well, my old wrinkled testicle, you’re now in my shoes. The Hi-Voltage Festival has been cancelled in Istanbul; your next show – you’re driving, remember – is on the seafront in Athens. Which way are you going to go? It’s totally your decision; there is one truck on this Slayer tour and you’re now the driver.

The Balkan Route

 

Wrong! Macedonia was in your route, wasn’t it? Well, Macedonia entails a non-EU border – a ghastly one, at that – and the roads are scarcely fit for chickens. Try again. Yes, you have to pass Sofia (Bulgaria).

Now, given that Romanian roads are made of Playdough and consequently closed in extreme heat when they melt, you could certainly head through Serbia to reach Sofia. Many drivers would. But a) Serbia is also non-EU so you’ll be queuing and b) you can buy cordon bleu, chips and a pint for barely €3 in Romania. See how many factors you need to consider?

P1100437Oh, and it’s two in the morning so have a little nap until daylight if you like. And then let’s have an adventure.

Romanian Road Tax

 

Crumbs, what a good start – the sun is out and the delicious decolletage on the girl selling road vignettes is transfixing. Ooh, and she speaks English. Hooray! Sign her up on Facebook? Oh, don’t be ridiculous. A) When are you next coming through Romania? and B) you’ve got a 1700km drive to do. Focus! So that curio-seller demonstrating a naff pop-up chair at your window can piss off as well.

Right, road tax is paid and you’ve exchanged euros for Romanian lei. You’re off. At Oradea, though, you’ve got a decision to make: the main road to Arad or a “shortcut” down a goat track to Deva.

The Face of Adversity

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Entirely up to you but, as Benjamin Disraeli said, ‘There is no education like adversity,’ so let’s plump for the latter route. I don’t suppose he was bouncing around like the dickens at the time, though, practising emergency stops and dodging goats.

Anyway, I expect you need the loo after the hammering you’ve just taken on the Deva road. Toilets? Well, they’re a concept, certainly, in Romania. But when you find one, don’t make the mistake, as I did, of luxuriating with a book, foolishly assuming that the toilet is actually bolted to the floor.

Put the kettle on and we’ll continue down to Bulgaria next week..

A road would be nice…

P1100424‘Problem?’ asked the Hungarian promoter. I’d rolled in to Hegyalja Festival in Tokaj – near the Ukrainian border – and things looked iffy. A hundred yards away lay the stage, but, coo, what a hundred yards. Muddy? There could have been a tour bus from last year buried in that bog.

‘Well, as a vague sort of rule,’ I replied equably, ‘I try to stay on roads wherever possible.’ The promoter rested his bottom lip on his forefinger, every nerve strained. Money rode on surmounting this trifle. Big money. No truck on the stage equals no equipment equals no Slayer show. The latter is where our Hungarian chum takes the heat.

Rough Terrain

 

P1100430‘We have Manitou forklifts to pull you across,’ he suggested, exhibiting an agitation. Things needed to start moving fairly swiftly now; the morning was almost over. I’d also noticed that the lunch gong ought to be sounded shortly but I daresay our priorities differed at this juncture. ‘Not a chance,’ I answered as gently as possible. ‘The truck rides low and would certainly be damaged.’

The bottom was rapidly dropping out of his day at this point, I felt. The sun, quite literally, had gone behind the clouds. And the poor fellow had that self-reproachful air of being extremely remiss, a little like inviting a busload of pals round for a barbecue in an isolated field and forgetting to order any charcoal. Surely it’s a reasonably simple concept to put down some trackway if expecting a 45ft trailer?

Old Time Rock and Roll

 

P1100429Well, take those records off the shelf, Baby – it’s time to rock and roll. Or whatever it was Bob Seger sang. One minute I’m a hapless toy of fate, drawing the short stick; the next, I’m in the chips, plates of goulash coming thick and fast. With the help of the bus drivers, I’d spotted another route. Hooray! Grass admittedly, but it looked doable.

Bollocks. Thirty seconds later, I was stuck. Still, as Winston Churchill said, ‘success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.’ Towing irons were taken out of lockers; forklifts were started; kettles were boiled. The stage grew ever nearer. But what about getting out again?

‘We’ll build you a road by tonight,’ he said with conviction. Needless to say, much like my hopes, it turned out to be built of sand. And not only did the sand run out mid-quagmire, but when have you ever seen articulated trucks driving on beaches? Can you see why I’m not a huge fan of festivals now?..

One Window Closes, Another Opens..

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Phew! The Beyonce European leg is over. Ray of sunshine that it most certainly was, I did notice that very few men attended the concerts. Why, you ask?

Well, those that did, I’m surmising, were either dragged kicking and screaming by their girlfriends or were of a particularly sensitive and artistic persuasion. By which I of course mean more bent than a question mark. Or ‘gay’, to use the politically correct term.

Imagine, therefore, what alchemical transmutation was taking place within me after 25 shows on the trot. I found myself on more than one occasion, at any hour of day or night, breaking into song. ‘C’mon, Baby, it’s you-oo-oo-oo,’ I’d croon to nobody in particular. Worrying stuff; the Rubicon had all but been crossed.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending how you look at it, a path has been clawed back from the brink. ‘I’ve got a lovely little band for you after Beyonce finishes,’ said my boss on the telephone recently, quite possibly covering the receiver to share a moment of hilarity with the rest of the office staff.

Now think for a moment. Which sort of band springs to mind as being least suitable for me to tour with? Bear in mind I say ‘Whatho’ a lot and think that wanging brazil nuts at fellows’ top hats with a catapult is splendid fun.

Heavy Metal

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Slayer,’ he continued, stifling a chuckle. I groaned. What are the chances of scones at four on that tour? I mused mutely. ‘Fuck all,’ answered my friend Scott, who happened to be standing nearby. It seemed I’d spoken aloud. Lucky, I suppose, that I hadn’t been belting out another ‘C’mon, Baby’ and shaking my bootie.

‘You might get a fatted calf slain on stage at four,’ added Scott, ‘but there definitely won’t be scones.’ Well, the general tenor of this news was dampening; here I was about to share a month with heavily tattooed men rarely seen in coattails. Would they regard me as a breath of fresh air or simply a prick? I fretted.

Smokin’ Hot Girls

 

Worse still, what would the women be like on a Slayer Tour? ‘Terrifying,’ said one. ‘Dirty sluts,’ said another. ‘Seemingly midway through a sex change with the appeal of a PortaKabin,’ added yet another voice. Oh, that was mine, rhapsodising – or rather gloomily pondering – over the unlikely possibility of exchanging amiable civilities with a well-read stunner. Would I meet a poppet with hair the colour of ripe corn, who spends weekends growing cress on blotting paper and making daisy chains?

P1100383‘Yeah, take me to the next show,’ slurred an astonishingly bold girl shortly afterwards. Her tits were falling out and we were standing outside the Limelight Club in Belfast as I prepared to load up Kerry King’s guitars. ‘Can I bring my 6-month-old-baby as well?’

My gut instinct was right – a girl fantasising in a panelled library about a personable young man to bring her flowers wet with the morning dew each morning is unlikely to be a Slayer fan. Not impossible, I should say, but unlikely..

Backstage on the Beyonce Tour..

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Behind the scenes on Beyonce’s Mrs Carter World Tour? Well, as you know, the gear is moved nightly between shows in trucks. I’ll introduce you to a couple of the drivers..

Eddie (pictured), last seen dousing haddock goujons in saffron mayo as though it was the Last Supper, is an anomalous driver. Well, freak might be a better description, bearing, as he does, a tenuous resemblance to a mammoth – in demeanour, at least.

He left the UK on April 3rd – at the beginning of Beyonce’s World Tour – without any long trousers or a jumper. What, you ask? Is the man entirely without marbles? I tell you what, amid this imbroglio, nobody would bat an eyelid if a unicorn turned up with its hands in its pockets.

Yes, Eddie potters around outside, content as a lark, in temperatures hairier than a macaque’s bottom. Sleet, wind – it makes no difference; he doesn’t have a coat handy even if he felt the cold. Which he doesn’t. Whilst the rest of us had our night heaters running well into May, he cranked up the air-con the very second it stopped snowing.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Trucking

 

Montpellier
Montpellier

‘Wrong trailer, Old Bean,’ he reproved the other night in Montpellier through an open lorry window. Dunderhead that I am, I’d coupled up to the wrong one. Should I admit that the trailer wasn’t even the correct colour? Whoopsydaisies.

Anyway, it’s all very well his tutting high-handedly at my faux pas over the wrong trailer, but at least I wind the legs up on mine. There he was in Zurich at the previous show, wondering why the lorry wasn’t going anywhere with the legs on the tarmac. Ha ha. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Tongue-Twister

 

Or ‘Petal cock black,’ as Vicky, one of the female caterers, blundered the other day before covering her mouth in horror. She’d meant to start with ‘kettle’, I think, but got into a bit of trouble at the beginning of the sentence. Dissolving into a paroxysm of bladder-releasing giggles, it was a struggle to get a meal order out of her for the rest of the evening. ‘Any of that black cock left?’ I tend to ask now at dinnertime.

P1100326Talking of cocks, we have a “jizz” truck on the Beyonce Tour – for any bits which won’t fit in the allocated trailers after the show’s been packed away. And I can’t think of a better man for the job than Johnny Holan (pictured below), renowned as he is for wearing fiendishly obnoxious T-shirts.

But what’s he actually got in the back, taking into account that there are several female dancers and that he’s now been delegated to carry “Wardrobe”? ‘Oh, knickers and dresses, mainly,’ he drawls dismissively. ‘All the stuff you like, Barnaby. And I can’t be doing with all this driving business – I need to be in lay-bys trying it all on.’

Beyonce TV Interview

 

If you’d like to see him in action – in a Beyonce news bulletin on Croatian TV, rather than clandestinely slipping into a Size 6 – click here. I’m interviewed as well (both of us around the two-minute mark) and am available immediately at casting agencies for voice-over work and parties with glitterati. Or TV adverts if I’m given notice so I can at least brush my hair..

P.S. Don’t ask me about the persistent Beyonce pregnancy rumours in the papers – you know I never mention the popstars. Their private time is just that – their private time. What I can say, however, is that the Snickers Cheesecake in Catering is irresistible. Draw your own conclusions, by all means.P1100328

Engines and Secret Agents…

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Am I becoming a petrol head, I wonder? If I’m not astride a throbbing Fat Boy… Hang on that’s a bad start; it sounds a bit gay. The point is, having had a driving licence for twenty years, it’s only recently that I’ve taken any interest whatsoever in cars.

Take Belgrade Automobile Museum last month, for example. As the aged caretaker struggled to his feet and flicked an industrial-grade light switch, illuminating an eclectic fleet of gleaming antique cars, my heart soared. The automotive designs spanning several decades had me feeling like Dirk Pitt must have in the Clive Cussler novels when returning home to his lone aircraft hangar.

However, whereas Dirk tended to disassemble updraft carburetors whilst hatching rugged schemes to thwart megalomaniacs lusting for power and bloodshed, I took a few photos and wished I owned a garage.

Classic Cars

 

P1100171A two cylinder Czechoslovakian Aero from 1929 jockeyed with an English Alvis 50hp beauty from 1931. Here, a French 1908 Charron; there, a sleek, navy-blue 1958 Opel, its chrome radiator grille polished to perfection. What’s gone wrong in the last few decades? I mean, can we really compare a modern day Renault Clio to the chic finesse of a 1926 Lancia Lambda?

Well, there are cars and then there are cars. I mean James Bond wouldn’t have put up with a Seat Ibiza, would he? Armed to the sunroof with mine launchers, rear-mounted ink jets and front-firing torpedoes, in 1977 he chased Stromberg’s henchmen in an amphibious two-litre Lotus Esprit. Nice. Which reminds me, a bulletproof assembly periscope might just increase the value of my Ford Fiesta. They don’t call me 001-and-a-half for nothing..

National Motor Museum

 

P1090728Talking of Bond, that new bloke Daniel Craig looks a bit like me, doesn’t he? Bit narrower in the shoulders perhaps, and less vim and grit but… Seriously, if you’re into cars – and you didn’t already know this – the Bond in Motion exhibition at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu has been extended until January 5th, 2014.

Most of the cars from BBC’s Top Gear are on show permanently, too. And I’ll just let you know that Truckmania is being staged there on May 26th and 27th over this May Bank Holiday, showcasing vehicles spanning over a hundred years of trucking.

Youngsters can ride mini trucks on Beaulieu’s Dipstick’s Driving Circuit,  and Bigfoot, the original monster truck, will be crushing everything in sight. Yeehah! Whoopee! Keep that hammer down…P1090768