Monthly Archives: March 2009

Mea maxima culpa

Confiteor … quia peccavi nimis … mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

(For the benefit of those whose education has been sadly neglected: “I confess … that I have sinned exceedingly … through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.”)

My sin is not that I have failed to blog for almost a week, but that the reason for not keeping up to date in my cyber persona is mortal shame at what I have done.

You will know, if you read my blog (not that I think anyone does!), that The Five has been off the road for a week or two. When she originally failed to take me for a day’s outing to Oulton Park on 24th February ( see blog entry for that day) I thought I had figured out a possible reason. But now I have learned the awful truth – I have poisoned her!

For the last three weeks, the car has been marooned in the garage, jacked up on axle stands, while I attended to one or two known problems, including the exhaust leak that I thought was the cause of the misfiring etc. Tuesday was the day that I finally expected to have her put back together and ready to fire up and go.

Then on Tuesday morning I got my credit card statement. To my dismay, I found that on my last visit to the petrol station with the Five, I purchased “15 litres DIESEL” !!!   [shock, horror, shame]

Well, that certainly explains the horrendous misfire and the clouds of black smoke  😦

So Wednesday, I drained off the 40-odd litres of lethal cocktail and refilled with pure and wholesome V-Power. After some coughing and spluttering, she was restored to life. Hopefully, no lasting damage.

The AA estimates that “at least 150,000 drivers put the wrong fuel in their car each year – one every three and a half minutes!” (link)

Like most people, I guess, I always thought “What a load of plonkers!” – well, now I know how easily it’s done, and I’ve learned once again that one should always react to plonkerness with a charitable “There but for the grace of God …”    😉

Race Retro

To Stoneleigh Park for the first day of Race Retro.

Lots of nice classic race and sports cars to admire, and a reasonable selection of trade stands (tools, books, parts, etc) and club stands. Heavy emphasis on the Mini in one of the halls, it being the 50th anniversary, or something. Seems to be the year for significant milestones – every other stand or organization was proclaiming “The Umpteenth Anniversary” of something or other.

Acquired a low-range torque wrench and some interesting reading material. Resisted the urge to buy the “50 years of marshalling” book – someone may get it for my birthday, if I drop the right hints 🙂

Tiresome heavy traffic on the M6 homewards – annoyingly, I didn’t catch it on the traffic news until I was on the toll road and committed to the motorway route, otherwise I would have come cross-country.

To the Vic for ‘The Price’ …

Went to The New Vic last evening, to see Arthur Miller’s The Price. Very well done, though we found it a bit heavy going towards the end. It’s a four-hander in two halves of about an hour each  –  impressed that people can learn that much dialogue!

Went early and had a meal at the theatre – unpretentious but nice; and you save the parking charge!

To Rusholme for curry

Joined several other ex-Barclays types for a curry at Al Bilal last night.

Restaurant chosen in accordance with tradition by toss of a coin to determine left/right on leaving the pub and then whatever looks good/busy/interesting/cheap. Lucky choice – good food, reasonably speedy service and discount.

Enjoyed chicken shashlik followed by “roasty lamb” (think Lancashire hotpot but with spices and no potato).

Evening marred only by the length of the journey home – there still seems to be rail engineering around Wilmslow, leading to a diversion via Stoke.

To Grasmere for some R&R

A couple of days in The Lakes – not literally, of course (for one thing there was ice on them in places).

As always, relaxing and enjoyable; a little moderate exercise, some impressive scenery, a not too expensive visit to the Cornerwise shop in Keswick, and a most enjoyable meal at The Jumble Room.

Mixture of weather with everything from warm spring sunshine to snow flurries, but we never got seriously cold or wet. There was proper snow lying when we drove over Kirkstone, and the Struggles road was too dodgy to risk; and yet a few hundred feet lower, or round the other side of a fell and you could find no sign of snow at all.

This time we had the Silver Howe room at The Swan, complete with four-poster bed and a bathroom as big as some bedrooms I’ve stayed in at other hotels. Thank goodness for the current crop of special offers in the hotel/leisure trade!

What is this strange compulsion?

My name is Dave and I’m a webaholic …

(With apologies to anyone afflicted by a genuine addiction problem. My admiration for the work of AA and similar organizations, and also for anybody who has the guts to tackle such serious personal problems head-on, is unbounded.)

But in the past few days, I have been wondering what it is that makes some people feel the need to have and maintain a kind of cyber-personality. It cannot be just a simple question of the need to “get a life” – I have a reasonably normal and perfectly fulfilling life in the “real world” and yet here I am, writing stuff to a blog. And I have a Facebook page. And a web site. And I’ve started Twittering. What’s going on?!

After, as our friend Les Birt pointed out (and I’m sure it wasn’t meant unkindly!), when we were having a conversation about Twitter: who is going to see it or care? Really, I’m just cluttering up cyberspace with a lot of personal trivia, of little interest to anyone but myself.

Maybe it’s just the latest fad – after all, I’ve been tinkering with computers in one way or another for nearly half a century, so why wouldn’t I want to dabble with whatever is currently trendy, including having a cyberlife?

Yet somehow this feels slightly different; a little bit exhibitionist,perhaps? – but that’s not me at all. (is it?)

Oh enough of this …

We’re off to the Lakes for a couple of nights and then to Mother-in-Law for the weekend, so I’ll be disconnected for a while – maybe I’ll lose the urge, or find another interest.

Maybe …