Monday 26 July 2010

Clarkson Junior?

Nothing a decent haircut couldn't sort out. He even dresses like Clarkson...

So many half finished posts.

It’s ridiculous considering I have so much time on my hands. My wife sees me typing away at the keyboard and assumes I am finally pulling together my novel when really I am only plugging key words into Google, a useless distraction to avoid having to replace failed hinges on the visitor’s bedroom door, changing the oil in the generator, securely fixing that dodgy curtain rail or anything else remotely ‘Man About the House’. I am pathetic at the moment.

Still, so much time wasting did allow me to stumble across a new blog. A petrol head blog and, therefore, potentially dear to my heart now that The Times Online has gone the subscription route denying me my weekly Clarkson fix.

I would willingly pay to have access to The Times but, with my UK bank constantly allowing anyone to rob my identity, I have had to cancel all my charge cards and am now struggling, yes struggling, to create my own new identity.

This, I have been told, is illegal.

I can't see why. Somewhere in Slough, not even the same hemisphere as me, there is a git pretending to be TG and buying up all the local Comet warehouses and leaving a trail of grief for me to sort out. If my bank has been careless with my identity, why can't I choose a new, safer one? But no, Tom Gowans cannot henceforth be known as Rock Hunter and must instead endure constant communications from bailiffs armed with liver excising scalpels demanding payment for wide screen TV’s bought on credit in his name in Brixton, or somebody else’s weekly shop in Sainsbury’s. I live in Africa, for Christ’s sake. So I am sorry, Jeremy, I cannot pay on line anymore. I need a free alternative.

Sam Skelton is a full time student of politics and has been published by several well known journals some of which, amazingly, I have heard of. Thankfully his blog, ‘From the Captain’s Chair', is less to do with politics and more to do with cars.

Here’s but a fraction of the slagging he gave the new Range Rover Evoque:

‘The interior is even to be designed by a team led by the original 'footballer's wife' - Victoria Beckham. A Rangie with a Spice Girl interior. It's sacrilege…’

I couldn’t agree more.

In another article he admits to experimenting on his own mother after bribing her with the offer of a picnic in the countryside.

How about his take on an old British Leyland colour in his article about Jaguars?

‘Alpine Green is a slightly musky pale metallic-silvery green colour with a hint of gold, which in the right light really manages to look the part on the leaping cat’

Well you try describing the colours that BL paint shop workers mixed up when not warming their hands over picket line braziers.

‘Right light’ is the key here. I had a Triumph Stag painted a colour the factory documentation of which recorded as Magenta and the registration authorities, and anyone else not colour blind, considered Purple.

Under street lamps at night, it looked really cool.

In the daytime the colour resembled the mixture of blood, puke and spilt beer I had waded through the night before in Pop’s and Eddie’s, two pubs across the road from each other close to Joint Head Quarters Rheindahlen in Germany and mostly frequented by a fairly even spread of Army and RAF, a fairly volatile solution. Down right explosive if you mixed in a few visiting Americans.

But whereas I often resort to the vernacular, Mr Skelton has the eloquence that no doubt he will one day use to verbally eviscerate his opponent at the dispatch box, wit thankfully triumphing over bragado. The most risqué remark of his I have read so far was one referring to the new Morgan EvaGT:

‘The company have released a teaser sketch – one of those that barely shows you anything, but what it does show is pure pornography’.

Hmmn. When my wife isn’t looking, I might surf over to the Morgan site.

I have put the link to ‘From the Captain’s Chair’ in my Interesting Blogs column on the right of the page. Drive over and have a look.

If you do, leave your monikers there. We should encourage this guy. Not least because I can't pay my Times subscription. Yes, I know. Just do it.


  1. I had a 1974 RED Triumph TR-6, but the "RED" looked a bit weird and somebody had painted over the factory MAGENTA, as the paint code was on the tag and I SAW the MAGENTA when I was stripping off the three layers of paint. No joke.

    Ended up stripping it properly to bare metal and painting it gunmetal grey metallic and pouring loads of money into a fun old Brit car. Started twisting wrenches on bicycles and lawnmowers, but buying a Triumph when I was ~15 kicked more over into really learning to be a mechanic.

    Was a great car. Should have kept it. Being the MORON I am now, I have a Mk. I Jensen, which was sorta a test bed for Colin before he put that double overhead cam in his own Lotus cars...


  2. I've just come across this blog - and indeed this post - as you've become a follower of my blog. I'm touched by the things you've written and your encouragement of others to read what I come up with - as one day I hope to try and scratch a living writing about old cars and the world of motoring.

    If you're interested, I also do reviews and back to back articles as and when I get the opportunity - if you click the 'return to website' link at the top of my blog it'll take you to my website. (

    Thanks again for the support,

    Sam Skelton.

    P.S. What do you mean haircut? It's better than the ponytail I had...

  3. P.S. have just come across your comment on an earlier blog of mine - I'm more than happy as I said above for you to leave the link to my blog on here - indeed, at the risk of sounding immodest I'm rather happy it's here as it's further publicity for what I do - if I stand a chance of success when I try and do this for a living it's better to be a known quantity than someone completely new.

    It's not on the blog because I don't put links there, but I've added links to your blogs on my website.


  4. Thanks for the link on your blog, I have just read your comparison of the Rover and Jag and will enjoy reading more so keep it up.

    By the title of my blog introducing you to my readers I think it is fairly evident that I am confident you will be able to scratch a living writing about your favourite subject. I will be pleased for you but also jealous.

    There is nothing immodest about being pleased with links on other blogs, it is the only way we can allow a wider audience to appreciate, or scorn, our efforts. Either way, all criticism is good as it enables us to refine our art.

    Think of it as a fledgling writer's club, each of us submitting ourselves to the critique of our peers. The advantage using this medium is that we do not have to do it face to face!

    The only A grade I received was for English but I still remember a frustrated English tutor demanding to know, 'What the hell is this?'...'I know it's satire but it's also shit!' Like I say, with his gentle guidancee I managed a good grade.


Please feel free to comment, good or bad. I will allow anything that isn't truly offensive to any other commentator. Me? You can slag me without mercy but try and be witty while you are about it.