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I'm compiling a Julia/English Dictionary


  • Bunny - Any small, furry creature

  • Dunelm Lee - The shop, Dunelm Mill

  • Diesel Van - Hollywood star of the Riddick franchise

  • Far fetched - TV show Farscape (actually I'm with her on this one)

  • Melon - Yellow, citrus fruit often sliced in Gin an Tonic not to be confused with Melon (see below)

  • Melon - Melon; cantaloupe, water, honeydew, galia etc

  • Monolopy - An overlong board game that is rarely played to a conclusion

  • Nosh Browns - Hash Browns

  • Pets we've got - The shop, Pets at Home

  • Pinchies - Tongs

  • Streptomyacin - Optimus Prime

  • That film that Doss likes that isn't Gone With The Wind - Film: The X-files

  • The Day it Snowed a lot - Film: The Day after Tomorrow

  • Thumb Thing - SMS text message

  • Triumph cars (various) - Various Triumph cars. Why she gets these right when all other cars are a mystery to her is, well, a mystery


Current Location:
United Kingdom, Millom
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I have a fondness for the racing sports cars of the fifties and early sixties - mainly because they are beautiful but also because, until the rise of the Prototypes of the late sixties and seventies, they were still recognisable as road cars. Expensive, bloody fast road cars but road cars none the less. Until at least 1963 entries to the fabled Le Mans 24 hour race were often driven to the circuit on public roads. The Lola Mk6 GT, possibly the last of the truly beautiful sports racers, was driven from Huntingdon to Le Mans by it's designer, Eric Broadley while the Aston Martin team used the Hotel de France at La Chartre-sur-le-Loir as their base and drove their cars to the circuit. Impossible today, of course, since modern race cars aren't capable of traversing your average road even if their engines could be made tractable enough for road use or their brakes capable of working at road temperatures.
And this may account for my lack of interest in modern motorsport. The disconnection between the cars we buy and drive and the cars that we see race is now too great. There was a time when a win at Le Mans would boost the sale of road cars. Jaguar, Aston Martin, Bristol, Mercedes, MG, Triumph and even, God help us, Chevrolet realised this but now nobody cares who wins and the result has little effect on car sales to the point that the winning manufacturer (this tends to be Audi or Porsche at the moment) doesn't even bother to use its victory in its adverts. There is a class for cars based on road going supercars, Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance, but these are still full-blown race cars and the rules, by not allowing four wheel drive, exclude certain manufacturers from competing.The other problem is the complete lack of interest shown by TV companies. If it's not available to watch, well people can't watch it. D'uh!
So, where is all this leading to? Well to some cars which, due to their aerodynamics being designed to be as slippery as possible and with down force not being thought of let alone applied, are the most beautiful ever to turn a wheel. Everyone knows how pretty an E-Type Jaguar is - even Enzo Ferrari called it The most Beautiful car ever made and he was responsible for the 250GT SWB and the original Testa Rossa - but the E-Type was born of the XK120, C-Type and D-Type Jaguars and they are cars of such feminine beauty that they leave me breathless -as does the Aston Martin DBR1 but its front suspension system bothers me so let's not talk about it. Of course the Italians produced the Lancia D24, Maserati 300S and Alfa Romeo 3000C around the same time and if they were all laid out side-by-side I'd have to think very hard before putting England into bat, as it were. Not to be out done, and my prejudice against American cars really comes to the fore here, Brigs Cunningham produced some competitive cars but, although undeniably handsome in some guises, they were never as pretty as their European rivals.

Anyway, judge for yourselves via this wonderful 14 minutes of film.

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. . . I wanted to grow up to be Steve McQueen. He was cool, drove fast cars and motorbikes. . .

As I grew older I decided that growing up to be Basil Rathbone would be much cooler in a slightly sinister way . . .

Now, as a middle aged fat bloke I really wish I'd grown up to be Brian Blessed!

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I was working my way through the pages of the latest issue of "Practical Classics"> magazine (I really fancy a Triumph 2500 - don't ask why. these fancies come upon me every now and again) when I found my name attached to a small comment on the letters page. Seems I once commented on the magazine's Facebook page and it was deemed worthy of further notice! Actually, it was a comment of such astonishing nerdiness that I shalln't repeat it here.
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Jeremy Corbyn is the new, Labour leader. Not, note, the New Labour leader. I wish him luck but he's going to have the devil of a job getting his message through to a populace who read The Sun, The Express or the Daily Mail (try http://www.qwghlm.co.uk/toys/dailymail/ for more Daily Mail fun). To be honest, Mr Corbyn is a bit too lefty for my tastes but I think we need an antidote to the years thirty-odd years of Tory and Neo-Tory (New Labour) governance.
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Never knew this classic track so identified with Nazareth was a cover. I know which one I prefer and it's proof that some covers are better than the originals.



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As some of you may know, I am devoted to BBC Radio 4 with a particular fondness for some of it's excellent comedy. A lot of well known TV comedy started out on Radio 4 including The League of Gentlemen, Goodness gracious me and, perhaps most enduring of all, The Hitchiker's Guide to The Galaxy.
I should now like to add John Finnemore's Cabin Pressure to the list of Great British Radio Comedies.
It is, in a word, Brilliant.
Or, rather, it was. Alas it has now finished although the last episode has not yet been broadcast. Set mainly aboard the single, dilapidated aircraft of a struggling charter company (not an airline - since, as the owner explains, "You cannot put a single aircraft in a line. What I have is an airdot"), Cabin Pressure is genuinely funny. It's also well researched, beautifully written and performed by a seriously talented cast. It is also, apparently, followed by seriously talented, if weirdly obsessed, fans. When the last episode, "Zurich", was announced (not really a shock since they are alphabetical from "Abu Dhabi" to "Yverdon-Les-Bains") a load of them got together and produced this;



1:23 shows the true geekiness of these people.
That I noticed it shows that I am a fellow geek!

If you go to that youtube page you will find all the episodes there for your listening delight.

By the way, girlie-types, did I mention it starred Benedict Cumberbatch? No? Well it does.

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I have an aversion to big, american TV shows. It's not that I think they're bad it's that I really can't be arsed to invest that much time in anything. It came as a surprise that I have found myself enthralled by The Game of Thrones.
I usually dismiss the majority of fantasy books as either fluff, poor quality Tolkien rip offs (I'm looking directly at you, Terry Brookes . . .) or just plain childish so I generally don't read them. I haven't read the books* upon which Game of Thrones is based and I probably won't ever do so but that has perhaps made me more objective when it came to watching the show.
I love the show.
I like the lack of that fantasy staple, Good vs Evil.
I like the fact that, just like the history of This Sceptre'd Isle upon which I dwell, anyone can die.
Royal favorites rise and fall as loyalties are tested and circumstances change.
"This reminds me of the Wars of the Roses", I thought and then Julia told me that she'd read an interview with George R R Martin when he'd said that he had taken some inspiration from that conflict. Later I thought that York and Lancaster were suspiciously close to Stark and Lannister.
It's also well acted and employs nearly every British and Irish character actor still capable of walking. From Roger Allam to Peter Vaughn via Anton Lesser (who can never do any wrong in my eyes) and Dame Diana Rigg.

I do have some problems with the production. As I pointed out in an earlier post the inability of the female cast to retain their clothing is getting a bit gratuitous for me - and I like attractive young ladies, I really do - but the novelty is wearing off now.

I've eagerly consumed three complete series' and now await the fourth with some anticipation.




*Two people whose literary opinions I respect have read the books. One hated them. One loved them. Make of that what you will.
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Marginally less boring than the summer olympics.

However, while Julia was watching the curling, I happened to look up and found myself returning the steely grey gaze of the UK Women's curling team skipper, Eve Muirhead.



I'm smitten.
But not smitten enough to actually watch any more of the curling.

UPDATE: Julia keeps watching the ladies curling. I've just noticed the Russian's skipper has trouble keeping her clothes on . . .



Who would have thought curling was so, er, glamorous

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I have finally been persuaded to watch Game of Thrones. Not sure what to think about it. I mean I have to admit to a certain fondness for the aesthetics of a young lady's convexities but even though I've only seen the first episode I have seen the boobs or bare backside of practically every female member of the cast over the age of eighteen and under the age of fifty.
Frankly, I'm finding it a wee bit gratuitous.
And I'm a little disappointed since, as you may have gathered, I prefer girls in armour . . .

UPDATE: I've watched several episodes now and my worries about too many bare breasts were unfounded - they've moved on to ladies front bottoms now . . .

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