I’ve become hooked on a daytime programme on one of the Discovery Channels called Wheeler Dealers. It’s a programme about cars. I ceased watching anything on the subject years ago once Top Gears’ Jeremy Clarkson reimagined himself as being as important as Louis XIV. But instead of featuring only the latest supercars, this humble little programme features ‘everyman’ classic cars from the last 20 years which have to be bought and renovated for around a £3000 budget – hopefully for a profit for the likely lads who present it. And they are Mike Brewer, yer archetypal cheeky chappie car dealer who finds, buys and sells the motors, who is more than ably assisted by Ed China, the brilliant and put upon mechanic/engineer whose task it is to renovate the near wrecks every week. If I had a son I’d want him to be Ed; handsome, engaging, funny, determined, insightful and tremendously skilled. I’ve learned more about car mechanics in these last couple of weeks then I’ve known in the last 57 years. I’m also pretty confident now that I could haggle and deal at least as well as Mike but I realise that I shall never, ever know as much as Ed about putting cars right. The guy is a bloody genius and his name is as great as his talent. So where do the turkeys come in I hear you ask?
It’s been a day when I’ve been thinking about Italy a little wistfully. Firstly the weather seems to have really turned here in the UK. We got up early as ever this morning and it felt like winter as we crept downstairs. So the ‘on’ button for the central heating was pressed into action. I was still shivering when I clicked my laptop into life to find a message from our good friend Matt in Italy telling us that the weather was still pretty great out there and that our pool, which he’s looking after for us, is still in mint condition. Sigh. Then earlier some of our recent guests over in Italy popped round to show us some of their photos from their stay at our place – mostly beautiful daybreaks and sunsets. More sighs. Catching my mood I sense, C came up with a lovely pasta dish for dinner which is simple and quick and really tasty. And a perfect dish for those of us who think they can’t cook but would really like to. Grab a glass of your favourite tipple fellahs and get in that kitchen.
It was a little poignant to watch my humble home town team Blackpool take on the mighty moneybags of Chelsea at the Bridge last Saturday. They strived noblely but came away a little embarrassed by the outcome. A bit like the match I watched between the sides at Bloomfield Rd when the Seasiders coasting 3-0 at half time somehow managed to concede 4 goals in the second half to the Blues. It also made me recall some of my own interesting moments I had at Chelsea in the very early days of the mobile phone business.
Well I don’t know where you stand on the Papal visit – there are so many reasons to take issue with it. But for once I’m not going to pontificate… about the Pontiff; no rants on religion in this blogsite. All I will say is that Pope Benedict’s state visit to the UK has caused more than a mild bit of interest in this household. The reason? He’s only visiting St Mary’s University College in Twickenham this morning and that’s where my lovely wife C works. It’s been quite a week.
So there I was in the fast check-out queue at my local M&S when the young chap on the till pauses from swiping the bar codes on my goods and tells me how much he enjoys the programme and asks whether I still get to watch my local rugby club what with all the filming and all that. Er… He catches the look of slight befuddlement on my face, mouths the word ‘Masterchef?’ in that questioning sort of way. Ah it dawns on me that he thinks I’m that great-looking chef John Torode from the very popular TV foodie programme. The talented slim one with lots of hair. Then instantly I realise he’s actually confusing me with the fat bald one. The greengrocer. What? Me a lookie-likey for Gregg Wallace? Jeez. I smiled the Gregg smile and thought seriously about replying that it’s almost impossible now to get to the rugby because that gaylord JT is such a coke fiend that we have to re-shoot every scene 25 times until we get his bit in the can. But I didn’t. I simply said ‘of course’ and winked the Gregg wink at him and his attractive female colleague. I know, I know.
Well it’s been weeks since the last posting – these blogging breaks seem to be becoming a feature of the site – so a quick catch up on recent stuff might be helpful. First off it’s been busy-ish on the work front, especially for C, but the main diversion has been a brilliant two week break over at our place in Italy. For once a holiday rather than a work camp!