Monday 10 October 2011


Dark Lady turned up on Friday after a punishing week at work and - so being a warm, kind, gentle attentive etc. - when she suggested we went out for a curry rather than her cooking, I generously agreed!

I have a curious relationship with curry. I can still smell and taste those 70s meals in flock-wallpapered restaurants. When the eating wasn't about the food it was about proving your manhood. When a selection of drunken blokes would order the hottest thing on the menu (all in a comedy Indian accent straight out of It Ain't 'alf Hot Mum. So un-PC was it that I shudder at the thought of how those poor waiters must have felt).

No wonder we were poisoned on a fairly regular basis. What acts of germicidal or chemical revenge went on in the kitchens is anyone’s guess. I used to eat them on a fairly frequent basis when money allowed. Impressing women with your ability to sup at the lava flow that was a Vindaloo whilst discussing the merits or de-merits of Emerson Lake and Palmer whilst airily dismissing the whole of the Motown catalogue as "pop fluff"! This was the height of sophistication in Walsall back in '74.

It may also explain why, with breath that could stun an ox, why I rarely got kissed.

One such evening upon dropping off my date (nope, no kiss, not even a peck) I drove home in my recently-purchased, very second-hand Fiat 500. (Terminal halitosis and a car that was scarcely a motor vehicle, let alone a babe magnet). I felt a little strange in the stomach area. Hmm…what was this. Was it sexual frustration? Possibly. Was it the realisation that I had struck out yet again? Probably. As I pulled up outside my parents’ house the truth hit me.



Oh one stomach could hold so much rice!

And so it went on for quite some time until I heard the front door open and my Dad was standing there ready to go out on a night call. As he was a Doctor you would have thought one of his first jobs would be to minister to his ailing 18 year-old.

Sizing up the situation with an expert and practiced eye he said:

"You don't look very well. I'd go to bed if I were you"

With that he was gone as his Peugeot 504 swept around the corner into the night.

You notice that I have been mentioning old cars in this blog. This is to set the scene for last Saturday when I was kindly invited to judge the Classic Car Show as part of Hastings Week.

Each year, a fine selection of cars - old and not-quite-so-old - gather in the Old Town to be polished and cherished by their proud owners. What I like about the show and also what makes me terribly nostalgic is that the vast majority of these vehicles are, dare I describe them as, ordinary, mass produced cars. Not a single E-Type nor Aston Martin did I see. There was one Rolls Royce, but mainly we were talking Fords, Reliants, Vauxhalls etc. All daily drivers from the 50's to the 80's. All buffed by their proud owners. Every one a winner. However, my job was to choose just one from the 60 or so on show.

With passing age I note that cars that people now consider "Classic" are in fact ones that family members drove. A Vauxhall Magnum. The Viva version being the car I was taught to drive in back in 1973. A seemingly ancient Vauxhall being one like my father had. Several Austin Minis, which my Dad and my Mum used complete with the starter button on the floor and a rubber covered chord that acted as a door handle. It could have been a car park from a photograph taken in 1980 anywhere in the UK.

So congratulations to Carolyn Bates, proud owner of an Austin Metropolitan.

You can see her car and a selection of others on my Facebook page  (visit here) as I have posted a couple of short "films" of the event on there.

I have also realised that the Jewellery related cliffhanger from yesterday’s blog has still not been resolved and I have run out of time.

Until tomorrow’s un-missable instalment. Safe driving and remember "NEVER MIX RADIAL AND CROSSPLY ON THE SAME AXLE"!


Martin Lower said...

I'd forgotten all about the Mini's start button and cord door opener!
Do you remember the sliding split door windows as well?
Happy days.....

mwhite229 said...

Thought the daily blog was to be a shortened version - you are churning out a weekly amount each day - much impressed oh dark one, but when do you sleep......