Tag Archives: flickr

Bad Cars, Monster Bugs & Colour me Good!

Shopping in Camberley over the weekend….Two parts – The Travesty of the Chevy Aveo and the Awesome VW Baja Bug… (you may wish to skip to the VW Baja bug part…)

As I had to go shopping & visit the bank at the weekend, and Chris has some trips to take during the week, I hired a cheap car.

It’s a Chevrolet Aveo, and it’s all wrong!

Not bad looking... terrible personality though
Not bad looking… terrible personality though
Note too bad here either... just dont touch!
Not too bad here either… just don’t touch!

It looks okay inside and out (once you ignore the huge cheap plastic Chevrolet badge), but once you get tactile, the thing proves to be very cheap and flimsy. Thin plastic dashboard, body panels that pop in and out – but to look at, it’s not bad….

Once the engine starts and you pull away…. eventually…. you gain some speed…. then you’ll have to steer….

It wallows and rolls from the lowest speeds and gets worse as you get faster. The steering is super light and the slightest turn of the wheel has the car turning as though it’s one of those bikes from Disney’s “Tron“! Trouble is, it feels like it’s about to fall over at any moment! It is actually scary!

It’s a bit like a speed boat… It drives as though it is about to flip over and the steering is far too light! It’s so light the car needs constant adjusting to stay straight – Not great on a motorway!

Worse still is the suspension! For all of that wallowing and threats to roll the car over at walking pace, you end up breaking your back if you hit pebbles or slight bumps in the road! How can the ride be so harsh when the handling is so soft and pathetic?!

Fuel economy is great though…. So it looks alright, economy is great… ride is terrible and handling is more vague than a cornered politician.

BUT…. once it was parked in the Camberley car park things picked up! Well…. that’s because we had parked next to the most awesome of VW Beetles!

Wicked Bug!
Wicked Bug!

Alex thought it was brilliant – A big Herbie! Big Racing Herbie!!! – and I think he was spot on! It was brilliant! I’m not a great VW Bug fan, but this one looked fantastic! Thumbs up to the VW Baja Bug!

I took the opportunity to use my iPhone photo adjustment applications. Due to the car park environment the Beetle didn’t really stand out – but some new software on the iPhone (ColorSplash and Photogene) produced some great shots!

The before shot….

…and after…

These two applications are great on the iPhone. I have had lots of success (well, I think I have!) adjusting various pictures I have taken… Here are a few more… or follow THIS LINK to see my Flickr page.

E-Type Jaguar at Goodwood Breakfast Club Event

The 1lb burger from my America Trip

Bowler Wildcat from 2006 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Fire in the skies

Alex attended his first fireworks display tonight. It was held at the National Shooting Centre at Bisley (NRA).

Chris drove us to the event – I was doped up with pain killers, even though it was only a short journey. A 30 minute trip out the other day as passenger was enough for me to think twice about getting in a car at present.

It was only £4 per adult – and Alex was free. The show was set to music and went on for close to half hour. What a display! I have never seen one like it. It was so well timed with the music and the fireworks were impressive to say the least…. not that I watched much of them, as I was close to tears at how much Alex was enjoying himself!!!! I have never seen him so excited – not even half as excited!!!

Before the show we bought him an LED windmill thing – Lot’s of these LED type toys were for sale, so there were no sparklers (all very safe). Alex loves his windmill and as soon as we gave it to him, it stayed with him until he went to bed!!!

During the show itself I wasn’t sure if he was louder than the fireworks or not! He was grinning and laughing like a maniac!!!

Unfortunately I wasn’t that stable with the camera as my head was a bit fuzzy from the pills, but if you click on one of the pictures you’ll be taken to the album where you can see some of the fireworks and some of Alex’s expressions!

iPhone with Flickr and WordPress blogging – a great combination!

The Family – May 20th 2005

The Family, originally uploaded by L.B.

Lets get this tale onto a blog then shall we…

Back in 2005 I arranged a surprise 25th birthday treat for Chris. I told her that I had booked a top restaurant near her Dad’s place in Goodwood, but things were looking frantic at work…an air ambulance was desperately needed and I had to stay on to get it fixed….

I didn’t want the restaurant to go wasted, so told her to go to it with her mum, and I’ll try and get down there later…

On the Friday of her birthday (May 20th) her mum said that they had to drop into Goodwood to pick up a birthday present from her Dad on the way to the restaurant. This meant that Chris, her mum and her dad would all be at Goodwood aerodrome at a set time…

My good friend Sudeep “Soggy” Jacob is a pilot…He has a ‘plane based near Oxford and others that he can use.


The unflappable Sudeep “Soggy” Jacob. Ace pilot extraordinaire

I jumped in Eddies car with Soggy and Eddie (my long time buddy) and headed up to Soggy’s airfield. For the surprise we needed a 6 seater, and Soggy needed to get tested (checked out) on it before being allowed to take it. The weather was bad….and we had to wait for ages to get a chance for Soggy to get his chance to be checked out.

BD (4)

The Cherokee 6 that had a major part to play….and the dark clouds that threatened to end it all

Once all that was cleared and Soggy had the aircraft, we then had to wait for the weather to clear again so we could take off and head down south to Goodwood. The weather was rough, but nothing to really moan about (that would be Sunday’s trip back to Oxford…).

Time ticked on and the weather stayed bad, and it was down to just seconds before I called the flight off (I had planned for bad weather, so I had a set time to call the flight off and then drive to the restaurant)…Soggy came over to me and I let him speak first before I gave him the bad news. Luckily the news Soggy gave was…”I think we can do it…”

BD (36)

The weather was “Do-able” – Only just though….

We took off and headed south…throttle open and making good time. We flew over my (and Soggy’s) work place (Gama Support Services) and carried on down to Goodwood. The timing was spot on!

BD (81)

Gama Support Services, Farnborough. My car is not in the car park….Chris thought that it should be….

Ian, Chris’s Dad, pulled his part of the plan perfectly. Chris and Lauren (her mum) had arrived to “pick up the present”, but Ian had to go and sort out something on the airfield first (he works there on the rescue team, as well as being a race marshal). Chris and Lauren went with him…just in time to see Me, Soggy and Eddie taxi the aircraft in. Chris was really excited that I had managed to make it…and arrive in style!

I told her that we had flown down from my work place to get to the restaurant in time, and that it was lucky that Soggy had his aircraft with him that day. Eddie had just come along for the flight, and was going back with Soggy whilst I went with Chris and her mum to the restaurant. Lies, all lies.

As the aeroplane was at Goodwood, and we had time to spare, I offered to have everyone go for a quick flight around the airfield before we all did our separate things.

BD (41)

Soggy, Eddie, Lauren and Ian in the first 4 seats. Chris and I sat at the back for this trip.

So we took off….flew a circuit….and then carried on flying north to Blackbushe Airport, where we landed. A colleague from work , Steve, was at Goodwood to see us in, and then we jumped out of the ‘plane and walked over to where I had some transport arranged…

BD (2)

Steve, a friend and collegue from Gama, does his marshalling duty for us at Blackbush

Chris was delighted…as she had a good idea of what was going to happen next. She knew the area…and knew of a top Thai Restaurant nearby that she really loved…

At the restaurant I had arranged a quiet area….and a load of Chris’s
friends…and some top presents that Chris had been after for some time (“Oooh, I REALLY like those”…she said…every time we had been to the restaurant in the past…).

All in all it was a great day. Everyone played their parts superbly, and it was all down to the very last second and split second timing. Looking back, almost a year later, and I’m still surprised that we pulled it off. There was so much planning involved, and so much against us. A good job all round.

The photos are available on Flickr (MY PHOTOS link at the top of the page).


Chris….ready for the return flight….

The return trip to take the aeroplane back up to Oxford, and the Isle of Mann trip are stories for another day…


Dude…AIR!!!, originally uploaded by L.B.
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2005. Around the show ground there were loads of different events and shows…This guy was going mad on a BMX bike…which gave me a great opportunity to test my Fuji F5200 at high shutter speed.

Right….I’m finally getting to grips with this (enter choice word here) new Blog. I want to do it right, and I want to try and keep it well pictured with images from my Flickr account.

Flickr now has a great deal of my Goodwood pictures uploaded to it, with many more photos and pictures of anything and everything to come.

To find the Flickr link, just hover your mouse over the LINKS tab at the top left of this page, and click on MY PHOTOS.

Catch you soon.

One small step…

One small step…
Originally uploaded by L.B.

In an effort to try and link email to blog, and include pictures, I have linked my MSN to my Flickr and my Blogger accounts… this should work.

Hopefully I won’t crash the whole of the Western hemisphere internet. Again….

The picture…from a holiday I took with Chris. Great hotel, but the valet was a fool.

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