Tag Archives: granddad

Alex’s 5th Birthday Bash

There will be a few blog posts appearing over the next few weeks that are out of date order. This is because Sky Broadband failed totally, and right during a time where there were a few car shows to blog about…. so I’m going to have to catch up.

Meanwhile, and now we have Virgin Broadband (Sky can kiss my router) I am able to blog again (yup, sorry!).

What better way to start than with Alex’s 5th birthday bash bowling party.

Alex's salute - Taught by Granddad

Chris made a car cake for the 3rd year running – not saying Alex likes cars or anything… but yeah…

It was great fun – Everyone really enjoyed themselves and the kids were really well-behaved. Shame the staff lacked the competence and politeness of the kids, but that’s neither hear nor there…

Anyway, here’s a two and a bit minute video of the party. If you watch it for anything, watch it for the “Happy Birthday” song…. It was loud enough to distort the speakers and feedback pure white noise…. You had to be there… although you probably heard it if you were within 25 miles of the place….

Photo effects via iPhone 4 – Instagram, Dynamic light & Tiltshiftgen.


Goodwood Breakfast Sub….

Yup… the Breakfast Club was more of a breakfast submarine due to the amount of rain it saw!
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I haven’t seen such a storm in 3 years – the rain came down so hard it started going back up again, but people still turned up to see the souped up cars on show.

DSCF9740From rear engined V8 mini pick up trucks to blown Japanese racers (ricers) and HUGE American metal, the cars spanned several genres of tuning and modifying – even down to a nice replica GT40 which little Alex towered above!
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One car stood out though… for pure garish and tastelessness!

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Alex thought this PT was Poo!

I quite liked the PT Cruiser when it first came out – BUT it was one of those Marmite cars – love or hate… and even then those who liked it could easily hate it in another colour. It took a lot to have it look “just right” – and when it looked right, I liked it!

This example missed the mark though! I only hope they were trying to be ironic or comedic, because it couldn’t look worse if someone had decorated it in sea shells and glitter! Mind you, one persons trash is another persons treasure – so best of luck to them… I hope they achieved what they were aiming for…

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One thing I noticed, and I don’t proclaim to know much about the scene, was the Germanic touch that some of the the America Hot Rod people had. Iron crosses featured subtly (and less subtly in places) on some of their vehicles, as did their love of heavy “Bovver Boots”, turned up jeans, bomber jackets and buzz cut hair styles.  I have a shaven head myself, so that in itself means nothing, but with the clothes and Germanic items, it all felt a bit, well…. Nick Griffin would have felt quite at ease.

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It’s just what I picked up – I could be totally wrong, but that was my first impression. Admittedly the guy with the Skull headed Iron Eagle on his truck and an Adolf Smiley Face T-Shirt didn’t do much to alleviate this first impression, but hey – Horses for courses, and they were all very pleasant.

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One more Breakfast Club this year – Decembers Christmas Breakfast Club – and already I’m looking forward to it!

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Maserati leads the Italian Parade

Another Sunday, and another Goodwood Breakfast Club. This time it was the role of Maserati to lead the way – with many other Italian marques showing their well inked lines….. droooool!

Alex once more loved it! How could he not? It had Grandad and Cars…. what’s not to like for a little boy?

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FOR PHOTO’S CLICK HERE


Alex shows his mad car skills

You know by now how mad on cars little Alex is… but now here’s a short video clip…

He wanted me to film him with his cars today – but it’s often tricky as he then becomes more interested in the camera than the cars!

All he knows is all he has learnt from magazines, TV or asked me about (or other people). I don’t want to force him into anything as I don’t want to put him off cars – but when he does ask questions I don’t “child” the answer down. He wanted to know what the wings and spoilers were, so I told him about the aerodynamic aids cars have. He knows about engine layouts too – and not era of car is a problem for him!

Something very sweet about the way he pronounces a lot of the car names too!

I’ve posted this before, but I like it so much I decided to share it again! It shows Alex at one of the Goodwood Breakfast club meetings. He doesn’t just look at the cars, he asks about them. Who am I to starve him of the answers! He knows his V8s from his straight 6’s, his dropheads and his tintops…. got to love him!


Goodwood Revival 2009 Sights and Sounds

Goodwood Revival 2009 was a bit special for me –  SEE HERE

I managed to grab a few movie clips whilst I was there. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them – but in all honesty, you really need to be there… so hopefully I’ll see you at the Goodwood Revival 2010…


Mac Better Blues – Goodwood Breakfast Club

I wanted to do something for my Father in Laws Birthday, and to thank him (from Alex) for a great day out at a Goodwood Breakfast Club. As you may all know, little Alex (3yrs old) knows his cars…. and I mean REALLY knows his cars…. Ferraris, Jaguars, Pagini, Lamborghini…… Gumperts, Bently, Astons etc…. he has an uncanny ability at recognition! So, as a treat, and to see Ian (FiL) we went to a Goodwood Breakfast Club (PICS). Admittedly my father in Law was working (as he is Senior Track Steward & Site Supervisor at the Goodwood Circuit), but he managed to share some time (and bacon sarnies) with us!

What did I do then….. well….

I rate the Mac pretty highly – It’s an easy machine to use (far easier than a PC…. and yet performs much better).

My Macbook came with a program called “Garage Band” which is a music writing/edit suite. It’s fantastic! It allows me to take any of my music and turn it into ring tones (with a sample length does not breach copyright).

It has inbuilt samples along with a huge array of instruments for original compositions… you can even plug in your own real instruments and vocals…… but the first thing I played with was the samples. They can be cut, re-arranged and mixed to make some pretty good stuff…. I’ve had a few people convinced it was a real recording, and not some computerised mix up I had produced!

Anyway… Here’s the first track I wrote – mixing and cutting/splicing the Apple supplied samples. To make it a bit more interesting, I made it into a photo slide show of Alex at Goodwood for my Father in Laws birthday. Happy Birthday!

Watch below or CLICK HERE!


Supercar Breakfast

There are many regular events at Goodwood… not just the annual Revival or Festival of Speed. There are club days, race days, fly ins, all sorts… and one of those days that occurs regularly throughout the year is the Breakfast Club… a Sunday morning jam packed with high end sports cars and supercars…

As I still had a hire car due to the Fiesta issue (See here) I decided to take Alex down to Goodwood to see his Granddad (My Father in law) at work on the race circuit.

Luckily it tied in with one of The Breakfast Club events…

As we drove closer our little Fiesta hire car was surrounded by top marque sports cars. Alex was getting giddy with excitement as he called out all of the names!

We parked up at Granddads house and then walked up to the track. I saw from a distance what I thought was a Jaguar XJ220 in Rothmans colours. Alex meanwhile had spotted a Pagini Zonda which I could not see…. until we got a lot closer to the Rothmans Jaguar…. which wasn’t a Rothmans Jaguar… it was the Zonda – It was the paint scheme that threw me, but not Alex!

All photo’s can be seen HERE or just click on the photo’s:

Tuned Pagini Zonda... as if it needed it!

Tuned Pagini Zonda... as if it needed it!

After the Pagini Zonda the cars kept rolling in… and each one was named correctly by the 3yr old petrol head! He was uncanny – and he was surprising some others that over heard him!

Ferrari and Stingray

Ferrari and Stingray

Almost embarrassing were the two times when Alex corrected some adults as to what certain cars were! Luckily being 3 he can get away with it by being cute!

Lambo!

Lambo Diablo!

Lord March showed up in… not his superb Aston Martin Vantage, but his “Rat Rod”…. A car a little bit different to the super sleek supercar from Alex’s birthday!

Lord MArchs Rat Rod

Lord March's Rat Rod

After walking around the cars we caught up with Granddad Ian in his office…the hub of the race circuit… The pit lane office… Alex had a whale of a time watching all the cars roll by with me and his Granddad. He was having such a great day!

It looked like we had turned up at just the right time, as Bacon Rolls showed up, so we ate a snack in the pit office – Granddad shared his bacon roll with Alex, and Alex shared his sausages with Granddad!

Alex looking at the Alonso and Granddad photo

Alex looking at the Alonso and Granddad photo

After a while we let Granddad get on with his work. We went off to look at yet more cars. Alex surprised me again when he pointed out a GT40 and looked into the engine bay intently…. ran his hands over a few parts and then looked at me and said “V8 daddy…. V8 Ford….

V8 Daddy... V8 Ford

V8 Daddy... V8 Ford

Alex may have liked the V8 Ford, but I was taken aback by the beauty of this Jaguar E-Type (pointed out, once more, by Alex)… The V12 in this gorgeous machine looked like new – even the little petrol head said it was “Pretty engine” … he wasn’t wrong… he has a good eye!

V12 beats V8...

V12 beats V8...

Back in the pit land Graddad got Alex a ride around the circuit on the Tractor – bus that tours the circuit. Once more I was told about the cars tht Alex could see – and in between naming cars he was saying “Thank you Daddy.. Thank you Granddad..” Such a sweet well behaved grease monkey!

Touring the Circuit

Touring the Circuit

At the end of the afternoon Alex was tired out. He slept well in the car all the way home – very happy and content. He really loves seeing his Granddad – and the cars just add to that. He never says “We are going to see race cars and Granddad” – it’s always “We’re going to see Granddad! Granddad and cars!

It’s times like these that the hard times we are going through are made fully worthwhile. I may be driving my wife’s purple 1997 Ford Fiesta, I may never own a sports car, but maybe I can get Alex on the path to a better future.

I wonder what he dreamed about on the way home… he had a huge smile on his face…. a Mini in one hand and a Lamborghini in the other….and his toy puppy on his lap……

Alfa Romeo 8C

Alfa Romeo 8C

Stunning E-Type

Stunning E-Type

Countach - 80s Italian Muscle

Countach - 80's Italian Muscle

There were even ballon flights, though we didnt go on one

There were even ballon flights, though we didn't go on one

Polished Lambo Perfection

Polished Lambo Murciélago Perfection

Ferrari Daytona - A proper race version

Ferrari Daytona - A proper race version

Happy Alex and Granddad

Happy Alex and Granddad


Alex’s 3rd Birthday – A Mini Adventure

Alex 3rd Birthday – A Mini Adventure
CLICK PICTURE TO SEE VIDEO

Alex loves cars – A LOT. He really loves Mini’s at the moment above all else, so for his Birthday I bought him a 1/64th scale slot car track…. 4 hours in and he hadn’t given it a break…

Even by bed time he was still up for car based fun…. and the fun just got better when the cake was bought out…

Alex’s Mini Birthday Cake
CLICK PICTURE TO SEE VIDEO

Alex was so happy at the cake the Chris made, and the great day he had, he just kept saying “Thank you Mummy, Thank you Daddy” over and over again.

It was really touching,

This was the first “proper” decorated cake Chis  had made. It is doubtful that it will be eaten, as Alex doesn’t want to see it cut – and after all, it is his cake.

Alex really enjoyed his day – He had gifts from all of the family – and visits from His Grand Parents and Uncle Dan (who had a lip piercing which had Alex saying  – “Take out screw in face“…)

He ended up tired but really happy.


Christmas Phoenix smiles

Saved by a little lads smiles!

Generally we leave Christmas shopping until November/December, but during our various shopping trips through the year we had spotted items in sales or discounted for whatever reasons that Alex would love (things weren’t bought just because they were discounted, they were bought because Alex would love them AND they were a great deal).

Seeing some of Alex’s favourite things at such good prices throughout the year made it worth snapping them up and putting to one side for Christmas – which was lucky considering the particular position we have found ourselves in.

Chris and I were unable to buy each other anything, let alone any one else, so we were thankful for our early buys for Alex – we couldn’t have him miss out.

We chose correctly it appears, as Alex was so happy with all his little gifts. Over the months we had built up two stockings full of small toy cars.

Chris had wrapped each car individually so Alex would have to unwrap them all. He is into unwrapping at the moment, so he thoroughly enjoyed ripping into these toys.

Next up was his big present – and by that I mean largest. It was a work bench with tools and a car engine he can strip and build. He was straight onto the tools as soon as he saw them – he’s seen me use my tools, so he knew just what to do. In no time the car that came with this work bench was stripped and in pieces…and then back together again!

The box this came in was perfect for all the wrapping paper and paper waste to go into (although the wrapping paper still managed to litter the floor – but it is Christmas, so who cares!).

More car toys followed as Alex opened up a couple of small Hot-Wheels (and similar) kits. He also had a Hot-Wheels battery operated race track (cars are launched around a track by rubber wheels). Once more, discounted items due to box damage! A slight tear in the packaging and it was half price!!! As soon as the paper came off it the box was ripped to shreds anyway – so a great bargain… and greatly appreciated by Alex!

His Police Station set has trap doors and ramps all over it – which Alex soon discovered to his happy surprise!

Later in the afternoon Granny and Granddad came over. Alex loves seeing them, as you can see (as do Chris and me of course!)!

They had bought over some more gifts for Alex, from them and some more of the family. Play-doh, water whistles, more cars, toy fishing sets, DVD and…. oh dear Lord…..an electronic drum set…. Really! What have we done to deserve that?!!!

Anything that can make a noise or has wheels and you can gaurantee that Alex will love it – and be occupied by it for a long time… but a drum set…. ha ha!!!! I guess we’ve bought noisy toys for people before, so it is payback time!

After Granny and Granddad had left, Alex carried on playing and running around – right up until he started getting heavy eye lids…. but he didn’t want to quit.

It all ended in tears as the excitement and tiredness collided!!! What didn’t help was his habit of wanting to wash all his cars in the bath when he first gets them! This time there were far too many cars to be carried – so he ended up dropping and fumbling the cars – which just upset him even more (poor lad!). Once he was in the bath though he was a lot happier – after all, he had his water flutes and modelling foam soap!!! By the time he got to bed he was dead on his feet – bless him!

Chris had put on snacks during the day and then did a great Christmas dinner in the evening. Unfortunately by the time we thought about dinner, Alex had burnt out and had gone to bed… so we’ll have to have another Christmas lunch today (ah boo!).

Many thanks to everyone for the well wishing and presents for Alex – he had a great day, and his laughter and big grin gave Chris and myself the greatest present we could have hoped for – a very happy son.

...Alex discovers the mic! CAT CAT PFFFFF CHRISTMAS Ha Ha!!!

Not wanting to miss out, one of the cats gave us a present, at 01:34am…

I was awake (still suffering from the bad back and lack of sleep) and noticed a certain “burning rubbery” aroma in the room. My sense of smell isn’t great, so I asked Chris if she could smell anything…. The next 10 minutes had us looking around the house for the gift… which turned up under the couch in Alex’s bedroom…. Very quietly and carefully, and by the soft light of the iPhone, the “present poop” was cleaned up, whilst a foot away from us was a sleeping Alex!

iPhone Poop Assist….. is there anything it can’t do?


This is the result….


Alex 2nd bday (51), originally uploaded by L.B.

….of a fun packed 100mph birthday for our 2 year old lad….

YUP!!!! ALEX IS TWO!!!!

2nd cake (4)

First things first – Thank you to the family for the gifts they gave Alex. He loved opening them all (he had huge eyes when he saw the Thomas the Tank Engine inflatable…..that’ll wait until summer until it is pumped up though!).

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He took to his first radio control car with the same styles as I drive on the PS3……yup – he turned the controller to “help” steer…..just like his dad on the PS3 Gran Turismo!!!….

Alex 2nd bday (70)

A sand and water table (high rise cat litter tray and bird bath come winter…..) was also a great success. He thoroughly enjoyed opening all his gifts. At 2 he has much better understanding of what is going on, so knew today was special.

Another gift was a trip to Horton Park – the petting zoo with adventure playgrounds that Alex really enjoyed last year. Now he is older he had so much more fun!!!

Alex 2nd bday (56)

Alex loved seeing the animals again, but this time he was “All about the action!”.

Nanas Pics (53)

Alex 2nd bday (37)

Alex 2nd bday (16)

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A stop for a picnic lunch was required to recharge the turbo-toddler batteries, and then it was off again!!!

Alex 2nd bday (29)

This year he threw himself into all the climbing frames and slides, running rings around us adults!

Alex 2nd bday (42)

Top day out…..followed by a sleep in the car on the way home….then play time again with his sand and water table (less sand…). He should sleep well tonight!!!

Water table toy (12)


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