Over the weekend, I hired a car – I was doing a drive to Middlesbrough, Newcastle, and back – and chose to have an automatic (as written about here) The main reason was just to see how I got on with it, as autos aren’t something I usually drive.
It was actually pretty interesting. Enterprise gave me a Ford C-Max, which is a proper boat of a thing – but all went really well. It drives a whole lot better than it looks, and it’s the most spookily quiet thing I’ve driven. There’s dark magic at work, when you’re travelling at *cough* 75 in a diesel-engined car, and can’t hear a jot of engine noise. Well, it’s either that or I’m going completely deaf. (Hint : It’s not the latter) Interestingly, that makes it quite hard (for me) to hold to a speed – it turns out that I drive far more by the noise of the engine than looking at the speedo/revs (which also explains why I speed up when I turn the radio volume up) Thankfully, it also comes with cruise control, and a speed limiter.
The journey up was pretty easy – and very lazy, with not having to change gear at all – but didn’t give me a great ability to test my preferences between auto and manual.
However, the journey back really showed the benefits. There’d been an accident on the M1 up in Leicestershire (nothing major, a two-vehicle thing that spread across the two outside lanes) and the queues were insane – mainly because there were so many fuckknuckle cunts who belt along, ignoring the ‘lanes closed’ signs, and wait ’til the last possible minute before pulling in to the only open lane, thus jamming things up for everyone else.
As an aside, I strongly believe that the speed cameras should be activated on every gantry where the “lane closed” signs are operative, and should catch every single driver who ignores the warnings and stays in those lanes. Simple driving without due care and attention, £60 fine in the post. Not (necessarily) even points on the licence – the cunts would soon learn when it started being expensive.
Anyway, those tailbacks were, if not a joy, at least a lot easier. No need for endless gearchanges, clutch etc., just plod and stop, plod and stop. I’m still not a fan of the auto-stop/start technology on modern cars, but even that worked fine all the way through, so I confess that I’m less unconvinced than I was. (And yes, I know, double negative etc. etc.)
Once past that, it was an easy ride again. I was impressed by the satnav in the car, picking up a further closure on the M1 and automatically rerouting. I know it’s pretty standard (or should be) but it hasn’t happened in any of the other hire cars I’ve played in this year, so it was a nice touch.
I think if I were to end up doing a lot of city/motorway driving again for commuting etc., I’d seriously consider getting a car with an automatic gearbox now. It doesn’t completely match my driving style at present – I still had a couple of moments of acceleration (particularly when pulling away from a junction, and when coming out into traffic) where I wasn’t happy with how the auto ‘box handled things, as it either over-revved and/or bogged down, until I let up the accelerator and re-pressed it. But I acknowledge that’s my driving style, rather than the ‘box itself. I’m pretty sure that I’d quickly change my style to be a more gradual acceleration if I were to have an auto vehicle as my everyday drive.
Will I consider hiring an auto again when the travel dictates it? Yes.
So all told, pretty successful all round.
Why is it that on just about every TV competition show – X-Factor, Masterchef, Bake Off, whatever – when it comes to the semi-finals, one of the hosts always has to say
Any one of these people could win it
Of course they fucking could, they’re in the semi-sodding-final. Stop stating the bloody obvious, you fatuous bollocks-spouting cretins.
The last few days have been somewhat sore.
As I’ve said before, I’ve been doing more walking with the new office location etc. Despite that (or, in my cynicism, because of it) on Saturday my back wrenched. Simply bending over to pick up a pen, and pop, gone. Ow, Ow, Fucking Ow.
It’s not as bad as it could’ve been – but is still bloody sore. Oddly, a decent walk seems to help loosen things, but the first bit of that walk hurts like fuck.
And things could be worse. I could have a cold/cough, that wracks the spine every time it happens.
Oh yes, I’ve got that too. Thanks life, health, and general body stuff. You unutterable bastard.
Hopefully it’ll all wear off before too long. In the meantime, safe to say that I feel like shit.
In the meantime, this losing weight and getting healthy (or at least healthier) crap isn’t all it’s knocked up to be, I tell you.
I’ve come to the conclusion that in some circumstances, I bloody hate dogs. Well, more the dog owners, rather than the dogs themselves. Let me explain…
Every time I walk around the village in daylight (which I do a fair amount, due to an increased rate of exercise etc.) there are areas that are just covered in dog shit. Particularly in the area where it’s footpath across fields, any time you step off the pavement (for a cyclist, or other people) you’re at risk of stepping in shit. It’s even riskier in the evenings, because you’ve no chance of seeing the fucking stuff.
There are shit bins at either end of this particular footpath, but no, these people just allow their dogs to shit and leave it. They also let it happen in the alleyways between houses – as a houseowner there, I’d be debating CCTV and/or violence. I wonder how they’d feel if I went and took a dump on their doorstep one day?
As a prospective dog owner (or indeed an actual dog owner) you must surely understand that picking up dog shit is part of the deal. I always understood that, and would pick it up wherever possible – obviously if they’ve run across miles/fields and there’s no-one ever going to go in that direction, you’re less likely to pick it up – but if it was ever near/on somewhere people would regularly walk, I picked up after Hound.
The facilities are there. Fucking use them. People piss me off.
While I loved the Peter Gabriel gig on Wednesday, it has to be said that the audience consisted of some of the biggest vagtrumpets known to Man.
I really don’t understand people – as has been said many times before – but I truly don’t get why on earth you would pay £50 or more per ticket and then spend the entire concert walking to and from the bar, or chatting to your friends instead of, you know, listening to the music and enjoying the concert.
It’s even worse when – as with the concert last night – it’s an all-seated gig, so these jizzmopping fuckflannels keep on disturbing the entire row in order to go and get drinks, come back with drinks, go to the bog, and whatever else they’re doing. It makes me want to punch them in the kidneys as they go past, just so they’ll stay in one place for a while.
Maybe I’m getting old, but I just can’t see the enjoyment in going to a gig and not really listening to the music at all.
(The one that really pissed me off though was the so-called fan, when they played one of the key tracks from that ‘So’ album said that he ‘had never heard that one before’, for fuck’s sake)
I don’t know when/why it started, but it now seems that part of the media’s Christmas tradition is to have a report/story about a “Christmas Park” that opens in November and closes down after one day because of its general shitness, and the resultant litany of customer complaints.
This year, the ‘honour’ has apparently gone to ‘The Magical Journey‘, which was designed/proposed by arch-tossrag Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
But really, what does anyone expect? These arseholic fucktrumpets are paying up to £20 a head to go and ‘see Santa’ – in November, in unseasonably warm/mild weather – and then get upset that it’s muddy, that they’ve got to queue for ages to see sodding Santa, and that really it’s all – gasp! – a bit shit.
Rather than talking to Trading Standards, I’d suggest probably getting mental health professionals involved, and getting every single one of those paying customers to take a good long hard look at themselves. For fuck’s sake.
On a totally different note, why is it that batteries in smoke alarms and CO2 detectors *always* need replacing at 4am?
Bastard bloody things.
Still, at least I now know – not that I had any doubt, and I certainly didn’t need any proof – that I can’t sleep through a CO2 alarm.
(And of course yes, I can now – because I pulled the dead/dying batteries out of the fucking thing)