Friday, April 28, 2006

Digging a hole on Dartmoor

Yes folks, make of that title what you will.
Some tosser broke one of my gateposts and at last I've got around to making a start on replacing it. Some of you may know that ideally one third of the gate post should be underground, so I'm looking to dig down about 2'9". I've got to about 2' and sod me, I've hit a huge lump of granite that seems to be connected to the earth's core. So now I have to initiate Plan B, which is use concrete to set the post in. I hate doing this for three reasons, I have to go into town to get the sand, chippings and cement, it costs money, and it is environmentally not the best thing to do.
I know on the great scale of things whether I go get and use a small bag of cement or not is neither here nor there, but my efforts to minimise my carbon footprint have become a habit with me now. It feels good that I am concious of my actions in this way.
Go for it everyone, especially you yanks - the planet is a beautiful place and we should look after it for our grandchildren's children.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I know you're not interested in old cars....

But I am! So what about this for a description of the Austin Allegro

'It leaked, its rear screen popped out if you jacked it up in the wrong place and, for some reason, it had a square steering wheel'.

Top marks to Surlygirl for reminding me about the square steering wheel. The Allegro experience was truly a privilage for those of you lucky enough never to have been near them. Unfortunately I did not ecape the hideousness of owning possibly the most embarrassing car ever made. It cost me £40 with three months mot - surely a bargain by anyone's standards. It was horrible and actually it was so bad I am not even going to begin cataloguing all it's faults.

It was my final British car - sadly I abandoned my patriotism in favour of more reliable motoring.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A tribute to the Hillman Avenger

Spurred on by the Surly Girl's correct identification of the Commer van as the one that looked like a guinea pig (possibly the favourite line so far on my blog) I have decided that it is time to write a long overdue tribute to the Hillman Avenger. Surely one of the most dull cars ever to grace our roads. I had three of them one after the other and the top price I paid was £200. The best ones were the mettalic paint ones - I had a shit brown one and then an electric blue one - I heard later that they were really pissed off that the metallic paint was 'too good'. My third Avenger, a white estate, rusted out in no time.

Mechanically they were brilliant. If you got the 1300 one it was very economical but the best thing was that they were totally DIY friendly. Inside they were disgusting - all cheap grubby plastic and absolutely no pretence or effort in the direction of luxury. And on the road, well no-one looked at you twice - you know how people check to see your number plate to see where you sit on the social scale, well with the Avenger you might as well have written on your face, 'I am a absolute tosser of total insignificance'.

A few years ago I spotted a nicely preserved Avenger with an 'Avenger Owners Club' sticker in the back window. I've googled it but to no avail. However I did find out that they are famous for their 'hockey stick' design back light assembly.

I also once owned an Austin Allegro....