Sunday, 28 February 2010

Splash continued

So the rain kept on raining, sometimes it rained as sleet, sometimes as snow, sometimes as a combination, sometimes as something altogether different. The wet patch on the floor remains, wet and squishy and the ongoing Turkish Bath effect continues. There is some comfort in the certainty that accompanies traveling with a known, if a little hard to pinpoint defect. Twenty minutes on the fast lane of our local motorway meant no let up in the spray but it did deal with the prospect of the steam. I await better and more civilised weather breaking out.

Saturday, 27 February 2010


I made the fatal mistake of parking on a steep hill in Edinburgh, nose facing down a hill. Unfortunately I did this in torrential rain, it seems now to be not a good combination of things to do. When I returned to the car I found about an inch of water in the passenger foot well, a mystery leak has sprung from somewhere. The upshot of that is I now get extreme window fogging as the inside of the car turns into an equatorial rain forest when the (erratic) heating cuts in and the temperature rises. Doh! I applied some surplus sections of newspaper to the wet floor to mop up the wet mess. I am watching the weather and the foot well carefully.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

I love ABS

But not so much in the snow when approaching T junctions. Yes back to slithering in the mornings and finding your feet. I failed quite magnificently to find mine this morning, falling on my behind in the slush and mud just as I'd popped the central locking. After the shock and awe was over I returned to the house to change out a rather muddy business suit and into a clean one. Great start to day, then a trail of sleet and spray all the way across the Forth Bridge and into the murky depths of Fife in Winter. Roll on Spring.

Monday, 22 February 2010


Tailgate under the thin moon.

As a driver I seldom tailgate and I hate it when somebody does it to me. Usually it happens on windy rural roads when your running at about 55, enjoying the camber and the tarmac rumble. Then a Mini, a Renault Clio or some rep-mobile will try to suck the exhaust straight out of your pipes by riding up your bum crack. Disrespectful and unnecessary. Once they do get past you a water bottle or some Burger King wrapping will usually come sailing out of the passenger window and bounce across the road.

Yesterday I witnessed a nutter in a Saab estate cut me off on the outside lane in order to drive alongside a Renault in the inner lane and, across the carriageway have a go at the driver. I've no idea what was going on but it was neither safe nor pleasant - it happened on the M9 near Grangemouth about 1130 Sunday 21st.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Uncle Buck

Fancy that...I thought I saw Uncle Buck's Cougar parked up just across from our house the other day. Truth is stranger than fiction and fiction is more believable than fact.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Jump start

Thankfully not needed today, not for the Coug but for one of our splendid utility vehicles. The cold and damp takes its toll, insidiously working its way into electrics and engines, slowly strangling the life and chilling the innards. Then you push in the key, turn, blip the throttle and only get that dry cough, a growl and churn and no spark. Then its the full damp start routine, the spray and the drying out, wipe, wait and watch, turn the key, blip, a few anxious seconds and then the chug turns to a roar and a cloud of white, stubborn smoke is pushed from the exhaust. Winter driving and the art of surviving.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Slow puncture

It doesn't look like much but £50 worth of carefully chosen grocery, strong drink and personal hygiene items gets you a tankful of the amber nectar with a 5p a litre discount. Wow. As I was about to take up this kind and seasonally adjusted offer I had a good go at the roadside air pump. As usual the back tyres were alarmingly flat though not looking or feeling that way. Every month I get caught out by this, seems I have slow punctures to match both my slow reactions and my increasingly slow (?) thinking processes.

Incidentally the picture above shows a different load of shopping taken quite carelessly from a series of random pictures, not the actual £53.56 worth of tat I referred to above. Truth, reality and blogging do not go together, would be strange bedfellows and make my irregular logging of the trivial things in life and motoring considerably more difficult.

Friday, 12 February 2010

More Tesco daily photo

To find your silver and therefore anonymous car, park adjacent to a handy signpost. Then forget the sign post. Then forget the car. Then forget what you went into the shop for and buy a selection of random things you don't need. Return to the car park. Search for the car and drive home (by a familiar route) and reflect on an hour well spent. Unpack your shopping and enjoy the long process of putting together the pieces of an impossible jigsaw.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Don't look back

Riding on the taxi hamster wheel for the next few days. Family passengers, shopping trips and myself, the best driver / passenger combination. In the process I'm accelerating away smoothly and stopping steadily whilst all around nervous Toyota drivers skate on the thin ice of motoring uncertainty, never a good place to inhabit even for a short period of time. Despite that I still fancy an old Celica coupe, if Mr Cougar ever falls over - but it seems that 63 years of continuous improvement sometimes gets you exactly nowhere.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Joni Mitchell is not my passenger

I'm travelling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
And shell shocked love affairs.

Other than listen to her occasionally on the radio I have as yet to play any Joni Mitchell CDs on the car stereo. It's been two years now, I probably should do something. I'm just not so reflective and melancholy as I may have been in the past (I think), so despite all that I'm still falling back onto and into Nantucket Sleigh Ride on a regular basis. I'm on a semi/quasi/pseudo religious quest to discover and distribute the definitive version for a full on Zen driving experience.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Old boot

I love the Cougar's huge boot. I love not worrying about fitting in bags and baggage and all the odds and ends I have to carry. It takes everything, well almost. Of course the lip is high, the shape is awkward and the parcel shelf often gets in the way but that's all trivial stuff, it does the job. Today it was the remains of my grand daughter's wardrobe, an IKEA item now surplus and worn out. We flattened it and crammed it in and I trundled it over here, now on one fine day it will form the sacrificial centrepiece of a spring bonfire.

Funny how you look through a windscreen and not at it, it's also a much safer thing to do I suppose. Today I was looking at it (car stationary) and noticed what looked like series of cat paw prints on the inside. Of course there has been no wild or otherwise cat running amok in my car as far as I know, it must simply be another strange staining phenomenon, like the face of Jesus in the dust on a door or on a piece of golden toast. Two minutes of wiping and they were gone only to be replaced with fresh wipe smears.

Saturday, 6 February 2010


(How clean is this car?) There's a place for us, somewhere a place for us. Peace and quiet...

I collected three hoots today: one for cutting up (thoughtless moment) a Fiat Punto and two from a Volkswagen Microbus for no particular reason other that recognition and possible admiration. Modern man has a low level of tolerance and too acute a sense of the importance for his or her own tiny piece of road space and not enough respect for the Ford and the dawdling over 50s.

Every so often you arrive at a petrol station that holds and sells a great chicken pie and a selection of useful vegetables, proving that petrol stations have a higher purpose and one possibly greater than the simple task of petrol replenishment. I guess if we didn't need petrol stations for petrol then we'd have to invent them but call them something else.

Friday, 5 February 2010

£7 down

Dont walk towards the white light.

White heat. No heat. White light.

The spray effect.

Jackson Pollock shock wave.

Thursday, 4 February 2010


I think I went over on some kind of tangent and crossed a line on the Impossibles Blog when I mentioned that every so often I become invisible and drive around just to see the looks on the faces of other motorists and pedestrians. Actually none of that was true. I just drive around for fun.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


And it came to pass that I looked out upon the world and the world was good except for the fact that once again it minus something and the White Angel of the snow factory had descended upon us. Lo it wasn't so good and I returned unto the place of desolation with a degree of slithering. So the North wind blew and the South wind didn't bother and the various other winds were unable to be contacted so I've no idea what they were doing. It's one of those ordinary and yet miraculous days that will be forgotten about tomorrow albeit the slithering tendencies are likely to remain. Mine's an Irn Bru now that I'm home.

Oh, and on the way home I did see the Devil and whatnot in my rear view mirror. Unexpected but not all that scary.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

No slithering

It was minus a few degrees this morning and the radio described many a chaotic scene on the Scottish roads. Apart from a brief encounter with a brightly lit up artic today's journeys were uneventful and there was no slithering. On the way home I invested in a tankful of Shell's finest dead dinosaur brew, cheaper by 3p a litre than the same product in another Shell station five miles away in Fife's Kingdom. Economic and commercial anarchy I'd say and without any good reason.