Thursday, 29 April 2010


Whatever happened to spacey, U.F.O. space-age design? Gone forever and replaced by boxy clones and spiky Manga cartoon shapes? Car design and development in the doldrums it seems, bound up by weird hybred bumps and undefined fashion styles. The details on the Cougar remain understated, almost bland but still striking. The mirrors look an odd shape, flat at the bottom and like a tear drop above with quite a small actual glass area. They are also rigid and designed to knock-off (not so keen on that feature) but they work, as a piece of design and from a driver's perspective. OK?

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Quantum Entanglements

and a Krispy Kreme late breakfast.

Having driven up to Banff in Moray and then down to Portsmouth in about 36 hours utilising the theory of Quantum Entanglements to supplement the power of Ford I deserved something different for elevenses. When I did finally get to Pompey it was coffee and donuts. Not quite the normal high street bakery kind this time, more their imported American cousins drenched in sugar and full of strange (sugar based) ingredients, well maple glaze and strawberry syrup, both set at a new and vital level of intensity. The rush helped me concentrate on the road back up to Oxford and the dense and incessant traffic I encountered, doesn’t help if you stick religiously to speed limits unfortunately.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Clear skies?

As I came out of the house this morning to get into the car I had to quickly duck to avoid being hit by a chocolate gateaux, a portion of pork chops and a packet of crispy onions rings: fallout from Iceland.

Monday, 19 April 2010

She's a volcano

As the sun rose slowly in the far away East I woke, I got up, showered, dressed and stumbled out of the house to find my car completely untouched by volcanic ash - and safely grounded. There's a good start to any day.

I am however driving a little more gingerly than usual as I am fearful that any sudden burst of wilful acceleration and the ram of cool fresh volcanic air hitting the hot gasses in the various orderly and disorderly combustion chambers may cause large parts of my engine to turn to glass. The story thereafter will be one of crashing and burning. It's all too risky.

If the worst does happen I'll deposit the car at the bottle bank on the way home.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Where are we headed?

Time out in a lay-by, thinking of not very much and listening to a random series of radio channels. I'm a channel flicker of the first, second and third order, talk keeps me going only so long and then I have to search for decent tune, two in a row would be nice but that's rare these days. Meanwhile there are bigger things happening, the air is awash with mysterious dust from the earth's bowel region, politicians are lining up to contradict themselves and one another and the sharp and incisive rays of the sun are providing me with DIY laser eye surgery.

In a parallel universe war has been declared on Iceland.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Man, machine and plants

So how many shrubs can you get into the rear end of a Cougar? (Not including the exhaust pipe.) A poorly worded and thought through question you may say, I know my limits, and the answer is - as above.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Busy / Dull

Been busy and I've been dull, not driven anywhere of any great interest, no mishaps and no significant religious experiences and no party political views I feel the need to express or supress. I might well participate on the fuel boycott on May 1st but I could do that by accident anyway, I hardly fill the car up every day of the week. It's quite nice sometimes not to really care...

Friday, 9 April 2010

That petrol emotion

Now that petrol has reached an all time high of £12.0 for a litre or a European thimbleful or whatever the denominations are the unhappy cost of Cougar ownership is spiralling in an upwards spiral in a somewhat annoying fashion. In terms of economy I’m stuck at about 38 mpg which is probably good but unlikely to improve even with well rehearsed thunderbolts and occasional light foots (or light feet). Perhaps new Michelins or Tom Farmers or lighter aftermarket alloys are the answer, probably not. In many ways it’s best to ignore the dials and the numbers unless they are a) glowing red in a bad way or b) registering a number that indicates a serious engine fault or some imminent fine, fixed penalty or other civil or criminal offence. 38 mpg isn’t so bad.

Monday, 5 April 2010


Breakfast car parking in one of Dundee's golden arch branches.

It was wet, windy and bleak and bleak this morning as I drove up to Aberdeen carrying an enormous wooden chest in the back. The chest dates back to the 1920s and is the last remnant of my long departed old mum's house to be redistributed around the family. It now has a new resting place in the granite city where one of my sons plans to refit it for some mysterious purpose. I should delivered it two years ago but it's hard to run up there without a bevvy of passengers. One job less on the list.

Nice drive up and down without any significant water leaks or wiper noises and the traffic was pleasantly light so driving around the limit all the way there and back was easy. The current crop of potholes are still causing concern but based on the economic forecasts unlikely to get better in the short term. Get used to it.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

River wash over me

M90 going south towards Junction 2, today at 0920.

Pink print

The leak in the front passenger foot well is now accompanied by a new one in the spare wheel well under the boot. A bit of an own goal there of course, I recently used the local jet wash and power cleaned the car's underneath. It appears now that the drain grommet was loose and the flood happened. Yesterday afternoon was spent mopping up the soaking damage and spraying more WD40 around, everything left in there was tainted.

What can you get in a Cougar's boot? Quite a lot really and not only water; just back from the garden centre with 3 x 8 foot posts and a 6 x 4 foot trellis. Not bad for a sports coupe.