Celebrating the birthday of W O Bentley who was born on 16th September 1888.
I caught up last night and watched the last night of the Proms, sadly I do not have time to list all the things that were wrong with it, suffice to say absolutely abysmal is an understatement.
Whoever organised this rubbish should be taken out and shot, it certainly wasn’t the last night of the Proms, it was however a politically correct sequence of performances and a fine example of how to ruin an evenings entertainment.
As a box ticking exercise in political correctness you could see each box come up, starting with Black South African Woman with a Jewish sounding name, (I haven’t the time to find out if she actually is Jewish) and were the ribbons on the conductors rostrum LGBT, there wasn’t a box not ticked, although I missed the vertically challenged person in a wheelchair.
Even worse were the very strange arrangements of popular and well loved songs with verses that you had never heard before that were obviously picked in an attempt not to offend anyone.
Well BBC, sadly I have to say I think you have offended a great many people, in fact by producing this load of rubbish I would imagine you have managed to offend every single one of your traditional viewers for this programme, if that was your intent, then you have succeeded.
So sad that the BBC has sunk to this level and I suspect that if they produce a similar load of tosh next year, I would imagine their viewing figures would be so low they will be able to count them on the fingers of one hand.
My wife and I go to the Goodwood Revival every year which would be taking place this weekend but sadly due to Covid the event has been cancelled, so we are missing seeing our friends, some splendid classic motor racing and dressing in our forties clothes.
I suppose it will make us appreciate next year that much more, assuming we are rid of this rather boring Covid thing by then.
So to any of our friends who may see this, I say; hello and look forward to seeing you all next year.
Not forgotten, 2001 my how time flies.
Whilst we live in an age where we have to be politically correct I do think sometimes we are taking things a little too far, as exampled with some of the phrases chosen not to be used by football commentators.
The BBC held an “avoiding racial bias” training session to avoid using certain words where 450 people from broadcasting took part.
Some of the words and phrases chosen were not what one might call, “in common usage,” for example; Cakewalk, nitty gritty, sold down the river and uppity were among those on the banned list, along with blackballed, blacklisted, black mark and whiter than white.
Who, I might ask would know the original derivation of cakewalk, nitty gritty and sold down the river, without recourse to Wikipedia and as for uppity, which where it not followed by the “N” word would have no racial connotation, for I am sure I have heard it used in my lifetime against white people with no intended reference to race.
As for banning, blackballed, blacklisted and black mark, I’m forced to wonder are we to eventually ban anything connected with the word black, is my black MG motorcar no longer black, or my wife who comes from Jamaica, is she no longer black? If this is the case I think it will come as a surprise to her.
Those tuning into the webinar were also warned about how describing black players as having pace and/or power could see them fall into the trap of racial stereotyping, although I imagine it would be alright to describe a white player as having both of these attributes.
The suggestion not to use the phrase, “whiter than white” seems a little odd to me as I have never thought of the phrase as having any racial overtones and just meant morally beyond reproach, the suggestion that this implies that black is bad and white is good seems to be stretching a point.
However, blue is sad, yellow is cowardly, red can be construed as angry, pink is girly, lemon is acidic, green is calming and there used to be a colour called “N” word brown which I imagine is now just called various hues of brown from light to dark.
I imagine there are many other colours which may have a feeling or emotion associated with them but I don’t think I have ever heard of the colour black being described as bad.
This matter is not as clear cut as black and white, forgive me for using the analogy for I have no intention of making any colour of the rainbow feel either inferior or superior, let alone getting into a long drawn out argument of the relative merits of fifty shades of grey.
I am so glad that I belong to that small band of chaps, (assuming I haven’t been blackballed from the club) who can’t stand football, for who would want to listen to a bunch of football pundits stuttering over their words while struggling for the correct way to describe the referee’s outfit, amongst other things.
The following are extracts from an article from Porsche motor cars which sound like salvation to those of us who appreciate the delights of the internal combustion engine and wish to remain using our classic cars well into the future.
Not only will this be the sensible way forward, it may stop the building of several nuclear power stations in this country which would be needed should the world continue with its current policy of trying to force us all to drive electric cars.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, the internal combustion engine was not broken, it didn’t need fixing; rather than wasting billions installing the infrastructure to charge electric cars, just change the fuel to a carbon neutral product, it’s so damn simple.
Although synthetic fuels are considered a realistic alternative to make car traffic more climate-friendly, availability is poor. Porsche wants to change this. “With electricity alone, you can’t move forward fast enough,” says Michael Steiner, who is in charge of R&D at Porsche.
In the future, Porsche wants to significantly and independently drive forward the development of synthetic fuels, known as eFuels. “This technology is particularly important because the combustion engine will continue to dominate the automotive world for many years to come,” says Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development. “If you want to operate the existing fleet in a sustainable manner, eFuels are a fundamental component.”
“We have a team that is looking for suitable partners who want to build pilot plants with us and prove that the entire process chain works and can be industrialised,” says Steiner. “Porsche wants to help shape this chain, but at the same time, doesn’t want to define it down to the smallest detail alone.”
Michael Steiner underlined the importance of eFuels during the “Porsche Tech Talk”.
eFuels are produced from CO2 and hydrogen using renewable energy. In terms of their basic properties, they are no different from kerosene, diesel or petrol processed from crude oil. However, they can ideally be a climate-neutral fuel.
With the Taycan, Porsche already has a purely electrically powered model in its range, and many model ranges now have hybrid options available. But this is not enough … “Electric mobility is an exciting and convincing technology but, taken on its own, it is taking us towards our sustainability targets at a slower pace than we would like,” explains Steiner. “That’s why we are also committing to eFuels – and not ignoring possible applications in motor sports either.”
Although Porsche plans for half of all its vehicles sold to be electric by 2025, the existing fleet is large. “Our cars are driven for a very, very long time,” emphasises Steiner. “And, while our hybrid vehicles are powered electrically for short distances, they rely on their combustion engines over longer distances.”
Porsche is not thinking of taking the pure combustion engine out of the product range and focusing solely on hybrids and electric cars. “We are convinced that these three drive technologies will survive on the market in the medium term,” affirms Steiner. Fuel cells, on the other hand, are not currently in the sports car manufacturer’s future plans.
In the future, both current and historical models of the existing fleet should be able to benefit from eFuels.
Steiner would like to be able to influence the specifications of a new synthetic fuel: “We absolutely want to help with this process so that the fuel is suitable for high-performance engines.”
I hope you enjoyed the article, admittedly rather on the long side for those of my readers who just use their cars as a means of transport but hopefully for those of us who might be described as car enthusiasts I think this offers us a glimmer of hope that sanity may be taken into the equation with regard to planning of our motoring future.
I believe this Monday considerable numbers of children have returned to school with parents and teachers concerned for the long term mental health of the poor things.
Whilst I can sympathise with the parents of these traumatised children I think it might be useful to put it properly into perspective and the only other comparison I can think of is the ordeal suffered by children during the Blitz in World War Two.
I saw a couple of articles on the subject, the first concerned Joan Sprigg who lied about her age and said she was a couple of months older as she needed to be 16 to join the Air Raid Precautions (ARP).
She was based in a school in Birmingham which was equipped to deal with the casualties from the air raids which sometimes went on for 13 hours, her task was to administer first aid.
She said, “we had a lot of dead who we used to lay out in the playground, there were ever so many dead, it was horrendous, quite horrendous.”
On another occasion 600 people were buried alive when a German 1000 lb bomb dropped at Hallville Junior School in London’s East End.
The school was crowded with people waiting to be evacuated to the safety of the countryside, most of the dead were never recovered and the crater was filled in while the official death toll was given as 77, I imagine it may have been considerably more.
I think the trauma allegedly suffered by today’s pupils who have had to endure a few months off school at home playing on their play stations, compared to the two previous examples of the horrors of war seems to pale into insignificance.
I am a member of the Bentley Drivers Club and we have a monthly meeting which of late has been very sparsely populated, in fact we have been down to two of us due to people’s fears of Covid 19 and last night was sadly just myself.
Another member had commented on our BDC Facebook page that I ought to give up the unequal struggle and just have a drink with friends in the garage and the following was my reply.
I think it’s getting a little chilly for drinking in the garage so I’ll stick to imbibing in the comfort of the indoors.
You may think I’m flogging a dead horse but had, by chance, a new member turned up last night at least there would have been someone there to welcome them.
I do feel a little like Charles Lightoller the second officer on the Titanic who survived the ordeal and went on to greater things.
A little snippet of information I found when researching my next book concerned Charles Lightoller and the Dunkirk evacuations.
Apparently, he took his own boat Sundowner which was only 58 ft long together with his eldest son and a young sea scout for crew over to the Dunkirk beaches and evacuated 130 men to safety.
You see, there is light at the end of the tunnel, can you imagine a time in the future when we are back to normal and are joined by 130 people for our Noggin and Natter, although that may be a tad crowded.
They say if you put all the people in the World standing on the Isle of Wight it would be like a crowded cocktail party, we need to strike a compromise between this, “The Right Crowd and No Crowding” and no-one at all.
I had a fairly pleasant meal and a quick pint so all was not lost, although I kept having the same tune going through my head for some reason, no matter as “Nearer my God to Thee,” has always been one of my favourite hymns.
The current situation with regard to Covid 19 and travel abroad is changing all the time leaving travellers worried that they might get caught while abroad and have to isolate for two weeks upon their return.
The latest country which seems to be in the spotlight is Portugal which I noticed on the television this morning has British holiday makers desperate to find a flight home before the Government announce a compulsory isolation period when returning from their holiday in that country.
I have some advice which I feel may be of some use to people who are venturing abroad in the current situation.
The safest way of avoiding a compulsory isolation when returning from a foreign Covid hot spot country is very simple, DO NOT GO THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
On the other hand if you do go and get caught, DON’T COMPLAIN, IT WAS YOUR OWN SILLY FAULT FOR GOING IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Our daughter ordered some groceries from ASDA last week which were supposed to arrive late on Friday night but which did not arrive.
As the next day was a Bank Holiday she left it to contact the supermarket on the Tuesday whereupon they cancelled the order and said she would have to reorder and go to the back of the queue with regard to booking a delivery slot.
This particular piece of idiotic modern life caused me to cast my mind back to “the good old days” where a shopkeeper who had made the same faux pas as Asda would have responded differently to a valued customer; assuming of course that ASDA consider their customers as valued.
I imagine in days gone by the response may have been a little different, something along the lines of, “Good Lord, Madam/Sir, I am so frightfully sorry we have failed to deliver your order, I will see to it that I send a man out with a fresh order straight away and please accept my sincere apologies, you will of course not be charged for this delivery.” Had this been in writing they would have ended with the phrase, “We are your obedient servants, ASDA supermarket.”
I was further reminded of how much better customer service used to be when I took my car to be washed and having decided to have it waxed as well I went into the nearby TESCO supermarket with the intention of purchasing a magazine to read whilst I was waiting.
Having found a suitable magazine I took it to the checkout where the lady on the till informed me “this isn’t on the system, we can’t sell it to you.”
As I was wearing a mask which I thought might suffice as a disguise I was tempted, for a brief moment in time, to do what is colloquially known as “doing a runner” but thought better of it.
It’s hard to hear when wearing a mask though Lord knows why, however the checkout lady summoned assistance from an employee of higher standing who came to the till to repeat exactly what had been said to me previously.
I suggested perhaps I might just give them the £4.80 in cash but this was not available as an as an option when the “computer says no.”
Upon returning home I was regaling the story to our other daughter who when young worked in customer service for a supermarket and would you believe it, had these ladies been bothered to put themselves out they could through the means of computer whizzkiddery have put the magazine onto the system and thereby sold the item to me.
Yet another example of the abysmal customer service we put up with nowadays and just in case people should imagine that I am not telling the truth about the old days, I have included a rather faded letter sent to my father in 1959 apologising that the Banquet photographs were not shown on Saturday and ending in the proper fashion; “We are, Your obedient servants.”
Ah, how I long for the good old days!