An Apple for the teacher

appleIt’s been a long time coming, but I finally got myself an iPhone 3g at the weekend. It’s only available on the O2 network here in the UK, so that meant having to transfer away from my long term contract with Vodafone.

Not something I was looking forward to, because I was sure the process was likely to be fraught with grief. For the record, if Voda had been able to offer the iPhone, I would have stayed with them.

I knew it was going to be a good device, I’ve read the reviews, considered the main things that are supposed to be ‘bad’ about it compared to ‘equivalent’ handsets on the market…

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Cars ‘n stuff

After my recent spat on the M8 I had to get a new car.  All that thinking and talking about cars got me thinking about how many cars I’ve had since I started driving and some of the stories that went with them all.

Can you remember all the cars you ever owned?
warning: nostalgia and petrol-head terms in the following post…

escortThe first car I had was a Mk1 Ford Escort. It was silver with a purple roof when I got it (nice eh?) but I painted it black, with a brush. As the time, I reckoned it looked great, there were no brush strokes, it looked like a professional job… for a while, until the oil based paint got scuffed and started peeling off in strips.

The car itself was held together with cataloy and gun-gum but it was a learning experience and allowed me to hone my skills on rust removal, filling and sanding, oh yes the sanding.

Eventually I peeled all the paint off and resprayed it, with proper primer and black paint this time – it was sauce. Eventually sold it, when it failed its MOT, for £20. Well, we are talking the early eighties here, twenty quid was over 40 pints in the union bar.

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New boots and panties

My new theme: AspireFor those of you old enough to remember Ian Dury, you’ll recognise the title.

But this post has nothing to do with Ian Dury, or indeed music. Its about a new look for the blog.  I decided that after sticking with the iNove theme for a few months, it was time to move up a gear.

So I hooked myself up with a new, free WordPress theme from, it’s called Aspire, hope you like it.

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21st Century Banks, aye right

Representation of a non-specific bankIt’s easy to have a swipe at the banking industry these days, in fact everyone does, relentlessly. In all reality, there’s not much us poor Joe-punters can do about it other than sit back and be affected in whatever proportionally smaller way the the billions or trillions that are talked about.

However, my gripe’s not with the spiffy hedge-fund boys, with their wonderfully complex financial models to efficiently lose shedloads of cash, nor is it the folks that reckoned sub-prime lending would be a wheeze or even those responsible for doling out massive payouts to executives of failing companies. While these are all undoubtedly ‘bad things’ that affect us all, they’re not affecting me directly, personally, right now.

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Outrageous inflation

poloI bought a packet of Polo mints today, when filling up my car at the petrol station. “So what”, you may think, but I was astonished to find that they are 50p a pack now (other currencies are available).

Now grantedly it may be a while since I bought a pack of Polos on their own and noticed the price, but what’s happening to the world? When I think back to the ‘old days’, was when I was a kid, I remember they were 10p a pack, at the very most.

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And tonight Matthew, I will be…

Fancy dress, not halfMy nephew decided to have a themed fancy-dress party for his 21st birthday. The idea was to come as a character from your favourite movie or novel. With plenty of warning, we therefore had lots of time to deliberate over the character in question and the costumes.

I went as Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction, Jeanette as Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray, Kayleigh as an Oompa Loompa (from the original movie) Ross (below) as Super Mario and Euan as Harry Potter.

** New ** Photo gallery included (broken in IE6).

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Is this the smallest car in the world?

This really is a very small carFollowing a bit of an altercation on the M8 motorway last week, I had the joy of being issued with a courtesy car by my insurers.

I fully expected that I wouldn’t be getting temporary wheels of the standard I had been used to, but what transpired is just a bit beyond a joke. Well, clearly it is not beyond a joke since everyone is openly enjoying the fact I am having to drive the automotive equivalent of a roller-skate.

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