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The object of this opinion is to clear up several misunderstandings concerning Lorna Doone. For some extraordinary reason the basis of the tale, the correct siting of places in the book, the ancestory of the Doones and the existence of John Ridd, had never been fully researched. Sir Atholl Oakeley was once a champion wrestler like Lorna's John Ridd, lived in Lynton, Devon and the world's premier "Doonaphile". He produced a booklet "The facts on which Blackmore based Lorna Doone", and some of my research has been conducted with this help. On the cover of his booklet is a copy of a famous picture of Lorna Doone painted by W. Wontner, R.A., 18 years before the book's publication. Surprisingly most visitors to Exmoor are not very concerned with the region's most appealing story, which does however attract thousands of visitors from all over the world to Porlock and Lynton's gift shops, restaurants and hotels. Although the waitresses have long since objected to dressing up in Lorna Doone clothes I recently took up the challenge. The Ordnance Survey heard of the work of Oakeley, and in 1969 sent a team of researchers. The team was instructed to examiine the fact that the Doone Valley was by the book cited in Lank Combe whereas due to an error in 1919 they had cited it in the adjoining Valley of Hoccombe. In 1809 the old one inch Ordnance Survey was so full of errors and omissions it did not mention the Doone Valley at all. A pre-war guide book also noted this, and said "In the last edition of the Ordnance Survey the Valley is called Hoccombe Combe". The presence of Hoccombe Water in the next combe to the south should have made them think of course. THE ORIGINS OF THE DOONES OF EXMOOR The family of Stewarts, now extinct, came from Scotland. In 1563 Sir James Stuart was created the first Earl of Moray. He married Agnes Keith on the 10th February , 1561 and had three daught ers, and one of these, Elizabeth married into the Doune family in 1580 when she married Sir James Stewart, Lord Doune. The records show he had a brother, Ensor. Ensor had a son, named Ensor also and James I created this son a baronet and he changed his name to Doune. He went to London to see the King, who wasn't interested, so Ensor proceeded on to Exmoor, and ended up in a ruined farmhouse near Oareford. As Warren farm was not then built, this would have been the farmhouse at Hoccombe in the Badgeworthy settlement built 500 years before. Sir Ensor saw that Lank Combe, a valley in the Bagworthy Forest encased by mountainous hills over 300 feet high on each side, together with overgrown and easily defended entrances at each end and Bagworthy Water flowing out of it was an ideal place to build houses. There is also a pistol marked C. DOONE on one side and PORLOK on the other, and a portrait of Sir Ensor Doone, 1679 as proof of this. Sir Ensor died in 1684, being buried in Hoccombe, and was succeeded by his son Charles Doune, the Carver Doone of the book. There is a lot more family detail I can't really go into here, but this seems indisputable as to who the Doones really were. THE DOONE VALLEY One of the most memorable parts of the book must be the famous Waterslide, and although it is extremely interesting and I have many pieces of evidence I must precis my findings as follows :- 1. There is no Waterslide out of Hoccombe. 2. The Badgeworthy Water did not and does not run out of Hoccombe. 3. It did not run out of Lank Combe. 4. Measured on an altimeter no hill in Hoccombe reaches 300 feet above the valley as do the side hills in Lank Combe. In Hoccombe the Seven Rooks' nests would be invisible from the hill above Oare House because of a fifty foot contour obscuring them. In the official guide book of the Lynton Urban District Council many years ago there was an interesting advert for the Lynton Fo ur in Hand Stage Coach which states that the coach, which went from Lynton to Malmesmead would leave daily at 11 a.m arriving back at 5 p.m, allowing three hours to visit the Doone Valley. No coach can reach the Doone Valley, so much walking is envisaged. The booklet produced by Sir Atholl Oakeley reproduces about 8 photographs in support of much of the above. There are firstly a couple of Lynmouth as it was, before the disastrous flood of 1952, and one after it had been wrecked by a forty foot high wave. In the early part of the century quite large sailing ships used to enter and moor up in the harbour and, in the seventeenth century, John Ridd would no doubt have bought the spy-glass through which he saw the seven rooks' nests. There is a photo of Malmsmead where Farmer Snow lived, and this was renamed Lorna Doone Farm at the beginning of the century. Oakeley stayed here in 1920 for 4/6 bed/breakfast and an extra charge of 1/6 for a four course farmhouse dinner. The Western section is 1,000 years old.. Also photos of :- 1. The Grass Sward at the top of the Lank Combe Waterslide where the 14 year old John Ridd met the 9 year old Lorna on St. Valentines Day, 1675. 2. The Lank Combe Waterslide running out of Lank Come. It is easy to ascend in summer time, but in winter there is a considerable volume of water. 3. The site of the Doone Gate. R.D. Blacmore the author is obviously referring to it as a Gateway to the Doone Valley, one of three entrances. 4. The remains of Carver's house which bridged the stream through the Doone Valley. This was the largest of the Doone houses, which were all burned and thrown into the stream. OARE CHURCH It is important to remember that Oare Church in the seventeenth century bore little resemblance to what is is today. The eastern section was non-existant, there was no tower. The western end, where the tower now stands, was open to the public was from where Carver Doone sh ot Lorna. Now, we have just visited this church and it must be one of the smallest in England anyway. Blackmore states also that it was here 300 years ago that Lorna married John Ridd. JOHN RIDD This part is about wrestling !! John Ridd was one. There was a match at Bodmin between J.Ridd (Holder) Champion of Devon and the Challenger A. Page, Champion of Cornwall. This must be the match Blackmore describes in the book. Tony Page was a giant of thirty-seven stone and was seven feet eight inches tall Sir Atholl was a wrestler and knew of Kurt Zehe, 50 stones and 8 feet 4 inches. John Ridd carried sheep, one under each arm in the snow.. Well, before this review becomes too long can I say to those interested :- A. Read the book, Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore, there are many versions and can be picked up for as little as £1. B. Get the leaflet by Sir Atholl Oakeley, only 75p. C. Most importantly, visit the Doone Valley near Malmesmead, Oare and Lynton in Devon and have a brilliant day enjoying the wonderful scenery. I can willingly provide more details for anyone interested, this is indeed a very interesting and beautiful part of North Devon.
Just when you thought it was safe to go out in the dark, ANDREWSJK does another op !!! Well, what DID you want ??? (Don't answer that !!!). In the best interests of Dooyoo I have decided to do another book review, something I'm not really used to. So, I was in my local Oxfam the other week feeling flush, I had 50p in my pocket, when I saw this book. It is Great Vampires and Other Horrors, first published in 1992 by Chancellor Press, an imprint of Reed International Books Limited. For those with more than 50p to waste the ISBN is 1 85152 235 2. It is a hardback book of 538 pages, I lovingly counted them all for you. It contains 47 short stories by various master horror writers. Let me tell you a bit of what the cover says :- " A door creaks, a spectral hand reaches out, and the night rings with a bloodcurdling scream - these and other unholy terrors lurk within these pages. From the deadly lure of a vampires kiss to a dance with a hideous corpse this superb selection of stories, modern and classic, will bring a chill to your spine.. " The cover illustration is by Theo Platt, and appears to be of Dracula outside his castle, so it all looks good so far. Well, baaahh, phoooeey, splaaaat, I wasn't impressed at all. I've been more frightened by my driving. and WHO asked you for your opinion ??? I was falling asleep reading this book, virtually no story impressed me, there were certainly more other horror stories than anything to do with vampires !! What do I like in this way, well I love a good vampire or Dracula tale, a few teeth sunk into somebody's neck and I'm anybody's !! I drool over the old Hammer Horror films, and love to go up to bed frightened that a vampire will appear from nowhere and I'll be prepared with my cross and necklace of garlic. This book did nothing at all for me, and I would not recommend it to any of you. Basically all the stories were far too short, and by the time the scene had been set in each, it was time for a couple of lines to frighten the reader before moving on, there was no blood on the lips, stake through the heart, though there were a few ghouls walking round a town ringing church bells, and a lost town or three !!! This fascination to deceive was much like a Ford car, looks good on paper, just to find it's overpriced and never works. There were many famous writers, to name but a dozen Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P Lovecraft, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, Guy De Maupassant, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, etc Well, I'd rather have the Mercedes than the Ford, this book continually promised more but failed to deliver. Robert Louis Stevenson should have stuck to trains, Rudyard Kipling makes nice cakes... for Boy Scouts, Charles Dickens can do better, Saki should be drunk not read !! Did I tell you not to bother with this book ??? I would rather not go on to tell you about any of the stories, just imagine from one of the titles, An Account of some strange Disturbance in Aungier Street by J. Sheridan Le Fanu. Now, doesn't that just scare you rigid ?? Boo !!!
Today finds me a little depressed so I thought I'd write an opinion that had been requested of me, nail varnish !! Well, having looked around the Dooyoo categories I found for our delectation there are 84 products under the nail varnish title, so rather than go through all the testing of all these products in intimate detail, I thought I'd write about nail varnish in general. My opinions are always serious as you know, and I tend to write in a way that will please both male and female readers, but I'm not going to be putting on any nail varnish today, because I'm going on holiday next week and I don't want to look a pansy in the social club at night. However I do find nail varnish very exciting when worn by persons of the female gender, so that is where I'm coming from. Some of the Dooyoo categories of nail I've had to ignore however like :- 1. Jimmy Nail Because he sings and stuff. 2. Nail and Staple Guns Because they'd hurt your fingers if you applied that sort to them. 3. Nine Inch Nails Cos they're some kind of group that I haven't heard yet. 4. Six Inch Nails cos that's about DIY, and my Dooyoo series last year covered that !!! 5. Woodstains, varnish and weatherproofers Now, you tell me, how when I searched the subject on Dooyoo can they put that in there ??? 6. Hand and Nail Care. Well, I've not got my Avon catalogue yet !!! So, we have left a variety of nail varnishes. Personally I like really bright colours, the brighter the better. The female gender amongst us are said to like receiving little pots of it for presents, ooops that reminds me !!! A usual price would be between £3 and £10, depending on the manufacturer, quality and colour. Really when buying these products one really wants one that is easy to apply, and would dry within 60 seconds, no point in missing out on a night out because of wet nails eh ??? For most occasions one coat sho uld do, as long as it's not my leather one. If you want to look bold ladies, try two coats, you'll certainly not get cold !!! Also I would recommend one of the more quality products so that they don't smudge or chip. Some female persons leave their nail varnish on for four or five days, even doing washing up with their nail varnish on without wearing some nice pink rubber gloves. Nail varnish is made by many manufacturers including Boots. They have their No. 7 Colourlock Nail Enamel Conditioned to provide a longer lasting shine, and if one applies this new conditioning formulation to your nails you will get a superbly smooth long coverage with a glamorously glossy finish. Dooyoo has categories for products by Accesorize, Collection 2000, Miners, Margaret Astor, Virgin Vie, Spectacular, Tuff Stuff and Silverline at least so read some opinions within there for a more detailed choice. QVC have had FX Fickles nail varnish on their programmes, Oil of Ulay have got a purple rain, Maybelline Express is supposed to smudge, Cutex have a Top Coat and L'Oreal have got a Jet Set, take your pick. Most of these have a very wide range of colours, now I think I like gold, or silver, or even meallic pink !! I would suggest trying several types first before settling on one that suits you best. I have found Estee Lauder were a little dear, and a doe is a female deer. Clarins is not cheap either, but the only thing going cheap these days is a bird. You may need to purchase something to take the nail varnish off, like an electric drill... but it is usually best to try nail varnish remover. Oh welll, that's cheered me up a bit, back to my Avon catalogue, and guess who asked me to write this ???
Well, a good and a sad day has arrived on our household. The good point is that we are getting on so well that we are going down to one car. The sad point is that the other 'arf is lumbered with me, no really.. Eeer both car's are going and she has asked me to write a requiem for her much loved baby, her light blue P Reg, Seat Ibiza 1.0 CL hatchback 3 door 1043cc. It's a 1996 model that she has owned for two years, and has covered 33,500 miles altogether. It is quite an attractive looking car, and this one has the added attraction of a very nice looking set of alloy wheels. To further improve the other 'arfs impression of me I've been doing a bit of delving on some of the history of the Ibiza !! Seat was some time ago this strange company who built strange old cars under licence, and us English only noticed them on our annual drunken binge in Spain. Then, Volkswagen bought the company, so we all sobered up. That's what the German's were doing on the beach at Santa Ponsa then ?? The company are now aiming themselves at being a competitor to Alfa Romeo of Italy and are not doing bad at it, the rally wins also establishing them with credibility. Volkswagen designs have underpinned the Seat image as well. Now, forget all that cobblers I've just written, this is the one litre version right !! The engine has 4 cylinders, single point injection, catalyst, single overhead cam shaft, 2 valves per cylinder and produces 45 bhp. I got my five year calendar out to measure the following performance measurements :- Top speed 85 mph, yawn... 0-60 time was longer than the ride to work at 18.5 seconds. The kerb weight is 895 kgs for anyone still awake, and the maximum torque is 63 lb/ft at 3,200 rpm. The car is front wheel drive and has a five speed gearbox. What else didn,t I like about it, well for me as it's a three door car, the doors are so big to ease getting in and out of the rear that the seat belts are in the wrong place for me, but.. Well...nothing else really, it's a very pleasant car for it's size, and has been 100% reliable. This is one of the now superceded second generation Ibiza's, essentially a supermini size car. Volkswagen's influence made sure it was a huge improvement on our first encounters with Seat, and are solidly built, have a quality finish and paintwork, and essentially are a less expensive alternative to the VW Polo. The competitors to this car would be the Vauxhall Astra, the Hyundai Accent or the Fiat Punto. Originally this car cost £7,300 new, and would now be available in the range of £2,000 to £2,600. As such it is competitively priced. It is quite well equipped though I find the standard issue radio a bit weak, and miss such items as electric windows, sunroof etc, a reasonably basic car then. As regards running costs, the car is relatively heavy so fuel consumption is average at around 41 mpg, insurance is low at Group 2 and service intervals are long. The 30,000 mile service cost £160 and the tyres are still the originals which is very good. The only minor point is that the automatic choke now requires replacement, but don't tell the new owner !!! Parts are relatively cheap, an air filter being £9, fuel filter £25, oil filter £4.80 and timing/cam belt is £19.50. Service can be had at Seat or Volkswagen garages, all Ibiza engines being shared with the VW Polo. Driving. Ho hum da dee dah. I've only been allowed in the driving seat once, and that was to clean it, lol. The suspension is quite firm, and the steering has plenty of feel. The grip is pretty good, but the brakes are a bit vague. With the one litre engine, the car is a bit thrashy and noisy. One of the minor faults of the Ibiza range as a whole is that refinement could be a little better. However, ANDREWSGIRLFRIENDJK did get into the outside lane of the motorway once, doing 67.5mph !! There is a bit of road and wind n oise at higher speeds, and that is just me !! Sorry !!! Points to look out for if buying one :- Poor paintwork on a few, though not this one, only a minor spot of corrosion on the nice wheels. Watch out for minor damage along the flanks though, as the whole side could need repainting at a cost of £250 to £500, and that's just me after she's seen what I've written. There can be clutch problems due to sticky cables, and worn suspension on older models.There may also be some minor electrical faults. What do I think, well actually it's a well built car, quite va bit of space for the size of vehicle. Has fulfilled it's purpose in life entirely. BUT, THERE are many versions, a 1.3, 1.4 and 1.6 petrol, and a 1.9 diesel. BUT, then again, there is a 1.8 and 2.0 litre version with engines shared with the Golf, a very wide variety of choice. Now if only this had been the Cupra Sport 2.0 litre 16 valve 'F2', which is a 200bhp road-legal version of Seat's Evo 2 rally car with 6- speed gearbox, lowered suspension, deep bumpers, rear wing spoiler, 17'' alloys, Recaro front sports seats..... Rock on Tommy...
There have been 64 ops on Dooyoo before on the subject of "Have you found love on the internet?", I suppose you want mine to be the funniest don't you ??? Well, being funny on this subject may dilute the object, but I have done quite a number of other ops if you'd like a laugh or funny comment !! Well, you see, I joined Dooyoo because I had this terrible Ford car I wanted to complain about to the world. At first writing on Dooyoo was hard, but after a while more than 10 people were reading my ops on a regular basis, a number of people were leaving comments, and a couple of them E Mailed me as well. I started to return the comments and E Mails !!. Now, at the same time as this was happening at work, I was also sitting home alone after a relationship break-down which I have detailed before, and although I didn't have a lot of money I was relatively happy because I was my own man so to speak. I had a lady friend, but that was as far as it went, it wasn't particularly going anywhere, for evidence see my Hyundai op, lol. I didn't have a computer at home. My time on Dooyoo at work started to drastically increase, as did my number of readers and comments, and I started to develop a close circle of friends who wanted to contact me more on the internet and were requesting that I bought a computer at home. Seeing that I was going into work at weekends purely to get into Dooyoo, I finally succumbed and bought a computer last October, and immediately about four or five of my Dooyoo friends E Mailed me. These contacts then started to recommend me to chat sites including MSN and Yahoo. See how carefully I'm not mentioning other Dooyoo names, rofl !!! Straight away I found how easy it was to talk to two of them at once, my mind started to collapse when three were on line simultaneously !! I was really enjoying myself, and spending all my spare hours at the keyboard, I nearly bought an anorak as well. O ne of these friends was harmonyk, and I suggested that she got the latest version of MSN as it appeared better and more intimate as you could see when the other person was replying and so on. When she did this a few days later, we immediately built up a very strong relationship after a couple of days. The following weekend when I was out with my daughter KIEDIS, harmonyk sent me a lot of text messages on my phone. The following morning I got a phone message at 8.30 a.m, she was on the train to meet me !! Well, the "relationship" with my "friend" was over, but this had happened so quickly, I was in a state of panic, didn't know what to do. So.... I did absolutely nothing except.... meet her at the station. I was mentally incapable of doing anything anyway !! So we met. I was in a dream and found she was all I had expected, well that's not quite true, I'd seen her profile at that time and I thought she'd be somewhat sterner than she turned out to be, she's a real sweetie. What did she think of me, when I'd told her I was going through a tough time, had no hair, teeth, money and was as blind as a bat ??? She was disappointed with me, she thought I was going to be a stunning rock star sort of person that carried his aura from Dooyoo across into real life !! The relationship nearly ended there. Anyway, after a tiring day, we went our separate ways. The following day she had thought about this and came to the same conclusion as me, what's in the head is most important, and we certainly gelled there, the physical appearance side of things could be dealt with at a future date. We have now been together three months, and were engaged on Valentines Day, after having lived together for two months. We have two houses and two cars to sell, as well as considering our future careers, but we both consider we have been very fortunate to meet each other, we had previously thought we woul d never be with anyone ever again in that way. So, what are my tips?? Like me, they are very simple :- 1. Be careful, when you do meet make sure it is a safe and secure environment. There are a lot of weirdo's out there. 2 Be realistic, do not expect too much of the person, even though they may write or converse well on the internet. 3 Think !! My future has been built up through leaving comments to opinions right here on Dooyoo. Finally, I hope you all will be as happy as we are. We may not be around Dooyoo for ever, but I hope our story may have enlightened a few.
Not many of you will know that I have moved to Southampton, a few less will know that I am travelling to London every day courtesy of South West Trains, and perhaps fewer still will be aware of my interest in motor cars and motor racing. For those of you out there living in a nuclear holocaust, read some of my ops, lol, but for those in the real world I will continue. I was scouring our local boot sales and charity shops aiming to cover the four hour total daily journeys and one of the gems my eyes fell upon was this book, priced very reasonably at 50p, the normal price being £5.99. Modesty prevents me from mentioning any names, but there are those of you out there that will see what a bargain this is. My reason for buying this book was that Nigel Mansell progressed through the ranks of motor racing at the same time as I did in motor race marshalling, so I knew him and his career pretty well and most of his competitors, and wanted some reminiscences. I was hoping to see myself in one of the photos, and a few nearly had shots of me in them, particularly at Brands Hatch but that's another story.... Well first, the bit for the sponsors. The book is published by CollinsWillow, an imprint of HarperCollins publishers. It was first published in hardback in 1995, but the paperback I have is from 1996. The origination is by Saxon, it was printed in Great Britain by Caledonian International Book Manufacturing. The ISBN is 0 00 218703 5. So, now I'll try to review a book, not that I've had any previous experience. It is written by Nigel Mansell OBE, with the motor racing commentator/journalist James Allen. It is an account of his roller coaster ride to the top. In his usual fashion, Murray Walker says of it " A superb effort". That's on the back page. What a load of tosh, Murray liked Nigel and I'm pretty sure he'd have said more than that !!! Anyway, the book has 393 pages, followed by 29 pages of facts about Nigel's career. Being an avid reader, the bit that attracts me most is the pictures. There are four of Nigel in his Karting days, one in Formula Ford, one in Formula Three and one of his many crashes before he got into Formula One. This is followed by pictures of some of his predecessors Juan Manuel Fangio (looking particularly young), Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Ronnie Peterson and Gilles Villeneuve. Of these I have fond memories myself on Jackie Stewart, seeing him win many times at Crystal Palace. Then there are pictures of Colin Chapman, and his Lotus Team in the Essex days, Keke Rosberg, well loads more really. My favourites are of him winning at Brands Hatch in 1985 because I was there, and what a day it was, and also of the famous incident in Adelaide in 1986 when his tyre exploded costing him the World Championship, the worst day of his life he goes on to say. Some of you want to know a bit more about the book, so here goes. There are prefaces and introductions lasting 24 pages where Nigel thanks his wife Rosanne, children Chloe, Leo and Greg. He also explains that he got his interest in racing from his mother who used to drive fast, though his dad wanted to slow him down with karts, Nigel's first experiences being round dirt track allotments with a clapped out kart.. Also James Allen adds a first words about writing the book. The book then divides into three parts, The Secret of Success, The Greasy Pole (not a man from Poland I hasten to add), and finally Winning. The Secret of Success covering approximately 50 pages covers Nigel's outlook on racing basically, and his many struggles. He was the third of four children, and was born in August 1953, in the heart of England. His family were not rich, his father being an engineer with Lucas Aerospace. His father wanted Nigel to follow in his footsteps, and there is an intriguing tale of his father persuading him to get a qualification before his mot or racing. Nigel was a down to earth person, living near Birmingham before he became famous, and he explains his attitude to life in some detail. He also tells us of his early marriage years where he and his wife sat down and committed themselves to his racing at whatever the cost whilst Rosanne went to work, he also tells of camping in damp vans at race meetings. However it is this commitment and never say die attitude that is to win through. Part Two, The Greasy Pole is 82 pages short, and tells us of the many years it took Nigel to rise up through all the lower ranks. It is particularly interesting to hear of Nigel's tenacity following two accidents that would have destroyed other people, a broken back and a broken neck !!! In many of the chapters there are small anecdotes by well known people of the time. Now at the time Nigel and Rosanne sold their house to pay for his racing, and the proceeds lasted six weeks, Dave Price (Nigel's former Formula Three manager) says "Anyone who sells their house to go motor racing has got to have a screw loose, but it worked for Nigel...." One needs REAL commitment to get into Formula One, and Nigel obviously had this, though money was always lacking. However by 1980 Nigel had become test driver for Lotus, and it was about this time that I met him again. I remember him on a Grand Prix test day at Brands Hatch still driving the Lotus with his neck brace, and during the lunch break driving a Black Lotus Esprit to entertain us. It's a shame some of those bits were left out of the book !!! Some of the comments in this section also make interesting reading, like from his early Williams days :- Keke Rosberg "It is true that I went to Frank Williams when I heard that Nigel was joining the team and said that I would leave if he came". Peter Collins, Williams Team Manager, 1985 "Nigel went through a period in the early 1980's when his self belief was b rought into question in his own mind because his position was being undermined by his team manager at the time....." Part Three, Winning obviously takes up the rest of the book. It really covers Nigel's 187 Grand Prix including 31 wins, 32 pole positions and 30 fastest laps. Nigel really put everything into his racing, I remember passing his caravan after his win at Silverstone and just passing the time of day with him, but although the crowd had raised him during the day, being on home soil, he was absolutely shattered. This occurrence isn't in the book either, neither is the time I spent with him and Ayrton Senna in Belgium !! Nigel explains who were his main opponents at the time, basically Senna and Prost, sometimes Piquet as well, and of the different lines he would take into corners compared to the other's. Who remembers his overtaking manoeuvre in Hungary ??? It's all in this book from Nigel's viewpoint, including his successes in America, and I would firmly recommend it as useful reading and a worthwhile addition to anyone's bookshelf with an interest. I'm just off to get a chapter added of the occasions Nigel has left out when I met him....
Once in a while, my colleagues and I slip out of the office to celebrate a birthday or two, and we normally find ourselves in a Young's establishment, so anyone out there thinking I'm on a nationwide tour of drinking houses may be wrong. Let me tell you a little about this opinion, see I was going to call it "Adopt a sheep!", but I've already done that one, and been presented with the tee shirt for it. Now why did that thought ever cross my mind, well because Young's are based at The Ram Brewery, Wandsworth, London, SW18 4JD. I?m going to be very informative here and tell you more, their E Mail address is email@example.com, their internet site is www.youngs.co.uk, a phone number is 020 8875 7000 and fax would be 020 8875 7100. Right, sponsors bit out of the way, on with the facts. Young's were established in 1831, and have one of the finest collections of traditional pubs and modern café bars in England, 186 at the last count. One of the most famous of their establishments must be Dirty Dick's in Bishopsgate, London, near Liverpool Street Station, but our regular office haunt is Marquess of Anglesey, Bow Street, near Covent Garden. All the pubs offer a good range of award winning beers, an extensive wine list and an excellent selection of traditional and contemporary foods, the Marquess of Anglesey for one having a very nice restaurant and bar on the first floor. In addition to this, 12 of these pubs are also hotels. Young's have been investing a lot of money in recent years upgrading the hotels, and they have rooms to accommodate most people's needs. The bedrooms are comfortably furnished with an en-suite bathroom, trouser press, hair dryer, TV, tea and coffee making facilities, and direct dial telephones. Some of the rooms are inter-connectable for families, and also there are some for those with special needs. Most Youngs establishments are within the London area, which may be a drawb ack to some Dooyoo members, and Hotel room rates are between £75 and £105 per night, including full English breakfast. If anyone requires more specific details on individual pubs or hotels please contact me. Before we get onto the important bit, the beer, I'll just tell you about the Ram Collection. This is a unique range of quality merchandise exclusively designed, which can be ordered by post, telephone, fax, or directly on-line. There is a range of 38 items and I'll attempt to cover some :- Embossed T-Shirt with Youngs logo £7.50 Ram T-Shirt, with Cask Ram £4.95 Navy Fleece with Orange Trim £44.95 Sweatshirt, with embossed logo £15.50 Baseball Cap £4.95 Cufflinks with Ram £9.95 Tie, featuring flock of sheep £12.50 Traditional Youngs Pub Tie £4.95 Socks with Ram £7.50 Dart Flights £1.50 You get the general idea, I'd better not mention any more, a few people will be on to me for mentioning too much beer and sheep otherwise!!! AND NOW......... THE BEERS Young's have won numerous awards at brewing exhibitions and beer festivals, more than any other brewer it is claimed, in Britain that is. Since 1980, Young's has collected more than thirty prestigious medals, certificates and trophies. Young's Cask Ales Young's Special 4.6%ABV. A premium cask ale that has a distinctive hoppy flavour. Young?s Special is brewed traditionally using Maris Otter malted barley from Eat Anglia together with the finest English Goldings and Fuggles ales, and is Young's flagship ale. This is the ANDREWSJK beer !! Young's Bitter. 3.7% ABV. A traditional cask ale that is brewed from the finest English malted barley and Fuggles and Goldings hops. Pale gold in colour, Young's Bitter has a dry, fruity palate that is followed by a crisp bitterness, and is a real bitter bitter !! Young's Triple 'A'. 4.0% ABV. A smooth and refreshing cask ale brewed using only 'A' hops, 'A' class yeast and 'A' class barley for a distinctly superior taste. Triple 'A' is best served slightly chilled. THE LAGERS....... Young's award winning Continental-style lagers are brewed in accordance with the ancient German purity law, the Reinheitsgebot. Young's Export 5.0% ABV A pure brew of 100% malt and choicest hops, and is a lager for the connoisseur. Young's Pilsner 4.0% ABV. A smooth, dry lager with just a hint of citrus fruit. AND FINALLY....... THE BOTTLED ONES ....... Young's Special London Ale. 6.5% ABV, so it's strong !! A well balanced bottled beer, brewed from the pure malt and a phenomenal amount of hops. This beer continues to mature in the bottle and this creates a unique taste experience. Young's Double Chocolate Stout. 5.0% ABV. This is luxurious beyond belief, and combines chocolate malt and real dark chocolate with Young's award-winning rich, full-flavoured dark beer. Young's Waggle Dance. 5.0% ABV. My un-named fiance likes this one !! Brewed using the finest barley malt and a specially selected blend of pure honey creating a light coloured, golden ale with a smooth rounded character. So there you go, I've tried most of them and they are all excellent beers and lagers, depends really on the occasion. Personally I prefer a full bodied and stronger beer, so would rarely drink Young's Bitter, but that's me !!! Now, as you?ll notice there were no jokes in this opinion, so lets start them going in the comments......
I've been waking up early lately thinking to myself, "The boy stood on the burning deck!!", so that explains the title anyway. Well, after that I started thinking of my friend Simon. Simon is a DJ who works in a pub with a relation who has a hand that has a sort of diagonal cut across it where about three fingers used to be, and he has one leg because he lost one in a motor bike accident, and there is a part of his chest missing, and somehow not all off the relations head seems to be there !!! Well, when I asked who he was, he said THEY were " Simon and half uncle !". Swiftly moving on then, my thoughts turned to just about the most successful album ever, "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" by Simon and Garfunkel. This album appeared in 1970, although a lot of it was produced in 1969, and was number 1 in the album charts for a very long time, I believe in excess of 50 weeks though not continuously. The success of this album effectively split Simon and Garfunkel up, mainly because Paul Simon was felt that Art Garfunkel was getting too much of the acclaim for the title track. If I tell you a little about the album in general, before moving on to the individual tracks then:- Produced by Paul Simon, Arthur Garfunkel and Roy Halee. Released by CBS records. Songs by Paul Simon. Engineering by Roy Halee. Recordist was Ted Brosnan Musicians were :- Guitars :- Paul Simon and Fred Carter Junior. Drums :- Hal Blaine Bass :- Joe Osborn. Keyboard :- Larry Knechtel Strings :- Jimmy Haskell and Ernie Freeman The design was by Tony Lane, and the album photos were by Peter Powell and Abbot Mills. Track Number One is The classic Bridge Over Troubled Waters and lasts 4 minutes 52 seconds, and for anyone that's been on the moon for the last 32 years I'll tell you how it goes When you're weary, feeling small When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all I'm on your side. When times get rough And friends just can't be found. Like a Bridge Over Troubled Waters I will lay me down. Remember it now?? Track Two is El Condor Pasa, lets remind you :- I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail Yes I would If I could I surely would I'd rather be a hammer than a nail Etc.. This is the arrangement of an 18th Century Peruvian Folk Melody, the instrumental track is performed by Los Incas with the authorization of Philips Records, the arrangement by Jorge Milchberg and the English lyric is by Paul Simon, the copyright is with Charing Cross Music Inc, and the number lasts 3 minutes 6 seconds. Good at these record reviews aren't I ?? Don't answer that !!! Track Three is Cecilia, lasts 2 minutes and 55 seconds, and here are some words from it :- Celia, you're breaking my heart You're shaking my confidence daily Oh Cecilia, I'm down on my knees I'm begging you please to come home Now what was my daughter's name??. With the trend so far of every number being shorter than the one before, Track Four lasts 2 minutes 33 seconds, and is Keep The Customer Satisfied, you remember :- Gee but it's great to be back home Home is where I want to be I've been on the road so long my friend ........ As the trend had to be reversed, the next number lasts 3 minutes 41 seconds and is So Long, Frank Llloyd Wright Some lovely lyrics :- So long, Frank Llloyd Wright I can't believe your song is gone so soon I barely learned the tune So soon So soon. Now, one of my most favourite songs ever, lasting 5 minutes 6 seconds, so be quiet for a minute while ANDREWSJK sings The Boxer. I am just a poor boy Though my story's seldom told I have squandered my resistance For a pocketful of mumbles Such are promises All lies and jest Still, a man hears what he wants to hear And disregards the rest When I left home And my family I was no more than a boy In the company of strangers Cor, I'm loving singing this to you, and I wanted to get to the bit, you know:- In the clearing stands a Boxer And a fighter by his trade But I can't, I've got to move on to the next track, Baby Driver. Lasting 3 minutes 15 seconds, Track Seven isn't really my most favourite, but the next Track, The Only Living Boy in New York is longer still at 3 minutes 57 seconds, so lets all sing together now :- Tom, get your plane right on time I know your part'll go fine Fly down to Mexico Da-n-da-da-n-da-n-da-da and here I am.. .. Don't you just love those lines with all the da's and n's ??? Track nine last 2 minutes 45 seconds, and is Why Don't You Write Me, but I'm going to carry straight on to the Tenth Track, Bye Bye Love which lasts 2 minutes 55 seconds. This is different because it is a 1957 number by Felice and Boubleaux Bryant, from the House of Bryant. Don't you just love the names of the people concerned with this album ??? Here we go again... Bye Bye Love Bye Bye happiness Hello loneliness I think I'm gonna cry Bye Bye love Bye bye sweet caress Well, the eleventh and final track, very short at 1 minute 39 seconds is Song For The Asking. Don't really think this one actually adds a great deal to the album to be honest. Still, a fabulous album overall, and made everybody a great deal of money There are soooo many around, you should be able to pick one up for £5 or less. In the clearing stands a Boxer And a fighter by his trade An d he carries the reminders Of ev'ry glove that laid him down.
I have actually been waiting to do this op for quite a while, it's true, just ask my daughter now she's on Dooyoo, this is a part of London I love, honest... Anyway, the other day I was in Greenwich, South East London looking round the very interesting markets there, and I'd already looked in the Naval Museum, The Cutty Sark, made sure Gipsy Moth IV still looked dirty and been up to stand on the Meridian Line at the Greenwich Observatory, so I decided to get a Number 177 bus along to Woolwich... Well, I got on the bus and sat next to this rather eeeeerrrrr large lady. Cor, she did squash me, it was really uncomfortable. She would insist on keeping moving closer to me, and finally started talking to me, well what could I do ??? She said " Do you get the bus often ?? " I said, " In Southampton I do !!" She said "Have you lived in South London all your life ??" I said "Not yet !!" Anyway, we were coming up to a favourite of mine, so I got off the bus early, thank Heavens. Here we are at The Woolwich Ferry, which crosses the River Thames from Woolwich to North Woolwich !!! It is rather nice here, and although there is a rather pleasant Victorian system of tunnels here by which it is possible to walk under the Thames, I always prefer the Ferry !!! Woolwich is famous for other things like..... well... Woolwich Bank... That's moved it's Headquarters to Bexleyheath in Kent anyway .. !!! The Ferry is the best, now I'll tell you why. Years ago I used to work with somebody whose husband used the ferry every day, and he always said "Been rough at sea today !", and I always try and use it occasionally to top up on my duty free goods, and I met my friend Gary on it the other week... Serious now, this is one of London's most unusual road transport links, linking Woolwich and Woolwich, but it is free, the only free ferry in Britain. It's probably most famous for road traffic reports, being between the North Circular and South Circular Roads. Captain Peter Deeks joined the service as a deck hand in 1962, and he is now ferry manager. When he started the crossing of the quarter-mile stretch as the River Thames was by paddle steamer built in the 1920's, and were lovely cosy ships, as Captain Deeks remembers them. Families would bring picnics and spend hours on board. Other persons would stand there watching the pistons going up and down, each boat getting through two lorry loads of coke a day. Captain Deeks used to clean the brasses, but they were dirty twenty minutes after he had cleaned them due to the stench coming from the river, and they were covered in oil to prevent discolouring. . Obviously in an effort to stop this floating brass picnic area getting clogged up, the boats were replaced in 1963 by the current ones, being flat-bottomed diesel powered craft that could take 500 passengers on 200 tons of vehicles. They are named John Burns, Ernest Bevin and James Newman, but why would one need space downstairs, in various wood panelled rooms for 500 passengers???? Anyway, new terminals were also built on either side of the river, so cars, vans and trucks could drive straight on and off in an efficient fashion. Almost 40 years later the same boats are in action, and due to a rigorous maintenance schedule, the Woolwich Ferry is one of the last Thames organisations to employ traditional shipwrights and marine fitters amongst it?s 111 strong staff !!! Captain Deeks still thinks of these as the modern ships !!! Now for a few facts, The Woolwich Ferry connects the A406 North Circular and A205 South Circular Roads, and is part of the London Cycle Network, and operates every day of the year except Christmas and Boxing Days, plus New Years Day, though there is a reduced service at weekends. Crossings should take about 15 minutes, from arrival to disembarking, or less. On weekdays, the first boat leaves the South Terminal at 6.10 a.m, and the last boat departs at 8.10 p.m., on Saturday the last boat is 10 minutes earlier, and on Sundays the service is from 11.30a.m. to 7.30 p.m. Why would anyone use the ferry, well let?s list some reasons :- 1. They're mad like me, just out for a laugh. 2. Environmentally friendly people, saving six miles of pollution. 3. Lorry drivers, using the ferry with it's 15 ft 6 in. of headroom, rather than the Blackwall Tunnel with only 13 ft 4 inches. 4. Mean people not wanting to spend £1.80 for the Dartford Crossing. 5. Hungry people wanting to use the snack bars in the car parks. Now, as a foot passenger one could have a look at the steam trains being restored at North Woolwich station, then a few hundred yards to London City Airport, then on the Docklands Light Railway past Canary Wharf back to Tower Bridge, oh the romantic round trips that can be made... As a closing note, Mayor Livingstone's Transport for London controls the Woolwich Ferry and there are vague plans to replace Captain Deeks with a fixed bridge link in the year 2008. If anyone is like minded, see you for a drink on the ferry, cheers !!!!
Here I am again doing yet another serious op for you, full of information and overflowing with detail. But first I must tell you that my daughter, Kiedis has joined Dooyoo so watch out for more of the same !!! Also I went with harmonyk to Greenwich Market at the weekend, and what a jolly day it was. Also I am privileged to exclusively reveal that Tony Blair is no relation to Lionel Blair, even though the fancy footwork is similar. Right, enough news, on with the facts, or my impression of South West Trains. Well....... Eeerrrr....they have a web site, www.swtrains.co.uk, where you can go for details of all their routes and prices !!! Perhaps you might have needed to know that ?? South West Trains is a wholly owned subsidiary of Stagecoach Group. Now this in itself is interesting because I spent several years of my life commuting to London from Northants on a Stagecoach coach, and today I'm commuting to London from Southampton on a Stagecoach train, wow !!! South West Trains run 1,690 trains every weekday, serving 217 stations and employing about 4,500 staff, fancy having to make up the pay packets for that many ... "£10 for you, and £5 for you".., you'd need a mountain of cash !!! Come to think of it, you'd need a lot of trains !!! London Waterloo is the hub of the network, also housing London Underground as well as Waterloo International terminal for Eurostar services to Paris and Brussels via the Channel Tunnel. The Eurostar Terminal is very fascinating to watch, as it Clapham Junction station, a massive area of rail and platforms, said to be the busiest station in Europe. However I diverge from the subject, very unusual for me.... South West Trains cover Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, East and West Sussex and Greater London, in short a b... huge area !!! 132 million passenger journeys a year are made (I counted them, lol !!!). The franchise was taken on in 1996. And since then a total of 12,000 additional peak seats have been added. It would have been useful if they were in trains !!! (rofl !!!). I digress, the number of trains run by South West Trains has also increased by 155 trains each weekday, and 969 trains per week in total. What do you mean "Have I counted those as well ??" Of course, as it equates to a 20% rise since franchising, and my ops are always crammed with facts. Island Line is also a wholly owned subsidiary of Stagecoach Group and operated train services on the Isle of Wight. Why am I telling you all this, well as you know I've recently moved to Southampton, and although it was great fun taking the Bluesmobile to work on the M3, all the other drivers didn't think so !!! Also it is extremely dear, and would have required a new car every 2 years, covering 160 miles a day just for commuting. I looked at National Express Coaches, they are white !!! Oh, and also reasonably slow, and not particularly cheap. So I looked at South West Trains, they are red and orange. Well, I enquired about an annual season ticket, from Southampton to London, £3,284 per year, not bad all things considered. The season ticket is in the form of a Gold Card, the benefits of which are :- 1. 1/3 discount on off peak travel for me and up to three other adults. 2. If I had that many, up to 4 children could travel with me off-peak for £1. 3. Harmonyk has paid an additional £1, and has got a card offering similar benefits. 4. I can upgrade to First Class at weekends and Bank Holidays for £3. 5. I will be issued with 6 tickets during the year entitling me to free travel at weekends on any of South West Train services, Cornwall here we come !!! 6. I am anxiously awaiting my free quarterly newsletter, containing news, views and information. 7. There is a dedicated Gold Service helpline to answer my questions. Has anyone GOT a question, so I can make use o f this service ??? 8. I can also renew my ticket by phone, post or fax . Right, how am I finding the service, well I walk down my road, turn left for 50 metres then.... No really, my service runs from Poole, through Bournemouth and parts of the New Forest and I join it just outside Southampton, then there are stops at Southampton Central, Southampton Airport. Eastleigh and Winchester before going fast for the last 65 miles to London. The morning train is at 6.36 a.m, arriving at Waterloo at 8.01 a.m, and the evening train is at 5.15 p.m, arriving in Southampton at 6.40 p.m. There are ten carriages on the train including first class, two restaurant carriages, toilets and telephone booths. The seating is comfortable, and there are tables available, but seats on the return journey are at a premium, often requiring one to stand which is a draw back. Also the evening train splits at Southampton, half the train going to Weymouth and the other half to Poole, so one must be in the right carriage !!! That's what I'll tell harmonyk when I've had one too many !!! So far the service has been 100% reliable, and if in the right carriage the other passengers are very friendly, though at the moment I'm catching up on some reading, in future I might need a lap top computer to work with !! Another drawback, it's pretty dark at 6.30 a.m, so all the lighting needs to work on the platform, and one can't see all the cruise ships in port !! Art1954 would like it as some say there's.... oh, I'll tell you another day.
My un-named Dooyoo girl-friend and I have been considering our fleet of cars, we currently have a Seat Ibiza and a Hyundai Lantra between us. As part of our planning process for the future we are considering a sensible approach, so with this in mind we have taken a visit to our local Ferrari dealer and thought we'd tell you about it. Our local dealer is Meridien Modena, 77 High Street, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, S043 7PB. Telephone 02380 283404. Fax. 02380 282791. www.meridien.co.uk E Mail :firstname.lastname@example.org We will tell you some of the history of this remarkable experience, purely from the angle of buying a car. The servicing side I will add to this op at a future date. HISTORY. Lyndhurst is the capital of the New Forest, and has changed very little over the years. The Imperial Motor Works was created in 1907, and they manufactured heavy agricultural type truck and ancillary agricultural equipment. The premises were typical of the time, perhaps resembling a Victorian Fire Station, and was in keeping with the rest of the town. It remained in business until the late 1920's, when like other small motor manufacturers at the time finances were tight. At this time, New Forest Services was created, an Austin dealership, and gradually evolved until Rupert Murdoch's News International took control in 1960, also supplying all News International vehicles. At the end of the 1980's John Butt and his family took over a very run down motor dealership, thinking of a location for an exclusive high performance car centre. Shortly afterwards they were offered the opportunity to become the U.K. Maserati importer, and business really started to grow, including other performance marques, until in 1998 the control of Maserati passed to Ferrari s.p.a. It made sense for the U.K. importer of Ferrari to take over the Maserati franchise as well, but the Butt (hahahaha) family retained the Maserati dealers hip for the South Coast and acquired the Ferrari dealership as well. At this time they developed the dealership, but it was in a conservation area, though eventually plans were agreed upon. Most of the showroom is new, built in a light, Italian style, which we found was ideal for viewing the splendid cars, standing on Italian polished tiles and steel plates. Outside to the rear are the extensive workshops, where new bays were installed to handle the ever growing servicing work. PRESENT DAY The staff organise a regular calendar of events for customers and enthusiasts. The launch of the Maserati Spyder was celebrated at the showrooms with a cocktail evening, including an art exhibition focusing on Maserati through the years. Owners fall basically into two groups, those using them for 1-2,000 miles during the summer and those (like my girl-friend and I) who use them much more often, virtually as an everyday vehicle. Meridien has a customer who has covered 50,000 miles in a year. Meridien produces it?s own brochure, as well as having in stock such leaflets as Ferrarinews, and the one's we were given covered subjects from Michael Schumacher, to the classic Maserati Bora of the 1970's. THE VIEWING EXPERIENCE Well, entering the showroom we were awestruck at the number of cars both in the buildings around the courtyard and in the courtyard itself, new and secondhand, and nearly all were open to sit in, except those already sold. This was an experience not normally allowed at even the International Motor Shows. We saw approximately 30 cars, and I will try and cover a few :- 1. Ferrari 456 M GT Automatic 2001 with 400 miles covered. Rosso Fiorano with Sabbia leather interior piped in Bordeaux with Bordeaux carpets and Nero dashboard and Daytona seats. Aluminium brake calipers, electronic suspension.... 2. Ferrari 360 Modena F1 2000 V registration, 8,000 miles covered, £102,950 Giallo Modena with Nero leather interior, climate control, 18 inch alloy wheels, Scuderia wing shields, stereo system with CD player. 3. Ferrari 355 FI Spyder 1999 V Registration, 4,300 miles covered. £84,995 Rosso Corsa with Nero leather interior and dashboard etc.. 4. Ferrari 512 TR 1995 N Registration 8,000 miles covered £64,995 Well, descriptions continue of all the colours, interiors equipments and so on. By now we were getting used to the minute gear levers with the paddles on the steering wheels, instruments angled towards the driver, sedate statements of luxury and drilled pedals. Apart from all angles as above, there were also models of the 1990 Testarossa, the 1988 328 GTS, the 1998 348 Spider, really breathtaking !! My un-named girl friend took a particular interest in the 456 model, being a four seater, with a six speed gearbox, and a very elegant front engined car indeed. I did notice however that there were no examples of the 550 model that I had previously road-tested for you. We then progressed to the Maserati section :- 1. Maserati 3200GT 370 BHP V8- 6 speed There were many of these, ranging in price from £36,995 to £70,000 and with varying levels of equipment 2. Maserati Spyder £68,750 This is the first model to be developed entirely under Ferrari ownership, and at the moment the first cars are the Cambiocorsa versions, while the manual version of the Spyder will be available in May 2002. 3. Maserati Quattroporte 285 Bhp V6 Automatic 1996 P registration £19,995 My Dooyoo girl-friend truly loved this car, a true 4 door exclusive vehicle, 30,000 miles in Verde Tundra with beige leather interior and beige headlining and dashboard, Mocca carpets, Climate Control, 17 inch V8 style alloy wheels, electronic suspension, electric seats, drivers airbag, stereo system and CD player, alarm system etc. Watch this space for our new car !!! Also in stock were several P orsche, Mercedes, Bentley, Saab and a 1995 M registration Morgan + 4 5 speed manual in Connaught green with Doeskin leather interior, Chrome wire wheels and so on, 11,500 miles only at £18,995. Truly a very wonderful experience, coupled with seeing New Forest wildlife, what a day !!! Now if you want a new car, Honest ANDREWSJK here is your man !!
This is THE review I've been itching to write, and as one of my friends here has recently reported on the Lamborghini, I'm taking my turn !!! Ferrari is one of the most evocative names in the world, but their cars are more refined in appearance, you have to be a very "in your face" person to drive a Lamborghini. A Ferrari is speed and elegance epitomised and embodies the ethos of it's founder Enzo Ferrari. Ferrari in this country is looked after by Ferrari U.K. (Maranello Concessionaires Ltd.) The web site is www.Ferrari.co.uk, and is well worth a visit by all car enthusiasts. The U.K. company was founded by Colonel R.J. "Ronnie" Hoare, a man of great vision who made the U.K. one of the largest markets foe Ferrari cars. Now, to diverge for a minute, Mike Hawthorn was Britain's first motor racing world champion, and on winning the 1958 title at the wheel of a Ferrari he concluded a deal with Enzo Ferrari to sell the cars in the U.K. At that time the road car was the glorious and infamous Ferrari 250GT, AND Mike Hawthorn displayed two examples at the London Motorshow, one of which sold !! Well, Colonel Ronnie Hoare eventually bought the second one. Hawthorn was killed shortly afterwards so Colonel Hoare approached Enzo Ferrari about becoming the U.K. concessionaire. Maranello Concessionaires Ltd was set up in July 1960, named after Ferrari's home town, and operated at first from a corner of Hoare's Bournemouth Ford dealership, F.English Ltd. 4 cars were sold in that first year !!! Today though, several hundred are sold. In 1987 the company was sold to TKM, which in turn was taken over by Inchcape, a company that operates in more than 20 international markets. There are now more than 5,000 Ferrari cars in the U.K. A Ferrari car is an instant classic, and wearing the famous black and yellow prancing horse badge continues the legend. The past Ferrari's are part of motoring folklore, and the curre nt range comprises the 360 Spider, 360 Modena, the 456 GT GTA, 550 Barchetta and the one I am going to road test for you, the 550 Maranello. DESIGN. The car is Ferrari's interpretation of the 12 cylinder Berlinetta, and has a front mounted engine with a sporting personality. It is created by the designers wind tunnel, and needed 4,800 hours of wind tunnel tests to achieve a minimal sensitivity to side winds and minimal drag, in technical terms a Cd=0.33. The car is also a step forward in the aerodynamic development of the car underbody, and imparts excellent stability, structure and driving safety, and achieves such brilliant results with no mobile parts or added aerodynamic surfaces. A lot of care went into the front of the car with it's characteristic groove, air intakes and interior air flows. The body style for those unfamiliar with it, is that of a 2 door coupe. The Italian design house, Pininfarina, designed the body, and for this return to front engines by Ferrari the body is low and wide, with a large bonnet and cut-off tail, giving the instant impression of a great sports car. The design is fast and sinewy, and the roof is unusually light, with fine pillars which lower the optical centre of gravity. At the front the air intakes are positioned low down, with a narrow shape incorporating the foglights at either end. There is plenty more to add, but perhaps too technical for this review? INTERIOR. Obviously designed for maximum comfort in all conditions. The type and position of pedals are well chosen, the steering wheel position is perfect with a three-spoke design and two possible settings :- longitudinal and inclination in a 12degree angle. During my roadtest for you, I found that for a supercar, there was excellent leg and headroom and the driving position was perfect. The fabulous gearstick moved just where one wanted it, which I've found is a rarity in the more powerful Ferrari's. There is also a large luggage shelf and good boot space. The seat has 8 settings, five of which are electrically assisted, being reach, height, seat tilting, lumbar support and squab rake. The squab has a rapid release for access to the rear luggage shelf. All the instruments are grouped at the field of vision centre, and the controls can be easily reached, and my passenger also claimed to have plenty of space. The car is equipped with a Sony radio and a CD changer which hold 6 CD's, being located in the boot, where the tool kit also resides, and has 6.5 cubic feet of space. An anti-theft system is combined with the engine management unit and activated by a radio frequency signal. Optional extras are a small wheel kit at £334.88; Luggage at £840.13 and Racing Seats a steal at £2,602.63. TECHNICAL. Length 179.13 in. Width 76.18in. Height 50.27in. Wheelbase 98.43 in. Front Track 64.25in. Rear Track 62.44in. Kerb Weight 3,726 lb. Tubeless Radial Tyres Front 255/40 ZR 18 Rear 295/35 ZR 18 Light Alloy Tank holding 25 Imperial Gallons. Engine 12 cylinders in 65 degree vee Bore and Stroke 3.46 x 2.95 in. Total displacement 334.0 cu.in. 5,474 c.c. Compression ratio 10.8:1 Maximum power at 7,000rpm 485 b.h.p. Maximum torque at 5,000 rpm 568.5 Nm. 4 overhead camshafts. Four valves per cylinder Injection/static electronic ignition Bosch Motronic5.2 PERFORMANCE Speed 199 mph 0-60 mph 4.3 secs. 0-1/4 mile 12.6 secs. 0-1 mile 30.9 secs. DRIVING IT The 550 Maranello is not the most expensive or valuable Ferrari, and it is not the most powerful or fastest road Ferrari either. Perhaps it doesn't sound the best either, but I can tell you, it is the best. The handling is absolutely brilliant due to technology not allowed in Formula One. The switchable, computerised ASR drive control system, coupled with normal or sport suspension settings, give several different handling characteristics. You can either do powerslides or have oversteer !! If you turn the ASR on after doing that, and flick the other switch to sport, you can cover ground very, very rapidly indeed. The Maranello is magical, the steering is beautifully weighted, the six speed gearbox is wonderful and the power is awesome, even though I ended up 1 mph short of 200 !!!Forget the Viper, Cerbera or 911, get this one !!! For those interested , mpg figures on test varied from 7 to 13 miles per gallon. FINANCE I was going to close this review by detailing the 9 different finance schemes offered by Ferrari, along with all the insurance options, but as this has already become rather long, can you either contact me, or perhaps suggest whether I should include it. ?? Is there anything else you need ???
Well, it's 2002 and the second year I've been doing ops on Dooyoo. How famous I have become in such a short period of time ??? You will now be familiar with my style here on Dooyoo, the fact that my ops are always very detailed, never contain jokes, that I never name drop etc ?? Well, this is the latest in my lovely little adoption series, I have been asked to do more on subjects such as bats, rats and so on but for the moment let's just run through the title of this op.. You are aware of course that the English have this little nickname for French persons ??? There you go then !! What did I do for Christmas I hear you saying, well I moved from London to Southampton. Now talking of French persons, une de votre amis came down to Southampton and got lost in the town over this period, so there were we (me and my un-named girl-friend) driving round the town in the Bluesmobile on the mobile phone as well until we located him in some side street, what are people like ??? Have I heard any good jokes lately ??? Certainly, you lot reading this op and trying to find something useful !!! So, what can I tell you about Chanel ??? 1. The company is French 2. They have a web site, www.Chanel.Com Now haven't I been helpful ??? Eeeeerr... actually no, not yet !!! Well, Chanel is a French fashion house, developing clothing, fashion accessories, watches, etc, but mainly of course their range of perfumery, many of us will of course have heard of their Chanel No. 5 and Chanel No.19 ranges. I am mainly going to be describing certain aspects of the company and the philosophy rather than individual products. For those wanting more details I would strongly recommend their web site as it is very artistically designed, and has an absolute wealth of information, under Sections :- Audacious, Perfectionist, Unique, Passionate and Visionary. There are a few members of the Chanel family to consider when tracing the foundations of the company, firstly Gabrielle Chanel. She created the signature scarlet lipstick, and she was very audacious. She wore open-necked shirts, which was very unusual before World War One, and also displayed her ankles !!! The trousers she wore had the confident style of her male counterparts. During that war, when supplies ran low she used jersey (no not the island stupid). This was a fabric that had previously only been used for men's underwear, but made stunning women's dresses. This was at a time when single women weren't even supposed to think of men's underwear, though speaking of that (and I want this to be clean), what is the difference between a man's wages and his underwear ??? Women like to blow men's wages, that's right !!! The other important member of the Chanel family, Coco, has been described as a genius. She learned to sew at convent school, and started making hats for friends. They liked the simple, customized boaters Coco wore to the races. Weary of frills and bustles, women were ready for the clean lines and simplicity of Coco's designs. After these successes, Coco developed her style into a thriving couture business. She would often tear apart seams or reset shoulders at the last minute before a show, and was also known to lie on the floor of her salon to check that all the hem's were stitched to her specification... now that's a job I wouldn't mind !!! Attention to detail is the Chanel hallmark then and now basically. Coco was also a natural when marketing her own products, as apart from wearing and promoting her own clothes, she also hired friends and family to endorse her designs, and sprayed her fitting rooms with Chanel No.5 perfume, and made donations of it to her most valued clients. Karl Lagerfield became the Artistic Director for Chanel in 1983, and like Coco, he captured the Chanel look by photographing it himself. He styles and shoots all the fashion campaigns, being the main designer and spokesperson. He works with the world's weavers, dyers, pleating houses, embroidery experts and milliners in the formation of his couture. At Paris's top atelier on the rue Cambon, quality is uppermost. Each ready to wear piece is thoroughly inspected before distribution. Today, Chanel has a full range of make-up, liners and brows, mascaras and shadows, and for lips and nails etc, and this is the range most of us on Dooyoo could aspire to afford. These are presented in the original black and white packaging, and the products are slim and practical. Large mirrors and well designed brushes ensure that Chanel is always easy to apply, and is long lasting. For those of you with slightly more money, there ARE Chanel watches which are made in Switzerland. The best quality pearls, diamonds and precious stones are also used for the jewellery collection, and still in this expensive though affordable range there are Chanel bags, which have secret zippered compartments and its interlocking CC clasp, and these have an identity number to guarantee authenticity. For those of you with enough money to afford the clothes... Contact me first so that I can vet you !!!!
Well, here we are again for another fascinating op in my adoption series, and how jolly D they are proving to be !! What has happened to me lately I hear you say, well those nice people have asked me to clean up my ops again and not name drop, so bye, hope you liked this op !!! Actually I'll be spending Christmas with my unnamed girlfriend I met here on Dooyoo. Better get on with the op, before the Dooyoo police catch me !! Why a cow I hear you say, well Boddington's beer comes from Strangeway's Brewery in Manchester, England, and they have a website, www.boddingtons.com. Helpful aren't I ?? What's this got to do with cows ?? Don't rush me, it's Christmas !! Well, the website has several sections, Fun Stuff, About the Beer, Graham's Column and Game, and.... You are slow today, Graham is a cow silly !! Graham's name is Graham Heffer and he writes exclusively for the Manchester Evening News. When I visited the site last Graham was giving advice about tennis, and smashing Pete Sampras' balls or something. There are about 20 pieces of wisdom from the cow on the site, so if you are in need of advice from a cow, say ANDREWSJK sent you. There is also the game, Udder Paradise, where you have to help Graham the cow get beauty contestants to safety in his motor boat on the Bahamas, and the prize is a crate of beer, second prize is probably two crates !! I've just re-read this paragraph, is this all real, what have cows got to do with beer ??? So, the beer, Boddingtons has been brewed in Manchester since 1778, you thought they'd have finished it by now !!! It is sold in over 30 countries worldwide, and this has been the growth area for the company in the last 10 years. Manchester is the third largest city in England after London and Birmingham, and the Brewery is situated next to Strangeway's Prison, so check all crates to see if they contain a file !!! The water used is taken directly from the Ard wick fault, 200 feet below the brewery. The brewery chimney was built in 1881 and is good for abseiling !! The Christmas bonus for brewery workers in the 19th century was 2 days wages and a quart of strong ale. I can't go on, the cow has got to me... But I must continue telling you about Manchester. Malt dust exploded in the brewery twice in 1891. The brewery employs 120 people including a taster, and yes, I am applying for that job !! Almost half a million pints of Boddingtons are drunk every day (by the taster ??) It is available in Europe's highest pub, the Frog and Rostbif in the French Alps. Boddingtons is available in the Viper Room, Los Angeles, owned by Johnny Depp, and didn't you just want to know that !! The most expensive Boddingtons ever was £10 a can in Japan. The first Boddingtons girl, Anna Chancellor, starred as "Duck Face" in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Hey, who writes this stuff ?? Manchester will be hosting the XXVII Commonwealth Games in 2002. Manchester is home of Coronation Street. Manchester has many bands including Oasis, Bee Gees, Simply Red. Shut up about Manchester ANDREWSJK and get on with the op. The economic emergence of Manchester in the late 1700's led two canny grain merchants, Thomas Caister and Thomas Fry to build a brewery there, and the site was chosen because it meant they could avoid the tax on grain levied by the local mills belonging to Manchester Grammar School. Nelson won the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 !!! With the introduction of saccharometers and thermometers Strangeways beer developed a reputation for quality that survives today!! of course I know what a saccharometer is... Hmmmmmm. Henry Boddington was born in 1813. At the age of 19 (in 1832 then) he was employed as a traveller for the brewery. He became a partner. Sensibly enough the brewery was renamed John Harrison and Co. The duty payable on sugar was very high. The Beer House Act of 1830 e nabled lower class boozers to trade, they were called Tom and Jerry shops. Seeing all this, our Henry took out a large loan in 1853. (P.S This is all real, I can assure you !!!) He became the sole owner of the brewery, and due to his fast work, by 1877 over 10,000 barrels of beer were being brewed on the site. A fire spread through the brewery that year, and the fire service put it out. Henry Junior became involved in the brewery. It was renamed Henry Boddington and Son. Henry Senior passed away in 1886. They renamed the brewery in his memory, Boddington Breweries Ltd, a public company. At this time new boiling pans, slate tanks and cask hoists were introduced, but electric lights were rejected as being too dear. Writing this op here I'm cracking up, don't know which is funnier.. the people of Manchester or the cow !!! Still, the op must go on. The Eiffel Tower in Paris was erected in 1889. In 1908 Robert Boddington became chairman, known to his friends as Bob Boddie. In the 1920's a bottling hall is installed, and aluminium vessels are situated, replacing machinery driven by pulleys and one large flywheel. There was another fire at the factory during the Second World War. The new Chairman Geoffrey Boddingtons (Jeff Boddie !!) used this to further modernise the factory, but while he was doing this Mount Everest was conquered in 1953. Boddington's signed a trading agreement with Whitbread in 1971, and Whitbread went on to purchase the brewery in 1989. In the early 1970's a new logo was introduced. The Beatles conquered the world. George Best helped Manchester United to become famous. George may have had a few Boddington's it is rumoured, but all this Manchester hype never encouraged me to go there !! Whitbread paid £50.7 million for the brewery. The widget got into cans in 1992. Manchester United win the English football championship after a 20 year gap. I went to Manchester airport on business. Boddington& #39;s was officially exported for the first time in 1993, to Canada, and in the year 2000, Whitbread becomes part of Interbrew, a Belgian company. Now there's a good mix, Belgium and Manchester, you can imagine the board meetings !! " Hooo, dee dodee, seex mooor craatres of dee Boddington beer". Right, enough about cows, Manchester, and whatever, the beers :- Boddingtons Bitter ABV 3.8% Brewed since 1778. A golden ale brewed with English Malt and Hops, available in cans or on Draught. Boddingtons Pub Ale ABV 4.8%, With a creamy head and a golden body. Boddingtons Manchester Gold ABV 4.8% A stronger version of Boddingtons Bitter. So there you have it, my guide to Manchester, or cows, or Boddingtons beer, and I didn't mention a single Dooyoo person did I ???
Well, here we are again for another op in my little adoption series. So far we've covered adopting sheep and seals, and I was going to cover iguanas this time, but instead I've decided to make it Cornishmen. Now dear reader, it's been a funny old week since I last wrote an op, the scorpion has had an 11 lb baby, Bethany for a start !! You?re are understandably anxious to hear what I've been doing, well my fan club secretaries harmonyk or Sue26 could fill you in, but to save you the membership fee, on Tuesday BT came round to install a new internet line. He was a lovely man, we sat and chatted here for 4 hours, then he went away saying he had to have lunch, somehow he seems to have forgotten to put the line in though, so another nice man is coming to chat to me on Monday. Better right an op now, it?s going to be about Skinner's Breweries, of Truro, Cornwall. What's this all got to do with Smark1985 you say !! Well, dear little Smarky has been down there in Cornwall writing ops on WWF wrestling and wanting to keep the rest of the world out of Cornwall, but I've been reading those ops and have constantly built a resistance party ready to infiltrate Cornwall. Skinner's was founded in July 1997 by Steve and Sarah Skinner. It has established itself as one of the most successful breweries in the South West. It become the first brewery to win Supreme Champion at the prestigious Tucker's Maltings beer festival in Newton Abbot for two years running. Now, have a look at Smarky's photo, you can just imagine all those Cornishmen in their bonnets supping beer can't you, saying " Wot moi loik ", or is that me and harmonyk ??? To get you in the Cornish mood, I'll tell you a few places this beer is sold first :- Looe Golf Club. Liberal Club, St. Columb. Blue Peter, Polperro. Smugglers, St.Erth. Cheese Wring Hotel, Minions, Liskeard. Truro Squash Club. Peruvian Arms, Mount Street , Penzance Driftwood Spars, Trevaunce Cove, St. Agnes. Mylor Yacht Club, Mylor, Falmouth. Got the Cornwall mood yet, if not try www.skinnersbrewery.com, or phone them on 01637 876391. I must just mention here one of their highlight pubs, Skinners Ale House, East Street, Newquay. This serves the complete range of Skinner's beers, and as Skinners believe drinking should be fun, they attempt to make it so, Skinners believe in knowing how to keep real ale. Live music is played at the Skinners Arms on special nights of the week (like Zursday's ???). Membership of their Knockers club entitles you to incredibly cheap beer and food. The food is freshly prepared on the premises each day.. Is Skinner's definition of real ale.. "It's in a glass and can be drunk so of course it's real !!" Well actually no, their definition is "draft or bottled beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide." This definition was drawn up by the Oxford English dictionary after extensive discussions with CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale). CAMRA started nearly 30 years ago, at a time when small breweries like Skinners hardly existed, and large regional brewers were being taken over and closed down at an alarming rate by a small number of mega-breweries. These breweries came up with their own idea - keg beer. Real ale requires a bit of skill by the landlord, whereas keg beer is killed, filtered and pasteurised in the brewery, then has a gas bottle connected to it in the pub to put the bubbles back. In 1972 a group of four or five beer-loving journalists started CAMRA, and membership now stands at around the 60,000 mark. Cornwall has it's own branch, though there are two sub-branches to cover the east and north of the area. A little about how Skinners is made now, the brewing process con sists of nine key components :- 1. Malting is the process of getting the barley ready for brewing. 2. Steeping. The grain is added to a vat along with water and allowed to soak for 42 hours. 3. Germination. The grain is spread on the floor of the germination room for 5 days where the rootlets begin to form. 4. Kilning. The green malt now goes through a high temperature drying in a kiln. Temperature increases are gradual so that the enzymes in the grain are not damaged. 5. Milling is the cracking of the grain which the brewer chooses for the particular batch of beer. 6. Mashing converts the starches which were released during the malting process to sugars that can be fermented. 7. Brewing. The wort now goes to the kettle where it is brought to the boil. 8. Cooling. The wort is transferred quickly from the brew kettle through a device to filter out the hops, and then onto a heat exchanger to b cooled. 9. Fermentation. After passing through the heat exchanger, the cooled wort goes to the fermentation tank. This has been a fairly brief resume of what occurs, but further details may be found on the web site if required. The beer is finally racked, which means the beerr is moved into a conditioning tank, where it completes it?s ageing process. Some of Skinners Ales are :- Coastliner ABV 3.4 % Spriggan Ale 3.8%. A light golden hoppy bitter with a distinct Goldings Aroma. Betty Stogs Bitter. ABV 4.0%. A pale amber, mid strength beer with distinct hoppy overtones. Cornish Knocker Ale. ABV 4.5%. A strrong, clean tasting Golden Ale, not too sweet with a fresh flowery aroma. Figgy?s Brew ABV 4.5%. A classic dark premium strength bitter, full flavoured with a smooth finish. Summer Blonde. ABV 5.0%. There are also occasional ales such as :- Mazey Ale. Tresco Tipple. Kiddlywink. Goofy Bitter St. Piran's Ale. Jingle Knockers. And bottled beers such as :- Cornish Knocker Who Put the Lights Out ?? If anyone sees Smarky, tell him I'd like to adopt him please !!