Sunday, June 27, 2004

Goodwood Festival of Speed

I wanted to go to the FoS last year, but unfortunately the Friday my mates were going was on the last Friday of my Post Office training and although we finished early it was still early afternoon and not really worth going - if there were even any tickets left on the door.

This year it was all planned in advance and I swapped work hours so I could get the Friday off (cheapest day, at £15 - it's £40 on Sunday!). Got a lift with Keith where we met Andy (ex-work mate) in Midhurst - or just outside it 'cos traffic was horrible - and I went the rest of the way in Andy's Marcos. That's a convertible 4-litre V8 powered roadster type thing that bears closest resemblance to an older TVR. Very nice inside, real leather, proper wood and comfy with it. Just a pity we hardly got out of 2nd gear pootling through the traffic. Nice V8 engine note though. I think I prefer my Scooby sound, but this was faster. It's for sale if anyone's interested (mail me and I'll pass the details on).

The red arrows were there doing a display while we ate lunch and a hurricane flew around later on too doing aerobatics.

Most mainstream manufacturers had a presence there, plus magazines, some car clubs and a lot of old racing cars (Formula 1, rallying - eg. the Paris-Dakar, the first Scooby to win the WRC, 50s and 60s single/twin seaters, world-record breakers...).

They'd hung the world land and boat speed record vehicles up as the main showpieces in front of the house - the BlueBird, a fast seaplane and the jet boat that broke the record way back when (300mph).

All in all a great day, definitely worth the ticket price and I've seen and heard a lot of great cars. Walking right up to the windows on the new Ferrari 612 (4-seater! eh?!!) or a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, or the latests Aston Martin (DB9) or seeing the crazy Koenigsegg (sp?), or the newest Noble (M14) up close is an experience you don't get every day. Or anytime, normally.

I was also pleasantly surprised how much it wasn't rip-off prices for food too, although the programmes were quite expensive (a tenner). I'm definitely up for going again next year. There is a 'revival' day/weekend soon but that doesn't interest me so much. I like the old cars but I enjoyed the newer ones more (with the odd exception - Ford GT40, Ferrari GTO to name a couple).

There were some painfully loud motorbikes, their soapbox cart challenge (although you could hardly call them soapboxes, as a lot were designed by manufacturer teams and pretty hi-tech).

Friday, June 18, 2004

Winchester day out

Spent Sunday in Winchester with my brother and his fiance Lindsey who'd come to visit for the weekend. They came down Saturday evening and I met them in town about 10pm in a pub, when I was a bit tipsy. They came back and slept in an airbed they brought with them in Liz's ex-room. Got up Sunday, quite early actually (for me), and decided to go to Winchester for a day out. I've never really seen the place - visited it once for a job interview, and spent a few minutes taking pictures of the cathedral from the hill and wondering round the town, but that's it.

We had a proper day there including walking round the cathedral (14 bells, for any campanologists reading! That's quite a few! Especially when the tenor's 35hwt, or 1.75tonnes-ish). It was an absolutely lovely sunny day anyway, and I even got a lead for a possible bit of wedding photography from a girl in one of the shops we walked round (while Peter and Lindsey were looking at pendants). I took some digital pics, samples below...

[Attractive town clock bells] [Alfred the Great] [Swan in the river] [Cathedral's impressive roof interior]

It was nice to see my bro and Lindsey again - it's not long before their wedding (in Mexico) and that's somewhere I'm looking forward to going, with a planned stop in Toronto too - home to Niagara Falls and the CN Tower. The CN will be a good comparison to the Empire State Building which I went up a couple of years ago on my NY trip. Apparently you can just see the spray from the Falls from the top of the tower when the weather's good. That's 160km(100miles) away.

Three Nilllll!!! Three Nillllll!!!

Engerland! Engerland! Engerland!

Yes, I watched the game last night. Having whipped Switzerland's arse (Rooney's the star), we now have to beat Croatia on Monday to be assured of getting through to the quarter finals. If we don't beat them, it goes down to goal difference and will be a bit touch and go depending what happens meantime. France drew with Croatia in the other game last night - ideally France should have won for our best chances, but I found it hard to cheer France on (never been a massive fan of them).

Now we've won a game the team should get a confidence lift and play better. Croatia are a better team than the Swiss so it'll be a harder game.

Had a good afternoon/evening down the pub too, said hi to someone I haven't seen for a long time - a girl who works in the local sandwich shop that I used to visit almost every day when I first moved into Farnham and was working just round the corner. Was surprised she remembered me actually as the only time we ever spoke was in the shop when I was ordering sarnies. Might have to pop in again sometime for a change from my own/Boots/Sainsbury's/Safeways prepackaged sarnies. They're very nice sarnies and rolls in there, in fact they won best sandwich shop of the year a few years back.

The Day After Tomorrow

Forget any lame jokes about when you're going to see it (the day after tomorrow? ;-), just don't bother. Wait til it comes out on satellite/cable/rental or watch it round a mate's. It's a bit of a lame movie. Yeah, some great special effects, but they just didn't create a sense of awe or terror.

Glad it only cost me 10p as part of Orange Wednesday's (same way I saw Troy last week). I didn't have my hopes up too high, although Liz (ex-flatmate) who was going to come too originally, but didn't, thought it looked good.

Waiting and rather looking forward to Shrek 2 though...

Wednesday, June 16, 2004 publishing fixed did it's nice update recently, and although the new features and new post authoring/management features are great (+ proper comments! hurrah!), they broke FTP publishing (when using your own site). Came back for first time in a week or so and noticed they've finally fixed it. Thanks guys. My posts can finally be published. So sorry to anyone reading this when it disappeared for a while and then didn't get updated. Stuff has been happening, I just couldn't have it on my site (short of writing it all out myself manually - urgh no!).

Friday, June 11, 2004


Went to see Troy Wednesday night with my mobile network's Orange Wednesdays offer (buy one ticket, get one free). So yesterday (ish... ok, 2 days ago now) was Troy, next Wednesday will be The Day After Tomorrow and some other time me and Jim will probably go see the new (darker, more grown up) Harry Potter movie. Helen (Jim's other half) isn't a fan of Harry.

It didn't cost me anything (bar the 10p text message to get a number for validation at the cinema), but I bought an ice-cream and some popcorn for Jim/Helen. So what did I think of the film? Some great fight scenes. Well, at least one, the one I'm thinking of being the one right near the start with Achilles involving a sword and a stab. Just one stab. A very well executed one at that, but just the one.

It was of epic proportions - effects; extras (although it depends how many of those were CGI'd); A-list names (Brad Pitt as Achilles, Sean Benn plays a big role, they probably blew the budget on Brad cos there's quite a few unknowns too); and length. It's a long old movie. Not quite LotR length, but plenty long enough. Long enough to notice it.

I liked it, but I wouldn't consider it an epic in the same light as LotR or say Ben Hur or Lawrence of Arabia. Biggest criticism: where was all the mythology? Did they wimp out of explaining Achilles strength? They didn't even make a point of the heel thing. Yeah, he gets shot there; but it isn't treated differently to any of the other damage that causes his demise. Everyone knows about his weak (or just mortal compared to the rest of him) heel - is that a reason for ignoring it? What about the source of the hiding-in-gift-horse idea? At least the right names are there and they didn't try to Americanise it in that way.

The movies I'm really looking forward to this summer are Spiderman 2 (finally saw a full trailer there) and Shrek 2 which should be awesome if it's even half as good as the first one. I am kinda looking forward to the new Harry, but it's not one I'm going to have to see soon.