Any mature and educated Englishman will recognise these images.
Dixon of Dock Green
Some days you don’t want to be just a number anymore.
The Lotus / Caterham 7 is the fastest A to B car in the world. Nine times out of ten a well-sorted 7 will get you to a destination a couple of hundred miles away even faster than a powerful motorcycle. The only car that can come close to a 7 is a Porsche 911, but take one of those on an LA freeway and the gaps in traffic just aren’t big enough to make real progress ~ without you getting killed or caught.
A Lotus / Caterham Seven is SMALL. You don’t turn the steering wheel, press the gas pedal, or reach down to change gear ~ you think the little car into gaps in traffic. By the time you have had a conscious thought you are already a few hundred yards down the road. A Seven is an extension of your mind, not an extension of your body ~ and for a guy a 7 is not an extension of your penis like a Porsche.
Both a Porsche and a well-sorted 7 will get you from rest to 60 miles and hour in a little under 4 seconds, but in any car other than a Seven you will need an open road, free of traffic, to make the most of that car’s savage acceleration. In a Lotus / Caterham 7 you can just about ignore traffic ~ if you are brave enough, and if you are good enough. And, you have no business sitting in the driver’s seat of a seven if you are not brave.
I don’t mean stupidly brave like motorcycle owners who are always just one tiny mistake from serious injury, or death. Transplant surgeons love it when it rains, because they know there will be a motorcycle accident and they they will have some spare parts soon.
Brave in a Lotus / Caterham 7 means being who you truly are, embracing freedom, throwing away your ‘stand-in-line’ mentality, and becoming one with the moment.
Many women will not sit in the passenger seat of a Seven more than once. They find the entire experience too visceral, too powerfully emotive, too
fucking damn frightening. Finding a girl to ride shotgun on a long road trip in a Seven isn’t an easy thing to do ~ but then what real man wants the first women they meet at a bar? If you drive a Seven it’s going to take patience and time to find The Girl Riding Shotgun.
Anyway, if you are a real man you will have built your Seven yourself, and that takes time and patience too. And if you drive hard, with the top down, (which is the only true way to drive a 7), then she can’t talk with you anyway~ it’s just too damn noisy. The harsh bark of the side exhaust is overpowered by the flat roar from the Weber carburettors. There is wind noise around the side-screens, tyre roar, and probably transmission whine.
There are some other things about a 7 most ordinary women don’t like. It’s tiny, she’s sitting with her ass less than a foot from the road underneath, her hair is going to get blown about, every time you reach down to change gears you’re going to touch her leg, there’s limited luggage space, and when she gets out she’s got to be
fucking damn careful not to burn her leg on the side exhaust, (if you’re driving a European spec car).
But real women, women who are not afraid of their own feelings will love a Caterham / Lotus 7.
Some say that they’re not a number, that they are a free man. And, that they will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, numbered, and made to stand in line. All I know is that of you drive a Seven you can do anything, as long as it’s what you want.
Me and my Seven.
captive in a locked mind
camera behind locked doors
the empty vodka bottle is unkind
imagination’s running distant shores
inhabited in gloom and blackness defined
Lent is a Christian Festival ~ sometimes I don’t feel filled with Christian charity, and I will remedy that. For Lent this year I am giving up some of my most cherished character defects.
Between February 10th and March 24th I will not inflict my dangerously negative feelings upon anyone.
Among the things I will not be doing during Lent are that I will not be;
(Please feel free to tell me of any other unpleasant defects of character you would like a less than perfect man to lose.)
Only an inherently evil man like Mr.Hyde, (or an unreconstructed alcoholic), would be pleased to give free rein to actions which stem from those negative character traits. If I feel any of these vile and malevolent emotions and impulses, I will work very hard at not letting them show.
Actually, I am not going to do anything about those nasty, abusive, and negative character defects.
Instead, I am going to be positive and affirmative, calm and peaceful, honest and honourable. I shall walk softly and speak kindly. I will strive to become the perfect English Gentleman.
Also, I shall stay off the booze.
Piers are great, so very seaside, so very 1950’s, so very English Music Hall, there even are songs about piers…. Santa Monica Pier is fabulous.
Right at the western end of Interstate 10, Santa Monica Pier is easy to get to. Santa Monica pier is also the Western end of the old Route 66, and that’s got to be my next US Road Trip, all two and a half thousand miles of it from Santa Monica to Chicago, (or maybe the in the other direction).
When I got there, I had that feeling of déjà vu which so many place in the USA give me. Not surprising; Santa Monica Pier has featured in countless films and TV shows; from Elmer Gantry and The Opposite Of Sex, to the iconic TV show The Rockford Files. Film buffs can have a great day out there; take your reference book with you.
At the end of the pier, the ferris wheel is solar-powered; when does Santa Monica ever get cloudy days?
There is also a great restaurant at the south side of the landward end; Lunch at The Lobster is not so expensive, around $100 for the both of you; The Girl Riding Shotgun loved the mussels. The views from the pier are worth seeing.
Great day ~ next time out I think I’ll take my teddy bear along…
pictures copyright jack collier
Drive south-east from central Palm Springs on Route 111 and you come across the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert. This is in a seriously upscale area, and the museum is full of very expensive, contemporary pieces.
Outside, the gardens are filled with quirky sculpture, like these long faces.
Outside, its garden is a peaceful, spiritual place. The Renaissance Man should have an interest in art and gardening.
As an antidote for the constant excitement of Palm Canyon Drive, spend a while wandering the gardens. If you’re looking for a million dollar home in the Palm Springs area, you can’t really afford Palm Desert.
But, if you want some landscaping ideas for your desert home, you should really check out the museum’s gardens.
Keep heading south-west on Route 74 and you are into some cool scenery. And, on a road trip, cool scenery is one of the prerequisites. This is the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Park. And, if this part of California looks familiar, it’s because I’ve seen it countless times in westerns, at the movies and on TV….
jack collier and
the girl riding shotgun
Although it is usually good advice to lose one’s angst before getting behind the wheel of a Lotus 7. Remember, you are not a number on a road trip. Just shut up and drive.
On very rare occasions, one drives and wants to talk a little, although the more miles one has on the odemeter the less a real man is likely to want to talk.
And, there is idle chit-chat, and then there is conversation. Real conversation may drift from the athstetics of differing cloud formations to the underlying energies of the cosmos.
Whatever, if one is taking a road trip, the woman in the passenger seat has to be just that. Face it, a guy who hasn’t got a female friend willing to discover the world at the end of the rainbow, needs to have a long, solitary, road trip to ‘find himself’.
A man on a road trip with another man along for company is as one-dimensional as a foggy day. But, every now and then a man needs to be trans-dimensional, and take a long solitary drive to nowhere.
Guys, (and ladies), your road trip companionship is best coming from a woman. This despite the constant complaining about everything… (Not every girl complains all the time, and some women will share expenses, sometimes)
I have been reading some weird and disturbing stuff about techno-sex;
Some say that sexbots could seriously damage human relationships.
And, that android sex slaves reinforce male stereotypes of submissive women.
The best fembots can mimic a realistic orgasm.
Sex between humans and machines may soon become the norm.
Cute sexbots offer continuous ardent attention.
Robophilia is natural, libidinous, and sexually fulfilling for both men and women.
Japanese men think girlfriend apps are better than human girls.
Your robotic lover can be an erotic sexual surrogate for your human partner.
There are no off-limits for a fembot.
Intelligent robotic sex slaves will soon be almost indistinguishable from humans.
Robot sex allows any and all perversions.
Sexbots can be programmed with any personality, from submissive to dominatrix.
Virtual sex improves on sex with a human partner.
Both male and female sexbots will swallow cum after a blowjob.
Sexbots will talk as dirty as a practiced whore.
A robot ethicist says falling in love with your sexbot may be injurious to your health.
Sexbot porn is already available on-line and on film.
All I know is that cooler guys know real girls who might like to roleplay the submissive android, from time to time.
Rest In Peace, The Best 4×4 By Far
All good things must come to an end. My Lightweight Land Rover was one of the best things I ever had. Proper Land Rovers are fairly ugly, ( the Lightweight pictured is incredibly ugly), boxy, heavy, slow, uncomfortable, thirsty, rugged ~ a ‘proper’ Land Rover is one of the coolest cars a man can buy. And, should you ever want to take off into the middle of a desert, on a dirt road, for a couple of weeks at a time, then there is no better car to choose than a ‘proper’ Land Rover.
The modern ‘proper’ Land Rover is called Defender, but before Land Rover went chichi and upmarket on us, all Land Rovers were rugged off-road vehicles equally suited to driving down Regent Street in London as they were to carrying troops across a battlefield. The iconic Land Rover is said to be The Queen’s favourite car.
The very first Land Rovers were built, by the Rover Company, to replace the ubiquitous Jeep just after the end of WWII. The whole design ethos can be traced back to those 2 simple facts. It had to replace the Jeep and it was going to be British, and Britain was broken and destitute after WWII. The Land Rover had to be a rugged, go-anywhere 4×4 workhorse. Steel was in short supply in the UK so the body is aluminium, it had to use as many existing components as possible, looks and comfort didn’t much matter, and it had to be cheap. The 1948 version cost £450.
The simple solution found by Rover designer Maurice Wilks was to manufacture a strong box section chassis, and just hang everything else off that. Just look at that chassis. Rugged or what? Over-engineered perhaps. At the beginning all Land Rovers came in sage-green because a job-lot of surplus paint was acquired from a fighter aircraft factory.
Basically, once the basic steel frame has been welded together, everything else is bolted on. Or pop-riveted. Or screwed. Or banged in with a hammer. For English boys of a certain age if I say that a Land Rover is just a man-sized Meccano, they will know exactly how it was built. (USA Erector Set) As the blurb for the Erector Set says the ability to build a model, then take it apart and build something else, over and over again. And, do you know what? You can do the same thing with a full-sized Land Rover.
If your Land Rover is falling apart, you can take it completely apart, down to the last nut and bolt, and then build it again, but perhaps differently, and better. Choose cart springs or coil? Part-time or full-time four-wheel drive? Pick any engine you like, and as far as the body is concerned, the choice is too wide to mention. The most extreme Land Rover bodywork is the 101 Forward Control, which makes a fantastic camper / RV. This thing was mostly used as a military ambulance or command car.
This flexibility and rebuild-ability means that the Land Rover is the greenest car ever built, dust to dust. More than 80% of all the ‘proper’ Land Rovers ever built since 1948 are still in use~ they don’t get thrown away, they get recycled. Which should have pleased the environmental nutcases is California, but didn’t. Perhaps they didn’t like its military connections.
Since the first Land Rover was built in 1948 some 200,000 have been bought for military use, and like all Land Rovers have appeared in a bewildering range of variants. As well as the 101 there were tracked, amphibious, fire engines… The most famous variant being the Pink Panthers used by the SAS, (Special Air Service), the UK’s and World’s premier special service force. The pink colour is desert camouflage. You would understand that if you’d ever been into the desert.
However, there are a few problems having a real Land Rover as your only car. For example; they are illegal in the USA, they are slowish and use a lot of fuel, comfort isn’t what they are built for, they are tall and a long way off the ground, the heating system is pathetic…. But, as I said, if you really want to drive off into the desert, this is your vehicle of choice, at least you will stand some chance of returning.
There is an all new Land Rover Defender coming off the stocks. But the new Land Rover Defender isn’t even going to be built at its traditional home, in Solihull, in Britain. A new factory in Slovakia, (Slovakia? Did anything good ever come from that part of the world), will build the chichi new Defender DC100, which looks like a bigger version of BMW’s Mini that’s been frightened by a plastic bath-tub. More suitable for the supermarket car park than the Sahara Desert.
Good Grief! But money talks. Land Rover will be able to sell this toy car in the USA. They are just dumb enough to buy it if it’s cheap.
I have owned a couple of Land Rovers, including a Lightweight, and the kid’s toy look of the new DC100 just doesn’t cut it. It’s a girl’s car, or maybe a hairdresser’s, at least a metrosexual guy who worries about his manicure more than his car.
Don’t worry, get a tool kit and build your own ‘proper’ Land Rover. All you need is a hammer ~ well maybe. It’s the tool of choice in Slovakia.
most photographs from google