I love cars and everything about them! Below is some of my favourite car related Web sites. I always fancied a little Fiat Barchetta. Well, we got around to buying one back in 1997. With my hard earned cash in my pocket, Rachel agreed. With the help of my friend Caesar, off to the local Fiat garage in Tenerife. Yellow, I had to have one. A compromise and an equivalent to “British Racing Green” was agreed. Wrote out all the purchase form out, ready to pay the deposit and we were asked the question, “¿colore?”. Before I had a chance to reply “verde”, Rachel said Blue. A beautiful 2-seater convertible was on it’s way, This was August 1997. By September Rachel was pregnant and the Barchetta, when it arrives will be as useful as an ashtray on my Vespa. Boxing day it turned up after three weeks in customs. Within a couple of days, Rachel squeezed behind the steering wheel an off to collect Dawn from her local “boozer” in Tenerife. Sold it within 6 months with 1,000 km on the clock, to Gilly. Next step, four seater, so a Coupé was sought. Checking out the best Barchetta web, Carulli.com, I was smitten by the Coupé. Luigi Carulli, I sent my 2,000 € deposit in the April 1999, for August deliver. I say delivery, I had to fly to Cremona in Italy to collect it. Next thing was the ordering, without the help of Rachel, but at least with her agreement. I forget to tell her I ordered a yellow one. Do I collect it in August or combine it with watching AC Milan and Chelsea in the Champions League. “Oh Denise Wise…scored a f**king great goal…in the San Siro…10 minutes to go! I remember Luigi’s last words, take it easy 110 – 120 kph (70 mph) on the way home. Always remember what my father told me more though. Treat a car from new exactly how you are going to treat it forever. I thrashed it all the way to Dover. 80,000 miles later, 5 years old and my local Fiat Sports car garage, DTR Sports Cars have told me that it is perfect.
Well, what do you know?. With the change in my job and moving to Gran Canaria, the car got shipped with me. It is like it returned to it’s home. Being left-hand drive, coming to Spain has just increased it’s value by 4,000€.
One thing I have noticed here, the service for the car in the local Fiat garage in Arinaga is 30% of the cost of DTR and 20% of the cost of a Fiat dealership in the UK. Forget the fact the petrol is only 0.70 € a litre (40p). We are really enjoying the car here, but I have to go through the process of getting it “matriculated” (registered) in Gran Canaria. A popular car here?. No. I saw one in February, yellow and tatty. Then within two days, I saw the tatty one again (yellow), a “suped” up yellow turbo and a black one for sell on German plates. Mine looks fab though. Well, it is at last registered. 7585 DTW, ready for selling maybe.
The bane of my life. I never went overseas without my parents until 1985. Drunk as a skunk in Worthing, walked into the local Hogg Robinson, asked for one of those “Sex and Alcohol” holidays, Club 18-30. Two weeks later Jon Lord and I were in Ibiza, Hotel Neptuno. I always remember, Jon and I at an excursion, probably the BBQ. He fancied a girl from Huddersfield called Julie, “Julie Bear” as the song went. I agreed, reluctantly to take her friend, the” Walrus”. Unfortunately the “Walrus” heard this…Jon carried on by himself. Two Club 18-30 Holidays later, South of France with Cliff and Mallorca with Duncan and Mac, the “bug had bitten”. A “Big Reunion” in Brighton, 23 cans of Stella and a written off new car in Worthing, of course with Jon, no licence left, I was off to Gran Canaria as a Club 18-30 Rep. The rest to follow.
I’ve recently started going to watch my favourite team again (just in case my family and boss are reading this!). Below is their great site. A few highlights I remember of Chelsea. Losing to Everton the day the twins were born, giving away my Coca-Cola Cup Ticket as Amber was due. As it was she was early and I could of gone to the game. A couple of nights in Seville watching Betis with Lee and Gilly. Thanx to Brian Woolnough from The Sun (at the time), the famous Cup Winners Cup in Stockholm, Chelsea losing 4-0 to Man Urinal at the Final and winning the League 04/05 Season (watch this space…not forgetting October 24th, 1999 at the San Siro (see above). Since this website has started, Chelsea have gone from strength to strength. Just beat Everton in the FA Cup 4 – 1. It was 12 years ago to the week, the night the twins were born, they beat us 4-2 in the league. Things to look out for is the Barça vs. Chelsea game on March 7th. The winner of this match, will go on to lift the European Cup. Well, if you are reading this Toni, take care. Lee and myself will enjoy a jolly good celebration on the night of the 7th March….wish you were there!!!!
Children’s Play Centre
At present Rachel and her friend oldest Dawn are trying to start their own venture, so watch this space for World of Wonder. An indoor play area for kids, but more importantly, for “mums” Unfortunately, with all the hard work that Rachel put into this, it never took off. Planning permission refused and in the end, we took the decision to move to Spain..
I’ve always been interested in scooters and have had a scooter (Italian only) since I was 15. Those of you who know me realise that during the late 70’s and 80’s they were my down fall….that reason alone that I had slight brushes (pick axe handles, tent poles, etc.,) with the law. I would like to thank Paul Smith (not the designer) at this stage for keeping me on the straight and narrow. Shane Howarth, hanging around with the best looking guy in the IoW Jaguars Scooter Club always meant I had a chance of one of his “cast-offs”. I still have a Lambretta. Spent all my birthday money on it last year. Hitting 40 and all that. Watch this space for further photos. I have just joined the “Lambretta Club de España, nice bloke Felix sorted me out, now that the Lambretta is up and running.