Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Mini World

I am a girl and am not interested in cars, I see them as a means to simply get me where I want to go in the safest way possible. However, I am lucky enough to own a beautiful Mini Clubman (that's an estate version of the Mini), and it is the ideal vehicle for me to zip about the countryside and squeeze into small spaces when I am in London, it also fits in the small herd, two dogs and Handsome Husband, so is a multi-tasking beauty, just like me.

I recently had to take my lovely Mini in for a Service. Normally this is a tiresome event, and does not take long enough to warrant a courtesy car so I have to wait about reading out of date issues of What Car, Classic Car or Top Gear, none of which are normally on my reading radar. To top that the showroom seating is uncomfortable and there is a ghastly coffee machine, that splutters out something that looks more like weak ale than coffee and I cannot tell you what it tastes like as I surreptitiously poured it into the plant pot next to the brochures.

This visit turned out to be a little more interesting than I had expected, as I decided to take a look at the new Mini Countryman which was proudly displayed in the showroom. The eager salesman (Julian) was more than happy to talk me through this Mini beast, and he talked enthusiastically about all sorts of technical issues which went straight over my pretty head, but I nodded, smiled and agreed with everything he said, but after about 5 minutes of his waffling I began to glaze over a little until I spotted something I had to enquire about.

"What on earth is that" I asked pointing to what looks like the accelerator handle on a small speedboat. "Aaah that is the handbrake" he said in hushed tones, and then continued "I know, it's horrible isn't it"? It certainly is a ghastly looking thing, and frankly spoils the whole look. It was then that I gave this Mini a critical once over and decided that it is all wrong, it's huge and I thought Mini was supposed to be small, and despite having four doors it offers no additional leg room than my current gorgeous little Mini, its body design also resembles and clumsy London Taxi and there are some strange poles which run all the way down the middle of the interior of the car which give the appearance of it not being quite finished. Julian then began to give me the sales talk about Mini being a brand and that they had listened to what customers want and this is it. Well not me Julian, I don't want one at all I shall be sticking to my Clubman, although when the very helpful man on the Service Desk re-appeared with my keys he gave me the bad news that my little car will need new front and back brakes in about 1000 miles, so what with that, the newly due MOT it may just be cheaper to get myself a new little Clubman.

As I've been a very good girl this year, maybe Santa could be persuaded. What do you want for Christmas? xxx

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Rugger Buggers

The Gorgeous England Rugby Player, Ben Cohen

My eldest and middle chap both play the game that mummies often find difficult to watch, rugby. It is difficult on three levels for me, firstly it is mostly played when the weather is cold, sometimes wet and often windy, and having sensitive skin the combination of these elements can prove challenging, but I have found the perfect barrier to shield me from the assault, a rich cream from Dermalogica (Intensive Moisture Balance) which not only protects but also gives my skin a healthy glow.

Another difficulty which is impossible to avoid is that of the injured son. Does one dash onto the pitch with Belstaff jacket flying behind you to tend to the wounded, or does one stand silently looking on as the boy lays on the ground gasping in pain and being ignored by everyone, until he drags himself up and limps on. It is a dilemma, and I have been told that unless the paramedics are called on, I am to stay rooted to the spot and not even show a flicker of interest. So far I have obeyed my instructions but I will be honest with you and say, I have found it extremely difficult to do so, but I do understand that there are unspoken rules which must be obeyed or my son will be ribbed endlessly by his team mates.

The final challenge is that of the Rugby Dad, who I have been able to observe at close range for nearly a whole season. Although they may vary in height, age and looks they all share some defining characteristics, an extremely loud voice, a complete disregard for the instructions and directives from the referee and a need to pace the field roaring at his own son, particularly if he makes an error. They are indeed terrifying and I have on several occasions felt quite tempted to kick one or two of them very hard on the shin, but being a lady, I haven't.

Should their sons team win they gloat boorishly during tea, should they lose the are like great big babies skulking around, and then admonish their son when he arrives looking battered and bruised from the gladiatorial battle he has just lost. There is one feature I feel that these bully boys must also share, although I have no evidence for it, that these sad excuses for men all seem to have very small bulges and I'm not talking about their wallets.

My very own Handsome Husband, I'm sure you will be pleased to know, neither paces nor shouts loudly, and chats gleefully to the other normal dads while watching with one eye while his son is being crushed, pulled, winded and occasionally scoring a try. Perhaps that may have been why he has had no trouble ever scoring himself.


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