Facing The Facts:Autospirit: Local Pics.

As part of my normal morning ablutions, I indulge in a spot of pogonotomy ( Pardon ) just a old word for shaving. As the book says " Slavery is abolished but shavery survives. "

In 1838 Robert Southey said;" A man has to provide himself with two things, a good wife, and a good razor, and it is more difficult to find the latter than the former. " 
 King Gillette  might have objected to that statement  after launching his disposable safety razors in 1903.

As for me I always enjoy a wet shave. As the Major says " Can't be done with those electric gadgets; no sense of feeling. Give me steel in the morning. "

My main indulgence  is the above wondrous shaving cream from the establishment of George Trumper. It spreads evenly on the skin with the brush and works with the blade to leave the face moist, smooth and fresh with just the merest hint of lime. Simply sublime.

Note: quotes from " The Horologicon "  (2013)  from that splendid wordsmith  Mark Forsyth.


Last Tuesday, 1st September marked the start of the ' 65 ' vehicle numberplate; all part of the Motor Manufacturers plan to make your new car seem old after only six months.

Pondering this, I realised that the automobile is a perfect barometer of the rise of technology.
The trouble is the more we empowered by technology, the more we are made impotent by it.

In the case of the car it started with the choke valve. This was the device on the dashboard that you pulled out when starting the car from cold. It altered the rate of fuel and air quantity entering the engine. Pushing the choke in too quickly on a cold day, could sometimes stall the car. A case of trial and error.
This was soon replaced by an engine management system (chips and all) which as the name implies managed the choke operation automatically. This was followed by power steering; first arriving on lorries, coaches,  vans and top of the range cars and now  standard on all makes. Younger readers may not realise the difference it made to steering in urban conditions and especially in parking. I well remember driving friend D's Lada around Cheltenham. It nearly wrenched my arms off guiding it around the corners of the streets.

Nowadays, with PS it's easy peasy. I recently saw my bus driver turn a sharp right-hand corner with only one hand on the steering wheel, with no effort at all.

Sensors arrived, turning on wipers when rain commenced and now measure parking distances and advise with a warning note when too close to an object when reversing. Now we have emergency braking sensors to further control our actions  and of course the ubiquitous GPS or if you prefer ground positioning satellites. This navigates our routes for us.

This first came to my notice, when about three years ago a gentleman came to measure our windows to enable later installation of double glazed glass. I asked him where his next appointment was and he said ' somewhere in Herefordshire. I don't know where exactly, but if I put the customer's post code into my GPS, it will take me there.'

So although most of the above improvements increase  driver safety; I am still a little concerned that within a few years, spatial measurement will not be so good and map reading a lost art.

The future promises us high- speed convoys with collision control  and I guess some form of imposed speed using wireless signals in cities, towns and built- up areas. The driver will metaphorically be moving to the back seat.


On Sunday the I6th of August, D. and I retraced our steps upon a small walk from Badgeworth church across fields and  tracks to arrive by the side of the M5 Motorway. Here are three photos from our route:

This was taken in the early evening. I like the way the sun creates its own pathway.

Our walkway took us past a ripening corn field.

Here is our end destination, just before  the motorway.


Well I was little 'housebound' last week, waiting mainly for plumbers, who eventually showed yesterday (4 / 9 ), so the next week I need to be out and about on the blackberry trail.
This coming Wednesday  ( 9 / 4 ) marks another chapter in the iPhone's life with the arrival of the 6s. A larger iPod may also be announced.
Did you catch episode 1 " Cradle to the Grave ". the autobiography of Danny Baker shown on September 3rd ? I forgot to. Back to the iPlayer tonight.
Have a good week.

Cheerio for now,


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