New Entrant

As Loyal Readers will already know, the Goddess Nigella has lost favor with your Humble Narrator because she’s lost too much weight and has become unattractive (to me, anyway).

Much as I am tempted to transfer my online infatuation to a Train Smash Woman such as  Lisa Appleton, she is rather a little too much of a good thing, if you get my drift:

Sadly, Train Smash Women also tend to be dead common, which is a major disqualification. Also, there’s that slightly crazed look in Miss Lisa’s eye which suggests that my pet bunny would not be safe around a kitchen pot.

So the search continues. I’m not going to spell the search criteria out, because in fact they are largely undefinable. Let’s just use the Old Nigella as a template, and take it from there:

Okay, what the hell, let’s give it a try: Nigella’s replacement must be over 50 years old, classy, with a full figure and a decent cleavage. Sadly, the very first criterion eliminates most well-known women these days because they all seem to have the morals of stoats and all the class of a full airline barf bag. Nevertheless, we can but try; I’m not looking for unblemished near-virginity — Nigella is anything but that — but a touch of class would be a definite starting-point.

It’s early days, of course, but ol’ Helen Mirren does cause a certain stirring in the loins:

Let’s just say she’s first out of the starting gate.

Worrying Development

…or maybe I should say reduction instead of development.

Longtime Readers will know of my longtime infatuation with the wondrous Nigella Lawson:

However, of late there appears to be a lot less Nigella than there was before:

…and in fact, she looks positively skeletal nowadays:

I’cw always preferred bigger, full-figured women with hourglass figures, and Nigella probably epitomized that preference. But this disappearing act? I like it not. Maybe it’s time to find another Real Woman, of more-appealing amplitude.

But I’m going to feel guilty about this; I’ve always been a one-woman kinda guy.

Then again:

 

 

Still Hot

I don’t know why the Brits persist in calling the DWI/DUI offence “drink” driving — as Dennis Farina notably said, “You guys invented the fucking language; why don’t you speak it?” It’s drunk driving, FFS.

Anyway, I see that Sky Sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher has been banned from driving because she was three times over the limit. Don’t care; she’s still a total hottie:

Volunteers for the job of Kirsty Gallacher’s chauffeur: the line forms to the right, over there. No pushing and shoving.

 

Blenheim Salon Part 2

So after having ogled the cars etc. in the exhibition area (and the avenue leading into the exhibition, see yesterday’s post), Your Humble Narrator ambled off to the auction hall, where sundry items of deliciousness were to be found, pre-auction. Once more, I shall say but little, just post a few examples. The model dates are approximate, for reasons which will become apparent later.

1963 MG:

1950 Jaguar Mk V:

1958 Mercedes 300S:

1962 Sunbeam Tiger:

1965 Lancia Flavia (This car was so beautiful — the picture does not do it justice — that I wanted to marry it so that it could bear my children. Suffice it to say that of all the automotive pulchritude on display, even Mr. FM had found it memorable.)

1958 Jaguar XK 140:

Now, I have to confess that Mr. FM was getting somewhat impatient, tapping his watch and muttering something about “getting going before darkness falls”. Also, I have to confess that by this point, some six hours since our arrival, I was starting to feel the effects of the open bar at the Privé — let’s just say that I’d consumed fairly substantial quantities of wine, champagne and J&B — and I think Mr. FM was trying to spare me from the indignity of loud proposals of marriage to some of the cars. At least, that’s what I thought at the time.

So he bundled me into the Range Rover and off we went — but curiously, not along the same road we’d come in on. Instead, he took an abrupt turn off the main road and plunged down into a series of hills and dales along an allegedly two-lane road that was so narrow, I would have had trouble riding a Fiat 500 down it without grazing both rearview mirrors on the roadside hedgerows. Then, as the evening sun was getting close to the horizon and we reached the bottom of a valley, he pulled off onto a small piece of open land and said, “You might want to take a picture of this.”

And I did; more than one. First, the house of (I think) the owner of the property:

…followed by a couple of vistas:

Good grief. Words cannot describe the beauty of the Cotswolds. You just have to see it for yourself.

Then we went home, and Mr. FM and I finished the day’s festivities off by imbibing vast quantities of whisky before retiring for the night.

Altogether, an unforgettable day, and one for which I will be eternally grateful to my gracious host.

Blenheim Salon Part 1

So yesterday, Mr. FM dragged me kicking and screaming to something called a “Salon Privé”, an annual shindig held on the grounds at Blenheim Palace, home of the Duke of Marlborough. (I say “dragged” in the sense of “invited”; the “kicking and screaming” actually came later, when it was time to go.)

What is this Salon thing, you ask? It’s a classic car exhibition and auction (more of which in Part 2 of this account, tomorrow).

So as we swept up the driveway towards the Duke’s little pad,

I was oohing an aahing at the exquisite cars assembled:

…whereupon Mr. FM dryly informed me, “Dear heart, this is just the parking lot; the exhibition is on the other side of the house.”

Oh.

So we wandered down the alley of cars:

…until we got to the exhibition itself.

Ahem.

I will say no more, just post a few of the dozens of pictures I took. First, the Jag XK120:

A couple of (the many) Ferraris:

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

Mercedes 300 SL:

Some 356 Porsches:

There were also a few shouty cars (aimed at the Russian / Arab Oil Oligarch’s Son Set, no doubt):

…but we’ll say no more about them. Instead, here’s a Bentley Tourer from the 1930s:

…which was, too, somewhat shouty (i.e. foul), except when properly decorated:

Speaking of decoration, there was lots of it:

  

…and one lovely young lady even asked me to take her pic in front of her car:

Heavens be praised, not a Train Smash Woman in sight. Just a couple more car pics. First, an Atalanta Sport:

Jaguar XJ220 (one of my favorite “modern” Jags:

…and standing out like a dog turd on a table cloth, this thing:

…which looked all the more ridiculous when you consider what was standing next to it:

But let me end this post with something of an overview:

Tomorrow, we’ll look at what was available on auction.

 

 

Then And Now, Again

I have always thought that a sports car should resemble a woman lying on her side: the front-wheel arches resembling the shoulders, the middle of the car falling away like the midsection, and the (larger) rear-wheel arches mimicking the swell of the hips.

Hence the beauty of Ferrari’s Dino 246 GT, my love for which has been well documented on these pages, and which resembles the slender female models of its era in the early 1970s:

What then, do we make of Ferrari’s new Portofino, which replaces the superb California?

Here’s what I see: it looks block-y and more muscular — more like a model who’s been working out in the gym who should look something like this:

…except that the Portfino doesn’t look like that either.

I know, I know: so much of today’s automotive design is shaped by what works in a wind tunnel as opposed to actual, you know, beauty. But Ferrari, at least until recently, seems to have been keeping the old proportions alive — which is why their cars have typically looked better than anyone else’s. I’m just not so sure about the Portofino.

(Please note that I’m only comparing the designs — the Portofino’s top speed of 198 mph dwarfs the Dino’s 145 mph.)


Update:  Reader askeptic points out that Ferrari, or at least their ad agency, used to share my sentiments. Note the ad from a later era:

Wrong Ferrari, however: the 308 looked like Twiggy, not Veruschka.