New Wheels …

Well I took delivery of my new car a few days ago. Following on from my previous post, I decided to have some fun and ordered a silver Peugeot 207cc which I’m really enjoying, particularly as it came in well under the budget I’d set myself. It’s wonderful to be driving an open top car again after so many years, and having a metal roof that disappears into the boot/trunk after 15 seconds is all the excuse I need to get the top down!

Unlike my previous Smart ForFour, this car is a) petrol (doing less than 10,000 miles a year, I can’t justify the diesel) and b) on contract hire rather than a contract purchase (I have to give the car back at the end of the contract). I miss that pulling power of the diesel, but I’m averaging around 40mpg with mixed motorway/town driving so I can’t complain. And I’ve found the Pug to be more comfortable on long journeys than the Smart with was, which is a plus.

So why did I choose the Pug, other than the price? In all honesty, because the boot/trunk is huge. I can get a full set of golf clubs in and a trolley – hopefully my electric one will fit, but if not, I can use my old “pull me” one. On my local course, the “pull me” is fine as it not too hilly.

One unexpected bonus was that the car came with the iPod loom wired into the radio saving me both time and money getting this done – it was an option on the model I chose.

And today I received, and fitted, an active tilt and swivel phone holder from Brodit for my XDA iis thanks to DSL Developments, Brodit’s UK distributor.

So I’m a happy camper with my new wheels!

The joys of PCH

My Smart ForFour Passion diesel returns to Mercedes Benz at the end of next month as my PCH (personal contract hire) agreement comes to an end. I can’t believe that 2 years have passed so quickly.

This has been my first experience of driving a car that I haven’t owned outright – and in this case, not at all. It has been a pretty good experience all round; so much so that I now have to consider what to replace it with.

Choices, choices. As I only do around 8,500 miles a year made up of 1 long trip each month and a few short drives to the train station and back, do I go for the dirt cheap run-around option and pay about £125 per month, or have some fun with a small convertible at around £100 per month more?

Ah the joys of PCH!

Achieving a Life’s Ambition

I finally achieved an ambition I have had for a very long time. And it’s all thanks to my family who gave me a very special birthday present while we were on holiday in the Isle of Wight (in the UK).

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved birds of prey. We have some beautiful 19th century prints hanging on our kitchen wall so that I can look at them while eating breakfast.

So it was with mounting excitement that we arrived at Robin Hill so that I could fly a bird, in this case an Harris Hawk, belonging to my instructor Steve of White Falconry. It was a beautiful, bright and very hot day and I was in heaven.

Image of Philip de Lisle holding an Harris Hawk Image of an Harris Hawk

Pure magic!

The Joy of a Child

My four year old has been through the mill since he was born. Chronic eczema as a baby, glue ear requiring grommets at 2 and he’s so long sighted he’s off the chart. As a consequence he’s never been confident riding his bike even with stabiliser wheels.

(Un)fortunately we’ve booked a family holiday at Center Parcs where a bike is an essential not a luxury. So what to do? A friend offered us a “tag along” (a single, rear wheel contraption which links to the back of an adult bike) but when we got it home, we discovered that he couldn’t touch the ground which made him even more nervous than before.

So I hit Google. And discovered something called a Trailgator which turns an ordinary bike into a tag-along.

This thing is brilliant. So much so that said son is now seriously keen to go for bike rides. Loud cries of “faster Daddy, faster” accompanied by peels of laughter.

Seeing and hearing him be so happy makes me almost cry. Fantastic!