Sunday afternoons on the road, are always associated, in my mind with Radio One. For as long as I can remember, we would be driving back home from a relative (either the Midlands or Hertfordshire) and my Dad would put on the Top 40 chart. Times may have changed but tradition and customs are more difficult to shift. My sister Samantha, wanted to listen to CDs but I preferred to listen to JK and Joel, as I had not done so before. Sure, the chart show has changed from the hay day with the legend, Mark Goodyear at the helm, but it was worth listening this afternoon. Diamond Geezer, as expected has all the details and his own personal verdict as expected. The combination of single retail sales and downloads, does give the opportunity for the chart to more closely reflect what people are listening to and not just what he kids are buying this week. Listening to the album chart segment, I was glad to hear the Definitive Singles Collection, spanning twenty years be featured and the fact they played, “The Sun Always Shines On TV”. A soft rock pop song that is ideal for the moment, you change up into fifth, and speed up, down a slip road onto a motorway, just as the main instrumental introduction kicks in. Perfect, just perfect.
Finally, after just under two weeks wait, the day had arrived. The day when I would finally get a drive around in Pav’s 1995 M3 and meet some of his friends from the e36coupe forum. Perhaps I had hyped up the event too much, but I was too excited and got up early for a Saturday morning, at 7.30am. Knowing that Pav was already awake and about to start cleaning, waxing and polishing his motor before heading for Wycombe to pick me up. By time the clock ticked 9am, I was getting bored of music television. Sure they had played a handful of music videos which I liked but most of it was annoying contemporary material, which just does not agree with me. I begin to text Pav, to get progress on his movements and a potential ETA. It obviously was taking him longer to clean his car than he had originally expected, so I waited patiently, hoping that we would still make it in time to G-Force. When another hour had passed, I was beginning to lose some of my ice cool nerve and text Pav. He was on his way but wanted me to confirm the address our destination, so unwillingly, I switched on my PC, went to Multi Map to get some directions, which I quickly noted down on a scrap of paper. My parents had gone out in the other car, so I did not have access to my Road Atlas. The directions I had noted were patchy, so I was hoping that when we got into Aylesbury, Pav would be able to work out the rest of route for himself. My boredom hit rock bottom, when I decided to give up on Sky and switch on my XBox and watch my small collection of music videos. Thankfully, on watching my second music video, I noticed the purple car pull onto my driveway, Pav jump out and head towards my door. I switched off the XBox and television and grabbed my bag and headed for the door. My adventure was just about to begin. Shaking my friend’s hand, I came out to admire the time and effort he had spent cleaning his car. Sure, it was not a showroom finish, but I had not expected that. He had only had a few hours this morning to prepare the car, so clean was a of a high standard, regardless of the circumstances. It was gleaming, but perhaps needed just another coat to finish the job, but it was more than acceptable to be included in the Total BMW magazine feature. Getting into the car, I had to adjust to low ride. I have not sat in that many sports cars but I am always struck by how low they are to the ground and how laid back the seating position is. Adjusting the passenger seat back, I got comfortable for the short ride across over to Aylesbury. The traffic had built up by now, so Pav was not really given the road to show me what the car was capable of, but it didn’t matter. It was a great moment to catch up with him and things going on in his life. Although the option to listen to the stereo was there, after a few minutes, Pav turned it off. He was not joking when he said it was completely pants. (On the list of replacements, no doubt!) It was a great experience to ride in the M3, and hear that engine just roar at a slight touch of accelerator. Nothing has been modified on the vehicle, whatsoever, it is literally factory standard. Ten years and eighty thousand odd miles on the clock, it lands in the lap of this Beemer fanatic. As long as I can remember, Pav has been into his BMW cars. I suppose, unlike me, he is beginning to not just realise but live his dream. I could go into the details of the day, of getting there late, but in time to be featured in the magazine (which should be published next month) and some of the characters I met. There is little time and what can I really say? It was a great day, but the pictures will always tell a better, more fore filling story. I am proud to announce this site will be come the unofficial blog for the planned modification to Pav’s M3, so I will keep you posted on his progress on his beast. Today, I drove to Nottingham with my Mum and sisters to see my other sister, Natalie. We left around 11.30am, which was way behind the planned departure time of 10am. Having spent most of Saturday out, I did not have time to clean the cars, although I had squeezed in a brisk hoover of the 307 just before Doctor Who. So, I got up around 8.30am, had a quick breakfast and headed out to jet wash my car, before we headed to the Midlands. The drive was steady, with light traffic on the way up. I opted for the scenic route, via M40, then at junction 10, cruising down the A43 passed Silverstone and then onto the M1 northbound. I find this journey, is the least monotonous and provides a rest bite between the two major motorway segments. Traffic tends to be dramatically reduced, so you are less likely to encounter any careless drivers. We made good time, but I was not in a mad rush, so kept a steady 80-90 speed on the way up, enjoying the sunshine and pleasant views of our green land. We got into Natalie’s student house around 1.30pm. The afternoon was spent, watching the FA Cup Semi-Final and enjoying some home made food. Shattered from the drive, and long hard work at week, I drifted to sleep on the sofa, while my sisters headed to Asda to get some groceries. Waking up, I noticed the television was still on quite loud and I had missed another two goals, including a consolation for the Toon. Looking at my watch, it was nearly 3.30pm, where had the day gone? My thoughts turned to the FA Cup Semi-Final yesterday afternoon and the fact I had not been able to watch it live. Appears, that I missed nothing more than a ‘cricket’ match, were the words of Mark Lawrenson or Lawro as he prefers to be called. Reading the full report from Arse Blog I tend to agree with his sentiments, even if we face the old enemy one final time this season, I feel we are just coming back to our best form, with our full strength squad can smash this Manchester United team apart. Particularly if Fergie uses is the same tactics adopted in recent Premiership games. Sure, they cannot be written off, just yet but I believe we need to taste revenge and that will spur us on. It was time to go, so when my sister’s returned from shopping, we made arrangements to head off. Heading back onto the motorway, after filling the tank with diesel, the weather turned and the showers began to come down. The sky turned from a bright blue, to a dull grey and I knew the journey home was going to drag.