la passione, and i hope not a post script…

Dear diablog

The classic car movement tends to move across frontiers with a ‘brotherhood’ that offers help to any other irrespective of make. This is great fun and makes you friends all over the place and is to be recommended to anyone interested.

However, from time to time, things happen which affect all of us and, in the context of historical interest, are a disaster.

Alfa Romeo has a long and very distinguished history. For anyone remotely interested in the history of the ‘brand’, and for those like me who suffer from Alfa Virus, the pinnacle is to visit the Museum in Arese where there are some absolute treasures –

– and now some moron wants to knock it all down and put the cars into a warehouse where no one can visit!

I received the following a day or so ago

Dear Alfisti,

During the last days a very reliable source gave me the bad news that our beloved Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese is still likely to be broken up notwithstanding the constraint of the Italian Ministry of Culture “Ministero dei Beni Culturali”.

The current ownership is putting huge pressure on the Ministry in Rome with the aim of having such constraint modified. The current ownership’s final goal is not only to sell some of the cars, but also to sell the whole structure, to finally move the remaining cars to Turin, and lock them in a warehouse as it has already been done with the Lancia Museum.

I ask you to show your attachment to what is every Alfisti’s spiritual “home”, the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese. Built and opened on December 18th, 1976 from the then President Giuseppe Luraghi, the Alfa Romeo Museum is the essence of the Brand, it tells the story of its great victories, its great technological innovations, and its unforgettable cars.

Unfortunately there is not much time: at the end of January 2011 the Italian Ministry of Culture will evaluate the request of modification to the constraint, as sent in by the current ownership, and will eventually issue a ministerial decree protecting the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese after having examined the reasons of the promoters of this initiative against the reasons of the current ownership.

Like me, diablog, harangue and swear at Alfa/Fiat that this must not happen. Apart from the destroying of history, you (and everyone else) are being denied a fascinating day out

.As soon as I know more diablog, I shall post it. Come on Pete and Engine Room – shout at them for a change and not me!


i shall say zis only once (addendum)…

Dear diablog,

In an oblique continuation of the other day’s ‘Allo ‘Allo posting, and harking back to motor racing days, I thought you may enjoy a typical ‘official’ totally unintelligible document!

When reading the following bear in mind that although it was prepared in good faith, it was handed to the drivers about 30 minutes before a race – not the best time to read and try to understand garbage! 

At a moment in time when one was being overwhelmed with non starting engines, flameproof overalls that were always too tight, last minute checks, signing autographs (!) and praying – some clown thrusts a piece of paper into your hands and expects you to comply with ‘the law’:

If you read this very slowly and try hard, you will figure that there is to be 1 warming up lap and the race itself is to be of 14 laps – if you are in any way able to decipher anything else you are a better man than any of we were! It preassumes that you are totally conversant with the 2 inch thick FIA rule book and none, repeat none, of us had ever opened it!

It is also important that you realise that all the matters mentioned are variables and subject to change due to weather, state of track or the whim of the organisers! Anything and everything can be changed with the minimum notice, so you are always a little apprehensive of ‘bits of paper’ handed out just before the start – and this one, along with many other European ones, is probably why you were apprehensive!

At least, diablog, in the UK they completely ignored non English speakers and just got everyone together at lunch time and bellowed at them!! 

Perplexed, diablog, after all these years,


Pastrami – where to get it

Dear Reader,

Do you remember our discussion about Pastrami here on diablog? It started with Glynsky fantasizing about the origin after having asked me to explain what it is here earlier. It then lead to the disaster of me having to eat and digest, what Glynsky thought was Pastrami and happened to be salted meat.

After that sad experience and upon returning to NYC – the undisputed world capital of Pastrami – I had to have some of the real stuff.

Where does one go? Continue reading “Pastrami – where to get it”

Just A Lot Of Hot Air??

From my personal technology correspondent:

Sometimes, it  takes a lot of energy to save energy. It seems to take a considerable carbon footprint to save a carbon toeprint.
So please join me in commending the council members in Redditch, U.K., who, according to the Guardian,have come up with an interesting concept to heat their Abbey Stadium swimming pool and leisure center.

They’d like to keep it warm by using cold, dead bodies. Well, scalding dead bodies, to be precise.
I am sorry if this alarms our more sensitive diablog readers, however, there just happens to be a crematorium next door to the swimming pool and all the heat generated by carnal incineration tends to get lost in the atmosphere.

Sometimes, British crematoriums can be architecturally interesting. (This one’s in London)

So why not use it to warm those who go for a swim in order to delay their date of departure from this earth?
The council is confident in fact ‘dead certain’ that it can save £14,500  every year from its ingenious idea. It might seem a little macabre, it says, but it’s terribly green. Continue reading “Just A Lot Of Hot Air??”

i shall say zis only once…

Dear diablog,

The other evening the BBC screened ‘A return to ‘Allo ‘Allo’ – an homage to the series of the same name.

Mme Glynskette and I were in convulsions at the insane return of one of the funniest sitcoms ever to grace the TV screen and decided that we could not pass over the opportunity to let you, diablog reader, enjoy some snippets of  this crazy lampoon, and strictly non pc, of all the WW2 films ever made.

Apart from starring one of the most attractive actresses ever as Yvette Carteblanche

…Vicky Michelle, Gorden Kaye and a plethora of other actors and actresses, creating a large number of catch phrases and expanding the extraordinary plot of the search for the painting of ‘The Madonna with the Big Boobies’ this had the groundbreaking idea of all the cast speaking English but as Germans, French, Italians or British and thus unable to understand each other! If you haven’t a clue of what I am rambling about I can only suggest that you obtain a couple of DVD’s and get ready to laugh.

The craziest exponent of this was Officer Crabtree (a British agent parachuted in disguised as a gendarme as he ‘spoke’ French)..

But another hero was Herr Flick of the Gestapo… Continue reading “i shall say zis only once…”