Monday, March 31, 2008

Brain numbing

A little discombobulated at the moment in an attempt to free up space on my PVR. All 8 episodes of "Ashes to Ashes", which was quite fun; 3 episodes of "Torchwood", which was okay; 3 episodes of "Bionic Women", which was meh; A "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles", a series I'm enjoying; the stop-motion version of "Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf" which I also enjoyed; "The Hidden Story of Jesus", a two-hour programme containing about 15 minutes worth of information I didn't already know; an Horizon episode about drugs, which was quite boring; and a Panorama about child-vice, which didn't really address any issues other then 'more must be done'.

As a brief respite, and in an attempt to get a bunch of 80s songs out of my head, I ripped through Diana Wynne Jones' "Deep Secret" some may know her name from the animated adaptation of "Howl's Moving Castle" those of a certain age may also recall the BBC adaptation of "Archer's Goon". If there was any justice we should all be saying "Harry who?", but other then some recurring characters she does one-offs and the one true series "Dalemark" uses Scandinavian type names and is hardly easy child's fare. so everyone pat Rowling on the back for 'inventing' the genre.

I also managed to have a quick look at some cars. The Hyundai Amica has been discontinued, not a pity as sitting in the showroom model and flicking through the gears I twice failed to switch into second. In the same spirit of testing I then found that I needed to hop up to get into the rear seats then sit like a turtle; no way in hell that's acceptable for the passengers I carry. Moving onto the i10 I sat in the highest grade "Style" model and promptly found I was hitting the right-side of my head on the sunroof sill; fortunately the two lower in the range don't feature a sun-roof. Controls were dials rather then sliders, which I prefer, and I could see the dashboard from my position; sounds stupid, but you'd be surprised how often the steering wheel gets in the way. I could fit into the rear seats without too much discomfort, but that came at a premium of boot space - not much (In retrospect I'm being unfair here, especially looking at other cars, the boot space will do fine).

Another couple of showrooms and nothing small.

I was a bit miffed, I was doubly miffed as I'd got a 20% this-week-only WHSmiths voucher and found that the remaining three of four books I wanted to buy had gone and they had nothing else I was prepared to spend money on. Miff reduced slightly when I used a £10-off voucher for Staples that was about to expire to get some ink cartridges and got a free 1GB stick - a freebie to Dad to back his files up on so he can retire that 3½" Floppy disc (I know, but he knows how that works)

Resorted back online to find cars, amazing how many hoops the manufacturers want you to jump through just to get hold of the technical specs of the cars. Nissan Micra 3719x1660; Kia Picanto 3535x1595 a definite possibility if it wasn't for the even smaller boot - 157 litres (i10 - 258). The Citroen C1 looks nice, if it wasn't 1630 wide, but the boot space is 199 litres so wider and less capacity then the i10 - nice. Fiat Panda 3538x1578, but it's back in Band C at 135g/km and it's £500 more. The Ford Fiesta is just under 4m long, seems to come with the same options as the i10 but costs £2k more. You'd think the Mini was small, but the Mini One is 3699*1407 so it's longer, but narrower and £3k more and still in Band C at 128g/km and it's group 5 insurance!

As someone said to me you wouldn't think it difficult to find a small cheapish 4-5 seater car, but nope they've all got bigger on the outside and smaller on the inside.

[sigh] Still taken by the i10, I'll try to organise a test drive in the Comfort model see how she handles and more importantly if I can get out when she's parked in my garage gods £7k when my Matiz was £3k. Still, group 2 insurance and band B tax.