Archive for June, 2013

Spa-Francorchamps, that most demanding of circuits welcomed the F1 circus for a sunny 2nd race of the 1951 season. After the horrific injury to Gonzalez and with Whitehead also absent through injury their places were taken by Pierre Levegh & Swiss newcomer Rudi Fischer, both privateer entrants driving Talbots. The top 5 drivers having collected points in the previous race received byes for qualification and occupied the first 5 slots on the grid. Fastest of the qualifiers were Parnell and Fagioli. Last years champion Farina still somewhat out of sorts qualified on the grid in 10th place.

Sanesi (Alfa Romeo), Fangio (Alfa Romeo) & Villoresi (Ferrari) occupy the front rowLAP 1 – Just as at Bremgarten before, an incident right at the start put paid to 2 drivers races. This time Manzon (who had been eliminated by Fagioli in that accident at Bremgarten) collided with Maurice Trintignant‘s Gordini, prematurely ending both drivers races. Etancelin & Levegh stalled on the starting grid, Etancelin getting away the next round but Levegh’s Talbot engine had expired and his car was wheeled off without having gotten started.

Other first lap retirements were Andre Simon (Gordini) engine, Fischer (Talbot) engine, Etancelin (Talbot) suspension & Cabantous (Talbot) suspension.

Ascari as at Bremgarten got away well, of the pursuers local boy Johnny Claes, picked his way through the field to lead the chase.

Top 5 positions at end of lap. 1st – Ascari (Ferrari), 2nd – Claes (Talbot), Bonetto (Alfa Romeo), 4th Sanesi (Alfa Romeo) 5th – Rosier (Talbot)

IMG_1744LAP 2 – 13 cars were left. Most of the drivers had pitted for fresh tyres (Fangio & Farina 2 notable exceptions).  Ascari having pocketed the lap leader bonus point was caught at Eau Rouge by Claes to the delight of the locals. Fangio who had had a poor start began to move up the field as did Farina who nevertheless was still out of the points paying places. A number of near misses left debris around the track but thankfully there were no retirements. As the lap was concluded a number of drivers were nervously looking at their cars condition and no doubt wondering whether they would have to nurse them home and lose places or take risks

Top 5 positions at end of lap. 1st – Claes (Talbot), 2nd – Ascari (Ferrari), 3rd – Sanesi (Alfa Romeo), 4th Fangio (Alfa Romeo), 5th – Bonetto (Alfa Romeo)

IMG_1752LAP 3 – Claes led out but with no fuel points to use he knew he would be under extreme pressure from the chasing pack.  He was caught at Kemmel by Ascari but refused to give up the place and retook the lead at Les Combes.

Behind them Fangio began to move up and passed Sanesi. Louis Chiron (Talbot) collided with Pierro Taruffi (Ferrari) exiting Pouhon. Both drivers were injured and taken to hospital. Chirons injuries and broken bones ending his season but thankfully not his career.

At the front, Claes using all his local knowledge and guile managed to hold Ascari at bay until Blanchimont where the Ferrari’s superior speed and handling finally told. Exiting the Bus stop chicane Ascari powered over the line breaking Belgian hearts as Claes had to settle for 2nd. This result however was Ferrari’s first win since the championship began. Fangio pushing perhaps too hard made a mistake entering the Bus Stop which Sanesi capitalised on to grab 3rd and the last podium spot.  Further drama entailed behind as Bonetto spun and let in Farina for the last points position and the Champions grateful first point haul

IMG_1753 Result

1st Alberto Ascari IT (Ferrari) – 8 points +1 1st Lap Leader

2nd – Johnny Claes BEL (Talbot) – 6 points

3rd – Consalvo Sanesi IT (Alfa Romeo) – 4 points

4th – Juan Manuel Fangio ARG (Alfa Romeo) – 3 points

5th – Giuseppe Farina IT (Alfa Romeo) – 2 points

The lead in the championship was now shared between Sanesi & Ascari with 12 points each, with Fangio staying in touch with 9 points.

NEXT – FRANCE – Rheims

It’s fair to say we have a goodly share of cookbooks from celebrity chefs past and present. Remember Galloping Gourmet & Fanny Craddock? yep we have theirs. But after careful consideration I think I have to rate Mr Slaters Appetite as one of the best. Nothing too fancy but the recipes we have tried have invariably been in a word Unctuous (note to self must add to my logophile list). So let me take you through in picture form.

“Really juicy spicy meatballs”

page 372 paperback

Just smoked bacon, minced pork, shallots, chillies, coriander, lemon grass or lime leaves and garlic.

Almost all the work is on prep here as cooking takes minutes  so depending on how the duties are set out in your household someone will have more to do than the other.  We use a mezzoluna as oppose blender (the wife seems averse to it and prefers my sauber und ordentlich technique).


chop chillies and that’s shallot


add chopped (david borean/corian)der


then the lemon grass


Old birds hands! Add mince, chopped bacon & pancetta & get stuck in. Watch out for chilli finger!


sculpt into walnut dimension heaven and flatten slightly. This mixture was enough for 40 balls so plenty mixture to save for another time.


fry in pan with oil, juicy on inside, tasty savoury crust on outside


serve this effort with rice & garnish with green stuff – david boreanders this time – DEELISH

First heard this word on a Dubstar song but it wasn’t until the arrival of the filthy paradigm teletubby despicably awful new style Daleks on Doctor Who that I thought about it and bothered to look up what it meant.

So I am not really sure what it has to do with new type Daleks as the definition is “a typical example or pattern of something/something that serves as a pattern or model” which these blasphemous abominations certainly do not but as a word in itself I like none-the-less

After recently completing the inaugural 1950 F1 season, its now time to turn attention to the next.  1951 kicking off in the picturesque Swiss town of Bremgarten in the canton of Aargau.  The previous World Champion Italy’s Giuseppe Farina is likely to find stiffer competition from the likes of Fangio, Ascari and Gonzalez. Alfa Romeo still look like the make of choice, although Ferrari have made strides.  The French Talbot-Lago‘s and Gordini‘s look to be off the pace and sadly although Britain’s ERA and new boys BRM and HWM (Hersham & Walton Motors) have registered, no places are available for this race.  Britains only hopes are, like last season Reg Parnell & Peter Whitehead both privateer Ferrari entrants.

Front row, Ascari – Ferrari, Sanesi – Alfa Romeo, de Graffenreid – Alfa Romeo

QUALIFYING – As all 20 entrants have to qualify having no points at this stage to earn a bye it means that the starting grid bears little resemblance to the true cars abilities.  Only Ascari (Ferrari) of the favourites manages to get on the 1st row. Farina (Alfa) starts from the 2nd row, Fangio (Alfa) 4th row & Gonzalez (Ferrari) back on the 7th row.

LAP 1 – An incident right at the start as the cars pull away in first gear Luigi Fagioli (Alfa) starting in 9th drives into the back of Robert Manzon‘s Gordini eliminating the pair. Fortunately the speeds were low enough not to cause any driver injuries.

IMG_1728 IMG_1729

After this incident, the drivers settle down jockeying for position.  Bremgarten (actually in this case zandvoort no.2 board owing to lack of an alternative) is a high speed circuit with lots of 6th gear opportunities. As such the chance of engine failures is high especially with a 20 car line up. Before the 1st lap is completed the following drivers retire with just that, Philippe Etancelin (Talbot), Louis Chiron (Talbot), Emmanuel de Graffenreid (Alfa Romeo), Reg Parnell (Ferrari), Peter Whitehead (Ferrari) & Froilan Gonzalez (Ferrari).  Whiteheads crash is a nasty one that sees him lose control and drive into the hay bales at 150mph.  His injuries bad enough to make him miss the next 3 races.  Worse still for one of the pre race favourites, Argentina’s Froilan Gonzalez. His engine explodes in 6th gear showering the driver with oil and petrol. By the time the marshal’s reach his car it is a burning wreck and dragging the unconscious driver to safety it is evident he has suffered horrendous burns to his entire body.  Although not known immediately after the accident, the injuries sustained are enough to prematurely end his career for good.

Top 5 positions at end of lap. 1st – Ascari (Ferrari), 2nd – Consalvo Sanesi (Alfa Romeo), 3rd – Pierro Taruffi (Ferrari), 4th Maurice Trintignant (Gordini), 5th – Farina (Alfa Romeo)

LAP 2 – 12 cars remain, Ascari being 1st at the end of the first lap pockets the bonus point and looks comfortable as he extends his lead over the course of the lap. Trintignant in an unfancied Gordini does well to head the chasing pack. but Fangio & Farina get caught up in traffic and slip down the order. Only Andre Simon’s Gordini breaks down this lap leaving 11 cars to contest the final lap.

Top 5 positions at end of lap. 1st – Ascari (Ferrari), 2nd – Trintignant (Gordini), 3rd – Sanesi (Alfa Romeo), 4th Louis Rosier (Talbot), 5th – Taruffi (Ferrari)

LAP 3 – With points only available for the top 5 finishers the drivers that have been careful with their cars start taking extra risks as they try to move up the field or fend off their rivals. Halfway round the lap Ascari makes a mistake going too fast into the longest corner.  He is caught and passed by Sanesi & Rosier. The popular Belgian Johnny Claes (Talbot) retires from last place as his engine gives out. A much higher profile retirement is Taruffi whose engine also expires when pushing hard and moving into 3rd place.   Fangio begins his charge and overtakes Felice Bonetto (Alfa) & Luigi Villoresi (Ferrari) at the penultimate corner.

Then the key moment as Rosier in his Talbot shifts up to 6th gear in  a bid to reach the final corner in one go. A 30 is rolled and not only does he make the corner but flies out the other end barely in control. After all the smoke has cleared he finds himself stationary looking down the home straight and having to select 1st gear.  Sanesi lands in the corner in the perfect position immediately behind while Trintignant overshoots in 4th gear but keeps the car under control. Fangio then carries out the textbook move that Rosier was attempting and moves into position to blast down the home straight. Villoresi & Bonetto follow past Ascari who is having a final lap to forget.

IMG_1734 The chequered flag is comfortably taken by Sanesi and Alfa Romeo continue their winning form from the previous season, but behind no less than 6 drivers enter the home straight very close to each other.  2nd place is taken by Fangio (impressively as he was lying 7th at the start of the lap) 3rd goes to Villoresi & 4th to Bonetto rewarded by taking some risky 6th gear rolls. The last point paying place goes to Ascari disappointed after leading for 75% of the race.  Trintignant & Rosier miss out on any points finishing 6th & 7th respectively, both drivers rueing poor last corner exit moves.  Farina comes in a distant 8th with Yves Giraud Cabantous (Talbot) bringing up the rear.

Championship standings after 1 race

1st Consalvo Sanesi IT (Alfa) – 8 points

2nd – Juan Manuel Fangio ARG (Alfa) – 6 points

3rd – Luigi Villoresi IT (Ferrari) – 4 points

4th= – Felice Bonetto IT (Alfa) & Alberto Ascari IT (Ferrari) – 3 points each

NEXT – BELGIUM – Spa Francorchamps

Where's your tool?

Where’s your tool?

As I’m feeling somewhat melancholy today it seems only fit to report on the sad demise of our garden King.  My worst fears have been confirmed Raymondo the lardy Blackbird guvnor of our garden is sadly no more.  A few weeks back he made his usual triumphant entry to our garden giving it the large one with his lovely birdsong battle cry which I think translates in a Ray Winstone accent  as “Oiiiiiaaaaaaaaaa NO! I’m the daddy here, where’s your ******* tool? But as he hopped about his Kingdom we noticed something was amiss as he seemed to topple over a few times.  Still shovelling food in his mouth to take back to his equally formidable missus and hopefully clutch of young turduses (or should that be turdi………?)  it was evident that he had hurt one of his legs/claws and was in some discomfort when he tried to stand on it.  At that very moment I had that horrible feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you know the worst but can do nothing about it.  Sadly that was his last visit and I only hope he didn’t suffer too much after that.

I never thought I could get so attached to a wild animal but I really do miss him.  In fact just writing this account is actually upsetting me more than I imagined.  I started feeding our garden visitors last October and Ray was one of the first to turn up. At that time he’d suffer no other invaders to his realm and chased every other bird off aggressively and then proceed to eat every single scrap that was left out.  It got so bad I had to put up a second temporary bird table to give the others a chance to get some food. From that very moment he was a daily visitor and happy to let me stand within 1 foot of him.  I fed him every day a varied diet of amongst other things bird seed, nuts, breadcrumbs, apple (his personal favourite) luxury cereal, digestive biscuits, etc,etc, breaking the ice off the water to allow him to drink which he did in bird equivalent gallon measures.  Oh and then there were the homemade fat balls! Gods holy trousers did he like these. If the perch could take his weight he’d use it otherwise he would launch himself straight at the ball with his beak open and lunge into it before landing on the ground with a load of fatty seeds and treats stuck to his beak, bless him.

At the start of the year, 2 different female blackbirds arrived on the scene and he began his courtship of both! These lovely ladies then had pick of the food as he stood in the shadows guarding them from suitors or danger.  In March his diet changed as he started searching more and more for worms which he took back to the nest of his chosen bird…….  I was happy to oblige in his search supplementing it with tasty looking grubs found under flagstones and the like.  The grubs he particularly liked as they went straight down instead of taking them back to the nest (with a “don’t tell the wife look”)   One day I fed him 12 worms on the trot from less than a foot away.  His only concern being that after about 8 he couldn’t fit anymore in his beak to take to the nest and didn’t want to leave them behind.  The symbiotic relationship I developed with this awesome little eating machine dude has kept my spirits up when I’ve been miserable. Sadly missed

2012- May 2013 RIP

At his best, with a beak covered with fatball heaven
2012- May 2013

One positive note is the recent arrival of a juvenile Blackbird “Becks/sie” still mottled but looks to be a male from the darkening back feathers and judging by his behaviour could well be one of his offspring.  Similar taste in food too although he seems to have a particular penchant for cake crumbs,  Victoria Sponge being his particular favourite.  So as they say ” The King is dead, long live the King”