Looked out my window earlier this afternoon and saw this beauty being parked across the road from our house.


The Carrera Panamericana was a border-to-border sedan and sports car racing event on open roads in Mexico similar to the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio in Italy. Running for five consecutive years from 1950 to 1954, it was widely held by contemporaries to be the most dangerous race of any type in the world.

 I believe this Lincoln may have taken part in the 1954 race

Rally car of Julio Balmez


Confederacy of Duncesignatius-p-reilly1
Re-reading this book after many years I had forgotten that its author, John Kennedy Toole, had committed suicide at the age of 31 in 1969. He had been trying unsuccessfuly to get it published for about six years, and became so depressed after many rejections that he took his own life. It was only through the tenacity of his own mother that the book was eventually published in 1980 and found the audience it deserved. It has since been recognised as one of the great American novels and deservedly won the Pullitzer Prize in 1981
It’s hero – or should that be anti-hero – Ignatius Reilly, is one of the great characters of English literature, a slob extroardinaire, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one, who is in violent revolt against the entire modern world, lying in his flannel nightshirt, in a back bedroom on Constantinople Street in New Orleans, who in between gigantic seizures of flatulence is filling dozens of notebooks with invective.
His mother thinks he needs a job; he does a succession of jobs, each rapidly escalating into a lunatic adventure, a full-blown disaster, yet each one has its own eerie logic. Ignatius is an intellectual,idealogue,deadbeat, goof-off, glutton, with thunderous contempt for for almost everybody; homosexuals, heterosexuals, Freud, Protestants, workers, bosses and the assorted excesses of modern times. A great rumbling Falstaffian farce of a book is the only way I can describe it and the shame is that Toole never lived to see the fruits of his labours. Read it and weep – with laughter!



I love serial character in books; you know, Inspector Wexford, Rebus, George Smiley, Kay Scarpetta etc

My favourite though has to be JACK REACHER, the eponymous hero – or is it anti-hero – of the books written by LEE CHILD,

Jack is a drifter, a loner, travelling across the USA, finding trouble without looking for it wherever he goes. I don’t know how many books there are to date – probably around 20 –  but I have read most of them; ECHO BURNING, PERSUADER, THE ENEMY, ONE SHOT, GONE TOMORROW, 61 HOURS to name a few, and I am always amazed at how gripping  and addictive they are.

A former Major in the United States Army Military Police Corps, JACK quit at age 36, and roams the United States taking odd jobs and investigating suspicious and frequently dangerous situations. The paradox of JACK is that he is both a big bear of a fighter , and a thinker, whose mission appears to be to right wrongs and defend the weak.

JACK always uses an alias when checking into a hotel. In earlier stories, this was usually the name of a lesser known ex-president. In later stories, he more often used baseball players’ names.

Since leaving the Army, JACK has been a drifter. He wanders throughout the US because he was accustomed to being told where to go, when to go and what to do for every day of his life from military childhood to military adulthood. He also felt he never got to know his own country, having spent much of his youth living overseas on military bases and at West Point. He usually travels by hitchiking or bus. As a drifter, the only possessions he carries are money, a foldable toothbrush and, after 9/11, an expired passport and an ATM debit card

JACK has the uncanny ability to know what time it is, at any time of the day, without referring to a clock. He often uses his internal clock as an alarm, enabling him to wake up at any time he chooses. He is a skilled marksman, and is highly skilled at fighting, enhanced by in-depth technical and military knowledge.

All in all JACK REACHER is the perfect all-round hero