The Whine About Wine

The Whine About Wine

Why do people get all pretentious and poncey over wine?

I mean, you get looked down on by the Wine Snobs if you buy a bottle that costs less than £5, or if you serve the wrong kind of wine with your meal!

WTF is that about? 

People actually WANT to be ripped off and pay 7 million times more for a bottle than it’s actually worth!  Apparently this means your wine is ‘better’ than a £4 bottle from Aldi.

A screw-top bottle, too!  Eat that!

And wine with different meals?  I sort of agree, up to a point.

And that point is that you can drink ANY fucking wine with ANY fucking meal.

You know, like any other type of drink that you’re not being a twat about?

I do have a few infallible techniques for selecting the best wine, though.

Number one is to pick something that’s on sale.  They’ve finally realised that their wine tastes like ass, and they should try to sell some at the same price as everyone else.

So you’re £6 bottle of suv-ig-non blank is worth £12, and will impress your idiot friends!  Yay you!

Number two is the best picking technique you will ever learn.

My Aunty Joyce taught me this a few years back, and it’s awesome!

You pick up your chosen bottle, and shove your fingers up the bottom of the bottle.

If you can give it a good fingering – take it home.  Like a teenager at the school disco.

Ok, so my Aunt may not have said that last bit, but it does seem that the best tasting wines are the ones with the biggest recess in the bottom of the bottle.  Seriously – try it.

And number three is to check the alcohol content.  Anything over 11.5% is just about scraping through to ‘passable’ – but you should be able to get something over 12%.

This is because all wine is just any old shit the, err, Wine Farmer could grab, that he’s fermented for a bit.  So it tastes like random fermented shit.  I’ve had homemade Tea wine, and parsnip, and rhubarb and probably dead sheep and antifreeze from French Vinyards.

You want to at least ensure that the wine you took twenty fucking minutes in Tescos choosing will get you pissed.

A few (large) glasses of a 13% wine will get you over the sensation of your mouth turning itself inside out because of the fragrant bouquet of bollocks.

And don’t even get me started on Champagne.  It’s carbonated wine, ffs!  ALL of it.  Just because it’s made in one region of France doesn’t mean they should charge more than some cunt with a a Soda Stream and a bottle of Blue Nun!

And as proof that those who know everything about wine actually know absolutely nothing – In Spain once, we witnessed a man who’d bought his date a bottle of fine sparkling wine that he’d undoubtedly paid lots of money for.

He shrugged as he opened it for her, telling her it was Italian, and she looked suitably impressed.

I, on the other hand, was nearly crying with laughter as I watched them sipping on their bottle of Lambrini…


EROTIC STORY: “The First Hurdle”

EROTIC STORY: “The First Hurdle”

He’d been trying to decide how long to wait.  And how long he should make her wait.

After a few dates, this was his first time in her house.  She’d cooked, they’d eaten, and now already the second film of the night was playing.

And of course there was the vodka.

Deciding to have a play and see what the reaction was, he idly traced his fingertip across the length of her shoulders as they sat together on the couch.

Her submissive purr told him all he needed to know, and as he ran his fingers up her neck and into her hair, her head lolled against his hand and her shiver of pleasure was plain.

He smiled in the dimmed light, lightly moving his other hand into action on her thigh.

She turned to him, no smile on her lips – just hunger in her eyes, and there wasn’t even an instant in which to consider having their first real kiss.  It was gentle but needful, embracing each other strongly as they twisted to get more of their bodies to touch.

The kiss broke and his fingers still massaged the back of her head, and between her moans her hot lips were against the side of his neck, then back on his lips again.

As she found how hard he already was, he moved his own hands over her corseted top, feeling her soft, firm breasts through the material and needing to feel more.

He pulled her body close to his, reaching around her back to the corseting.  Biting her neck softly, he pulled at the ties.

“Not like that…” she panted, pulling back and showing him the hooked fasteners at the sides.

He smiled again, somewhat disappointed to have the new challenge of undoing a corset denied, kissing her as he popped open the fasteners the easy way.

He was kissing down her collarbone even as she discarded the top, his warm hands cupping her as he kissed her breasts slowly and softly.

She moved to kneel on the coach facing him, pulling off his top as if in trade, and she didn’t stop him as he unbuttoned her jeans and slipped a hand inside.

She lifted his face to kiss him again as his fingers slid over her wetness, and he knew she wanted him as much as he wanted her.  Slickened by her own wetness, her whole body sagged as he slowly ran a finger over her clit for the first time, and time disappeared for both of them, her gasp as her tightness clamped down around his fingers bringing out a moan of pleasure from him.

Somehow he was naked as she pushed him back into the seat, straddling him as she steadily worked her had rhythmically up his length, before guiding his tip inside her.

He bit her lower lip as she eased down slowly, a cry escaping them both as she slowly inched over him.

She felt so tight he wondered briefly if this would work, but their slickness made sure there was anything but pain as she took his whole length inside her, nails clawing at his shoulders.

They kissed hard, both gasping as she drew herself up his length, eager to resume the kiss, but unable to ignore their ecstasy.

She rode him like that for a long time, changing pace and matching each other easily – both in tune with each other as if they’d done this a thousand times.

He swirled his tongue over her hard nipples, her whole body shaking now as she moved on him steadily.

“I’m gonna cum…” she breathed against his ear, and he came the moment her hands scrabbled at his back, both lost to each other as they gripped each other as if to stop from floating off.

She kept him inside her, and they both calmed their breathing, kissing more tenderly now.

“I wasn’t sure if you wanted to?”  She said, much to his amusement.

A thunderstorm had started outside, and only now did they notice as the roar shook the window panes.

The first hurdle was passed, and they held each other, both knowing they’d made the right choice with each other at last.

And now they could really begin…

Which Motorcycle Chain Is Best?

Which Motorcycle Chain Is Best?

This isn’t going to get very technical – you can find that stuff from elsewhere – but this will be about my experiences with different types of chain on my bikes over the years.

I’m sure you’ll find it riveting! *groans*

First off – don’t pay someone else to do it!

It can be a bit fiddly to fit some types of chain, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.  Get a good quality chain rivet/splitter tool (about £40), and it will save you as much as a hundred pounds each time to replace a chain!

So you’ve got your tool (an angle grinder to cut through the old chain is a massive help, too), and now you need to source your own parts.  What’s on offer?

Standard or Heavy Duty chains
These are the most basic chains you can get.  They’re lighter than the others, and narrower as they don’t have o/x rings to help lubricate the links.  They’re cheap, and can be stupidly cheap if they’re made from crap metal.  I wouldn’t even think about using one on anything with more than about 60hp.  You’re looking at getting one for under £20, and should see them for half that on Ebay.

O Ring chains
These have rubber rings helping keep each link lubricated.  They last well.  These are the benchmark chains and a half-decent one will last around 12,000-20,000 miles. Price shopping around will be £40-60.

X Ring Chains
Like an O Ring,  but the X rings produce less friction and keep the lubrication in the links even better, so consequently a better chain life (claimed) of 40% plus.  You might scrape one for £50 to about £80.

Renthal SRS Chains
With these, they spring-load the rings, so they work even better, and allegedly show longer life than an X-ring.

The bottom line is that in my experience, even the cheapest X ring chain will be better than a good quality O Ring one, and the cheapest O Ring will be a massive improvement over a HD chain. 

You’ll notice I didn’t put a mileage down for the standard/HD.  This is because most people I know will say they broke or seized up.  I recently had one on my GPZ for a few weeks and maybe 200 miles.  I barely lubed it, and it was on Winter roads in bad conditions, and I had bearing issues – so it had about the toughest job possible.  Even so, a lot of links had stiffened A LOT.  It went in the bin when I decided it was false economy, and I splashed out for an O ring chain.  Some say a HD chain will see 13,000 miles – I’d say more likely less than half that.

The jury is still out on the Renthal SRS.  I have one on my ZX9R and noticed straight away that I have to adjust it far less than other chains, but I haven’t put enough miles on it yet to give a conclusion.  It does look very good at this stage, though!

Nasty Evil Ninja Goes To See The Shogun

Nasty Evil Ninja Goes To See The Shogun

As most of you will know – I’m always up for trying new (and unusual) food.

I do like sushi, but I’d never actually been to a proper restaurant to try it.  All I’ve had is the pre-packed, err… packs that you can buy in supermarkets and stuff.  So it’s a bit like saying “I like Italian food” when all you’ve had is microwave lasagna meals.

When a few of the lovely Office Monkeys I work with decided to arrange a meal at a sushi restaurant, I jumped at the chance to go!

Even better – we’d found somewhere that did an all-you-can-eat buffet for a set price.

I eagerly awaited the arranged day, probably a little more excited over it all than I should be!  One person dropped out on the final day (she realised there wasn’t much but fish on the menu, and doesn’t like it – don’t ask!), but the rest of us, most who had never tried ANY kind of sushi, finally got it all sorted out.

We went to Shogun, which is in The Mailbox in Birmingham city centre.  For about £12 you could choose whatever you wanted from the sushi selection, and eat until you dropped.

When we entered, we were directed to sit on little stools surrounding a moving conveyor belt that had small dishes constantly moving around.

You literally grab a small plate full of various foods as it comes past you, and chomp it down.

Each of the small saucers contained three or four lumps of sushi (I’m no expert – have a look at this link for the names of the different types: ), noodles, or stir fry.

We split some of the dishes between us, as they are very deceptive in how much they fill you up.  I’d gone in expecting to have 10 dishes minimum to myself, but in reality had half that or less.

The freshness of all the food shone through immediately, and it was all presented immaculately.

The conveyor was always kept full by the chefs, so there was never any shortage, or having to wait for more to appear.

Between us we tried lots, and nobody managed to find anything we didn’t like!

The conveyor belt thing might sound a little cold and industrial, but in contrast it creates a very sociable atmosphere.  I also noticed that, unlike most all-you-can-eat buffets, nobody there was stuffing themselves with stupidly huge portions of food to ‘try and get their monies worth’ – it all seemed very respectful and civilised.  Even stranger when you consider there was absolutely nothing to suggest in any way you were limited to how much you could eat, or even how much you could leave half-eaten.

Japanese food can be very expensive (indeed, some of the dishes on the regular menu were pretty pricey), but as a stereotype you’d also expect it to be of a very high quality.  The food at Shogun didn’t disappoint.  In fact I’d say the sushi buffet option is an absolute bargain!

With the amount of vegetarian sushi I’d recommend it to anyone – although it can be hard to tell if some of them do contain fish, so you’d have to be a bit careful.

The only criticism I have is that the stools aren’t the most comfortable to sit on, and none of the dishes are labelled.  If you’re a fussy eater, this might drive you mad – it was a mild irritation to me because I WANT to know what that strange bright red fish was, because I’m trying to munch my way through every animal in existence.

Not that it REALLY matters, because you eat your fill, and ALL of the fish is beautiful.

I’ll be looking forward to the next time I go there – and I don’t think that will be too far into the future!

Moments That Mark Your Biking History

Moments That Mark Your Biking History

The best thing it’s possible to buy is a motorcycle.

Since that first iconic moment 15 years ago, where I took my CBT test and bought a scrappy little Yamaha TZR125, there have been a few moments that have been milestones in my biking history, for whatever reasons.

On the fourth day of riding, I was following a mate towards an island, and went in a little too hot.

I don’t know if I locked the rear, or it hit something slippery, but either way it ended up highsiding me big-time as I tried to get slowed down on the curve entering the roundabout.

I still remember quite vividly flying through the air several feet up, and looking at the shocked faces of two Police Officers who were driving towards me around the island.

Considering this was my first ever crash, I did well to be thinking about trying my best not to roll as I hit the floor (grass, luckily) so it didn’t snap my back or pull my limbs off, but the bigger thought as I slid along on my back was that I had to get up and back to my bike before the Police closed the road off.

I hurt my shoulder a bit, but was fine to ride the bike away from the scene.  I actually dropped that bike a few times, and always rode it away.

I put many miles on the bike after that, and loved every one.

A few months later I was filtering (badly) through some very heavy traffic in Worcester.  Two ZX7R’s came past me with ease, and I tagged onto the back of them.  It taught me so much watching them – I don’t think they put their feet down once as they carved through the gridlocked roads.  I don’t think I’d enjoyed filtering until then, but that all changed when I saw the skill needed to do it this well.

Having got a bit more experience, of course it was time to learn how to get my knee down.  I raced around as fast as I could, hanging off the bike like a drunk monkey as I did my best to get my sliders to touch down, to no avail…

A big bike came past me on a local road one day, and even though he wasn’t even exceeding the speed limit, he was sweeping the road on every corner with his knee.  I couldn’t believe how that was even possible?!

I upgraded to a Kawasaki ZXR400, which is just an awesome bike for learning to ride fast on.  The front end was like it was on rails and inspired masses of confidence.  Despite this, I still couldn’t quite get my knee down.

Alongside the ZXR, I bought an old 1988 Honda VFR750 FG for courier work.  At first I was terrified to lean it over in case the centre stand bottomed out.  So different to the ZXR it felt like trying to ride a big old skyscraper!

I soon settled in with that bike, and one day I was having a spirited ride around The Cloverleaf, and it was just starting to rain.  I leant it over and hung off and *SCRRRTCH!*!

I nearly jumped off the damned bike until I realised this was my kneeslider touching down!  Even today it amazes me how loud it is when you scrape your knee!

Jumping back on the ZXR after this, I’d crossed a barrier, and could get my knee down on any corner, at any speed.

My mates all got bigger bikes, but the little ZXR had no problems keeping up because of it’s cornering ability.  I still remember my mate trying to get his knee down on a Bandit 1200, and me going around the outside of him about 30mph faster with knee, toes, pegs and damned nearly my elbow touching down!

Life was good – riding was great.

One Sunday morning I left my girlfriend in bed and jumped on the ZXR to grab some food for us.

Before pulling out of my road, I let a Land Rover pass me.  I followed behind, and started to cover my brakes as the Land Rover slowed randomly in the road.

It was about then that something hit my visor, and suddenly I felt a wire across my throat.

Thinking of recent stories of kids tying wires and rope across road to get bikers, I slammed on my brakes, expecting the wire to tighten at any second and take my head off… By some miracle I got the bike stopped before the fallen telephone cable could decapitate me.  That Land Rover driver in front, who had stopped realising I was behind after he hit the wire himself, undoubtedly saved my life.

It was a stark reminder that I wasn’t invincible – and also that however skilled a rider you are, something totally random and beyond your control can take you out in a split second.

It took a while to get over The Fear from that one – I ducked every time I passed that spot for a long time…

Still, my biking continued with a growing love.  I could get my knee down on anything, and as well as being a fast road rider, I was also a safe one.

It was years later that I finally got around to booking my first track day at Donington Park.  I still have no idea why I left it so long, as I have been around racing all my life!

Pulling out of the pits onto that famous tarmac, I rounded the first two bends and nearly shot my beans as I got my first view down the Craner Curves!

So awesome it was almost spiritual!  I had a similar experience around Oulton Park a few weeks later… then a few other tracks as the trackday bug bit me hard!

I have had a couple of crashes during my time, but I’m alive and well.

More alive for riding bikes, I reckon.

And every time I swing my leg over a bike, even today, it still moves my soul.