VW T-Cross for a day… or six

Volkswagon T-Cross

This morning, I dropped off my car at my local Volkswagon garage for a major service, an MOT, an air conditioning service, and some new windscreen wiper blades (which, knowing my luck, will probably turn out to be the most expensive part of this little adventure!)

I rather like the lottery of Which VW Car Will I Get as a Hire Car? Today, I got the VW T-Cross which was the largest hire car they could offer me.

Thankfully, as a 6’4″ 4XL kind of gentleman, I could get into it easier than the VW Taigo SUV they offered me last time which turned me and my three-herniated-discs-later spine into an origami puzzle trying to just step into the vehicle, let alone the fact that my head was pressed up against the ceiling.

If I want to downsize from the VW Tiguan that I currently have, this is a feasible option, although the boot is significantly smaller and probably won’t be large enough for all of the guitars that my children need to transport!


Well, I spoke too soon. My car needs parts and they can’t get them until Monday now, so I have the T-Cross for a few days over the Easter weekend.

One a penny, two a penny
(Ho)T-Cross buns!

Update 2

Well, I was thankful for this car over the Easter weekend and halfway into Easter week. Having driven it for the best part of a week, and having taken it for a trip to Edinburgh I can see quite clearly that it is probably just that little bit too small for me.

One nice surprise was that I could (just) fit both a Laney VC30-212 (the Laney equivalent of the Vox AC30) and a Hiscox guitar case in the boot with some space even for a messenger bag and jacket.

A shout out to Barnetts of St Andrews for their first class customer service.

Simon Wilkes photographs

This week, I came across the photography of Simon Wilkes on Unsplash and … just WOW!

On a perfect spring morning Beverley Brook, a small but beautiful river that meanders through London’s Richmond Park, takes on a fairy tail quality in the dawn mist. Photo by Simon Wilkes on Unsplash
Autumn reds and golds on a misty morning in Richmond Park, London. Photo by Simon Wilkes on Unsplash

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World Kidney Day 2023

Shine a light this World Kidney Day with image of a tea light
Shine a light this World Kidney Day

Today (Thursday 9 March 2023) is World Kidney Day during while people are invited to light a candle or shine a torch in honour of all those touched by kidney disease – from patients to donors, to family members and healthcare professionals. 

One in ten people worldwide have kidney disease.

I have kidney disease—autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) which I inherited from my father who died of kidney failure in 1998. He passed the disease on to my younger sister and younger brother too.

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A prophecy from Jonah’s Ark?

Growing up, people would often ask me why I listened to metal—wasn’t it filled with evil lyrics and violence? No, not all of it.

Listening to metal exposed me at an influential age to a wide range of views and opinions, many of which touched me. Megadeth sang about the pain of losing someone close to you (“In My Darkest Hour”), Testament sang about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and massacre (“Seven Days in May”). But consistently Martin Walkyier-era Skyclad sang about the urgent need to look after the earth.

I know that it was easy for some of my Christian friends to dismiss Skyclad out of hand because they marketed themselves as a pagan folk metal band. But I always felt that they spoke about the earth and nature with such love and respect that it influenced how I thought and treated this remarkable rock on which we live, spinning around our nearest star. Perhaps not enough, though.

During one of the hottest weeks I’ve ever known in Scotland, I was in the car the other day – I know! but the supermarket is too far away to walk to, especially with my poor health – listening to Skyclad’s 1993 album, Jonah’s Ark when the song “Tunnel visionaries” started.

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