Saturday, October 29, 2011


While geeking around Tractomania I found this guy who I thought may be on his way to a 1990's Rap Revival party.

He did not seem absorbed in things tractorial, and spent most of the time 'impressing' his girlfriend.

I suppose just having a girlfriend helped distinguish him from most of the other chaps there.

I was trying to get a photo of  him as I first saw him, full face and dripping with bling, but as I raised the camera he turned round, looked right at me, and zipped up his hoodie, concealing the VW pendant on a silver chain and God knows what else.

Nonetheless, I was determined to get a better picture and a little subterfuge was called for. I got in front of him and from the shelter of a stall took this picture:

The stall holder was giving me funny looks and I assume he was wondering what I found so fascinating about the product he was demonstrating. Focussing my attention on the foreground I saw that the product being sold was the improbably named 'Glanzol',  a proprietary bling polish - brilliant!

And then to add to the joy, the call of the bling proved too strong to be ignored for my subject. The rap chap headed toward the stall and stopped to watch the polishing demo:

I lost interest and wandered off. When I returned about five minutes later he was still there.

This was a true meeting of disciplines and I left them to it.

Tractor Rap, now there's a niche market...

Friday, October 28, 2011


A splendid festival, boot market, and celebration of all things agricultural, provided there is an engine attached...

As its name implies this is mainly about tractors, however the observant among you will have noticed that the event is called Tractomania (not TractoRmania) which is why I, who am obviously not that observant, could never find it on Google...

...but "Tell us more about the tractors" I hear you say. OK here are some used tractors:

And a rather nifty 5 seater coupé that looks as though it has never seen a muddy field.

There were big engines:

with  spark plugs to fit

Small engines:

And specialised engines for push bikes:

There were also bikes waiting for an engine transplant.  This one had been waiting for quite a while:

While this one had a certain elegance:

There were boxes of chainsaw parts:

Boxes of valve stems:

Boxes of  'miscellaneous' items

More boxes of 'miscellaneous' items

Piles of 'miscellaneous' items

A collection of claxons and headlights

Some pretty dreadful painted plates

Several steering wheels

And some rather handsome Meccano.

Having missed the Black Madonna in San Sebastian I was deighted to find her secular partner here in Caussade:

His Golden brother was not far away 


And their bagpipe playing cousin had dropped in:

In fact the little fat man was everywhere:

And the girls got a look in. Funnily enough some seemto have forgotten to dress properly and others appeared a little on the skinny side:

and there was a girlie oil drop...

There were also some idealised earth-mothers too, so all was well with the world.

Everyone had a wonderful day looking at rust in all its forms.

Speciality of the house: 'Saucison de Tractor'

In fact there was something for everyone (yes, Phil, I am talking about you and Mrs. P)

Roll on Tractomania 2012, it will be the exactly the same stuff, but a year older.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A few days off: Got a new showroom Jean?

And that's about it. Our few days off is over save for the drive home across the Gers.

On the way we pass a motor trade related building 'doing a Gehry'.

Nice try,
but no cigar

Stainless steel tiles.
Other Gehry related blogs: Bilbao / Elciego

And so it is back to the ordinary, non-holiday nonsense - watch this space...  

Verdict: Titanium 1 - Stainless Steel 0

Monday, October 24, 2011

A few days off: The land of Z, X and Q

This last jaunt across Spain involved driving through yet another striking landscape to add to the mountains, hillsides, beaches, rivers, desert, plains, ravines and cities that we had crammed into the preceding few days.

The route from La Rioja took us through the Navarra region, whose wines are in fierce competition with those of La Rioja. We stopped off in the town of Estella where they had a splendid market and then on to Pamplona where they had a supermarket from which, inappropriately, we bought a rather good selection of Rioja wines and some extremely competitively priced diesel.

The motorway from Pamplona goes up a hill about 40km long. At some point they decided they could not be bothered to keep climbing and dug a tunnel. At the other end of the tunnel the road goes down another 20km of hill.

We are back in Basque country where it seems compulsory for every placename to include at least one Z, X or Q and sometimes all of them. We stopped at a small town with a name too complex to pronounce and had a beer. I went to buy a stamp so Tricia could send a postcard home to the grandkids. Having completed my task I return to the bar bearing the necessary postage whereupon Tricia points out that she has a postcard for each of them (duh!) so I had to go back and buy another stamp. Is there no end to this excitement?

On the road into this town was a small wood yard. There were several men and women working there as we drove in, but they had left when we stopped to take the pictures on the way out.  

Closer inspection showed that this outbreak of entrepreneurial activity was not in fact a wood yard in the regular sense but appeared to be a permanent feature of a layby.

They took delivery of trees and converted them into posts, splinters and sawdust.

The splinters are the bits left over from sharpening the posts.

There are a lot of very sharp posts,

and a lot of splinters.

The trees that are no good for post making...

..are chunked, presumably for firewood.

Like all good work places they have a tea 'hut'.

It is full of splinters which I suppose they use to boil the water. No point in wasting good splinters.

There is also something that looks like it is for cooking but with no sign of cooking, or splinters.

It’s funny to think that these people spend their working lives there and we are never likely to go there again, ever...

And so we cross the little bumby hills that mark the northern end of the Pyrenees and slide back into France. They don't notice us arrive and we don't notice that we have left Spain - all vey Schengen, tres europeen.

Verdict: ZXQ