Hello all. As a new member of the forum, I’ve decided to take up the challenge and interview myself.
It’s nice to be involved in an interview that doesn’t start with a caution or end with a tumble down the station steps.
Your Forum name
Whisky Romeo – I’m a big fan of single malts, and I happened to have a large glass of Ardbeg on the go whilst I was signing up to the forum (about 10:30 on a Monday morning as I remember, damn this working from home). Forum name inspiration didn’t arrive so I settled on Whisky Romeo, which seems a bit naff in the cold light of day. Sorry.
Simon (please, please, please, never call me ‘Si’)
35 (36 on Friday, send gifts)
Middle manager in the public sector (it’s a bit more technical and complicated than that and I’ll not bore you by going any further into it… but needless to say, ‘thank you’ to all you tax-payers in the real world who are funding my pension plan. Much appreciated.)
Yes, yes I do….
Oh, I get it! In rural west Gateshead (trust me, such a place does exist but there’s not much of it).
Married, but if the bills roll in for the car like all the nay-sayers tell me they will, then maybe not for long.
which cars do you drive and why?
For chugging my family (wife and two kids) around from place to place, I drive a Peugeot 407 2.0 HDi – because it’s big, looks OK, goes OK, is economical and has a decent diesel engine (and because I got bored of Mondeos). I’m not a member of peugeotowner.com
The reason that I’m here is that my ‘run-around’ is a red, P-reg, Alfa 916 GTV 2.0 16v T-Spark. Not the Lusso, unfortunately, so I have to cope with the chaffing of cloth seats against my delicate bum whenever I drive it naked. (Nothing sexual, you understand, but it doesn’t have air-con either).
I bought the car a few weeks ago and did all the wrong things: I’ve got no service history. I haven’t got the brown code key. It’s also had a slightly over-enthusiastic re-spray which could be hiding anything. What could go wrong?
But it goes beautifully, looks fantastic and feels wonderful to drive, so I’m happy for now. (And I’ve had it serviced and a new cam-belt and sparkies fitted).
Are you a real passionate for Alfa Romeo?
Hmm. Yes and no. Some models I love in a deep and passionate way that ill-becomes a man. Some models I could take or leave. And some models leave me cold.
I’ll not say which model falls into which category (because I don’t want to p*** anyone off) other than to say that the GTV definitely falls into the first category.
What or how started your passion for Alfa Romeo and…
….do you think it’s fundamental to own one to have the passion?
It started with a Top Trumps card of a 70’s Spider, back in my formative years. Hmmm, drool.
My mate had a very nice 155 a few years back which I coveted. The poison in his tea worked OK, but the tippex and crayon amendments to his will didn’t fool anyone, so it was never mine.
I nearly bought a 156 a couple of years ago, but made the mistake of telling my wife first. An error that I didn’t repeat when I got the GTV…
…I don’t think that you need to own an Alfa to have ‘the passion’, but if you have the passion, then eventually you’ll own one… even if it means p***ing off your beloved wife.
Would you ever consider joining an Alfa Club or are you already a member of one?
I’d consider it. Especially if someone cold-called me at dinner time and asked for ‘just a minute of my time’ to discuss the benefits of membership. I love it when organizations do that (British Gas, please stand up and take a bow… then F’ off).
What do you like most about Alfas?
Mmmm. Shiny red. Looks soooooo good. Brumm, brumm, brrrrummmmm!!!
What do you like least about Alfas?
The feeling that, at any moment, I’ll hear a rattle which will start deep in the engine and end up deep in my wallet.
Since I bought my car, so many people have wanted to talk to me about it and most of the conversations fall into either ‘category A’ – “It’s beautiful, I’ve always wanted one of these” - or ‘category B’ – “I / my mate / someone I met in the pub used to have one of these, but it died horribly and I / he had to sell my / his kidney and / or youngest child to pay for the repairs”.
(p.s. How do you sell a child? I wouldn’t imagine that you could use e-bay because the people who are interested in buying probably won’t be allowed to own computers).
(p.p.s. I apologise for the p.s. It was a joke. If anyone replies with serious suggestions about selling my child, I will report it to the police)
What would be your dream cars?
Another Top Trumps inspired passion was the Lancia Stratos, but I’ve checked on e-bay and they ain’t cheap.
Failing that, anything Korean.
What car would you least like to drive?
What would be your ideal drive in an Alfa (destination, passenger, driving music, etc)?
I love the A68 (via Jedburgh) and A697 (via Coldstream) between Newcastle and Edinburgh. My mother-in-law lives in Edinburgh, so I’d choose the journey South. They’re beautiful, winding roads through the Cheviots.
My wife and kids are great company but I’d keep being told to slow down and to stop swearing at other drivers. So I’d like to do the journey alone.
Music. Some good, Geordie folk from Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, or some bluegrass from the Be Good Tanyas maybe. But I’d probably be just as happy with the sound of the Alfa (a strangely hypnotic and rhythmic knocking noise…that’s normal isn’t it?)
Any humorous Alfa or car-related stories you wish to share with us?
No. Nothing amusing has ever happened to me in, around or involving a car. Get over it.
What interests do you have outside of Alfas?
I play and watch cricket. I appreciate single malt whisky (appreciating whisky is very similar to drinking whisky, except more respectable. Sometimes I appreciate whisky a lot). Some days I find that I can bear the company of my family and close friends for short periods of time.
Tell us something nobody knows about you. (E.g. special skill, ever been on TV, etc)
I like talking about myself, so here are a few things:
In my youth I did some shop-work. I’ve sold underpants to Brendan Foster and jeans to Willie Carson – In all innocence, I asked Mr Carson his inside leg measurement and he got a bit frosty for a while, but otherwise he was perfectly polite and friendly.
I once competed in the World Marbles Championship and managed to score a grand total of zero points. And…
The police dropped the charges, but I really did do all those murders.
One of the above is a lie. Feel free to guess which one. It can be like a quiz.
p.s. I wonder if the surveillance state is geared up to monitoring postings on alfaowner.com. If so, I might be in trouble, but I’ve seen how good the government is with anything involving computers, and I think I’m probably safe.
Do you have a party trick? If so what is it?
I’m the guy in the kitchen at parties, no tricks from me. No siree. (Unless projectile vomiting counts?)
What do you like most about the Alfaowner forum? Any favourite threads, episodes or people?
I was very taken with steveisfrowning’s avatar when I first signed up, but he’s changed it now.
If you had £50,000 you had to spend in 72 hours, how would you choose to spend it?
Oh, it’s like a cheap b*****d’s version of Brewster’s Millions.
Having done a quick Google search, I’d go onto Amazon and buy a sparkling new paperback copy of ‘How low can you go? Round Europe for 1p return (+ tax)’ - with express (next day) delivery
How Low Can You Go? Round Europe for 1p Return + Tax: Amazon.co.uk: Tom Chesshyre: Books
That would cost me £13.55 (including that, all-important, next day delivery), leaving me free to travel around Europe an unbelievable 4,864,500 times (minus tax) in the next 48 hours! Fantastic!
Or, I might pay to have my GTV repaired, re-sprayed and restored to pristine condition, buy a few bottles of very expensive whisky and some tickets to the final Ashes test. Then I’d be a boring sod and pay off my mortgage with the remaining money (assuming that there’s any left once the Alfa’s sorted) so that I can live the rest of my life without owing anything to ‘the man’ (i.e. the manager at Halifax).
Thanks for taking part, you may attach this to a new thread or simply copy and paste this interview directly into the forum when you have completed your answers.
OK, I will.
Click here to submit now:
Now you’re being bossy. Leave me alone.