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Jaguar XJR wheels – refurbish or replace?


Dodgy rims

My 2001 Jaguar XJR came with a few factory upgrades – Brembo brakes and 18″ BBS Milano rims for example. The rims are in bad shape but what can I do?

First off, I like the fact that I have matching Pirelli P-Zeros, and given that these tires cost a bob or two, I’d like to keep hold of them.

Secondly, I’ve been watching Wheeler Dealers recently. In the car flipping program, the heroes always seem to get their alloy rims refurbished for an amazingly low price. They also seem to make a loss on every single episode, so perhaps not the best model to follow.

Thirdly, I asked the XJR facebook group if they could really be refurbished, and people said, “Yes,” and then “Not cheaply.” In fact, because they’re a two part rim, one person said this:

Really depends how good you want them, your trims look shot and if you wanted to keep them thats the best part of £400 just there….. Can take an hour just to split them all, if you break a bolt its around £50 to remove and replace, the bolts themselves are £10 each if I remember correctly. Very often the valves shear, they are £45 each plus removal. One set we had done was in very bad condition, they cost £1000 to do, 50% of the bolts sheared and he wanted trims and not a painted or polished edge…… I have seen people just paint the whole lot, looks OK but they loose a bit of their appeal

So yeah, what’s a guy to do? I guess look for some other rims that fit over the Brembo brakes too. If you have any suggestions, please comment below!


Chip Shop Review: Lace Market Fish Bar, Nottingham


The Lace Market Fish Bar

The Lace Market Fish Bar is on a quiet unassuming street in Nottingham – and it houses both kebab style fair in addition to fried goods.

I went there at 2pm and was delighted to be offered a special lunch deal. The head chef and bottle washer said something I didn’t quite catch when I ordered, but looking at the forlorn display of hot cabinet goods, I took it to mean that he was going to freshly prepare my fish for me, so I set to waiting.

The front man was very polite in his dealings with other customers – advising them of deal options to see if they wanted to save money, and telling them of the anticipated wait time for their desired order. Inside are a few tables, and leaning space against the walls – everything seemed clean and shiny enough, and the waiting was softened by the provision of some excellent reading material – I can heartily recommend “The Metro” as a local current affairs and classified advertisements source if you’re there for a time.


The Lunch Special – Fish Chips and Peas

After a while the food was available, and again I didn’t quite catch the question from the chef when it was my time to receive, so I just gave my standard line about “lots of vinegar, a little bit of salt”. I was quite horrified to see a vivid splash of lurid pea substance adorning my small polystyrene bowl, but after waiting for the freshest of fried foods, I didn’t want to grumble and risk another wait while more food was prepared. I had already reached the “cars under £1000″ section of the classifieds, and couldn’t wait any longer. In short I was hungry.

The portion was modest – after all I had unwittingly chosen a lunch special for £3.50 – and I tucked into it with relish – even the ectoplasmic green goo, which pleasantly surprised me. The fish had a good ratio of white to fat, and was cooked immaculately. The chips were firm and thick, and the vinegar was satisfyingly strong at the bottom of the bucket. I was pleased to be given a serious fork – a well engineered plastic affair strong enough for the task – looking a little like the sort of thing Wayne Industries would build for Batman’s Penguin-piercing endeavours.


Low batter to fish ratio

Overall, a fantastic yet modest meal, and I would definitely go there again in an artery clogged heartbeat.


Strong vinegar
Firm chips
Good value
More fish than batter
Friendly chef


Small portion – lunch special
Hard to understand what I was ordering and getting.

Overall Rating: 4/5 



Nice wall art for the chippy


Why Plant a Tree

How on earth will you be remembered? After your molecules have dispersed into the next hamster, worm, kite tail or golf cart tire, what will remain? It might be some memories or the impact on people around me, or a series of things I’ve created. Or it might be a favorite tree for some people who knew me. And for people who never knew me, the tree might just be unremarkable. Not even noticed. Perhaps knocked down in a storm, or perhaps hit by lightning.

Still, trees can be very old. If you scour the internet and even if you ignore sources like the Daily Mail, you’ll find information about trees that are thought to be over 4000 and even 5000 years old. Given that this blog post is written in 2014 with not much thought to the fact that it is stored on a few spinning discs by magnets for a ridiculously low cast and thus susceptible to any number of economic, military or biological factors, my blogging legacy might fade in an instant. Just as links in articles I wrote ten years ago are frequently dead now. Even if I were to print off the whole damn thing and stick it in an airtight vault dug into a hillside on the Isle of Man, it may not last long enough to be discovered – just a passing sneeze in the hurricane of time. I’ll probably be dead at some point in the next four decades, and as I believe things, I’ll probably be dead from that point on. Forever.

Monkey Puzzle by Dallas Krentzel

Monkey Puzzle by Dallas Krentzel

So can I attain immortality through planting a tree? Obviously not. I don’t believe that Yew contain spirits or are magically linked with animals – I think they’re a bunch of tree stuff doing tree things all day. But I do know that some trees live a very long time. The Yew, Sitka Spruce, Noble Fir and Austrian Pine can live over three centuries. They’ll see more change in their single lifetime than nine generations of humans. All I can remember is two generations back. I have reproduced at a later stage in life and if my offspring reproduce in a similar fashion, and I live until I’m 80 years old, I might be a link between my grandparents and my grandchildren – five generations of humans.

I walk sometimes in Bramcote Park – home of some 200 year old trees. My grandparents walked there often, and took me with them and their successive Cocker Spaniels. I see benches with small plaques on their backs and I think that’s nice enough. A convenient reminder to consider mortality and set about my remaining four decades or less with something more than haphazard abandon. The overwhelming feeling I get when I see those memorial plaques is that I should plant a tree.

Why plant a tree? After feeling that I want to plant trees but lacking a reason why, my brain gets into it’s de facto post hoc rationalisation mode. How can I justify something like trying to spend a decade building something when I could just buy a bunch of bricks and labour and have a folly built.

Trees are nice. I couldn’t really put my finger on it in when I lived in other countries that didn’t have ginormous veteran trees until I got back to the forests of my homelands. Trees are nice. They’re very nice. Old trees are the nicest. I’ve never knowingly been in the immediate presence of a tree that was a seed in the time of the Shang Dynasty, but I’ve been around trees from the time of the Ottoman Empire, even before I knew what that was. Trees are comforting and stalwart. They have evolved or at least grown from a time when people in the UK worshiped stones, trees, animals, popes, suburbs and then Apple. Millennia old trees ignored the Swinging Sixties, the Hundred Year War and the Bronze Age, and just did their thing. Grow, swell, and then slowly die from the inside out.

“Only an optimist plants a tree.” they say. If I plant a tree, does that mean I become an optimist? It’s worth a gamble, I reckon. It would be nice to know how the other half live with their glasses half full.

Islam tells it’s punters to “Plant a tree even if it is your last deed.”

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” is apparently a Greek proverb.

There are many reasons to plant a tree. I used to want to build a pyramid or a Taj Mahal so that people would think well of me when I was gone. Now I think I’ll plant some trees.