Thursday, July 21, 2005

Photos and Question of the Week

Looking at the site today, I realised we've not posted anything since March. That's not to say nothing has been going on, quite the opposite in fact. The last few months have been ludicrously busy to say the least. In fact I'm looking forward to the end of the year as I'm hoping it'll be a bit quieter and I can just chill out and knock out a few tunes on the guitar.

I noticed a comment about lack of pictures, to which I can only say I have not been arsed to put any up just yet. I put that down to the fact I work in IT and have absolutely no desire to use the PC in the evenings and also I've been away most weekends. Poor excuses but there you go.

I will eventually post some pictures, but in the meantime go and have a look at That should satisfy your curiosity - there's even pictures of Geoff and myself sporting some fine beards and a picture of the HoffMobile stuck in a campsite in Senegal...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Readjusting. Slowly readjusting.

Hi all.

First off, sorry to those who might have been looking out for some sort of enormous summary post. It's on my To-Do list, but it's been knocked down by various banal concerns such as work, leaking washing machines, overdue bills and letters from the TV licensing spooks who are big on threats these days, it seems. Let them come and see us - I refuse to subsidise "EastEnders", and besides our TV has no aerial connection.

Anyway, I'm gradually reacclimatising to life in the UK. Here's the scoresheet:

Regular meals: Good
Working for a living: Poo
Non-reliance on Laughing Cow cheese as primary calorie source: Good
Absence of sand from bedding, food, nose, fingernails, lungs & elsewhere: Good
Shedding skin as if I were a snake, due to not having any suncream in the Sahara desert and taking anti-malarials which accentuate sensitivity to sunlight: Poo
Bills: Poo
Not having to slip every bureaucrat a tenner to get things shifting along: Good
Sit down toilets: Marvellous. I could hug the porcelain every time.
Weather: Poo
Not spending 14 hours a day in the car with Mr Chuck: Welcome, on both sides I think!
Not having the Hoffmobile: Poo

Totting up the scores, that's 4 Goods, 1 Marvellous, 1 Welcome and 5 Poos so on balance it's more good than bad. Having said which, I'm still left feeling as if I ran away with the circus, spent a glorious month fraternising with freaks and living like one, and then got caught and forced to go back home, on the eve of my triumph as a human cannonball. Ah, such is life.

Whilst on the topic of freaks, I should like to honour those who accompanied us on the trip. In rapid fire format, here we go: Alex, grow the Mohican back....Nick, Dom, Andy & Pablo - can't wait to see the film guys. I want a % of the gross though - none of this flat fee nonsense....Ralph good luck - perhaps this year the ghost of Kilroy-Silk will finally be laid to rest.....Den thanks for the haircuts. I secretly prefer the 1st one.....Ru you need to change the photo on your website. Oh my word....Sam, come down to Reading some time - and give me a shout - I lost that bit of paper!....Mendus to you I say only "Her Maj".....Benja that is the only time I have ever seen a bill settled at a 4Star hotel with a piece of watersports equipment - skills! Look forward to visiting the set in Clapham sometime....Declan is there anything you can't do? Seriously, fixing cars, navigating by stars, designing bars (well breweries, but I was trying to keep the rhyme going), it's damn impressive....

I've got to go now - I have a pressing appointment with a new "Dukes of Hazzard" DVD I just scored. Will post some photos soon I hope if someone will donate us some webspace. Clutch out...

Monday, March 21, 2005

Time to cough up people...

Just a reminder to those who've sponsored Geoff and myself, that we'll be approaching you within the week to get your sponsorship money !

I've just had the best part of £200 unexpectedly land at my desk, so we'll be adding that to the totals from the first Just Giving page and the one currently open at :

If you've promised us money for completing the challenge, then please go to the website instead of handing it to Geoff or I. It's much easier for the money to go direct to CHASE electronically rather than us have to chase you or handle large unwieldy sums of cash. For those who've sponsored us on paper, don't worry - we know who you are... and where you live !

I'll attempt to get some of the photos online later in the week. It'd be great to get some video up too, but some kind soul will have to donate us some webspace in order for that to happen.

Expect a few more stories and post action reports next week too.

Friday, March 18, 2005

We came, we drove, we kicked it's ass !

For those who are unaware, the Sons of Hasselhoff are now back in England.

The rally was a 100% success, both us made it to Banjul (and out again) alive as did the HoffMobile. The trip was absolutely fantastic and so we owe Julian and co. a HUGE THANK YOU ! for letting us participate.

Here's some statistics you may not be interested in:

Distance + Countries Covered:

England, France, Spain, Morroco, Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia.
6589km from the ferry in Le Havre to the stadium in Banjul for the car auction

Repairs/Damage to HoffMobile:

1x Ignition coil replaced in Le Mans - cable tied to bulkhead due to us clumsily loosing the bolt.
1x Set of brake-pads. Replaced in Chefchouean in Morocco - we basically drove through Europe without any ! Cost us £3.20.
1x RHS headlight glass lost due to tow-rope incident.
1x Bonnet retention spring - snapped off somewhere in Spain - duct tape used instead.
1x Pair of lady's tights used as extra air filter for desert leg. Why Geoff had them is unknown.
1x Bottom of beer can - added to cover missing plug in gearbox.
Numerous small dents in bodywork, due to Geoff and Chuck sitting on the roof/bonnet or colliding with stationary objects in Madrid.
No front sidelights - we ran out of spares.
Sumpguard fitted in Dakhla - took about 4 hours, even though the mechanic promised "Cinque minutes" It then broke loose after Chuck ran over a cat somewhere south of the Senegalise border.

Number of near-death experiences:

Geoff - 1x - overtaking somewhere in North Africa at night (I'm sure there are others !)
Chuck - 1x - coming a little close for comfort with an articulated lorry in North Africa.

Number of "police/customs/border guards that look like extras from a Schwarznegger film" :

- Pretty much all of them.

Largest crowd surrounding the HoffMobile:

- About 200 cadeux hungry children in North Senegal. Geoff and Chuck had to retreat to the safety of the HoffMobile roof and scream "Ne pas de cadeux !" through the megaphone at them.

Most surreal moment:

- "Liberating" an ice cream van and driving through the main strip in Banjul with "Green Sleaves" playing from the van...

More to come later !

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Yes, the goat is tres bien, or my name's not Desmond Tutu

Out of the desert and taking the rare opportunity to post a proper text entry. You can just imagine the "ers" and "ums" as you read this if you've gotten to used to the audio updates.

The desert leg was great fun. Driving on sand is like one long skid, with the ruts in the sand doing the steering for you. The trick is to get up enough speed to blast through the soft stuff, whilst retaining at least a casual acquaintance with your vehicle's directional controls so as to miss major obstructions like rocks, camels and other rally cars.

Some teams did a better job of this balancing act than others, and we were pleasantly surprised to find that we were one of them. Team Radar's radar obviously wasn't on when they careered straight into a massive rock and tore their sump to bits, necessitating rolling of the vehicle onto its side for a 3hr metal jigsaw puzzle in the high heat of the desert. Poor old Team Revolver in their wallowing diesel Volvo estate were pulled free from soft sand more times than can be counted, but off on the horizon, like an updated version of the Lone Ranger, the Sons of Hoff were mostly keeping out of trouble.

Which is not to say we didn't have a few embarrassing moments. Chuck managed to get the car stuck in sand before the desert, in the car park of a campsite we stayed at, and I dug it in at the beach on hard sand. I've been keeping a tally of the number of times we've each gotten stuck. I'll not shame Mr Chuck by listing the exact score here, suffice to say, he's way aheaad. I'm sure he'll make a counterpoint at some stage, referencing my dubious safety record but hey, better moving and dented than safe and stuck I say.

Must dash now. Never eat goat, it doesn't taste good, particularly when its head is peering accusingly at you from a saucepan on the other side of the tent.


Well we've made it this far. Beyond nearly everyone's expectations the HoffMobile has reached Senegal. We're here with a load of other teams after completing the ardous desert stretch. The HoffMobile has performed beautifully and didn't have any mechanical trouble of any kind. We got stuck in the sand a few times but mainly that was down to us being slowed by other teams or Geoff being crap.

The desert stretch brings new levels to the misery that is camping. No showers and being forced to crap in a hole or outside for a week is enough suffering for me. We're currently holed up in the Zebrabar which is a veritable oasis compared with the criminally inclined border guards and cadeux addicted children. Here we have cold beer and relative safety from hassle. These people just won't take no for an answer and are quite content to follow you through the streets in order to sell you a fake footie shirt or some obscure wooden artificact.

I can't type much more as I'm stuck on some foreign keyboard. So many stories to tell, it's almost untrue. Right St Loius awaits !

p.s. For those interested the Sons of Hoff will be triumphantly returning to the UK - 15th March, arriving Gatwick at 22:40pm. Have the cold beer and hot shower on standby ;-)

Monday, March 07, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, February 28, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play
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