A food-filled Christmas

Over the past couple of weeks, here at duck2water we have been getting into the festive spirit of things and, now that Christmas day has been, we have exchanged anecdotes and horror stories of how our individual days went.

From charcoaled turkeys to unwanted gifts of shoe polish, it seems that everyone has at least one outrageous story to share.

However, when it comes to Christmas food, it seems that no one can quite agree on what makes a perfect Christmas. Some of us swear by homemade mince pies, whereas others feel they get a much better deal with the deeper fillings of the shop-bought pies.

The majority of us went for traditional turkey dinners, but one of us went for the controversial choice of a leg of lamb, while another has spent a great deal time trying to convince us all her vegetarian option of a nut roast was actually to die for!

Hmm... the jury is still out on that one!

However, one thing we all seemed to have in common was that we all chose to keep our cars locked away in garages on Christmas day so we could enjoy a celebratory drink or two.

Happy New Year everyone!

Photo © peterjroberts via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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From mobility scooter to Rolls Royce

Everyone has a favourite television programme, whether it’s watching a hard-hitting documentary or indulging in a slightly far-fetched crime show. Here at duck2water we are fans of all sorts of different series, ranging from EastEnders to River Cottage to The Sopranos.

However, there is a great-grandfather who loves one particular television programme so much that he has gone to great lengths to create himself a permanent souvenir of the series.

The 74-year-old Thunderbirds fan has converted his mobility scooter into a replica of Lady Penelope’s Rolls Royce. He travels round dressed as the famous chauffeur, Parker, and has even put a model of Lady Penelope herself in the back of the vehicle.

The retired construction worker decided to build the creation to drive in a cancer charity run after a long-running wish that he could drive Lady Penelope around.

He said, “I set about building her Rolls Royce in my garage out of bits of old wood I had lying around.

“People are very supportive when they see me driving around town and I've even been stopped to sign autographs. I love being able to raise a smile for people.”

If only we could be chauffeured in a Rolls Royce on daily basis!

Photo © squeezeomatic via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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World’s preeminent feline philanthropist

One cat in Italy is going to have no trouble meeting the costs of his catmobile car insurance quote after this month inheriting £10 million to become the third richest animal in the world – what, £10 million and he’s only the third richest.

His inheritance comes after his 94-year-old owner died, leaving him with a vast portfolio of homes, villas and investments.

The windfall marks a huge upturn in fortunes for the former stray feline, who was adopted by his testatrix only a few years ago.

However, the cash-happy cat is going to have difficulty inheriting the fortune, as under Italian law, cats are not allowed to inherit. As such, a "worthy animal association” is set to benefit, according to lawyers, which will make the moggy the world’s greatest feline philanthropist.

"To be honest the cat doesn't need all that money, he is happy with a saucer of milk and some biscuits,” said lawyers, perhaps a little presumptuously.

The richest animal in the world is the regally-named Gunter IV, a German shepherd worth more than £90 million.

What we’d give to have that fortune!

Photo © [puarmelia] via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence




Apples from heaven

Whether you’re young, old, a woman or a man, there are some car insurance hazards you just can’t plan for.

Yes, what do you do if you’re innocently driving through rush-hour traffic when, suddenly, the heavens open and bombard your vehicle with hundreds of apples.

It may be good news if you like apples, but a cascade of falling apples is undoubtedly dangerous, as it has the potential to obscure vision, cause distraction and alarm drivers.

So spare a thought for drivers in Coventry who recently experienced this bizarre scenario.

"The apples fell out of the sky as if out of nowhere. They were small and green and hit the bonnet hard. There were other cars on the road at the time too and everyone had to stop their cars suddenly,” commented one driver.

"It wouldn't surprise me if some cars were damaged. I know the area well and there are no apple trees around,” he added.

Was it high-flying pranksters or childish, petulant gods playing-up in their heavenly orchard – not according to the Met Office, which says it has a meteorological explanation.

"It's hypothetically possible that a tornado could have picked them up and that they were transported in turbulent air until they fell,” said a spokesperson.

"Essentially these events are caused when a vortex of air, kind of like a mini tornado, lifts things off the ground rising up into the atmosphere until the air around it causes them to fall to earth again.”

Photo © mollyali via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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Cycle in style with a Gucci bicycle

Sometimes it makes more sense to leave your car at home and jump on a bicycle to get a destination instead. It’s good for you, cuts pollution and significantly reduces fuel costs.

Most of us stick to the same trusty bike we’ve had for years – although sometimes it may need a good dust before it is road or cycling-path worthy!

However, for those eager to buy an upgraded model for the New Year, and also happen to have a few thousand pounds burning a hole in their pocket, Gucci has created two designer bicycles.

A white hydro-formed steel single-speed version carries a price tag of £3,420, or if you’re feeling slightly more extravagant, you can spend £7,650 on the matte black carbon fiber monocoque model.

The brand’s creative director, Frida Giannini said, "The Bianchi by Gucci bicycles perfectly carry forward our codes of luxury while creating a new cosmopolitan aesthetic for those looking to turn heads while on the go."

Hmm, as luxurious as these bicycles sound, we think we’ll be missing these off our Christmas wish lists – we wouldn’t want our cars to feel inferior to a bike!

Photo © chanelcoco872 via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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Boost your car speed with a missile

When buying a new car, drivers usually take the engine size into account. Some motorists are happy with relatively small engine, whereas others are willing to pay extra for an engine with a bit more bite.

The Indy Boys Inc team from Indianapolis, US, have gone to extreme measures to ensure that their 1967 Chevrolet is the fastest car in town. And by extreme, we mean they strapped a cruise missile engine to the roof.

Now the vintage car is capable of reaching speeds of up to 300mph, as well as firing out 30ft flames which leave an impressive trail of smoke behind the vehicle.

The Indy Boys team have already built the world fastest toilet (yes, really) and a jet powered school bus which can astonishingly reach speeds of 750mph – but parents can relax, this bus isn’t actually used for the school run.

Fortunately the driver of this vehicle only uses the car for shows. We have a funny feeling he’d be hard pushed to find a car insurance provider which would offer cover for a car as modified as this!

Photo © Dave Hogg via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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How much you pay to have your own Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is frequently listed when people are asked about their favourite childhood films, but most of these fans settle for watching the film again if they want a reminder of ‘toot sweet’.

However, one dedicated fan decided that he wanted something a little bit more solid to remember the film with. The 30-year-old spent 12 years building a perfect replica of the starring car.

Now, 43 years after the film’s initial release, the replica of the car is set to be auctioned off to the public, and is expected to sell for about £250,000.

The wealthy buyer can rest assured that they will have purchased an authentic replica as the creator ensured that every aspect of the vehicle is identical to the original car, which was famously driven by Dick van Dyke.

We applaud this man’s dedication, but we don’t think that anyone here at duck2water would have the patience to spend 12 years building their dream car!

Photo © Derable via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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The misfortunes of a rocky ride

Driving along bumpy roads can’t be described as a pleasant experience – many motorists find themselves driving at the slowest speed possible whilst trying to avoid the biggest and most journey-disturbing rocks and holes.

So, here at duck2water we hate to imagine how it felt for a German driver who managed to land his car on a boulder – and this wasn’t a small boulder by any means!

According to a report, the motorist lost control of his vehicle causing it to spin round three times on the tarmac before landing atop a rather large rock which was in a neighbour’s driveway.

The small sports-car ended up with its rear end suspended it the air while the bonnet remained resolutely on the road.

There’s been no word about how the driver managed to get himself out of the compromising situation – or whether the car has been left in a fit state to carry on with life on the road – but we reckon he should stick to watching car stunts at the cinema rather than attempting to recreate the action himself!

Photo © grendelkhan via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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