Tag Archives: Spitfire

‘Dunkirk’ 2017 Movie: Dramatic BUT Also Dastardly Disappointing!

by Anura Guruge

The trailer. Movie nowhere as good.

Watch the trailer. Skip the movie.

Click to access the IMDb.com listing for Dunkirk.

There was very little on
the ‘Little Ships of Dunkirk‘.

For a good historical perspective.

Dunkirk (2017) should have been the epitome of a feel good movie — revelling in the gung-ho, Dunkirk spirit of the British, the 850 Little Boats that crossed the channel to rescue 400,000 trapped soldiers — the pulling together that happened. Instead it was a very loud, special effects spectacular.

It was all drama, NO heroism.

It snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

It was a movie for kids, video gaming addicts — not for mature adults, and DEFINITELY NOT for patriotic Brits like I. Americans love it. Many believe that there these are Americans being rescued. Forgive them, they were never taught history.

Yes, the bravery and heroism of Spitfire pilots are highlighted.

But, there is hardly NOTING on the Little Boat Flotilla! Just a passing reference so to speak — though to be fair, one of the three parallel threads of movie is all about ONE such boat. But, we just see a fleeting ALLUSION to the other 849 boats.

I was very disappointed. I went expecting to come out UPLIFTED, gung ho … full of the Dunkirk Spirit.

Read some of the IMDb.com reviews. There are others that feel the same way.

The soundtrack was obnoxious. Appears that it was intentionally made LOUD.

I can NOT recommend this movie. I will not watch it again, even when it becomes available on ‘TV’.

I wouldn’t even bother to give this two thumbs down. It just needs a kick up its ugly backside.

Related posts:
>> Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
>> Ballerina.

++++ Search on ‘movie’ for many, many related posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

“European-Cars”, On eBay, (Outside Philadelphia), Has Two Low-Mileage Jaguar XJ8s — Good Price.

jaguar6th2aAnura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
. .
by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
Burgundy 2002 red Jaguar XJ8.
Black V12 XJS.
>> B-Boys
who take care of our Jags.

>> Jaguar Association, Andover, MA.

++++ Search ‘Jaguar many other posts >>>>

Europeans Cars“, on eBay, Dave Gitman (of Car Cheer, Trevose, PA), is whom we got our 2002 Jaguar XJ8 from. To say that I am pleased with it would be the understatement of the year. I can’t, of course, talk about other transactions — because I do NOT have a clue — but Dave Gitman, “Europeans Cars”, did us PROUD with our Jag. That is all I can say. Oh yes, I had my doubts and moments of panic BEFORE I got to know Mr. Gitman. But he is a decent family man! I will, without hesitation, by another car, ideally a Jag, from Dave.

These two Jags are gems and look the part too with the blue tones. Dave tells me that these are rare colors. I believe him. I don’t think I have seen those before. LUCKILY for me (given that I cannot afford either of these Jags) I can honestly say, and Devanee (14) my conscience when it comes to cars will attest, I do not like blue cars. I had one that was forced on me by a Leyland dealer in Britain, a Pageant Blue Spitfire 1500. Hated the color. Haven’t owned a blue car since. When we were looking for Jags we saw some blue ones but it was easy for me to dismiss those.

Anywho, these two look real nice (if you are OK with the blues), exceptionally low miles and DECENT prices. Plus, Dave is GOOD. You can negotiate with him. At least in my case he was fair and decent. Call him on 215-470-3161. Most times he will answer QUICKLY. Tell him Anu (the Brown guy) told you to call. He might be even nicer to you. Dave and I chat.


Click to ENLARGE. The two eBay links below.

First Jaguar XJ8 on eBay.
Second Jaguar XJ8 on eBay.

‘Show of Dreams’ British Cars of New Hampshire, In Wolfeboro, July 27, 2013: The Pictures.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related Posts:
1/ ‘Show of Dreams’ British cars …
>>July 23, 2013.

2/ Triumph Stag story …
May 11, 2013.
3/ Jensen Healey in Alton– Aug. 28, 2012.
4/ 1977 MGB (BMC) in Pittsfield — Oct. 8, 2012.

++++ Search on ‘Wolfeboro’ for other Wolfeboro related posts >>>>

It was spectacular. Far exceeded expectations. So many cars. So many delightful cars. The weather was beyond perfect. The people were nice and were all having a grand time.

Lots and lots of different cars. A real trip down memory lane augmented with reminders of OUR continued GREATNESS as with the new, breathtaking Jaguar F-Type. What a beautiful car. Probably as close to perfection that you could ever achieve in a car.

Acute shortage of Spitfires. Just one Mk II. Is it really true … Have all the Spitfires rusted away? I hope not. I owned two. One red and the other pageant blue (a color I still hate).

Two Stags. Both yellow. Aaahhhh! Lots and lots of TR 6s. That might be my next purchase IF I ever have any money. There was a beautiful one, with just 9,000 miles, for sale for $21K. Wow.

A couple of Triumph GT6s. Haven’t seen one of those in decades. In the early 1970s had a friend, Dave, who owned one. He loved it. It sure was fast. But I still think it is an ugly car!

Great show. Well done. Bravo. Thank YOU.

Click to ENLARGE



‘MarketWatch’ Report Cites The ‘Mini’ As The Car With Most SAFETY Complaints. I Am Not Surprised.



 ..by Anura Guruge


Click to access MarketWatch report. Interesting reading. Hyundai has the least complaints of the 10 listed! That is why we have been buying them for the last 7 years.

Though I grew up and lived in Britain when the (original) Mini was all the rage, I never liked it. Though I was never that big, I found it claustrophobic even from the outside. I am sure I have never driven one and really can’t remember ever getting inside one — which is kind of strange because it really was the most popular car around when I was going to school and university.

That people can have sex in a Mini has always amazed me — partly because I was a member of a group of Triumph sports car owners (in the 1970s) whose mission was to publicize the best ways to have sex in Spitfires, TR6s and TR7s as a public service to others.

But a Mini? Why would you? Isn’t there no shame?

Anyway …


A notion popular in the 1970s in the U.K. when it came to the TR7.

Red, 1989 Cadillac Allante For Sale In Alton, NH.



 ..by Anura Guruge

Other car posts:
1. Restored 1974 Jensen-Healey in Alton — Aug. 28, 2012.
2. 1977 MGB in Pittsfield, NH — Oct. 8, 2012.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

This beauty appeared by the Alton rotary earlier this week. I have always had a soft spot for the Allanté. The asking price was not outlandish given that I knew that that would never be the final price. I checked around. The price was middling. I don’t need a car and we hardly put any miles on the two we have. Plus I am known to go for 4 to 5 days without ever getting into a car. But, I miss not having a convertible especially when Summer beckons. For 30 years, since when I was 23, I have invariably owned a convertible or a T-Top. This is the longest I have gone in my adult life without a rag top. So, Devanee and I stopped by on Tuesday and had a look. Couple of small dings on the bodywork. Radio does not seem to work. The tires are new. It started without drama. But, I didn’t drive it. I spent 40 minutes ‘discussing’ price with the owner. We even reached a workable price. I even got an insurance quote. Then I started talking to mechanics. Maybe that was a mistake. One, who does all the work on our van, said categorically: “worst U.S. car ever built. Don’t get it at any price!”. That was bummer. There was a time many, many decades ago when I did use to change the oil and even brakes on cars. Not now, though recently I replaced the battery in the van. So if I had got this I would have to rely on others to maintain it for me. So this was not a good start. Went downhill from there. Was told that parts were expensive. Basically I was told to get anything else than this car. I wasn’t thrilled, but common sense prevailed.

Then later on in struck me. They talk about people who are fatally attracted to the wrong sort of partners. Well in my case this seems to be with cars. 30 years ago, I was totally, utterly infatuated (maybe even outright in love) with the Triumph Stag. I owned a Spitfire and was reaching a point when I could afford a Stag. I now remember, not that happily, that I had these exact same conversation with folks about the Stag, except then there was even family chipping in. Told that it was the worst car ever. And I really don’t deal well with unreliable cars, boats or computers. So, it is kind of important that I get cars that work 99.5% of the time. I still remember being told about the Stag: “If you really want to get one, get one but get somebody to put in a new 3L Ford engine into it”. That sounded way too much like hard work. So I never got a Stag. Instead went and bought a TR7. That TR7 served me well. So, I am in a bind. I have a feeling that I might just end up buying the next, reasonably price British convertible I see.

But, I want to pass the word out on this Allanté. It could be a good buy for somebody who can do some of the work on it. You shouldn’t have any problem finding it. It is on Rte 28 just before (or after) the rotary (depending where you are coming from (or going)). 

The captivatingly gorgeous Triumph Stag.

Found this picture of a silver Tr7 on the Web. This one must have been a twin. Mine was silver too, the 3rd but last TR7 built. This car and mine were probably the same year since my registration was MGM 327X — where the year ‘X’ happened to be the year. The reason I remember that registration, the only one I remember, because it just happened to be significant. 327X was an IBM terminal family and much of my life revolved around that terminal family one way or another.

The Privacy Of The British Royals Are Frequently Violated, Often Unbeknownst To Them.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Her Majesty’s Yacht, HMY Britannia, the (former) Royal Yacht the scene of this purported gross invasion of Royal privacy.

Boris, the Mayor Of London

All of the ongoing, possibly even escalating, flap, unnecessary and unbecoming about Kate Middleton’s topless pictures reminded me of this story which graphically illustrates that privacy is not something that Royals can enjoy even in the sanctity of the bathrooms in their own private yacht.

As I said yesterday, they should let this matter drop. It is done. The pictures are out. I could be wrong, but in my opinion these pictures, perfectly normal, nothing immoral, have in NO WAY diminished the respect, affection, admiration and affinity that the British people have for their Duchess of Cambridge. I, as a Brit, am not phased one iota. Good for you Kate. You did nothing wrong. Now lets move on. If the Palace has problems just letting this drop, here is my advise (as a fairly savvy spinmeister). Call up Boris Johnson, the irrepressible Mayor of London, who put Mitt Romney in his place, and get Boris to make a few pithy statements on behalf of the Commonwealth reiterating that all is well with Kate. It is but sour grapes for the French and Italians. They no longer have Royals. As a Brit, I will gladly tell them: ‘if you are that desperate to have a gander at the boobs of OUR ROYALS go ahead, get an eyeful, because we really do have some good looking Princesses‘. Subject closed.

This is a story about the Queen [i.e., Queen Elizabeth II of the U.K.], her Yacht, HMY Britannia, the stewardesses that worked on that yacht, and something very, very, private and personal to the Queen.

This is a TRUE STORY as far as I am concerned in that I heard it being told, at least twice, to a group of people, in a social gathering [i.e., a pub], by the supposed protagonist’s daughter, a well-grounded, responsible IBM employee, who was probably in her late 20s at the time. Since it is not exactly flattering to her mother, I cannot visualize her making it up. There was no need. This was not a ‘tall story’ competition or people trying to ‘show off’. This was her, at the urging of others, telling us, her co-workers about her mother’s life and career as a permanent stewardess on the HMY Britannia. Some of the folks knew her mother. So, I have to assume that this story is true.

Until today I had never even thought about Googling this. Today, with some trepidation (since even I have some thresholds despite my reputation for being willing to go where others fear) I did. If YOU are going to Google it you might have to think about the appropriate terminology to use. Start with ‘celebrities’. Experiment with words. Slang helps. I even got a listing from ebay for the Queen’s ….! Yikes.

This story deals with delicate subject matter. So I am going to tread carefully and use euphemisms. I am not going to spell out the words or be crude in anyway. Use your imagination, read between the lines.

As somebody who wrote his first book 29 years ago, I consider myself by nature and profession to be a raconteur; a teller of stories. Hence why I know that I must relate this story at this time. Bear with me. I am doing MY JOB.

Hursley House, the focal point of the IBM Labs. Hursley complex at which I worked. The famed British SPITFIRE was designed in this building. Yes, I have been in most of the rooms. Some of them, including the ‘Wedgewood Room’, with Wedgewood china embedded in the walls, are classrooms.

I worked for IBM (UK) from 1974 to 1979 at their picturesque laboratories in Hursley, Hampshire, U.K. During my last 2 years with them I worked in ‘Special Engineering’ – a cadre of about 60, in our own concrete building, tasked with creating customized products for the European IBM customers. The mother of one of the administrators in ‘Spec. Eng.’ worked as a permanent, stewardess on the Britannia, and had for many, many years.

IBM Hursley was a fun place, noted for its leisurely pub lunches. As can be imagined, every once in awhile folks would ask this administrator to tell them stories about her mother and the Britannia. In this context I heard this story at least twice.

Her mother along with two or three others were responsible, on a rotating shift, 24×7, to be in attendance of the Queen’s private rooms. Each and every time the Queen or her husband (Prince Phillip) used the bathroom they had to go in, check it, clean it and put it ‘back together’.

As the story went, all the stewardesses did something, without fail, when they entered the bathroom. They checked the seat. They all carried a small metal pill box in their aprons. IF they found what they were looking for on the seat they delicately plucked it up and put in their ‘trophy’ tin. They did this each and every day.

When they got back to port they sold it!

This was way before the Internet, let alone ebay or Craig’s List. So I assume there were dealers that met with the staff to trade in these and other trophies. The mind boggles.

Today, as I stated earlier, I Googled this market — for celebrities in general, rather than the Queen per se (keeping in mind that ‘modern’ practices among ‘young’ celebrities might make this a very SCARCE commodity).

An Epilogue
In 1995 or 1996, I was speaking at the then mandatory, ultra-lavish, way-over-the-top Sales Conferences that the then loaded networking companies used to hold — before the dot.com bust. This Sales Conference for a very large vendor was at the all Green MGM Grand at Vegas. Since I had a reputation of being a comedian that can keep people awake, I was given the first-presentation of the morning, breakfast slot — with instructions to get them going because they were all going to be hungover. Those days I still used 35 mm slides for my presentations. Since these had to be loaded into a carousel (or two) and the way they were loaded depended on whether it was forward or rear projection, I would typically arrive 90 minutes ahead of my slot — perfect, presentations being another trademark of mine.

So I get to the huge banquet hall, in one of the lower floors of the MGM, quite early in the morning. Only the set up crew is there. But, I could detect a palpable buzz. Some of the young ladies were very excited. It must be one face, but women talk to me and tell me all sorts of stuff. Well, they told me why they were so giddy. Barbra Streisand had performed there the night before (though I was unaware of that; checking in late that night). They had setup a private backstage suite for her — which was right across from where we were setting up. Some of these girls had camped out till the wee hours of the morning until the concert was over and everybody had left. Then they had run across to the bathroom that had been used by Barbra. Enough said.

The iconic, Supermarine SPITFIRE of WW II, designed in Hursley House — where there was a model of the Spitfire and a plaque to commemorate its roots.

Newly Restored, 1974, Jensen-Healey In Alton, NH

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Alas, it is NOT mine! It is also NOT for sale — though, obviously, as the saying correctly foretells, everything and everybody does have a price. This is his 2nd Jensen-Healey. He had his 1st in College but had to sell it when he had his first child. So now, quite a bit older, he is determined to hold onto this — and I understand. He worked on this car for a long time. It looks fabulous. Sounds good too. Great job. He is very happy and proud; as he should be. [As is always the case the wife refers to it as his ‘mid-life crisis’. I told her yesterday that I hope he has quite few more crises.]

I won’t divulge where the car is or who owns it — though he is quite famous in Alton circles. It is NOT on our road — so don’t bother coming cruising around. It is also garaged and they have a long driveway going up a steep incline. So you won’t even see the garage from the road.

If you really, really, really want to see this Healey e-mail me and I will SEE if I can arrange for you to see it. Otherwise just keep an eye for it on Rte 28 in Alton or at Prospect Mountain High School. No guarantee. It is not registered right now.

I would, as a Brit, like to have another British sports car. I have owned 4: 2 Spitfire 1500s (one bright red and the other Pageant Blue (a color I hated, but the only color I could get in 1978), a TR7 convertible (the 3rd but last built) and an MG Midget (that I bought from a neighbor, in Gilford, in 2000). I always wanted a Triumph Stag — which I consider the most beautiful car of that era, prior to the TR7. The unreliability of the Stag, even by British standards of the time, were legendary. I was always told that if I got one I would have to replace the engine with a U.S. V8. So, I ended up getting the TR7. I had a look the other day on eBay just out of curiosity. Only 1 listing for a Stag! Wow.

I had a rich friend back in the UK, in the 70s, who had a Jensen Interceptor. That was the only car that I knew that was more prone to failure than the stag. It was his pride and joy — but it was always breaking down. It would always be a call, from a phone booth (this being way, way, way before cell phones), I am stuck I will be late. Driving off in the Interceptor was going to be the highlight of his extremely lavish wedding, to a dentist, at a stately manor house. Yes, you guessed it. The Jensen didn’t work! He took it quite well.