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16v tales!

Just been out for my normal Saturday morning burn up here in Edinburgh. Its got to be said, get yourself up to Edinburgh: the roads and the cars that are up for a race are a fantastic combination!

OK, I know Im about to invite some Toofast-style "yeah right" comments, but please read on!

First comer was a 3.0 S-Type - he couldnt believe it as I out accelerated the car out of a rounabout and left him by a fair margin up to the ton"align=absmiddle> The look on his face was priceless!

The second comer was on my favourite road coming back from Gullane into Edinburgh way (A198 - GR: bet you know it!). Had a new 911 Carrera behind me with two middle aged ladies in it. We both overtook a bus on a straight just out of a villiage - and I have to say that it was obviously all over my rear on the straights. But then we hit the twisties! OK - at this point youre thinking "yeah right, hes about to try and tell me he wasted a 911 through the twisties". Well, actually I did!!"align=absmiddle>"align=absmiddle> It was in my opinion quite obviously down to the driver of the 911, but again, the looks on the faces of the women was fantastic after Id slowed down behind another car after two miles or so (GR - you know the bit where you can see the power station). And yes, she was trying (as I was - very, very, very hard!!).

Thirdly, I came across an "old" (pre-2002) Honda S2000 on the dual carriageway on the way home. I saw it and thought Id catch it at low revs (he he, no VTEC on cam!) - but then realised that my car is crap at low revs too! Anyway, I managed to put up a good show! It was defintely having me for sure, but the gap was a lot smaller than Id have been comfortable with as a bloke who had spent £30k on a car! We gave each other the obligatory flash and wave as we parted later.

Edinburgh is so cool for driving! Im really going to miss this aspect of living here when I leave in 12 days time But for the time being, let the good times roll!

Ben its grim up north, theres np getting away from it,

Bristol is great with its tasteless Nova drivers, and thieving scum, i wouldnt change it for anything,

i could tell you about similar roads back in Bristol, but you have been spoilt for years living in Wales so you might not appreciate them, Try the 4040 from chipping sodbury just north of junct 18 M4 it takes you to cirecncester etc, it always got loads of bikles and fast cars in there, even the locals press on! but i travel up there about twice a week normaly at 4 or 5am and thats when its really really fun, cold air, clear takes some beating


  Shiny red R32

Ben, what a brilliant sunny day today up here! I drove along the coast road from Gullane towards Port Seton/Cockenzie (Power Station you mentioned here) today but didnt see any valvers! A friend of mine was opening her new hairdressers today and I was invited to the opening.

I expect that you might have turned off at the left turn towards Longniddry, which was probably just as well because there are some road works with temporary traffic lights along the coast road. Normally this is a brilliant twisty road, right along the coast, past the Power Station, then through Prestonpans and you get out to either the A1 if you turn left, or Musselburgh if you turn right.

Arent there loads of class cars around Edinburgh and the Lothians? Every time I am out towards Edinburgh I see Porsches, TVRs, Elises, Mercs, fast Audis, Jags, Ferraris, Maseratis, the odd Aston Martin, and loads of BMWs and all sorts of Cabrios everywhere, but I have only ever seen TWO 172s, both silver! Where are they?


  Shiny red R32

Lofty, it isnt grim up north, (not where I am anyway) it is a much better way of life than down south. Much more relaxing up here, hardly any police to hassle you and some good testing roads if you know where to find them! Where are you Lofty?

GR I’m from the prosperous south! A small village between Bristol and Bath to be precise, its lovely down here, but I agree with you, problems such as drugs are increasing and spreading out of the poverty riden areas,

Also for someone like me it would be very difficult to get a house in or around Bristol because everything is so expensive, £100k would get you a horrible house in an awful area that I wouldnt even consider living in, long term its just not an option to live there, I want to live in one of the villages in the Cotswold water park, Ashton Keynes, South Cerney etc, and I’m sure I will one day, but the prices are absolutely mad because its not far from the M4 corridor, my mum and dad have just bought another house in the lake district so maybe I will (reluctantly) venture that far north for a while at least,

One thing that is good about up north is the girls, they are so accommodating with absolute minimum of effort!
  honda accord 2.4 type s

Aaah, the great North V South arguement!! The north (Newcastle) which is one of the worlds 10 best party cities, or the south where £67000 will only buy you a car parking space!!!, and your beers cr*p!

Yes its certainly "grim up north"!!

sell your house in the south east, and buy a village in the north!

we are superior, thats a fact,

also we dont have problems with polar bears in winter either

Im abig fan of the North - but I take "North" to mean northern England. I know technically Scotland is in the north, but I call that Scotland.

Im very strongly with Lofty in the price thing. As someone who will be on a decent gross salary this time next year, Im looking very much away from Bristol/London - as its way, way too expensive. £100k gets you a sh*tty flat in a very dodgy area of Bristol where you will get beaten up and robbed (they call it "boho" or "up and coming" - Lofty: think St Pauls/Montpellier).

Im doing a Masters in Geography as the top research department in the UK - and I can tell yout that the latest figures show no difference in wealth between thw North and South. Thats becuase places like Leeds/Manchester/Newcastle are actually as wealthy as the South now per capita. But its uneven - the rich places in the North are not concentrated, like they are in the South. The trnsformation of Englands Northern cities in the last ten years has been breathtaking by any standard. If you look at things like mortality rates and the number of sick people, the standard of living in Northern cities has come on so much recently - but not out of the cities.

Scotalnd (especially Edinburgh) has always been fairly prosperous. Hence the fantastic cars to race!!

So Im looking at Scotland/the North as a place to make my salary go further. Unless theres a property price crash of course (please God, please!!).

So they do!! The worst is when you get Hamish McTavish calling from the docks on his fishing boat - seagulls going crazy and an accent thicker than George Bushs intellect!

i dont know about your field, but in my game the weightings are very apparent, indeed its believed that certainly in terms of house prices Vs Salary you are actually better off in London, but it can cost £100 a week to commute in London, And the same job in a northern city would be in the order of 1/2 what you would earn,

Ben may well correct me now, but i think the souths success is because it has adapted quickly to the changes of our "developed" country, we are the global center for many Tertiary sector industries (insurance/banking) but the north seem to be clinging on to manufacturing for some strange reason, but im a lefty so i would say that,

Bristol is the bad because we have got house prices similar to the SE (generaly) but not the salaries to match, something will give in the end, and i think it will mean we have upto 100 year mortagues like they do in china etc where the family is tied in.

the latest thing to do for 1st time buyers to do is buy a boat to live on and gain some equity and one day have enough to buy a property,


but in the mean time i live at home and spunk all my money on my car and lash, fantastic!


  Shiny red R32

Ben, if you are looking to buy a property in or around Edinburgh, remember the offers over system! For the past two years to secure most properties, you have to offer at least 30% over the asking price and many properties have gone for double the asking price.

Some of the blame lies with the new Scottish Parliament and many companies relocating to Edinburgh, creating a huge demand for flats and houses.

A cottage about half a mile from me was advertised recently for offers over £280,000 and a friend of mine and her boyfriend, who is an accountant for Scottish & Newcastle put in an offer £100,000 over the asking price (£380,000) but the property sold for £420,000 - ridiculous!

As Lofty said, there isnt really much between the north and south now, unless you take in parts of the Manchester/Yorkshire/Lancashire areas where properties are dirt cheap and wouldnt even buy a garage in Edinburgh, where a few weeks ago a garage went for £70,000.


  Shiny red R32

Lofty, I am also from the prosperous south, as I am from deepest Somerset, which is a bit south of where you are from! Not too many Novas down that way, plenty of Impreza Turbos and Range Rovers though!

Well, theres still some hope in Edinburgh I reckon. I keep hearing that Edinburgh is second to London for house prices and it is expensive. But the really expensive places after London are Reading, Bristol, Bath and the like.

I park my car up a quiet cobbled street opposite Donaldsons School (deaf school). The houses there are like terraced stone cottages and really beautiful. Surprisingly, they fetch offers over £70k (lets say £100k). Thats well within my reach as a first time buyer, as opposed to Bristol where £100k buys a really nasty flat in a dodgy area.

Moreover, some of my friends at the Royal Bank are buying their own flats/houses as we speak. £50-£70k still gets you a respectable flat in a safe area around here. So I still think Edinburgh is cheap"er" for someone used to Bristol prices. Even Cardiff and Newport (!) are getting expensive now (commuters to Bristol).

The other major thing about Edinburgh is the fact that it has architectural character where Bristol and the like have tower blocks (in the city centre at least). So even if it seems boring and down market in Edinburgh, its damn fine by Slough standards!!