Thursday, 24 October 2013

Sly old Skylon

SLEEP DEPRIVATION may be a form on mental cruelty for some, but having survived in the dark for what seemed like well over two days, with only the comfort of my new staff to keep my dander up. I was of course delighted, if not blinded, when the below deck safety door was finally opened.
Now our captors may have been sporting the latest in trainer wear, along with Adidas sports bags full of ammo, but their madness for action may well be our escape opportunity and once the girls wowed them with their charms, I was able to deduce this and arrange a meeting with the groups leader, gamely known as El Patron.

Now I am never a man to pass up meetings of the mind with any leader, or head of a party, if only because they always tend to have an interesting cellar, in this case a pirate ship, crammed with clothing booty, and whatever prizes they have nabbed from their ocean sojourns.

The girls were left sun bathing on the top desk, with a throng of onlookers more like a football crowd cheering and bawling their every turn to capture some more sun.

I, guns by my side and my final two esplendidos firmly clutched in my mitts, was escorted to El Patron's quarters and what a palatial palace it was, at least compared to the shit pit that was the rest of the boat.

A fine wood panelled room, with a few garish gold trinkets, greeted me plus a gold front toothed Christopher Lee type character, who spoke in a soft Russian tone.
Was it Beckman again?
As my attempt at a blow up doll joke falls flat, I presume it wasn’t my one time KGB friend and I begin asking his views on clothes.

With an obvious liking for higher end garments, El Patron mentioned his liking for Gloverall, CP Company and Barbour, of which there are some superb offerings available including the X Royal Enfield Northpass jacket and the delicious Anniversary check classic from Gloverall.

The now cigar chugging captain talked through the fineries of these labels, but your friend Old Skylon deduced why my host is a bandit of the seaways and nothing better, when he used his Zippo lighter to light his cigar.
There really is no excuse for that.

Flopping a pair of well-healed Trickers on his desk, El Patron then began to spill his heart out about the loneliness of being at sea with a boat full of men etcetera rocking backwards in his captain’s chair and looking balefully to the ceiling, before Clouseau style falling backwards to the floor.

I began to fear the once hardened sea dog was about to break into tears or worse song, before I cut in and suggested a way of lifting team morale, having spied the extensive ‘globe’ drinks bar sitting half opened in the corner.

A cocktail making day was arranged with the girls showing their now well-honed drink making skills.
I had sprung our escape plan without any hassle and our captors would unwittingly be providing the poison, which would become our ticket to freedom.

I’ll drink to that …

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Canada Goose, camera, action ...

IT’S NOT often that you can get to relive one of your favourite films, but my staff here at Cohiba HQ, Habanos SA have indulged me in my flight of fancy to reenact scenes from the 1982 John Carpenter horror masterpiece The Thing.

Having agreed to ignore the rising temperatures and also to not vomit as I throw buckets of blood and intestine at them, well you have to be realistic, my staff knew I was on to something real when I unpacked a large quantity of the amazing Canada Goose winter jacket range.

Admittedly it did take a large leap of imagination on their part as I ran around the offices pretending to be MacReady, Kurt Russell’s character, but once the coats arrived it all became clear.

I am presuming that many of you know what I am talking about when I mention this iconic 80s flick, which sees a team of US scientists trapped in an Antarctic research unit and then have to battle an alien form which assimilates them and threatens to wipe out the unit, but also the planet.

Any fan of the film will know the memorable closing scene, which I am acting out on the roof, downing a bottle of scotch having plumped for the Citadel parka in tan, it also comes in black, and with fur trimmed hood and four front pockets.

To begin to reveal the technology that has gone into making the ‘ultimate’ parka would take a life time, suffice to say; ‘hell would have to freeze over’ before you got cold in this thigh length thermal wonder.
Complete with storm flap and chin guard, I could seriously sleep in this thing.

Of the longer jackets in the range, the Chateau, that comes in graphite or navy, is a parka style with side pockets, five large button front, with all the requisite hardwear built in to battle any drop in temperature.

The Chateau is a mid-length version, which is not as fully heavy duty as the Citadel, but it is definitely all here. It also comes in navy.
There are two bomber jackets, ideal for my helicopter scene replays, complete with fur-trimmed hood.

The oddly named Chilliwack jacket has two flap front pockets and is a regular fit rather than slim. With a longer back cut to help keep out unwanted back drafts.

The Freestyle Down vest completes the range and the sectioning gives it a hand grenade look.
This is again a lighter version of jacket, with regular insulation and side storage pockets.

The huge CG logo, which comes on the chest of the Freestyle and the Citadel is a nice touch, I am liking the fact that it doesn’t come on all the jackets, as it works especially well for me in different scenes.

I think I have been doing this for too long, I must retire to the roof again, before I start signing imaginary autographs.

Hasta la Victoria Siempre

For anyone wanting to check out the movie visit:

Friday, 11 October 2013

Faster than Usain Bolt

PICKING UP on the satellite broadcasts here in Cuba I have once again noticed that good old Blighty forefront, somewhere it has been in most things in the modern age from style to speed.

It is something the British can proudly boast a great history of pushing back the boundaries, and so it is with the amazing Bloodhound car, which will attempt to smash the land speed record in South Africa in 2015.

This piece of outrageous engineering, which uses a Typhoon Eurofighter engine to fire the fuel pump, if you don’t mind, will aim to reach speed of more than 1000mph and will be piloted by former fast jet pilot Wing Commander Andy Green.

The RAF man is a stalwart supporter of all things British, especially engineering wise, and this amazing craft, which is not short of some style of it’s own, carries on the proud tradition. And he can surely be the only man to boast that he is faster than Usain Bolt.

And precision and perfection are all going to be needed during the run across the 12-mile dry riverbed if Green is to beat his current record of 763mph he set in 1997.

So what other Brit kit could be said to stand out from the crowd when it comes to coutiƩre?
Well it seems simple for The Colonel to answer that a pair Church shoes.

Then again you could also suggest Crombie, both ooze class, as does the Bloodhound.

In these things alone it is true to say Brit kit rules OK.

Hasta la Victoria siempre

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Trainer pirates of the Med

GREAT GREAT Uncle Percival Noggin Tea Chest Skylon III was a nautical man and I clearly remember tales of his heroics alongside good old Horace, rum guzzling and doing the Queen’s duty across the globe, during cozy family fireside festive piss ups.

Noggs as he was affectionately known even removed a leg in some sort of drunken entente cordiale with Nelson, Britannia’s very own god of war.

But aside from the leg incident, which is believed to have happened as the French fleet came into view, leaving old Noggs with no other option than to board an enemy vessel and bludgeon all-comers with his swinging limb, he also won the copper used to line the bottom of Lord Collingwood’s ship during a drunken card game with the Dalai Lama himself.

So to wake as a crew of modern day pirates commandeered the Ivre filled me with a naval vim and vigour, obviously passed on by Noggs.

This motley crew of bandits were fairly OTT it must be said during our initial capture, even throwing the much loved parasol to the waves, but after some negotiations they allowed the staff, Bubbles and Bingo to dress themselves and also for myself to retain possession of the vital alcohol supplies before boarding.

Now for myself boarding a pirate ship wasn't a problem with my turned up Nudie Grim Tim Org jeans in tatters, iconic Liberty shirt sweat stained and my salt soaked Red Wings leaving much to be desired, especially after a nibble or two from the old Great White we named fang who had bothered us intermittently for most of the journey thus far, but that’s a story for another time.

As said I would not normally care about my attire when being taken captive, but our captors were sporting the latest Adidas and Nike footwear and I was suddenly struck with an interest as well as a streak of jealousy.

Once aboard it became apparent that our captors had either stumbled across a ‘coast-to-coast’ trainer salesman or had impeccable taste.

Flashing past yours truly’s eyes were all new styles and looks.
First to impress me, not only because I have a Kalaschnikov stuck in my face as I looked down at them, were the Tennis Court Top Forest shoe. Based on the Forest Hill, this new shoe is a great amalgamation of the original bumper shoe, with some nice suede and leather detailing, the sole, which is three colour, is very cool indeed.

Avoiding the butt of said Russian rifle, I noticed a pair of Adidas City Marathons bounding up some stairs ahead of me, coming in Bordeaux and Ink (navy) and part of the Originals range this has the look of comfort in a body built for speed, suede and webbing all over the place, with retro 80s styling, and a nice touch of the hidden pocket in the shoe’s tongue.

After placating the guys with a certain amount of flirtatious behaviour, which saw all of our remaining alcohol brought on board, the girls had also managed to nab a few pairs of trainers from our captors. 

Good work I say and while we donned our new trotters we began to plot our escape.

Bingo wore the Air Max 90 Essential which is one hell of a shoe, in white, blue and grey, with the iconic sole, this lace up wonder is the latest version of a shoe that was born in the 1970s.

Bubbles looked cool in the Air Max 1, which is about as sleek a trainers as you could possibly get.
The 25th anniversary of the original shoe, is like the Hummer of trainers, coming in black with a suede, leather and synthetic upper. 

You can see why these trainers not only fly off the shelves, but fly in any sporting arena they feature.

I was presented with the Pegasus 83, the low rider of trainers, sporting the iconic waffle sole and stunning silver swoosh completes the look of this black upper beauty.

The trotters are the last high point of the day as we are unceremoniously dumped into a holding area below deck, but the darkness is broken by Bubbles striking a match and Bingo producing a stashed Cohiba for good Old Skylon.

I will leave it to your imagination where she stashed said smoke, but I am glad to reveal that my new staff are really paying attention to detail and despite the lack of glasses, well where would they be stashed???? 

I will drink to that.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Oceans apart with CP and Smedley

A life on the ocean wave has many benefits so it seems, one not being a suspect in what I am presuming was completely failed raid on the local hospital by the Wild Bunch, but mainly sitting with large AH Hirsch Reserve bourbon’s and a nicely blazed Cohiba Esplendido while convincing Bubbles and Bingo that the parasol I had so cunningly lifted from a beach bar was not the best option for a sail, as opposed to their clothes.

The make shift wind catcher has now resulted in my new waiting staff bared down to their underwear and this fabulous view has softened the blow of the melting ice, which has somewhat dented our cocktail making abilities as we bob along on HMS Ivre Pour le Vie.

Now I had managed to put in a quick call to my old mucker The Colonel to inform him of the impending disaster on the Costa and my plan to cut and run, which got me thinking about the last chat we had regarding some new attire he was planning on donning.

The Colonel, has really taken to the Cuban lifestyle and was puffing away on a Cohiba IV as he chatted to me from his as unreleased Sunfast 3600 yacht in the delightful Havana harbour area of Vanuatu on a satellite phone, slugging large glasses of Hacienda La Capilla tequila, about his desire to purchase some of the latest AW offerings.

High on the agenda was of course the CP Company goggle jacket.

What a stunner this piece really is, with iconic removable goggle hood, white goose down, storm cuffs, this superbly padded coat is on of those Bucket List items, with zip and button through fixing.
I am also falling for the goggle beanie, which comes in either strawberry or navy and is just a lovely extension of the range.

My old chum was also aiming to pick up a Felpa green goggle fleece jacket which comes in extra slim fit, so he better lay off the rum a bit, branded button fixing with hooded goggles.
The CP Company range range is almost mythical and has been away far too long for mine and The Colonel’s liking, so to see it sport a return is cracking news.

 You can always rely on one of England’s finest, John Smedley, to provide some wardrobe warmers and the latest range of jumpers is nothing short of a delight.

The Wesley striped dusk pullover is a stunning rainbow of colours , with a Bretagne feel to it in 100% sea island cotton or the Heroes of Telemark style Trojan Fairisle which come in ruby or navy.
But the one hot-footing it’s way to our man in Havana is the roll neck striped indigo, which, if I was in a more advantageous position, would see me block it’s delivery, keeping it for myself.

This 100% wool delight sports orange and white bands across the chest and makes me talk in hushed tons when I refer to it.

There is a plain roll neck, although as with anything Smedley, plain is not really the correct term in navy or black.
Now I know Colonel is a man who likes to get outdoors, in some cases treading the footsteps of his hero Che Guevara, so the choice of Patagonia jackets makes perfect sense.

Having already selected his Puffer de jour, the Torrent Shell Stretch jacket is the next in line for outdoors manship. This hooded waterproof, two-colour way jacket has all the bells and whistles needed to launch any revolutionary hilltop campaign.

The stretch is the top of the range of coast, with the standard Torrent coming in four versions navy, green, grey and light blue, almost French in colour.

So with images of superb clothes meandering around my mind, and the girls doing a wonderful job massaging my feet, topless of course I will bid you adieu.

And I’ll drink to that, of course.