Ultimate Hide and Seek (IN CARS!!!) Lisburn

Take back the city for yourself tonight, I’ll take back the city for me.

When I was a young boy my mother used to say to me ‘grow up!’ her father always retorted with ‘Don’t be silly, boys never grow up, they just get more expensive toys’

On this basis I wanted to see if we could take the simple childhood game of Hide and Seek and make it expensive and that is exactly what was acheived ! Read the rest of this entry »


Can a change of fuel make that much of a difference ?

You might remember at the beginning of the year I had all that trouble with my trusty vRS.

Well it is all beginning to worry me slightly, not about the car but about the fuel I was putting into it (and the car a bit too).  You see around 3 weeks before Skodagate, my company changed my fuel suppliers from Maxol Ireland to Direct Fuels UK.  Direct Fuels do not have any actual stations however are more of a network of affiliated garages.

I had been using Maxol in Moira ever since I bought the vRS but as Maxol was not on the Direct Fuels approved list, I switched to the BP garage on the Glenavy Road, just off the Moira road roundabout.  3 weeks later my car was getting pulled into the garage for a major overhaul of broken parts.  At the time I was asked had I put any dodgy fuel into the car, I told them I used BP and they (Skoda) seemed to accept that and rulled a fuel issue out of the equation. Read the rest of this entry »

It's time to talk about rental cars

I have been holding off writing this for quite some time, partly because I was so fuming with rage, partly because I was waiting to see how it played out and partly because it take’s more time than one might realise to write these things.

That said, the dust has settled and my boiling blood has reduced to a low simmer so here goes………

In February.  I along with my fellow Network Scouters embarked on another Top Gear Adventure.  This time the plan was to race from Edinburgh Castle to Buckingham Palace.  Car vs Public Transport.  The date and time was set, as was the accommodation now it was just time to figure out how to get our vehicle from Northern Ireland to the UK Mainland for the race and back again after-wards.  Scouts being Scouts, we always try to go for the most cost effective solution after all we do favor sleeping in tents rather than the ritz !  So it was clear from the outset than renting a car was going to work out much cheaper than booking a ferry. * Read the rest of this entry »

24 hours as a Porsche driver

I had the great pleasure over Friday and Saturday of driving and owning (for 24 hours) the new 2010 Porsche Boxster, kindly lend to me by the good people of Porsche Centre Belfast.  I have been a fan of Porsche since a boy and whilst all my pals had dreams of winning the lottery and buying up Ferrari’s, Lambos and Astons, my eye was always on a Porsche, and not as a lottery winners car either, I wanted one for an every day car.

I have driven a few other the years and been taken out in others, every week I look at 924s and 944’s in the paper and think, wouldn’t that be a great weekender………… alas I never end up buying one. Read the rest of this entry »

The People's Manifesto – an attack on 4×4 drivers !

Alan in Belfast talks about Mark Thomas new book, the People’s Manifesto.  Its a good post, read it.  The book looks good to, like a common sense approach to politics.

I just want to pull a few points from the book though,

“4×4 drivers should be forced to drive everywhere off-road, even to Sainsburys.”

That would sadly be illegal, most of the land (over 80% in Northern Ireland) is owned farmland and as such driving across it is trespassing.

“Anyone with a 4×4 in a city must also volunteer for the nearest mountain rescue service.”

On the UK Mainland their is such a thing as ‘The 4×4 response team’ which is a voluntary organisation and they do great work.  Sadly in Northern Ireland this does not exist and no one I spoke to in local council seemed overly bother about setting one up.

I am off course, picking holes.  I am for the 4×4 driver !  The correct 4×4 driver that is, I don’t have a 4×4 at present however when I did own one, I drove it off road.  I stopped to pull fallen tree’s from the road and I pulled car’s from ditches.  4x4s are not a bad thing however the large % of 4x4s on our roads are nothing more than cars ferrying kids to school and mums to shops and these people do not know how to drive a 4×4 correctly !

I will buy a 4×4 again and I will take it off road ! (legally)

Rant over


Skoda – We manufacture happy drivers, but do your dealers ?

Maybe so but the main issue is that Skoda after building the car, then go and put their trust in their dealer network to stay true to the brand.

In April of 2009 I purchased a November registered 2006 Octavia vRS from Mervyn Stewart (MS) / Skoda in Belfast.  I love(ed) it, I had been searching for a car for work, parenting and scouting for some time and it ticked all the boxes, whilst not being too common and still a bit cool.  One of my biggest concerns with buying a used or ‘pre enjoyed’ car (in particular a Skoda), was the warranty as my father had had serious problems a number of years ago with the computer on his Octavia.

The dealer ‘ Richard’, in fact the ‘Manager’ said, “The warranty is up on that car in Nov 2009 and we will extend it by 2 further years” . Happy days !  Or so I thought until Saturday 9th January.  When I was driving down the motorway, all power was lost and the car came to a stop and would not re start.

The following timeline then occured

Sat 9th Jan :

Car looses all power on the motorway.  I call Skoda assist who tell me, ‘this car is out of warranty, call someone else’  After some explaining to them that the dealer extended the warranty they sent out the RAC who pulled in the computer which showed there was a fuel injector fault.  He could not fix it so he suggested he would tow me into Skoda Belfast (Mervyn Stewart or MS as we will now call them). Read the rest of this entry »

What a weeks its been ……. for the McQuillans and for Politics

I have had loads of stuff I wanted to talk about on russellmcquillan.com this week however I have been so busy I have not had a chance to open the laptop and think about writing something, so most of my thoughts have been pushed out on twitter.

Anyway, I though I would just grab a moment to put the week down on paper (so to speak) and what a week it has been ! – not only but for Northern Ireland politics and in the McQuillan household’s.

Read the rest of this entry »