Thursday 23 May 2019

All geared up for the Mini 'Electric Picnic'; blocking phones in car; cash is king for young

The Mini International Festival takes place soon
The Mini International Festival takes place soon

It is described as a 'Mini' Electric Picnic. And this year there will be 3,000 fans and 1,200 Minis from all over the world at the 2017 Mini International Festival.

The festival (from May 25 until May 28) will be held at Westport House. And the organisers are inviting you to join the fun.

As well as seeing old and new Minis in the metal, you can take part in a Mini treasure hunt along the Wild Atlantic Way, A Puc Fada competition, Mini owners Club Olympic Games and slalom races etc.

And, of course, there will be awards for the best examples of car on show.

Guests of honour include motor racing legends Mervyn Johnson and Paddy Hopkirk, who won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in a classic Mini.

The event is being organised by the Irish Mini Owners Club. Weekend tickets are priced at €95 (includes camping). Tickets can be obtained on the IMM 2017 website.

The International Mini Meeting (IMM) is one of the highlights of the calendar year for clubs.

I'd love to be there, but motoring business dictates I will be out of the country. I would really love to have gone. Don't miss what looks like being a wonderful few days. Hope the weather is good. I'll keep you posted on updates (of the Mini gig, not the weather).

* I know I'm a tad late with this, but it's worth mentioning that Nissan have come up with a clever way of keeping you and your phone apart when driving.

Its Signal Shield blocks cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth signals from your phone while you're at the wheel.

Basically, the central armrest in the car is lined with a Faraday cage. This collects electromagnetic signals, including those coming from phone calls or mobile internet activity, and stops them reaching the phone inside.

No music? Yes there is. You can still wire the device from inside the armrest if you want because a USB connection will transmit music to the audio system - distraction free.

For now, it's only a concept. Here's hoping it becomes reality.

* Cash is king for a lot of young people, according to a Skoda study. Nearly a quarter (24pc) say money makes them happiest in life. That's the case with only 9pc of those 60-plus. Three times as many young people say material possessions lead to a happy life.

The research coincides with Skoda's launch of its 'Alternative Rich List', which highlights how people "are rich in ways other than monetary wealth".Significantly, both young and mature wish they'd spent more time with loved ones.

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