Tuesday 31 August 2021

Is it a Car? Is it a Van? Is it a Pile of Shit?

 Too many people think that their cars are - and ever will be - just as they are sitting on the driveway. I prefer to see them as a collection of parts, some harder to remove than others, some more essential than others.

My sportscar for example has a luggage rack that can be fitted or removed as the need arises. It also has a windscreen and wipers, but if the weather is good and you want better straight line speed, they can be removed. I have recently put some effort into making it easier to deal with the electrical connections when you take the windscreen on and off.

I am now also the _proud_ owner of a Fiat Panda. While it is eminently suitable for driving my elderly mother around in it hasn't got enough interior space to either take a p.a. to a gig or take a broken up shed to the tip. In order to reconfigure it as a goods vehicle I have got pretty good at taking the seats out (except the driver's seat - that's on the minimum equipment list) and I am currently making a ply liner for the area where the rear seat usually goes.

Richard "Jury Rigged Van" B

Monday 23 August 2021

White Knight

 This weekend I was an incompetent white knight to a couple of strangers.

I was walking in the rain on a mission to towers-of-hanoi my car back to my house when I came across a couple of young women with a broken down car/van/people-carrier thing. One of them was talking earnestly on the phone, the other told me that the battery was flat and that they needed to bump start it. It couldn't have been easier, the vehicle was pointing down hill and there was just about enough room to get it out of its space (if you were strong). As neither of them were confident to start it I jumped in and did it for them. I then did an inexpert three point turn to bring the vehicle back to them and STALLED IT while it was pointing up hill. I'm glad to say that it JUST started on the starter motor, but I lost my nerve. I left it running, not really parked, and not that close to where they were standing, wished them good luck and walked quickly away – to pick up a vehicle that I had left somewhere the previous day when I used it to get somewhere to go drinking.

Richard "Is a long way from home" B

Wildlife 2

 The local wildlife are still trying to confuse and humiliate me. On Sunday morning I was on my doorstep smoking a cigarette and a squirrel ran past me into my house. I quickly put the cigarette out to go and usher it away. 


I'm usually delighted that house martins nest near my house, but when I went back outside to clear up the smoking detritus one of them shat in my hair.

Richard "It's good luck" B

Friday 6 August 2021

Grab Defeat from the Jaws of Defeat

 I'm very pleased that house martins visit the area where I live each summer. There's very little that you can do to encourage these birds (other than not knocking their nests down) because the only thing that they'll eat is live flying insects that they catch. They spend absolutely all day flying around hunting insects.

Last week I rescued a daddy longlegs from my bedroom. I don't know how it had got in there, but it was too stupid to get out. It was flying clumsily about, bumping in to things and couldn't understand that I had opened the window for it to leave. After chasing it and wafting it around with a piece of paper I eventually managed to get it to fly out of the window. The rescue was less successful than I hoped, within a second of it getting outside a house martin flew vertically downward at enormous speed and ate it.

Richard "Bird Feeder" B