Tuesday 28 March 2017


I apologise to those of you that this won't interest, but it is spring and time to get my late father's motor-mower running.
http://www.bolingblog.com/2012/02/eulogy.html (3rd paragraph)

I could tell you that it started first pull and I wouldn't quite be lying. Admittedly I'm counting the "first pull" as the first pull with the ignition on. It came after a complex de-winterization process which included lubricating everything, cleaning the plug, mixing up fresh fuel, flooding the float chamber twice, and about a dozen priming pulls to get fuel and lubrication into the engine.

The motor is low on power, the blades aren't razor sharp and the grass was up round my ankles so I stalled it many times, but it did cut my mum's grass.

Richard "my late father's mower was too tall for the shelf so it stood 40 years on the floor" B

Tuesday 21 March 2017


It's easy to adopt jokes and slang even if you've never met the originator.

There's an elderly gent whom I've never met, but who was so charming when he tried to remember whether he had torn his rotator-cup or his rotator-cuff that my brother and his wife will now deliberately confuse "cup" and "cuff". I've picked it up without meaning to and will offer people a cuff of tea and fasten my formal shirts with cup-links.

Another friend of mine works in an engineering facility which disposes of large quantities of waste packing materials. One of his colleagues breeds pedigree cats and was liberating scrap cardboard to make nests for a pregnant queen. Now neither my friend nor I can call repurposed cardboard anything other than "cat-cardboard" and I even have a favourite piece of cat-cardboard on the pad of my trolley jack.

My sister is moving house and at the weekend I moved an enormous number of cockroach-bags out of her loft. I don't even know what cockroach-bags are really called or where they come from, they're large square bags with handles and a (usually broken) zip. They're made from a sturdy woven plastic sheet, often chequered in faded blue and white. You normally see them in proximity to dust, bedlinen or old ladies. They are named for the fact that, according to my sister, the only things that will survive the nuclear holocaust are cockroaches, those bags and Keith Richards.

Richard "cuff? cup? cup? cuff?" B

Friday 10 March 2017

Removable Caterham Luggage Rack

This is the luggage rack that I have built for my Caterham. It's made of aluminium and oak. Unlike the rack that you get from Caterham it can be removed from the car easily, and you don't have to drill through the bodywork to fit it.

I'm particularly proud of the retainer that holds the plug (to power the number plate illumination) because AMP connectors don't send people like me the specs and drawings so I worked out what was needed with feeler gauges and probes.

You can see the brackets and dowels that fit into the mounting bosses on the rear chassis tube. The brackets are bent up from steel angle, the dowel is the cut-down shank of an M8 bolt. You can also see that I had to use massive gussets and a capping piece on the main spar because I choose too light a gauge of box section.

The box section, angle and timber came from a local DIY shop. The rivets and gussets were from Screwfix. The only stuff I had to order was the number plate light, the connectors and cable, and the plate that supports the uprights.

If anybody wants the design or wants me to make another one, then leave a message in the comments.

Richard "Caterham Touring Parts Supply" B

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Fear is for others

I know I'm late to this party, but I'm absolutely loving "Archer" the animated comedy spy drama. Archer's four biggest fears are alligators, crocodiles, brain aneurysms (it's the silent killer) and brain embolisms (easily confused with number three).

By comparison my biggest fears are much more pedestrian and inconvenient: Spiders, door handles  and cheese graters.

Spiders is an irrational fear, it serves no purpose, makes me look like a wimp and sometimes renders large areas of my own house inaccessible. Cheese graters makes much more sense, it's so easy to cut the end of all the fingers on your right hand when you're using one.

I find it hard to believe that no one else is frightened of door handles, I would have thought that by now the health and safety oppressors would have removed and outlawed them. It's like every house and office is decorated with unsheathed navel-height harpoons. Am I really the only person who has tripped through an open door and got my wrist caught between the door and the handle? You can't put your hand out to save yourself so your weight and momentum are applied in equal measure towards breaking your wrist and dashing your body against whatever you fall on (in my case the sharp corner of a cast iron bedstead). I severely sprained my wrist, the bedstead hit me in the chest and broke a rib – I was actually lucky to live.

So you've got door knobs in your house? Well no, all the doors are drilled too close to the jamb to fit knobs and changing all the doors would cost real money.

Richard "Do something every day that scares you" B