Making Sperm

January 22, 2017

One of the joys of educating in a home environment is the making of models. School had encouraged this anyway but with the ball firmly in our court, we can call some shots and have some fun. Read the rest of this entry »


A case of Claustrophobic Gearbox

June 8, 2016

This morning I had to rush over to the guys who fitted our front door for a replacement letterbox. The flap failed first thing this morning as the lads were getting off the school and with rain forecast I was intent on replacing it before getting in to work.

Tragically, my car had other ideas. Specifically, the gearbox developed a taste for the outdoors life and made a bid for freedom. A gentle pop signalled the failure of the housing and a rhythmic splurging noise the rapid exit of very warm and dirty oil. I didn’t know this at the time, I just recognised the sounds of something very very wrong. Read the rest of this entry »


MOT Success

May 10, 2016

As the Blues sing, Keep Right On (to the end of the road). And in my car, the next thing is indicate, turn and carry on into the wide world. Against all expectation it passed its MOT with flying colours yesterday, and I couldn’t be more relieved.

I have an outstanding issue with the alternator to fix up, but I can always save up to get that done next month. The car is certified and back on the road!

Many thanks to Stan Reynolds Garage Ltd who nursed my car through the test and sorted out the brake balance valve problem which failed it last week. I was really impressed with their work and will be returning there in future. It’s a family firm on Mill St, just over the railway from The Butts and about ten minutes stroll from the town centre. Perfect.

 


Shedding

May 8, 2016

When we moved into Aldridge over a decade ago, the shed in the garden was somewhat rundown. Unable to do much immediately, I simply tacked a tarpaulin over to make it watertight again and the following summer we laid down a new slabbed area for the replacement.

That slabbed area was, as luck would have it, eight by ten feet, even though the new shed was smaller. It’s served us well, but was beginning to show signs of decay and rodents. Read the rest of this entry »


Lights, Cambelt, Retest

May 5, 2016

Snatching satisfaction from the jaws of expense, I have tonight worked my way through the five items on the failure list from this morning’s MOT and fixed four of them myself. I have used WD40, a flat bladed screwdriver, more WD40, a 20p coin (retaining pegs on the fascia), a soldering iron, and lashings of WD40.

The offside fog lamp now works. The intermittent headlamp fault is no longer intermittent or faulty. The nearside brake light has a brand new soldered lead which looks horrible on the inside but at least lights the lamp effectively. And the windscreen washers finally live up to their name with enthusiasm.

2454.dat Read the rest of this entry »


Chip off the old block

December 12, 2015

This evening the Doorknobs played another charitable gig in aid of the Aldridge Church Centre building fund, and St James’ Church Mere Green.

My role in these affairs is basically to sit at the back of the band on piano, fulfilling the time-honoured position of chord monkey (assistant chord monkey if a guitarist is present) and filling in with blistering improvisation if there are gaps to fill. Read the rest of this entry »


Battling my Nemesis – The Alternator

November 23, 2015

This evening has seen the latest episode in the soap opera that is my serial ownership of cars. I’m not complaining about this car in particular, but generally my cars are great until they suddenly develop a fault that’s expensive or going to seriously increase the running costs and I have to find a new one.

This car is different. I have enjoyed running issues with the electrics, from a brake light cable that simply won’t play the game through to an alternator rewind last summer which was totally spurious when it turned out the accessories belt wasn’t at the right angle to enage it in the first place.

So imagine my deep joy and delight when this evening the car finally gave up the will to start and left me stranded more or less on my own driveway without the means to get it going again.

I could have jump started it if I’d had anything to jump off. Jumping off things seemed like an attractive solution about thirty seconds after the final failed attempt to start the infernal machine.

With some support from my beloved father, and more importantly with the help of his trickle charger, we are adding juice to the battery as I write, a charge transfusion which I hope will revolutionise the performance of the car tomorrow and give me a few more weeks in which to find either a new battery or a fresh alternator belt. Because a fresh alternator would cost serious money, which I’m fresh out of.

Maybe if I can scrape together £99 a month I can go and get me a little Pug to run arounud in, because at the moment my big cat is well and truly in the doghouse.