Monday, July 17, 2006

What's all that about, then?

For those of you who wonder where I've been these last few days, I simply couldn't be bothered posting. Or looking at the internet at all, for that matter. I went through a minor patch of ennui where everything was just too much effort and nothing seemed to work properly. My writing output for last week was pathetic, culminating in a mere 886 words on Friday. I did manage to do all the code-monkey work for a new website I'm developing, but as that's not a paying gig, it was a somewhat hollow achievement.

Friday was always going to be a write off. JulieD was due her annual health-check and I'd booked her in for one O'clock. I spent the morning giving her the once over, and only then did I notice the parlous state of her propshaft front coupling, or doughnut as it's known in the trade. Large split showing = instant MOT failure. Not good for driving safety either.

A quick call to the nice man with the parts, and another to cancel the MOT Test meant that I could do some writing in the afternoon, hence those 886 words, but then the Horse Doctor said she wanted to go to the pub after work - and I didn't take much persuading.

The new doughnut arrived in the post on Saturday morning, to my surprise and delight. I'm not often impressed by the Royal Mail, but they did the business this time. Saturday was one mammoth tinkering session.

First the propshaft had to come out - something it was reluctant to do having been in place for something over fifteen years. It finally gave up that particular battle, the old doughnut falling in half as I removed it. I'm just glad it didn't decide to do that on the M6 at seventy miles an hour. Close inspection reveals that it was probably illegal the last time an MOT Test was carried out. These things are supposed to be scripted - check a, b, c and d. Go figure.

The battle wasn't over, not by a long chalk (and just where does that expression come from? I'm going to have to investigate). The propshaft centre bearing was fucked - that's the correct technical term, I believe. So I had to remove it and replace it with the new one I had fortuitously ordered along with the doughnut. Cue much swearing and cussing, hammering and sore thumbs. Finesse, applied with a brazing torch, was the final answer. I had everything back together again at midnight.

I had learnt, in the course of an enjoyable Friday evening at the pub, that Sunday was the Aberaeron Fish Festival. So to mark this joyous occasion, and my success of the previous night, the Horse Doctor and I drove over there in JulieD - mobile phone clutched in nervous fingers all the while, should rescuing be required. As it happened, nothing happened. We bought lobster - sadly pre-cooked as I prefer them still alive - and a couple of brown crabs. Then home again for lunch.

It being the hottest day of the year so far, the Horse Doctor then decided the afternoon's entertainment would be clipping the hedge. I set about our sixty odd feet of privet with gusto and a chainsaw. I may have got a bit carried away...

all is suddenly clear

This used to be about five foot wide and at least ten feet tall. Green and leafy too. We'd been planning on taking it out for a while - it's a haven for all the nasty bitey flying insects that make life such a misery around here after seven in the evening (and often earlier), and it's been slowly widening on the garden side ever since we moved in. There's still a lot of work to do - but not next weekend since I'll be in Harrogate. The stumps all need to be grubbed up, the fence rebuilt and something nice put in the new space. A gazebo perhaps, and some apple trees.

We had lobster thermidor for supper, slightly later than usual thanks to getting carried away with the hedge trimming. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe is a cracker - served with some lovely charlotte potatoes and freshly picked peas from the garden - oh the good life!

So that's where I've been since last I was here. If you dropped by in search of wit and wisdom, then I'm sorry you had to put up with that arresting green man photograph for so long.

Now all I need to do is come up with a sheep of the week. Suggestions, anyone?


Blogger jimWarmke said...

Sheep of the week. May I suggest the Florida Native AKA Gulf Coast Native.

Not something you'll see in Wales I'm guessing but I have several here in Florida.

A link:

July 17, 2006 7:37 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

Thanks, Jim. Florida Native it shall be.

July 17, 2006 7:56 pm  

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