30 April 2009

Why Can't You Fix My Car?

Once upon a time, a very long time ago.

The back end of the exhaust pipe was falling off the car so we took it into a well known high street enterprise that claims to deal with stuff like that quite promptly – it’s name is synonymous with popping out for a petit mal during your coffee break – you know who I mean.

‘Ah yes, the back end of your exhaust needs replacing’
‘OK, how long?’
‘Couple of hours’

Job done 2 hours later. 3 hours later take the car back.

‘It still rattles’
‘Ooo, that’ll be your catalytic converter’
‘how long?’
‘If we order the part today should be done by tomorrow afternoon’
*eybrow raise* -

Next day - *phone rings*

'They sent the part but it doesn't look right'
'You mean it's the wrong one?'
'Yeah, we'll order another one'
'How long?'
'Another day'

Next day -*phone rings*

'We got the other part but it still doesn't look right so we rang the dealers and they say it's part no 1620041 we need but our suppliers don't have it and they can't get it but we could order one direct from Vauxhall dealer but we'll have to put a mark up on the price and if it's the wrong one they won't take it back.'

'So what do we do?'

'You'd be better off going direct to a Vauxhall dealer then if they get the wrong part its down to them but 1620041 is definitely the part you need'.

*takes car to vauxhall dealer*

'can you fix this?'
'yes, but we haven't got the part but we can order one'
'how long'
'two, maybe three Days'
'£330 + tax' - *faints*
'can't you do it cheaper?'

*takes bike out of boot and cycles miles home*

Six days later *phone rings*

'cars ready'

*takes bike out of shed - cycles miles to garage*

'all done' *pays a small bleedin fortune over*

*puts bike in boot and drives home*

*warning light on dashboard lights up and stays lit*

*groans musically*

25 April 2009

Great Eggspectations

Sometimes life does not pan out quite how you expect. You knew that, right?

More later then. and thanks Cannucks.

18 April 2009


This mog likes to sun herself at the bottom of my garden. Normally I move them on because I am not a cat person, sorry cat people, but I'm just not. There are gazillions of them in the neighborhood and too many of them like to use our garden as a latrine. They should all be curried IMHO. But on this occasion I was a softy and just left her there enjoying her laze in the sun.

15 April 2009

Ducks on Wheels

Today was fun.

We had a menagerie of kids down on the plot enjoying themselves so I didn't get much work done: just spent some quality time with chickens and children. What the hell, I'm on holiday. I think I will just let the pictures tell the story - but notice our broody hen Olive. Can't wait to see what hatches!


There is light at the end of the tunnel.

There is also light at the other end.

Before the advent of the diesel engine, the way they got through the tunnels was to lie on your back on top of the boat and use your legs to push yourself through. This will account for the large amounts of small change to be found in the silt at the bottom. For some reason it was impossible to get the horse to lie on its back to perform the same service.

We were having a moan about the weed wrapped around our propeller when our neighbour at the water point told me he had had a whole carpet wrapped round his which damaged the prop shaft and cost him £800 in repair bills. Made me momentarily pleased that I don't own a boat, though in reality I would like the freedom to go anywhere anywhen that ownership would grant.

On the Caldon canal on the way up to Leek you have to raise a number of lifting bridges; two of them are manual and one in Stoke is electric for
which you need the appropriate key which we discovered we had lost on the way back. So we moored up next to a metal casting factory alongside tanks of liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon and waited for a boat to pass that never came. Well, it was the end of the day anyway so we just made dinner and went to bed. In the morning we had breakfast and waited for another boat which still didn't come. By 9.30 we gave up and rang the British Waterways Board office and pleaded insanity. They sent a very very nice man along with a key who released us from our imprisonment alongside the tanks of liquid gas.

When we got back to Stone we found the Phyllis May. A very very famous boat in Canal boating circles. It's owner, Terry Darlington, has taken this boat on completely barmy journeys across the English channel and all the way down through France to Carcassonne and also down the Eastern seaboard of the USA all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Those of you know a bit about how these boats are built and how they sit in the water and handle will immediately recognise that this is a completely insane thing to do. Of both these escapades, Terry has written delightfully funny accounts and I can heartily reccommend Narrow Dog To Carcassonne to you for a wonderfully entertaining read.

Or have a gander at Terry's website where you can see pictures of this insanity and wonder how Jim does that thing he does with his ears.

I'm a little surprised the frog on Terry's tiller did not jump off a long time ago. Guess his arse is just welded down. Poor chap. We thought we would ask to borrow Phyllis to do Niagra Falls! You never know.

05 April 2009


The only rational thing to do in a mad mad mad mad mad world is to plant potatoes.

These are Maris Piper and may their tubers tubusculate tubulescently.