Richard's Retirement Blog

Home again

April/May 2011

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I've been back a week and a day. Accounts, chores. Some pleasant bike rides. Catch up with friends, and correspondence.

Car trouble

On Wednesday (today is Friday 4th May) I took the car to the garage. Main reason, a warning light: TRANSMISSION SERVICE NEEDED. Whilst they had it, a couple of minor jobs, and a question - why are the brakes squeaking? The transmission bit, which I was concerned about, turned out to be something and nothing. The squeaky brake, where I was expecting new pads at worst, was a seized caliper (RNS), with collateral damage. One new caliper + two new discs + new pads = ouch. Add two new front tyres, and tracking checked and adjusted, and it all comes to

LOUD OUCH!

20% VAT doesn't help, of course.

Saturday 7th May: A new toy

Today I bought myself a new toy. It's going to reduce wear and tear on the car, and be so much cheaper to run, and more convenient for many of the local journeys that are just too far/too slow by assisted bicycle. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

And it's true that, over time, the thing will more-or-less pay for itself. But that isn't the real reason, of course. Shhh, it's a secret. I want one. For fun. And why shouldn't I?

  • Honda SCV Lead 100
  • 102 cc
  • 6 bhp
  • 1 previous owner
  • 395 miles recorded
    and probably genuine!
  • Around 90 mpg

Of course, I arranged to collect the scooter on what turned out to be the first wet day in about six weeks. Typical. In the past, I got well soaked taking a Tiger 90 home, and nearly dropped a Diversion 600 on ice. It always happens to me. (Hyperbole, statistically unreliable sample, special pleading - I'm learning to argue like a politician. Is that good?)

She'll be safely locked up when I'm touring.

Mon 9th May: more little problems

For the last few days, every four hours or so, the caravan main water pump has cut in for a few seconds - Prrrrrrrrrrp!. That's about half a cup of water. Where's it going? No dripping taps ... I started checking the pipework. Eventually I took the expanded-polystyrene cover off the water heater. That cover had been pressing on a split adaptor, holding it more-or-less in place. I got an eyeful, literally and figuratively.

As soon as I started to remove the adaptor, it broke completely. Getting the threaded section out of the cast aluminium of the boiler housing involved the use of a hammer, a spanner, and the abuse of a 12mm wood augur, which is probably thoroughly blunted now. And when it came out, it looked like this:

Perhaps a new one was necessary? Perhaps a new part for a 23-year-old unit might be horribly hard to obtain! But no - this unit was replaced twelve years ago, and although now obsolete, I got the necessary replacement at the first shop I tried. Some you win - I do know that not all parts are so easy to come by.

Wednesday, 18th May

For over a week I've added nothing. Not that I've been doing nothing, but the minutiae of setting up lighting for a show and doing various small maintenance chores aren't very interesting, let alone photogenic. I did get a visit to the Museum of Iron; and I made a plan to walk the Coalbrookdale water courses, but didn't get round to doing it, so that's to come later. And on a ride today, I got a couple of good shots of ironbridge Power Station, taken from Coalmoor Lane.

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