Saturday, 24 April 2010

What a lovely day!

Today was one of those Lou Reed type of days: nothing especial planned, expectations raised, or large sums of money spent on elusive 'fun'. But it was still a 'Perfect Day'.

Jackie had noticed that Cheffins had a big auction of Agricultural by-gones at Sutton near Ely. She thought it looked quite interesting and did I want to go?

An enormous field full of everything from steam traction engines, vintage tractors, classic cars, classic bikes, ephemera, tools, odds and ends and downright junk?

Would I like to go?......

Does The Pontiff express an interest in Catholicism?

Do ursines seek a comfort break in The Woods?!!!!!!!

God surely smiled upon me the day I met Jackie.

So this a.m. we trundled off to the auction. Should have taken a camera! Some of the old tractors were so pretty!

(Can you envisage a 'pretty' tractor? No? Well, you have no soul then, is all I can say).

The traction engines were superb too, though I think at £75,000- £220,000, Mrs Witts's little boy will have to get more than a paper round to afford one.....

I especially liked a huge generating set dating from the 1920's. It featured an enormous three cylinder Lister engine driving a beautiful and huge alternator. The all-up weight must have been coasting near to the three to four ton mark, but goodness me, what a boat engine that would have made.....!

I wish James Duck had been there to buy it, although for his continuing good health and welfare, (and Amy's sanity), it's probably just as well he wasn't........

We footled around the auction all morning, fortified by bacon and egg butties and good coffee. (Cheffins seem to have this whole thing sussed!)

Despite a very forlorn looking 1930's restoration-project tractor giving me 'please take me home' looks, we emerged from the auction-fields sans purchase. (Good job really: the bank account is still reeling from the double whammy of mooring fee and EA licence.)

However, Jackie wanted to show me a shop she had found in Ely. "Peeks", to be precise. Here I parted with some cash for a pair of Armoured Wellies (steel toe-caps:ideal for working on the wood-pile), a pair of 'Indestructible Socks' (we'll see about that....) and a Proper Job log splitting maul.

My kind of shop......

Then, after a quick stop at the supermarket, we called in at Emmaus on the way home.

Well, it would have been rude not to, really, especially as they had one of their periodic '50% off' sales on.

We bought an oak single drawer filing cabinet for The Spare Room Project (more of which another time) for a very reasonable £15. Result!

Back at the mooring, our landlord had very kindly fixed both of our bikes! Mine needed the rear wheel re-spoking, the brakes adjusting, saddle and controls adjusting, and a thorough lube. Jackie's needed two new tyres, a new inner tube, and a replacement gear. After major thanks were expressed, Jackie pedalled off to Cambridge with Andreas and Lou from nb Rowanberry to visit Majestic Wine for a 2 hour Tasting Session.

I am a wine drinker, not a wine connoiseur, and the idea of spending two hours in the company of trainee Jilly Gooldens all waxing lyrical about 'accents of Turpentine and raspberries with an interesting hint of Tarmac in the finish' fills me with a nameless dread.

So I stayed at home and got on with the job of restoring the mahogany box I bought from Emmaus a week or so ago. I got out the Bosch heat gun, a couple of shave hooks and a cabinet scraper, and whiled away the rest of the afternoon removing the tarry black and red paint. It is a long way from finished, but is already looking good. I made a start on the oak cabinet before Les Vigneronnes wobbled back home, so all is set fair for completion tomorrow.

Such a Perfect Day!

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