Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Work in progress............

There have been no posts for ages.

Much has been happening, but much of it mundane.

I did feel moved to rant about a certain national chain of car tyre suppliers, but went off the idea. There is quite enough ranting going on in the world, and my adding to it will only serve to further dampen the spirits of those who choose to read this nonsense.

(But I must beware, lest this turn into a rant against ranting.........)

A precis will suffice: The first place we tried in order to get a puncture fixed were rubbish: uncouth, loutish, and didn't fix the problem despite charging £20.00.

The next purveyor of car tyres for Suzuki Vitaras was recommended by our mechanic, Amato.

They were brilliant.

Kingsway Tyres 1 - The Other Lot 0

So you CAN get better than a Kwik Fit Fitter...........

Other news, and a possible source of the sort of rant that can end up in court: Pippin has been gearbox-less and thus immobilised.

This is rather more serious, and to avoid potential problems with the bunch of twisters to whom we entrusted the gearbox repairs, I am going to say little.

However, an important lesson learned: get EVERYTHING in writing BEFORE accepting a quote.

We were informed of overall costs by phone. The repairs were pricey, but still made sense as a new 'box would still be more. So we went ahead. Repairs complete, our man emails Jackie with a final price some £850.00 + VAT over and above his quote, the surcharge to cover fetching the box, it's removal, replacement and transport charges.

I do wonder what part of our repeated requests for "overall costs" he didn't understand.........

A series of increasingly formal (to the point of terse) emails followed.

The up-shot is Gearbox Man gets to keep our repaired 'box and we owe him nothing.

This is a much happier outcome than the one I had in mind, which would have involved an eye-watering insertion of the gearbox into an orifice that it's designers simply hadn't considered possible.........

But never fear, Pippin is not about to substitute her 'wb' status for that of 'pontoon'.....

We have been in touch with a very nice firm in Norwich who are agents for Newage PRM and will be delivering and installing a brand spanking NEW box very shortly. (For about £1100 less than the all-up cost of our repaired unit.....oh and it comes with a 12 month warranty.....)

So that's alright then.

Perhaps becuase of all this nonsense, plus the usual difficulties of work being a total pain in the arse &c &c, I have found myself Walking The Black Dog to The Long Dark Tea-Room of the Soul more than is healthy of late.

I found solace in a totally unexpected quarter: a book I found at Milton Tip.

(I was even going to pay for it, but the man in charge was having a big and expletive-driven row with the driver of a van who 'wasn't allowed in 'ere, mate'....)

So I (wisely, I felt), drifted back to the car, whistling nonchalently......

In short, I piked it.

And the volume in question? It is a 1927 edition of a work first published by Pitman as part of "The Artistic Crafts Series of Technical Handbooks" in 1906: 'Writing & Illuminating & Lettering' by Edward Johnston.

I will bore you all to distraction with why this interests me in another post, but to the point: between the editor's preface and the author's preface, I found the following quotation:

"We must set up the strong present tense against all the rumours of wrath, past or to come.

So many things are unsettled which it is of the first importance to settle,-and, pending their settlement, we will do as we do. . . .

Expediency of literature, reason of literature, lawfulness of writing down a thought, is questioned; much is to say on both sides, and, while the fight waxes hot, thou, dearest scholar, stick to thy foolish task, add a line every hour, and between whiles add a line.

Right to hold land, right of property is disputed, and the conventions convene, and before the vote is taken, dig away in your garden, and spend your earnings as a waif or godsend to all serene and beautiful purposes.

Life itself is a bubble and a scepticism, and a sleep within a sleep.

Grant it, and as much more as they will,-- but thou, God's darling! heed thy private dream: thou wilt not be missed in the scorning and scepticism: there are enough of them: stay there in thy closet, and toil, until the rest are agreed what to do about it.

Thy sickness, they say, and thy puny habit, require that though do this or avoid that, but know that thy life is a flitting state, a tent for a night, and do thou, sick or well, finish that stint.

Though art sick, but shalt not be worse, and the universe, which holds thee dear, shall be the better."