Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Cyclone? Anti-cyclone? Anti-climax......

By the time the storm winds had reached us up here in the fens, they were pretty well played-out.

Just as well, really, when you look at the lethal devastation in the storm's wake.

Precious lives lost........

Our hearts go out to all who were affected.

Yet it could have been so much worse.

Yes, after 1987, and Michael Fish, one could think the Met Office were playing this one up.

I don't think so.

We were warned.

People took precautions.

The fatalities seemed to be just Dumb Luck: a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When nothing happens, and there's no story, or something happens and the outcome is good, no-one thinks to say 'well done' to those who were involved, or thank them for the happy outcome.

There is a very big organisation in this country.

I work for it in my humble capacity as a hole-maker.

All we ever hear is the negative.

Never the good, positive stuff.

That's just 'You're doing your job, you get paid? What do you want? A pat on the back?'

Yes. The organisation I work for is not perfect.

But I will man the barricades to fight to the death to defend it.

And I cannot be friends with those who, in fear, anger, or rage at the dying of the light, heap opprobrium upon it.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

"Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks!........"

We've rigged relieving tackles on both fore and aft mooring posts, the better to spread the load (and avoid a repeat of Pippin's 26 tons pulling a concreted-in mooring post out of the saturated ground like a rotten tooth- see blog posts passim...).

There's another two pins, one inside the other, to reinforce the center line post.

And that's all we can do, other than wait.

Both cats are aboard and hatches have been battened.

A few months ago I posted this photo:

Having just returned from seeing Tom Hanks in "Captain Phillips", I am now inclined to disagree........

That said, as the wind blows, I hope you're all having a safe and good 'goodnight' on the water.........

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Playing Catch-Up v.1.0

There has been a dearth of blog posts during the month of October.

Time to put this right with and end-of-the-month flurry..............

Around 4th October, we were still having some fine weather.

I took the opportunity to do a few little jobs that I had forgotten/back-burnered/been avoiding.

First, our stainless steel chimney, which arrived late last autumn, finally gained it's coolie hat....... :

Our generator had started to look a bit shabby, so out came the power file, rust was rubbed down and a protective coat of CIP primer was applied:
 It seems I neglected to take any 'after' pictures. Suffice to say, it looks a lot better....... in an industrial red-oxide sort of way........

 I went out for a ride on my bike. I took the camera with me and managed a couple of shots of Mark and Sheena's boat, wb "Norwiegan Blue" (aka The Ex Parrot).

James and Amy then motored past on nb "Willow" and I took a good few pictures of them too.

I had spotted a pile of recently felled wood on the towpath. James and Amy moored up next to it and I helped manhandle some large chunks onto their boat's roof.

This is Albert, my 1950's Raleigh bike. (Ex-Constabulary, 28" wheels, Sturmey-Archer four speed gears, weighs a ton.....)

It was a beautiful autumn day and the light was amazing.

The next day, I went back to grab some wood for us. Again, the lovely autumnal light was showing the river and it's environs to the very best advantage:

I spent a happy, if rather sweaty, hour or so splitting some of the really big bits down to a more manageably transportable size with wedges, wood grenades (pointy wedges which split in a spiral), my splitting maul, and lots of John Heft. This was the resultant pile.

I then transported it upstream, through Baits Bite lock and on to the field where Mark and Sheena moor the Ex-Parrot, where it was off-loaded into Mark's wood pile.
Here it will lie, seasoning in the sun........ (There's an irritatingly saccharine song title in there somewhere.......)

It was a golden and beautiful trip back.

If you're bored by now with pictures of the Cam in this sort of light, then tough.......

It simply doesn't get better than this, and I for one and going to look back on these pictures during the long, grey, gloomy and dark  months to come and remember these golden days........

How fitting such a lovely day should end with a lapful of cat.......


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Habeas Corpus Alvis

Well, I bloomin' well ought to have 'a right to the body'!

It's newly painted and I've just written a whimperingly large cheque as the final instalment on it........

I suppose you'd like to see some pictures, then?




Yes, colour photography is now banned until The Big Reveal.

This will only take place when the car is fully finished, so get used to monochrome!........

The Big Reveal itself may involve theatre lights, smoke and a suitable soundtrack - Richard Strauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra" or something similarly understated.........

You can all amuse yourselves in the meantime by making educated guesses as to the chosen hue.

Car is being delivered to my friend Jane's in a neighbouring village the weekend after next. Her Triumph TR4 is being taken away to The Body Shop to have similar magic woven upon it. While this happens, the Alvis will be in the TR's garage.

All I have to do is hook the engine out, dismantle it, rebuild it, and put it back.

And do the same for the steering box, the brakes, and the suspension.

Oh, and re-wire it with the new loom I have ordered from Autosparks.

And have all the chrome re-done....... and fit it.

All in the time it takes Andy and Terry to do Jane's TR4...........

I am not feeling even remotely daunted by the enormity of this task, nor the slightest tremor of trepidation regarding the potential for practicing my "Large Cheque-Writing" skills.

(Actually, the above may be a bit of a fib.................)

When all that's done, it can go back to Wisbech for the final fit-up of the front wings, inner wings, bonnet and front apron.

Then it will be ready to go off to the trimmers to have the interior sorted prior to Andy changing it's colour to complement the bodywork.

Then the trimmers will have it back to put a nice new hood on.

Cue: 'The Big Reveal'......

Nope, hardly daunted at all..............