Tuesday, 18 October 2016

What dedication!!

You know how you have niggling things in the back of your mind.....well it was a bit like that for me, promising myself for weeks, even during various hospital confinements, to remove the wheels from the 4/4 to clean them.
Rain and signs of Autumn

Almost needless to say, the weather was wet on the day I chose to do the work but I was determined, regardless of any distraction to do the job.
Before and......
In any case it was something of a physical test for me and I am delighted to say that the old wracked body managed remarkably well, albeit slowly and with extreme care.

I must say that I cursed Life's, the dealers in Southport, when I tried to remove the front wheels that had been taken off and aligned during king-pin replacement and had been re-fitted extremely tightly. Eventually after a lot of hammering I got them off!
It took me around three hours which I didn't think was too long.....although it hardly matches Red Bull Racing's wheel changing achievements during Grand Prix pit stops!!!!

Monday, 3 October 2016

A Recce to the Lakes

During the next school half term and the day after Helen's and my 50th Wedding Anniversary party, we are off to the Lakes for 3 days with the whole family.

We'll all be under one roof and it is great to get together like this as our daughters live in Warwick and Camberley, so such opportunities are rare.

Anyway, as I am planning to hire rowing boats on one of the lakes in order to enact a landing by our grandchildren on an island emulating 'Swallows and Amazons', it provided just the opportunity to set forth in the Morgan to check our accommodation and investigate the boating scene.

The weather was scheduled to be excellent although cold, so it was definitely hood down and winter driving clothes on.
Coffee, with the morning mist rising from the River Eden in the background.
It would also be a useful opportunity to check out the car, following the replacement of the king-pins and to assess whether or not the annoying squeaking eminating from the rear end had been rectified.

We set off and headed north up the M6, with its variable road surfaces and the resultant variable noise levels, alternating from awful to extremely awful! Drivers in their tintops have no idea of the battering a top-down drivers' ears have to endure, cocooned as they are from the outside world.

Amid my constant criticism of the standards of driving nowadays, tailgating and totally ignoring speed limits through roadworks being just two examples, we arrived at junction 39 and headed through Shap village, a rather dour place even when the sun is shining, towards a right-hand junction that took us towards the River Eden valley.
The River Eden
After arriving in the delightful village of Morland and checking out the property my daughter had rented on our behalf we moved on to Penrith, some 8 miles away, where we did a similar check on the facilities for children at the Rheged Centre.
By the River Eamont
Our next port of call was Ullswater and specifically Glenridding, from where I had spent many a happy hour sailing my double-ended yawl in days gone by. No rowing boats for hire at the Sailing Centre and the only other place offered boats that looked like they wouldn't endure even a short voyage!
Looking towards Glenridding
Nothing for it but to head for Derwentwater where I knew that classic, traditional Lakeland rowing boats were available....real boats made out of wood and varnished. Trying to get to their base was utterly impossible due to the fact that we could't find a parking space on the car park and the number of people cluttering up the place was appalling....you can tell that, as a couple of retired old fogeys, we prefer to travel mid-week to avoid the crowds!
Lunch stop en route from Ullswater to Derwentwater.
I decided that Derwentwater would seem to be the place for the proposed row and what is more, Herbert's Island, just a mile away from the landing stages is the island on which scenes from the latest 2016 version of 'Swallows and Amazons' were filmed. Clearly, depending on the prevailing weather conditions it's going to be a hefty row!!!!!

Homeward bound in the heavy traffic, I was pleased that we had had a successful reconnoitre and the car had performed admirably, not entirely quiet of course, it is a Morgan after all, but the annoying squeaks from the rear leaf springs had been cured.