Saturday 24 November 2012

Frozen Lamb and Failure.

We wake up to our first proper hard frost of the winter and I'm amused to note that the backs of the sheep are frozen with white rime. I presume all sheep get this but as they are normally white, you'd not see it. I take it as a sign that their layer of wool, which is a good 3 inches thick at this stage is good protection and prevents any body heat reaching the outside world. A friend suggests hot water bottles, but I am already being laughed off the park for my rain proof shelter.

As per instructions from our sheep mentor, Kenny O'C, I try them on a handful of hay as a supplement to their new high-protein 'heating food' mix of sweetcorn, cereals and molasses but they are not impressed. They kick it a round a bit and nibble a small amount but it's still there in the afternoon and has actually been flattened by a sheep sleeping on it, so I don't think I'll be repeating that. Maybe with some straw as bedding. The frosted grass and the rime on the rushes hangs around all day as the thin, low sun has barely got above the trees to our SE when a cold mist blows in from the bog-land to our North and blots it out. The lambs manage to find enough grub in the greener stuff under trees and at the base of hedges, but they are fed up 40 minutes into each hour 'sheep watch' and come asking me for the bucket of 'crunch' and to be led home to eat it. I am very happy to oblige as I too have been standing around in the raw cold for those 40 minutes and the house with its lovely toasty range and a bowl of soup or a bacon butty, beckon.

Meanwhile the 2CV as NCT failure saga moves on. If you are not interested in car technical details look away now. Remember we were last seen still waiting for a chunk of rubber for the steering, called an anti-rattle plate, our existing one being worn and allowing play in the track rods? Well, that part never arrived (still hasn't) and my 11th hour re-test was due this Saturday (today) with no more room for postponement wriggle-room. We had repaired everything else the car had failed on (wheel bearing, track rods, non-compliant tyres etc) so the garage guy said he'd tighten up the steering without the missing bit and we MIGHT get away with it on the retest. Unfortunately, that is exactly what WOULD have happened, had he re-set the tracking (wheel alignment) after tightening those nuts.

Off I went to my re-test for 16:55 p.m. today and the very nice man accepted that all the work had been done but the non-alignment caused us to fail something called a side-slip/alignment test. The car is driven over a posh rolling road which tries to push it off line and then measures how far off the road you'd be in metres per kilometer of forward motion. My front end failed because it would have been 20+ metres off line after a km (in the bog somewhere, I guess). The bloke even tried it 5 times to try to get a pass for me, but couldn't. So, here I am with a car which needs no more parts and just a simple tracking adjustment which many garages would do for you free, but I have to go back to square one and submit the car to the full test again at €55. Obviously what we will actually do is wait for the anti rattle rubber to actually arrive, fit that and then set up the tracking with that bit fitted. Hey ho. We are getting closer each time but still not actually on the money.

I need a drink.

1 comment:

mazylou said...

Oh Matt! It's such a bugger. I hope you get your poor 2CV through it.