Monday 21 October 2013

The Slough of Despond

Poppy curled up with Rolo
Unusually for me and for this blog, a post of unremitting misery and gloom. Those who turn to this blog for its up-beat cheerful outlook on life and optimism, look away now. I just feel 'meh' and fed up. The reasons for this seem so pathetic and unimportant compared to many friends who I know have proper, grown up reasons to be a bit down, but that just makes it seem even more self indulgent and silly. Liz is away and it has done nothing but rain since she left. I can't really complain about either but both are adding to the mood. I feel like one of my wet hens hunkered down under the car port roof waiting for the sun to come back out.

Towser claims the back of the sofa
The rain is currently that heavy type made up of big, blobby, splatty drops which quickly soak everything and create big puddles. My water butts (even the 1000 litre pallet-sized ones) are long since filled so the water is just overflowing back down the diverters into the gullies but, as I said, we can honestly not complain as we have had such an unusually brilliant year so far, well peppered with droughts and sunny spells. A wet week in October is hardly cause for claims of unreasonable behaviour by Met √Čireann but it does pin you down rather when most of what you'd like to do is outdoor work. My knee pads work very well for keeping my knees up out of the damp soil when I'm weeding, but can't cope with actual puddles, and climbing aluminium ladders to cut side branches off spruce trees in the wet is probably not wise.

Deefer looks a bit grubby after a wet walk.
Liz is away currently with Diamond. The girls were going to Poros Island in Greece to attend a funeral Memorial Service of an ancient and venerable friend called Nicoletta who (with Bro in Law Andreas) ran a taverna up in some lemon groves just across the sound in (I think) Galatas. This was for all the years Diamond used to visit in her younger days, and then as Nicoletta grew old and infirm, Diamond would visit anyway though the taverna was long shut, just as an old friend of the family, taking Liz along in recent years when Liz started accompanying Diamond to the islands.

Well, old Nicoletta has now passed on and in Greece they bury the dead within 24 hours but then have a special service and event 30 days or so later. (See what I mean about 'grown up reasons to be down?). The girls were flying out to this and had bought the flights, planning to meet up and fly together from Heathrow to Athens. Well some who know Diamond may also know that she is not at all well herself (the gang joke that you should never play "Medical Top-Trumps" with her; it would not go well for you!) and in the event she was not well enough to travel plus new husband, John got his dates for a long awaited hip operation right that weekend too, so the girls just wrote off the Greek leg of their journey and decided to stay in Kent, with Liz house keeping for John and Diamond. There again, a perfectly good grown up reason for Liz to be away, and I should not be mooping around here feeling all bereft.

Plenty of food
The sorry tale of the 2CV also carries on. She was due her 2nd full NCT test on Saturday, having failed the last one (1st re-test) only on exhaust emissions. We had bought carburettor parts and our man in the garage (Aaron, who looks about 12 but seems to run the place!) had worked his magic with mixture screws and the gas analyser. "It's well within tolerances" he assured me, so I was fairly confident even though this is a whole new test, so the guys could potentially find new stuff to fail me on. Off to the NCT centre at Carrick then, for my 10:50 appointment with their 'production line' of pokes, prods, wiggles and hydraulic floor bouncing.

I was bitterly disappointed to fail AGAIN, first on the emissions again (the CO level was 0.704% instead of the allowed maximum of 0.450%) but also now on a new one. My 'VIN' (Vehicle Identification Number) plate (equivalent to the 'chassis number' on a modern car) is fixed to the bulk-head / firewall and not to the chassis. It always has been and I hear from the 2CV forums on the internet that they have been all over the place through the (60+ year) history of the car and my car is, anyway, a dog's breakfast of bits from other cars. But it was good enough for the Irish registration office when we first moved over, and has passed many NCT tests (and re-tests) since. However, this gentleman 'KNEW DIFFERENT' and failed me on it. I have to take a form he gave me to the local police station and get them to stamp and sign it to agree that this car, with this, registration plate and this VIN number on the bulkhead is OK on the Irish roads. That and take the car back into the garage for another tweak of the carb plus book another retest for another €28. Only 2 minor issues with that. First Aaron is in the USA for a month playing mechanic to the Irish Kart team, so I have to use another lad, named Keiran who "is pretty sure he can fix it" and secondly the police stations round here seem to be be manned by only one Guard with one car, so when they whizz out on call the station is all locked up and gone away. Trying to arrive at one when it is occupied by an actual Guard seems to be a bit of a lottery.

Ah well, the above clouded tale of woe had its own silver lining to mollify me. My run to Carrick is 35 minutes down beautiful country lanes in bright sunshine (that lunchtime); perfect 2CV country where the words 'bowling along' are perfectly apposite and a 2CV driver would find it hard not to be wearing a huge grin. As I said at the top of this post, I am feeling just 'meh' and a bit bluesy rather than truly depressed and down. I have the 'farm', the animals, plenty of food, coal and wood to burn and, as I look out the window as I finish typing this, it might even be brightening up. Blog posting as therapy! Thank you for listening to my self indulgent burblings. Let he who has never felt a bit like this cast the first stone.

1 comment:

Mr Silverwood said...

Glad we could help.

Feel even more like we should pop up soon.