Friday, 16 March 2007

My wife, my car

When I was a ridiculous young romantic living in a fundamentalist commune 25 years ago I fell in love with a girl, but our relationship was forbidden under the strict courtship rules of the group, which required that before I could be married (no relationship at all unless it is for marriage), I had first to renounce all hopes of marrying, to then be told by the elders, years later, that despite my commitment to singleness, God had layed it on their hearts that I should be married. The Catch 22 for anyone in my situation secretly harbouring hopes of this happening was that the commune believed that God almost never approved such matches! It was in such circumstances that I wrote secret love poems in very bad Latin, because few would be able to understand them if they were found. Idiotically, I sent them to the girl herself, even though I should have known she wouldn't understand the code either, so that I then had to send incriminating translations.

I once got told off by a policeman when I scrawled one of these on a dusty back of a coach. American tourists to Oxford called me cute and took my picture when I translated for them.

This long preamble gives context to this posting, because one line included the hope that "mea uxor eris" (you will be my wife). When I went to the DVLA to point out that my 1958 Prefect had been allocated an 'A' reg in error (1963) when the old registration had been sold on, they acknowledged their mistake and said it would be put right for free. They gave me the next un-allocated period number (taken from a 1950s' London borough list), 886 UXR, which made me chuckle. UXoR means wife. My present girlfriend has always teased that I love my car more than her!

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Spring cleaning 886 UXR

I spent some of this afternoon spring cleaning 886 UXR (is it Spring?). The garage roof leaks quite badly, so when I got her out after something like 5 months locked up, following the fuel cap scare, she was covered in crud and her floormats had puddles in them; though luckily they have waffle grids, so that it does not find its way onto the car floor.

Backing out onto the hill was hairy because the handbrake only just held her and the footbrakes were pretty hopeless. I shall need to tighten them up. Once in 1st, I held her on the clutch and then launched her up the hill, then ran back to lock up again....all the time more than a little anxious that she would start rolling back into the car behind her, even though I had left her in 1st gear.

I got her home and set about washing, waxing and generally sprucing her up. I de-mossed the window channels and sprayed son-of-a-gun on the windscreen rubbers in a last ditch attempt to restore them to life. There is no question that I will need to source some unperished ones, even if not the deluxe ones which take chrone trim.

Last night I got a cheaper-than-Frost aerosol of 5-wheel silver paint, which is for one job that needs doing before the Felixstowe run in May. I'd also like to get some rubber/cloth surrounds for the doors and window that water does not drip and gather in the bottoms of the doors. I am also going to have to tackle some rust spots along the roof gutter and at the bottom of doors.

But I must not be precious and I MUST NOT get too distracted from the 101, which is crying out for some progress, now that I have been sick for a week.I will get some pics tomorrow and put them on here.