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Monday, January 28, 2008

The finer points.



Not my picture. But oh how I love irony. Close enough just isn't good enough.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tick, tick, tick, tick, BOOM.

A walk in the rain without a coat, no chance to wonder at the clouds.
A strange journey without a map, enjoyment of the scenery all lost.
To live without a dream, just a life without future.

In the words of the lovely Nanci Griffiths, "I am a clock without hands
I'm just tickin' and that's all".

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Simple pleasures

Found this picture today. Face of joy. Shaven head, chemo weary, no matter.
Nothing can stop the sheer pleasure of finding some bargain stretchy, stripey trousers in a jumble sale.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Le Flathead Francais

Is an engine female? Can't remember.
Last Sunday - decided to just get on and bloody sort something out. Sleepless night, up at dawn with a warm cuppa and into the garage with an empty cornflakes packet...

Cutting gaskets, bolting things up tight, torquing down headbolts. Damn - four short. Sparkplugs two short. Filling to the top of the "Safe Driving Limit" on the dipstick, and a tentative cranking over. Damn. Tight as hell. Barely a clunk.

Doom and despondency building, I call the Nervous Bob for a spot of encouraging advice. And some manifold gaskets. Can't make them from Kellogg's finest cardboard.

Oh well. Despite my glumness - press on to at least turn the floor of bits back into something car shaped. After I've fed the kids. And the woodburner. Been outside for hours now and the cold is really creeping into my tired bones.

Bob arrives to lift the mood. Well. He tries. Clutching parts and batteries and jump leads, he diagnoses a lazy starter and sets about rebuilding my spare, whilst I carry on assembling.

But the starter makes no difference. Second opinion diagnosis from Doctor Bob - it's just a bit tight. So I begin tidying up for an evening sulking in front of the fire. Hmm. Except, well - it's raining by now, and move three cars, what else stops me from getting a rope on this sucker and dragging the damn thing down the dark lane to at least here the fire within attempt to start?

Bob reluctantly agrees. If only to stop the sulking... And within yards, spit, bang, ball of flame from the over rich carb -and it runs! Sweet as y'like. Throttle blipping to keep the fiery V8 staccato, I reversed back up the black rain sodden lane to quickly throw some water in the radiator. Oh - and tighten those loose hose clips. Manic laughter and a mile wide grin. The water is probably freezing, the giant engine driven fan quickly sprays it through my clothing, as I try to rush the filler neck from a two gallon bucket.

Oh yes! Success. Still running - and I'm frozen and wet through. No matter. Excitement means I don't feel a thing, except the urge for a quick local lane tyre squealing blast, until I can smell that new warm engine and I turn to home. Wind chilled forehead and the rain stinging my barely open eyes.

Every skinned knuckle, burnt arm, frozen joint, and trapped finger now hurting. So very, very.... Worth it.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Just another day

Christmas was a rush. Here and there, barely stopping, visiting friends, relatives, cooking, barely home with a constant in and out, relighting the fire two dozen times, playing at sessions and gigs, even a fun, fun, fun trip to the seaside.

New years eve - up in the dark and on the road to collect two cars and two van loads of spares for Nervous Bob. Bless him - last minute man... Over the Dartford bridge twice, back through the tunnel again and again.

Evening with friends down the road, relaxed and all. Fell asleep, woken by the kids in time for party poppers, chimes on the radio and parteners kissing and...

Hadn't thought about it but "my wife died last year" became "two years ago". And my mind is still a wake alone mess, hazily listening in the night for Kate calling me for a help back up the stairs. Count 'em. One to eleven. Sorry everyone. Letting you down with my new year misery.