Saturday, 19 April 2014
Last week I promised to take the mehmsaab and her trusty companion Tetley the terrier, and the caravan to London for a few days so we could all see the sights!! Yippee Oh what fun we'll have!!
We set off armed to the gunnels around 11am Tuesday morning,,, and all was going well,,, we stopped for a break around Standsted and then continued south heading towards our destination just south of the Thames at a charmingly named place called Abbey Wood near Bexley.
Somewhere around the M25 & A12 junction the dreaded sound of a warning bell announced from the Dashboard that we had a cooling problem,,,, so quickly pull over and investigate,,, now there was a small amount of steam issuing from around the coolant expansion chamber and so I thought OK it probably needs filling up,,,,, now this was the first trip out of the season with the caravan and everything was EMPTY we had no water either in the car or on the van,,,, Miztake Einze.
So the mehmsaab reminded me no problem we have AA cover with the Bank Account just give them a call,, so I did,,, or tried to,,, have you ever tried phoning anybody on a mobile phone from the side of the motorway,,, especially the M25,,,, HELLO,,, HELLO,,, oh this is useless so I got back in the car & phoned from the tranquility of the cabin,,,, on getting through all the AA wanted to ascertain was if I was still in the car and if so GET OUT QUICK co's it's very very dangerous,,,, Miztake Tzwei.
We registered our situation and were informed we were a priority case and a recovery vehicle was on it's way as quickly as possible,,,, an hour later we were still a priority case and the recovery vehicle was still on it's way to get us to a place of safety,,,, which it did,,, it took us about 3 miles down the road to the Thurrock services where he dropped us as he was just recovery he didn't have the tools or expertise to put a bit more coolant in the radiator but don't worry one of the famous transit vans was on its way to our rescue.
After waiting another hour the afformentioned yellow van complete with very pleasant Polish technician arrived and he pronounced that we had a small leak on the plastic radiator which meant we were losing coolant,,, where are you going he asked,,, about 8 miles the other side of the Dartford Tunnel,,,, ah well I can probably seal it well enough to get you there but you must get it fixed,,, fair enough we thought,,, do your best and we can struggle the remaining 8 miles to our destination.
This he did,, he then insisted we let it run for about 20mins to ensure it was sealed, which it was and he then left us with a cheery wave and we proceeded to go over the Darford Crossing and onto our destination at Abbey Wood,,, what a lovely sounding name that is we mused.
We got through the toll both and were climbing the hill towards the A2 turn off when we heard yet again the warning buzzer from the dashboard telling us we had a cooling problem,,,distance covered since we had it sealed by our friendly AA man about 3.5miles.
We pulled over once again,,, the dog jumped out and took up the usual position on the grass bank & I attempted yet again to contact the AA,,,, are you in a place of safety,,, please listen to this warning OH for pity's sake just come and drag us off again,,, just send Steve he seemed quite a nice chap about 2 hours ago.
An hour later by which time it is getting dark another recovery wagon dragged us off the M25 and took us to the charmingly sounding Abbey Wood!!!
This guy wasn't from the AA but a trusted contractor who specialised in getting people off the motorway to a place of safety,, Oh and by the way if' you'd like to leave the car with us we can probably fix it for you.
OK we ain't going anywhere with a caravan but without a car so you'd better fix it.
A charming lady who I'm sure I've heard before on TOWIE informed me the following morning that we had a small leak on the "raidater" and as it's plastic they can't repair it so we need a new plastic "raidater",,, at a mere £245 plus fitting at just under £60/hour plus VAT but all being well it should be ready by Fursday evening,,, the day before Easter Friday!!!!
You've guessed what's coming,,, either our vorsprung pals sent the wrong raidater,,, or our fousands and fousands friends ordered the wrong one but having travelled back yesterday on the train,, with the mehmsaab and her trusty companion Tetley and without both the car and caravan I now have the logistical challenge of getting back down there to collect both the car and caravan some time next week,,, assuming our fousand friends can track down a replacement plastic "raidater" and get it fitted to the car.
DEAR MR AUDI,,,, if plastic radiators are the future then I suggest you go back to producing the air cooled beetles,,,, where you didn't even need one,,,, if this is progress then I'm glad I already qualify for a bus pass,,, tin radiators may have been old hat but at least you could repair them!!!
I'm sure it was Fred Emery who muttered in the film the Italian Job,,, "bloody foreigners",,, oh and by the way,,, cross Abbey Wood off your list of nice places to visit,,,, let me just say it "sounds lovely",,, but
Sunday, 13 April 2014
Pleased to announce we had a great time at the Norwich show,,, at one stage we were running out of room round the back of the layout, Stalham High School Railway Society wanted a go and "open wide" turned out to be a bloomin natural we had people lining up to take a turn on the controllers and I had to take myself off and have a look round and do some purchasing,, now that is a real change.
The standard of the exhibition was excellent with a good selection of layouts & traders,, and a small selection of "closely related others" boats planes and military were also of interest and it was a real credit to the exhibition organiser Paddy Welsh,,,,what a massive shame he could not be there to enjoy it with us, you will be missed Paddy.
Anyway we can now start getting ready for Chatham and as I want to have the new entrance in place by then I really will have to crack on and do some modelling, have also made a rather late new years resolution which is to "play trains" more often,,, I really enjoyed myself yesterday and apart from a load of grit in the turntable pit causing problems early on we had a pretty smooth running session.
We all had a nice day in a foin city!!!
Friday, 11 April 2014
Anyway as part of the final shake down tests last night I took the newly acquired Bachmann Compound down to the 40' of local shed which is Epsom & Ewell by David Orton.
Now 20 minutes running round David's layout and the Compound will probably do more actual distance than it will in 5 years trundling into and out of Salmon Pastures shed.
This is very handy as all locomotives are a bit stiff when brand new but they soon lose that reluctance to run freely after a quick session on Davids system, and even more handy when you are kit or scratch building.
This we did last night and it worked wonders,,, I was also amazed to see it ambling round the main circuit quite happily with 8 Mk1 coaches and it took 6 of them up the 20' incline without any problems whatsover,,, just for the fun of it I stopped it half way up and then started again,,,, the wheels slipped beautifully and I was having great fun stopping and starting on the challenge which is David's incline.
So Mr Bachmann,,,, may I take this opportunity of officially recording my appreciation of a very fine model of a very fine prototype,,, & there were lots of them around Sheffield.
The 4-4-0 wheel arrangement is not conducive to tractability but I don't know how they have managed it but this one pulls like the proverbial steam train!!!
Not wanting to appear ungrateful but can I ask when the D11 will be available in an LNER livery,,, then life would be truly complete.
So many thanks to all the boys at Barwell,,, in our opinion an absolute CRACKER!!!
[technically brilliant button 5 times,,, like button 8 times and a real puller button 2wice]
Why don't you come and see it at the show tomorrow,,,, [it's true I really do need a promotions button]
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
Well here we go again,,, don't time fly when your having fun,,, now this Saturday the 12th we are treading the boards in Norwich,,, a real pleasure as it's only 12 miles there and strangely enough 12 miles back.
I've spent the last couple of months sticking my toe's in the RMweb waters,,, and apart from being a tad chilli well lets just say you can't really complain if you haven't tried it!!!!
Where's the Thumbs up valid statement widget???.
Busy is the word,,, you can post at 8 in the morning and by 10.30 tea break your on page 16,,,, as interesting as it all is I doubt many people sit there 18 hours a day waiting for the next installment from "The Pastures" so rightly or wrongly we are back to steam driven postings at a very leisurely pace,,, now as I average 3 people viewing a day at least I know they have seen us!!!
They probably wont' saying anything but at least they have seen us,,, now where's that thumbs up/technicsmart arse button?????
Ah yes Don't blink or you'll miss us,,, sorry wrong blog.
Anyway as an update the new entrance building carries on apace but it won't be in situ for the Norwich bash
but it will be for the Chatham show in June.
This is what happens when you venture sarf of the river,,, it was going to go 2 ways we either get arrested or invited back,,,, Tonbridge was great and I didn't need the translation button once and had no trouble at all getting a visa!!!
I'm obviously confusing the steam driven blog as it's now decided it wants to start every sentence from the middle of the page [thumbs down button,,, bloomin computers]
On Saturday we start at 10am and finish at around 4.30pm and then adjourn to the local hostelry of choice as we will all be very tired and emotional but ready for the obligatory debrief.
I'll finish with a Swinedon joke,,, what to do you get if you mate a 2251 and a Grange????
Identical Twins,,,, Yo Ho they all look the same to me.
I have to say it's great to be back,,, hello CAN YOU HEAR ME???