Life at the end of the road

November 9, 2009

Pure 1970s

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:01 pm

Sad to say but the highlight of my day has been driving to and from work!  Wifey working on the post and needing to catch the first ferry meant that I assisted with the pig feeding this morning. Just the pigs on the hill as I drove to work as it would shave 10 minutes off her ‘preparation time’, the swineherd is not a morning person and I was under strict instructions not to speak to her :-)  So I whispered my farewell and headed down the drive with a feed bucket in the back of the Land Rover and a crocodile of pigs behind me.

It was 6:30 and what had brought the pigs out so early is still a mystery but I fed them on the car park and continued south to the ferry under a burnt  ochre and dark blue sky.

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Stopping briefly at Tarbet and Brochel to take totally inadequate pictures looking east over the Inner Sound

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towards the mainland.

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Arriving at the Loch Striven shortly after 7:15 due to my frequent stops to admire the view, you’d think after 20 years I’d have got used to it by now 🙂

The day was pretty good, if not a little breezy around lunchtime with the usual Monday morning rush. Though this particular Monday the returning workers had not yet spilled onto the road as they swamped the totally inadequate car park at Sconser. In fact on this Monday we only left one car behind at 8:25 which is very unusual these days.

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After the mornings shuttling to and fro we tied up for lunch and I attempted to buy some leather armchairs on line.

To my way of thinking there’s nothing wrong with the chairs we’ve got, well apart from the hole that Molly has dug in one of them. These comfy chairs in our living room are pure 1970s and I’m sure they’ll be back in fashion soon, they must have cost a bomb back in the days when a Ford Cortina cost £1200, I was given them 20 years ago by my affluent mate who’d been given them by his even more affluent dad. Think dark brown fabric with no arms a leather border and Gerry Andersons Space 1999 and your almost there. Anyway wifey had decreed they must go and who am I to argue 😦

How hard can it be?

We had seen a few in catalogues but to my way of thinking there’s nothing like actually putting your bum on the seat ,so last Monday in our mad dash to Inverness we’d checked out a couple of stores. Nothing inspired either of us in the first two but a nice leather armchair caught our eye in Sterling  at £499. I baulked somewhat at the price, especially as we wanted two but if we get 20 years out of these it’s only £1 a week and if it makes the swineherd happy who am I to argue. So we ask the assistant for a tape measure to see if it will fit, not being sure we tell him that we’ll go home measure up and then if they fit we’ll pay over the phone.

Can’t do that says he, we can only take orders in the shop 😦 quite how the rest of the retail world manages to function over the internet and telephone seems to have passed Sterling by, he then informs us that it will take 12 weeks from placing the order to receiving them and it will cost another £100 for delivery. No problem says I, I’ll collect them, the depot’s in Glasgow says he!

So let me get this straight, I pay you a third deposit which, is basically what you will be paying the sweat shop in Milan that makes them, only you don’t actually pay the Italian manufacture until 3 months after you’ve received the goods and 6 months after I’ve paid for them! And if I’m really lucky you will not have gone bust before I actually get them or see them in the January sale for 66% off 😦 Needless to say we gave it a miss.

A safe bet!

Ikea thinks I, and we find a couple in there for a couple of hundred quid less and even more of what wifey had in mind so I go to order them on line. Not possible says the screen as we only do on line deliveries to mainland England and Wales! No bother thinks I, I’ll phone up the Glasgow store, pay for them and pick them up in a couple of weeks when I’m at dry dock. Not possible, the phone number you dial of course puts you through to some call centre in Barnsley or somewhere judging by Barry’s accent. Barry then tells me that this item must be ordered at the store and the price includes delivery. I explain to Barry who’s grip on geography is only slightly better than mine on international finance that I live in the middle of nowhere and my nearest store is 200 miles away. It does of course fall upon the ears of one who has been well trained in talking round in circles and I give up 😦

More relics of the 1970s

When I left Hollins secondary school in the dim and distant 1970s to pursue an apprenticeship in the motor trade Morris Minors were still being built and the Mini was still pretty cool the first time round. Both these vehicles along with many more being powered by the  ubiquitous ‘A series’ engine with its measly five port cylinder head and 3 bearing crankshaft. Whenever a cylinder head gasket failed on one of these motors (which it frequently did) you got a gasket set with 1 cylinder head gasket and dozens of other gaskets which were never used.

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OK, the anoraks amongst you will spot the Ford gasket top right, but at that time if you looked in any mechanics tool box it would be full of these SU carburettor gaskets, none of which ever got changed.

Well they say if you hang onto something long enough you’ll find a use for it and today I did, after more than 30 years I finally found a home for some of these gaskets that have been following me about since I left Accrington in 1985 🙂

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I used some of them to repair an exhaust blow on the Lister emergency fire and bilge pump on the Loch Striven 🙂 and that was about it really.

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I finished my day, drove home and had an early night 🙂

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