Tag Archives: car

M32 – a longer journey than I intended

I’ve just added some extra information to the Bolton post, as Derrick Knight provided some insight into his Bolton Marathon experiences. I knew, from reading his posts, that he’d done a lot of running, but hadn’t realised it took him so far north.

I’m now moving on to M32, KT18, BR6 and ME8. I’m going to have to get a move on as we’ve had a busy few days and am accumulating postcodes faster than I’m finding facts.

M32 is part of the Manchester postcode area, one of the few that have a single letter.

A lazy search for M32 brings up Messier 32, also known as M32 or NGC 221. It is a dwarf “early-type” galaxy and is around 2.65 million light-years from Earth. It’s in the constellation Andromeda and was discovered in 1749 by Guillaume Le Gentil.

He has an amazing life story and, to be honest, knew more about astronomy than I will ever know, despite me having 269 extra years to learn it.

However, as he didn’t do any of this in Manchester, it isn’t relevant.

The next reference is to a motorway near Bristol – 4.4 miles long, and one of our shortest. It’s also a catamaran and some sort of audio equipment.

M32 Manchester works better as a search. It’s Stretford, a town that has many things to recommend it – a record-breaking art exhibition, a successful football team, a Jacobite skirmish and the first planned industrial estate in the world. My favourite fact isn’t even that it was nicknamed “Porkhampton” in the 19th Century due to it’s production of pork (up to a thousand pigs a week) and black pudding. I’m fond of pork…

Actually, that probably is my favourite fact, though it is run close by the fact that it used to be such a centre of rhubarb production that rhubarb was known locally as “Stretford Beef”. I like rhubarb too.

KT18 is easier. It’s Epsom in the Kingston on Thames postcode area. If you aren’t into horse racing there’s not much of interest round here. We stayed at a hotel on the racecourse a couple of years back. The breakfast was excellent and we saw parakeets over Leatherhead Crematorium.

BR6 is Bromley postcode, and just a couple of areas east of KT. BR6 covers Orpington, which is famous as the town where the Buff Orpington chicken was bred, along with the lesser known Black Orpington and Buff Orpington Ducks. Despite strong opposition from the poultry I’m going to have to nominate the Orpington Car as the interesting fact.

It was built between 1920 and 1925 and nobody has seen one since a, possibly unreliable, sighting in Crossroads during the 1970s. Somewhere in a dusty barn the last of the line may be lurking.

ME8 will be dealt with in due course…

Like a Stork, I have a Big Bill

No parcels today, no coins, no postcards of dubious taste.

The car is in for its annual MOT test, plus a service and an examination of a coolant problem. Or a “no coolant” problem, to be precise: it’s using nearly as much water as diesel. Fortunately it seems to be ending up under the car so should be easy enough to fix.

On top of that, one of the tyres looked a bit flat on Sunday, and triggered the tyre pressure warning light. The sidelight warning light has been going on and off for months, though the sidelight is still working, and I suppose under the new rules this will cost me money too.

I can’t help thinking that my last VW did a quarter of a million miles without leaking and had no warning lights to go wrong.

To fill my carless day I am performing a study of daytime TV. I started with Quincy ME and have now moved on to Storage Hunters – UK. The have brought couple of the American regulars across because we don’t seem to have enough homegrown idiots.

I’m currently watching Combat Dealers. It’s an antiques programme, but with some unusual stock.

After that I may need a cup of tea, as TV watching can be quite onerous.

Later…

I had the tea. Then, just before lunch, the garage rang.

The water leak is likely to require a new water pump, which is not going to be cheap. The tyre has a screw through it and needs repair. The warning light, of course, needs attention. Warning lights, it seems to me, are always going wrong and needing expensive attention. It’s almost as if they have been there to cost motorists money.

Imagine a big sigh here.

Apart from the money, they will need to have the car for another day, though I’m hoping that will be next week.

At least it gives me a chance for a postcard and a pun about a big bill.

It’s 12.16 now and I feel like I’ve done enough. Blog, TV research, pun. This afternoon I may try a limerick and a nap before the quiz programmes start.

For now, lunch calls.

This is a picture of tomatoes in the Mencap garden, I feel in need of a peaceful picture.

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The Best of Times… etc

Yesterday was, as I said yesterday, a good day.

It was also, which I didn’t say, a bad day at times. I generally try not to mention the bad times unless I can see humour in them, as I don’t want to depress readers or transfer my real life reputation for moaning to my blogging life.

That’s why I didn’t mention the Gregg’s breakfast at the M18 Services. It featured an idiot, filthy tables and ketchup. I could have dealt with the idiot and the filthy tables, but I asked for brown sauce. If I’d wanted ketchup I would have asked for it. And the day I ask for ketchup in a bacon sandwich will be the day we see Satan wearing ice skates.

In the afternoon I hit a wooden post in a car park.

It wasn’t easy. First I had to reverse past it without either seeing it or hitting it, then I had to pull forwards and damage the door and wing in one easy motion. Two months ago someone scraped the car while it was parked and three weeks ago a bus clipped my mirror and took the cover off it. I’m hoping that bad things really do, as my mother used to say, come in threes.

As I took the final photos at Bempton my camera card filled up. I cleaned a few off and managed to get all the photos I wanted. After fitting the other card I took some shots in Whitby, including a Cormorant, a Redshank and eight Pied Wagtails at the side of the harbour. I also had a go with some of the camera settings taking shots of the Abbey and churchyard.  You could almost see Dracula. Some of them were really good shots, as were some of the shots of fishing gear. I was quite pleased with them.

Unfortunately you’ll have to take my word for it. After viewing that card I put the other one in the computer to load shots for the blog.

Twenty four hours later I still can’t find it or remember where I put it. Nor can I think of anything else to write about.

So, as I say, borrowing heavily from Dickens, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Tomorrow I may find the missing card, but if I don’t I hope to find some inspiration.

Flintham Ploughing Match – as good as it gets

IMG_5897 IMG_5899 IMG_5888 IMG_5833I’ve just had an unexpected day off, due to the return of an intermittent fault in the car. Thanks to the AA I had a quick check, a diagnosis and an escort to my local garage. They are currently up to their eyes in it so it’s a case of keeping my fingers crossed that they can get me back on the road tomorrow.

This has just highlighted a deficiency in the English language. There don’t seem to be any degrees of intermittency. Mittent does appear in the dictionary but it’s listed as an obsolete term to do with emitting. Ideally I’d be here telling you that I had an intermittent fault of increasing mittency that eventually became almost mittent.

Instead I’ll just have to say that I had an intermittent fault that reappeared this morning, becoming so frequent that at one time we could only limp along 25 yards at a time.

There was a time that I’d have made the most of it, but I now find myself content to avoid the housework and nod off in front of daytime TV. Seems like I’m going to have to face facts – this is “the most of it” these days.

As I was being escorted back to the garage by the AA we left Julia by the side of the road with a pile of bags. She, it seems, is irreplaceable, so they sent a car down from the show to pick her up. They were content to let me have the day off, but I’m trying not to read too much into that.

She had a good day, supported by most of the Quercus group, who always turn out to support us at Flintham and Open Farm Sunday. She was visited all day by schoolkids who remembered their visits to the farm, so we must be doing something right. She also had a number of enquiries from schools wanting to visit next year. All in all it seems to have been a good day.