05/02/2013
Dear all
    We, along with a few million other people woke to find a bit of snow about the place. 
I should, perhaps, indicate to any baffled readers that the few million referred to weren't actually visible, or indeed even audible, from where I was. I just knew they were out there somewhere. Probably most of them trying to get to work, where they don't want to be.
Good, so we've got that cleared up.
 Having also cleared the drive, and the snow being on hold for a while, it seemed a good time for a bit of a spin in the Green Midge. I prized Fiona out of her warm spot and into the cold, with a view to a couple of pictures of me being heroic.  The little beast, I'm referring to the car here, performed quite well, though I think a couple of snow tyres might be worthwhile. I had a quick zip round the estate, thereby avoiding any road salt. The completion of the ground source heat pump means I have a nice little circuit in the wood where the ground stays frozen for a little bit longer.
    This bit of track had just a little sprinkle of snow, as it is well sheltered, being leeward of the trees. 

    However the pictures do show off the new wire wheels, and I wanted to send one to John B of the Midge Owners and Builders Club. Most of these cars don't get out into the snow, being a bit short on heaters and roofs, but even more not wanting salt in the chassis.










    Sorry about the hat, not exactly fashionable, but quite weatherproof and it makes my head show up against the snow.
     I left off the aviator goggles, but kept the squint owing to the bright sky.
​    Off track is where it gets a little unpredictable. This bit , to the left, is the 'bumpy way,' known as the 'Midgie way' in summer, it runs round the outside of what is now the wood, but was 5 rows of 8 houses.
  The walk is where the houses were, mostly it's quite firm, but off the main track there are a few boggy bits where the old foundations prevent proper drainage. So setting off around the circular walkway was asking for trouble. 
  What the heck, off we go.
All in all, a nice day for a bit of slithering. These kit-cars were often used for hill climbing, though obviously with things like mud tyres and other useful bits. However I have just had a call from a neighbour who is stuck in the snow, so I'm off heroing..............................

.................Well I tried, but her car refused to start, complications around a flat battery. The awkward part was that there was no visible tow loop at the front, and with modern bumpers you can't just sling a shackle around a big bit of suspension, so I couldn't tow it home. My jump cables didn't seem to be doing any good, I've no idea why. The local garage tow-truck got it going in the end. 
    I think the stylists have persuaded the engineers that towing loops are no longer necessary, and they'll go the way of the starting handle, the lever on the fuel pump and the manual timing adjustor. Now I know most drivers wouldn't know what to do with one of those if they had one, but it means that those of us who do, can't  help. On my new(ish) Zafira they left out the spare wheel and give you a thing that is supposed to blow up and seal a puncture. (fine if it's a pinhole, but you still have to bin the tyre and buy a new one) So now there's no wheel brace or jack. The bonnet catch will be next, there's nothing you can do under the bonnet except top up the windscreen bottle and check the oil. Oil and 'coolant' are checked at the yearly service, and if you don't do that at the approved garage then you'll have warning lights flashing at you all the time.
Rant over, (well reverting to sub-audible muttering) but it might give you an idea why I'm driving a 1970 Triumph Herald. It even has a choke cable. 
Don't get me wrong, I like the modern conveniences, SatNav, engine monitoring, airbags and all, but it does get to the point where DIY is out of the equation, and I get a little edgy with machines making the decisions without telling, let alone, asking me. Sadly I'm out of date, you can't have computers and choke cables in the same world, though I'll hang on to both as long as I can.  I suppose its just the way it has to go, we don't know how to knap flints any more, and making your own arrows to catch lunch is almost unheard of. To answer your next question however, yes I can, but would you trust your neighbour with a bow in his hand? Look at the Americans and their guns.
Don't look too hard or too long, and stand behind something.
It's called change, and it will happen. Stand in the way of progress and you'll be run over. By a robotic device. So my answer to it is to change with it, but keep learning. Don't get left behind, if you look hard into the future you'll see humans that can walk faster than a car, don't need a roof, and can feed on sunlight. But until then I'll keep up the DIY.
Jim
    This is me disappearing around the walk, the occasional bit of slippery produced an impressive fan-tail of mud and snow, fortunately Fiona kept clear of it, and I only needed one push when negotiating a sharp bend back into the garden.  The advantage of a light car.
    Not exactly an epic journey, but I enjoyed it and Fiona warmed up a little while later, just in time to make lunch.  

    I think I was just born lucky, that or the gods are saving up a surprise for me.

     Never mind, as Snoopy once put it, "Life is full of unsuffered consequences."