The Red Midge is on the road, I still haven't really generated a name for it, and as long as I've got the Green one as well, it's going to need one. Red will have to do for the moment. The potted history is, well mostly unknown, but starts in 1937 as a Ford 10, converted to a 'Special' some time in the 50's and has been changing ever since. By the time I got it it had a part built body, based on the Ford Midge design and various bits of Ford drive train and suspension. I have now added my own touch. Like the Triumph based Midge its logbook shows little variation from the original vehicle, and the MOT Insurance and tax disc show bits of the history depending on the official view of the car. The main bit is that the tax disc has the correct registration and designation and the insurance people know what it is and have photographs. I'll have to send off the document to get the engine number updated, as the old sidevalve wore out some time ago. And the paint is a little brighter than the original black.
It's age means it doesn't need an MOT, presumably there are just too many bits that simply aren't there to be checked, and what there is is beyond the knowledge of the average modern garage mechanic. Certainly when we put the green Midge up on stands, with its wheels dangling in that very odd Triumph manner, the mechanic just stood and stared. The same happened with the red one, I put it through a voluntary MOT just to keep everybody, including myself, happy. He just stood underneath looking for recognisable bits. There wasn't a lot. Still, the steering and suspension, brakes and exhaust all passed. Just as well after all the work I've put in, but it just goes to show, 12 hours later the rear nearside brake seal went, so it's new cylinders on both back wheels. The entire braking system is now replaced except for the master cylinder, which comes out soon, and the brake pedal.
My next project is to put a roof on at least one of the cars, for bad weather, which has been curiously absent these last few months. Scotland can do bad weather with the best of them, and usually does. We can usually see the sunshine on the weather maps, down in Cornwall and Essex, while we get rain, fog hail, snow and wind. Perhaps the bigger words sink to the south, that way we should be safe from typhoons, hurricanes and thunderstorms. I suppose it must be down to the jet-stream, which the UK meteorologists steadfastly ignore on the grounds that it will make the whole thing too obvious and destroy the magic.
Now there's a thought. What examples can you think up of areas where ignorance is being cultivated in the public, presumably for the purpose of control. Keeping your people thinking of themselves as a flock (of stupid sheep) has been popular in the churches since Adam was a lad. Using obscure language, denying scientific thinking, persecuting unbelievers and reflexively condemning alternative opinions. It's not just religion, the politicians, doctors and lawyers, even the police, do it all the time. Trust me, I know. I confess, men have been opposing equal rights for women since Adam blamed Eve for the mess.
But that's what they all say, "Trust me" don't they? So maybe you had better make your own mind up. I might be wrong.
On a more prosaic level, it's time for a haircut. I don't really like them, I don't know why. I can't say I get any weaker, and the cold isn't a problem, and long hair goes completely beresk if you drive an open topped car. Of course it has nothing to do with the thinning patch on the top, definitely not. No no no. It's probably a hangover from being told what to do by other people. Anyway, only getting it cut every six months or so saves money. Not that Richard charges me very much, and I can show off my new motor, with the new brake cylinders which went in yesterday (and will mean it will still be on the slight slope outside the barbers shop when I come out).
That's me back and a fair bit lighter. I left my flying helmet off for the return journey and blew any remaining clippings away. I did note a bit of an oil puddle as I left, not uncommon under an old engine. When I got home I found that the oil sender was leaking and that now it's blocked up with solder the problem has gone. Except that I'll need to replace it if I want a low pressure warning.
On the Home Front.
I've started using Facebook at last, not sure how well we are going to get on, it seems to want to infiltrate every little corner of my life, and I'm not too sure about that. Perhaps I'm just a grump.
My neighbour went on holiday for a couple of weeks and was concerned that his greenhouse plants would be watered. Since the entire period was wall to wall sunshine, and not a drop of rain, I think he was right. We copied my garden sprinkler system, I've had a fair bit of experience of building them as I have put them in at least 3 of Mum's houses and The Old Manse. I like to use rainwater where possible, but since the objective is to get through a fortnight of rain free sunshine, you need a big tank, or mains supply. There's not many can put a large tank in their garden. I'll put up an instruction sheet on another page for anybody who wants to water their plants and avoid increased water metering bills.
In this part of Scotland there's no shortage of water yet, and so no metering....yet.
Incidentally, and of note if you have a water meter, when Lillias was living in Lytham St Annes, the water company put in meters, but so ineptly that it leaked thousands of gallons resulting in huge bills that they eventually repaid after I noticed the hiss of the leak at the meter, and the gently rotating dial.
There must have been something incontinent about that house, there was always a smell of gas in the kitchen in the morning, but the gas company denied it, as they do, until the explosion. It hasn't happened yet, but.........
Speaking of things that might go bang, sadly a bunch of climbers ran into the Taliban, or somebody similarly unsympathetic to foreigners, in the Pakistan foothills of the Himalayas. I'm not one for worrying, but it's put a delay on our Pakistan trip for the moment.
The 5/2 regime continues to work for us, my weight has stabilised at eleven and a half stone. Fiona is happy with hers, but I'm not daft enough to pass on any more than that. Several people we know have started the 5/2 without any direct encouragement from us and seem to be doing well. I should emphasise, that in my opinion, it's a way of correcting your weight for your kind of body and generally improving your repair systems. You will not just keep losing weight until you blow away. The 5 normal days provide plenty of calories to jump the gap, but your body deals with them better. The odd increase in urine output is, I think, an effect of glycogen conversion. The effects of various vegetables like cucumber and radish I shall leave to your imagination as everybody varies. The spare house is un-rented at present, hopefully a short term effect, but it has given me the chance to replace the fence and the kitchen lino and to repair the bathroom fan. I've put in anti back draught valves, that should reduce the cold air coming in in Winter. Amazon as usual for such devices.
On the projects front, and now that I've filled the garage with Midges I have a multiple choice.
1. Roll one out when I want to do some garage work
2. Sell one of the Midges
3. Build another garage.
Here's a picture of an unwanted garage in sections, now feeling more wanted and resting in the garden before reconstruction begins. They do tend toward condensation, so sooner or later I'll have to find out how to spray foam insulation, or hire somebody to do it.
We noticed the chimney was smoking a bit last Winter, so It's up the ladders again. Why is that? When the universe knows I don't like heights. Still, the wood is better seasoned now, so the chimney shouldn't need sweeping too often.
Well that's about it for the moment, there's lots of stuff going on which I could add, but it's time we both got out into the sun. The days start so early, now running from 5:00am to 9:40pm, that even the fern garden, which faces NNE is getting a fair bit.
I think there might be time for a little jaunt in the wee red thing, we are running out of real cheese, unpasturised, which I get from a farm near Dunsyre, some 10 miles away. I could take a few photos of the beast in the countryside, get a blast of fresh air and stock up on Lanark White and Dunsyre Blue. Perfect, though I'll have to wait till Saturday to taste it as we have our fasting days on Thursday and Friday.