Both Midges running, definitely a red, and green, letter day. On the red one the new carburettor is working well, at last, just a matter of tweaking everything until it worked. A bit of oil treatment proved to be the last barrier. That improved the compression and it all started to work. It's quite a lot quicker than it was, but it's difficult to know which components produced the effect - having changed so much.
The green one has had a bit of primer and a couple of cans of paint applied. It'll need more later but that will be good for the traditional 20 foot finish, any closer and you'll see the imperfections. It also got some new rear light boxes, a new bit of rubber between the windscreen and the bodywork, and some new rear mudguards. I also fitted the Midge badge on the dashboard.
Next projects are a spare wheel support for the back of the green one and a proper dashboard for the red one, but they can wait till winter. There's a set of badges for the red one, and possibly some wire wheels if I get around to rejigging the mudguards. The wires stand 30mm further out than the current ones, so a bit of engineering is required. I'd say that I've had more trouble getting the mudguards right than with the rest of the cars combined. Mostly because the 13" wheels are standard. The 15" ones that I have on both cars need more space and bounce more, especially the Triumph with its 'unusual' rear suspension. Perhaps new rear shock absorbers will improve things, both rear sets are rather tired looking, and 30 or 50,000 mile replacement is generally recommended. I think mine might be a bit older than that. The Lanarkshire roads have been improving, but our neighbours in West Lothian have been letting things slip a bit and there are a few pot-holes worth avoiding, never mind the 'traffic calming' measures which do quite the reverse when they try to scrape my exhaust off.
The weather has been excellent for Midge Driving, although most of it has been used for poly-tunnel work. Worthy stuff, though not as fun.
Not all is Midges, though the endemic insect version has been having a good go at me while I work on inside or outside the the poly-tunnel. They don't seem to have heard that there's no such thing as a free lunch.
The tunnel now has doors and fly-screens, and the weeds are racing away inside. It'll take a while to knock them back, especially since it warms up very quickly when the sun hits it. Still, if I delay the irrigation, they should be weakened and a bit of hoeing should see them off.
The rain runs down the sides of course, and being a large structure there's quite a flow. The plastic is wide enough to have a channel each side, so I've filled the channels with gravel and the rainwater will collect in a large tank, to be pumped back to where I can use it for irrigation by soaker hose and sprinklers. I figure that the rain I collect should be enough to do the job...we'll see.
In the picture the screen door has started to close, I'd have done the photo again, but it's so humid in there that the next photo was foggy, so this one will have to do. I'm hoping to put a solar panel nearby so that I can charge up a battery to run lights (not that we'll need them for a while) as well as the 12 volt pump and perhaps a security camera, as a neighbour has had some vegetables lifted at night. Mind you, snake warning signs in there might deter the light of finger more effectively.
Bit of a gap there, just over a month in fact. Apologies to all those people who hang on my every word.
The gap was mostly building a base for a spare garage, and putting a bit more work into the poly-tunnel. The irrigation system is largely in, although a little erratic as I work out the bugs. Sometimes the timer seems to lose interest and miss a day, other times it blows the hose off and sprays water all over the battery. Another good reason for not having mains voltage in the tunnel. (It only runs the submersible pump)
I've fixed the pipes bursting off by adding a few cable-ties, and re-programming the timer seems to have settled that matter, so now it's just a bit of fine tuning of the sprinklers.
The system is is a bit complicated as we wanted to be able to leave it running for a few weeks while on holiday, and so some extra capacity has to be built in, along with some ways of making it adjustable for when different plants are in different places.
Mains pressure water has several advantages, although there have been local pipe bursts that could result in a few days drought, and, any way, I don't really want to spray chlorine, and whatever else the water board put in, I prefer to use rain-water, and that is collecting nicely in the side channels. After a few false starts I've managed to get the submersible pump to take what (gravity) drains into a sunken barrel, and pump it into the old, cleaned out oil tank. It's an automatic device with a floating gadget that turns it on when the barrel is about full and pumps it out until it's about empty. Neat, though it kept hanging up on the side of the barrel at first, and it will need a bit more work on the lid to stop hedgehogs falling in.
The irrigation pump is battery operated, a deep charge unit from a mobility buggy, and there's a battery operated timer unit that opens a valve for 15 minutes at 6 pm to let the pump do its stuff. That seems long enough at present, the water is distributed by overhead twiddlers. Fiona has a number of plants growing in pots, the soil isn't really good enough yet, but they can get some moisture from it. Some of the plants are Maize, the rest are a complete mystery to me, with the exception of some strawberries. As I have said, I don't do gardening, I facilitate gardening. Fiona is the one who gardens.
Seen above, the tunnel as it was, pre irrigation etc, and to the right, a month later, is a shot of the plants growing like mad. The shelving in the picture holds the batteries and timer etc, I hope to tidy them away when the system shows itself to be reliable enough.
While I was digging out the various bits of irrigation pipe and allied stuff I found Dad's old knife. I know he used to sharpen it on an electric grinding wheel, so the blade is rather reduced from it's original shape, but it has recently proved so useful at cutting pipe and opening cement bags that I've taken to having it in my pocket most of the time. It must be at least 30 years old since it has poly-filler in the crevices, and he last used that around 1980.
The spare garage base is advancing slowly. Having started it in February I could have made it much faster with a single delivery of about 6 yards of pre-mixed concrete, but I had to dig the founds out by hand, having found digger drivers too un-reliable. I also needed to find a home for the two tons of bricks that came out of the poly-tunnel hole (it went straight through a huge set of stacked-brick foundations) and thought that it seemed silly to be buying material to fill the hole while paying people to take away material that could have replaced it. So I set the bricks out in a grid and mixed concrete to immerse them, and then did it again with the bricks lined up at a right angle to the lower level. It probably took me far longer and more midge bites than it needed, but I did manage to recycle and reduced the carbon footprint. The door, roof and walls are recycled as well, and the timber sustainable. Even the Midge car that goes in it, is made from recycled car parts.
Well the sun is out so I'll go and risk the midges while I try to work out how to build the garage walls, there are a few bits missing and it isn't designed to be bolted onto another wall. Still, life without challenges can get a little dull, and it's good exercise for the brain.
And another free lunch for the little beggars.
Incidentally I notice that the media are starting to suspect there are problems in the world's financial future, essentially a Ponzi scheme, by the banking world pretending they have several orders of more money than they do. A bubble. Surprise, surprise. So for your edification, click the finance link on Answers (right hand side of the home page), those of a nervous disposition may prefer to put their head under a pillow.
All thoughts herein are true, for a given value of 'true' but only in my opinion and at the time I wrote it.