Saturday 16th March 2013

     We are safely back from a quick visit to Hampshire, but seem to have got back to  Lanarkshire in the wrong season.
The last few miles of the motorway was a little hairy as it went from a bit of light rain to a blizzard, the snowflakes were 2 or 3 inches wide, I don't think I've seen them that big before.
    Tarbrax and the general area has had about a foot of snow since we left, most of it melted again and then it started again after we left the Premier Inn (M6 J21) where we usually stay there when doing this trip. 
   By the time we got home it was about 4 inches deep again. poor old Postie must have had a bit of a job, and it didn't get any easier today.  Lanarkshire and West Lothian both think that Cobbinshaw, a part of his patch not far from here, is in the other county, so they don't grit the road.
  He, the Postie, got stuck, and was not the only one I think. The residents and visitors have been trying to change the mindset of bureaucrats on the subject of gritting, but I don't think they've had much luck, you'd need the patience of a saint.  The problem is compounded by Royal Mail issuing the postmen with standard 2 wheel drive vans, perfect for most of the time. but useless in a Tarbraxian winter. Perhaps they think they'll have built up the speed a bit, and can just push on for the odd week of snowdrifts. 
  I cleaned my drive myself, much easier with the new surface, and the gritters and farmers have cleared the road to us, but trying to get up a steep half mile of potholed road near Cobbinshaw Loch! No fun, and probably more like our back road seen here.
  Could be worse though, I was told that the Channel Islands had 6 feet of snow! That would have got their attention, but it's always better to check your facts before spreading stories, the news websites show high winds with maybe 4 inches of snow with a bit of drifting. The archive footage of 1979 showed about 3 inches. I think the 6 foot  bit referred to a ditch that a drift had filled in, still a bit of a shock if you weren't expecting it.  Such meagre quantities of snow would not impress a Tarbraxian.  I guess it is down to what you are used to. Ask Pete Maguire in Canada, he'll tell you about snow. I was told they have forty words for snow there, none of them printable. Last year I did think about a snow-blower, but a snow shovel is probably better exercise and less likely to break. Either way the trick is not to drive over it before you clear the drive.
    Our trip down south was rather rushed, and we didn't get the chance to see everybody we wanted to. There were a few repairs to 5 Athelstan to deal with, nothing too difficult, but I've booked myself for another couple of jobs, if they don't get done before I return. I had hoped that life would be more relaxed, giving us time to catch up with all the things we should do, but I see it gets just as busy as it did when we were working. I must remind myself to get a double light switch, some 40 watt small Edison screw bulbs, a 13 amp socket and a single patress box for the next trip South.
    I think somebody wrote that work expands to fill the resources available, so I suppose we had better get used to it. The people who say they are bored never do anything, but still complain just as much about not having enough time. There's a deep truth there I could delve into, if I had a minute or two, but first the cats need combing. 
    I'm sure they turn half their food into fur, and then shed it in lumps all over the carpet. Isn't it time somebody invented a carpet which integrated the fur? Granted the colour might be a bit odd, but it would never wear out and should be really warm. Some kind of special electro-static attachment to a vacuum cleaner, and a modified printer perhaps. Any funny smell should at least scare the bejazus out of the mice.

    While south I managed to get a few spare parts for the Midge (Triumph) including some gaskets and a couple of half shafts from an old friend who was disposing of some old stock. Things like that can get remarkably expensive if you really need them, but otherwise just clutter up garages for decades before getting scrapped (a week before you find you need them) There are dozens of Stromberg carburettors sitting on shelves somewhere out there. Finding them is the tricky bit. My current wish list is 
A mark 1 Spitfire pop up roof frame or similar
A single Stromberg or SU carb for a Triumph 1300 engine
(or a complete 1500 Spitfire engine and overdrive gearbox)
An early upright Ford radiator grille, (car or tractor.)
A 'bunch of bananas' type Ford 1300 cross-flow exhaust manifold
Eight alloy 15 inch mudguards or an english wheel
A load of steel box, tube and rod steel
all free and delivered in a nice box with a bow on top
Well there's no point in wishing for half measures.
And I might as well add a nice Little Grey Fergie, No pressure Susan.

Actually I'll probably get all of those if I want them enough, but it helps if you write it down. (Try that sometimes, you'll be amazed)

Anyway, I'd better get on with some of the other things that need doing, or they won't get done. 
Mind how you go.