Alex Holden (alex_holden) wrote,
Alex Holden

A long overdue update

What have I been up to in the past couple of weeks? Let's see:

I went to the Morris Minor Owners Club National Rally at the Haynes Motor Museum in Sussex. I'm trying to economise on holiday time so I set off after work on the Friday and drove all the way in one go. The traffic was very heavy on the M6, and I went through a stretch of extremely heavy rain, then Lintilla's newly-fitted replacement coil packed in. She started misfiring on the motorway about a mile from a service station that I'd been planning to stop at anyway, and she made it all the way up the access road before going "chuff chuff BONK" and dying with just enough impetus left to coast to the nearest parking space! What a considerate car! :D

Half an hour later I'd used the facilities, diagnosed the fault, fitted the spare coil, and was back on the road. I arrived at the camp site at midnight to find that several of my friends from the MMOC web forum were still up and were just starting to get worried about why I hadn't arrived yet! I quickly pitched my tent by lamp light while Dan pumped up my airbed.

My Primus No. 5 performed admirably over the weekend and got a few appreciative comments. Lintilla was parked both days on display in the website area of 'branch avenue' (don't ask) and attracted more attention than I expected. I suppose it's unusual to see a car on display at a classic car rally that's both cosmetically very tatty and sees fairly high mileage in everyday use. The weather that weekend was swelteringly hot both days and I was in severe danger of Dave's Syndrome. There was an autojumble (a sort of car boot sale for old car parts) and I returned home with the boot stuffed full of spare parts.

The following weekend I went down to mid-Wales to take a look at the house wibble_puppy is buying. To save money I camped at a working water mill about ten miles away. I drove down on the Friday after work and arrived not too tired and with plenty of time to pitch my tent in daylight, have dinner (cooked on my Primus no 5, of course!), and read for a while before bed. This is a big improvement over the 6.5 hour slog down the motorway to get to where she lives now! :)

I spent Saturday exploring the area. I pottered around Newtown and bought some nice sausages for my dinner, I drove for many miles without seeing a motorway or big town, I walked up to a Bronze Age stone circle, then I visited Montgomery on the day of their annual street fair: I looked around the ruins of the castle, I walked up to the War Memorial on the top of Town Hill, and I found probably the best shop in the world (with one drawback: I wanted to take Wibble to see it the next day, but they weren't going to be open, because "chapel's on Sunday"). Finally I went on another long drive and walked up to a huge wind farm.

On the Sunday I went with Wibble to have a close look at the house. I think the place is brilliant! It's an old farmhouse in the middle of the countryside with two rickety old barns. Not only does it have a battered old coal-fired Rayburn stove that I'm going to fettle, it also has a proper deep old well under the kitchen floor, accessed by lifting up a few floor tiles and a metal cover. :)

Last week I fettled another paraffin stove. It was slightly more challenging than the previous one because it was in worse condition when I got it (it had obviously seen a fair bit of use and there was a lot of carbon build-up inside the burner). It's looking good and working well now though! :)

My latest project was rigging up a tank to do electrolytic rust removal on the rusty steel tin the R M Picnic packs away into when it's not in use. I haven't tried it on the tin yet but I did have a go with it on a very rusty cast iron handle, and the result was fairly impressive. It didn't take it right down to shiny bare metal (un-machined cast iron has a layer of black scale on the surface) but it did get rid of all the rust with a few hours of bubbling away in the tank followed by a bit of light wire-brushing.

My next stove fettling project is going to be a pair of Monitor 17b 'picnic' stoves. They are about as small as this type of stove gets and they look very cute indeed. Both are in a fairly poor state right now with various missing bits and pieces, and ugly repairs that want re-doing, so they should be a fun challenge for me. :)
Tags: camping, lintilla, morris minor, stoves

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