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Tread softly because you tread on my seams

So you thought August would pass with no hint of my august rantings? . It has been a frustrating month and yet it has had its rewards. I am lucky that my workshop is next door to TMA Engineering; I needed a rotisserie for the Alfa 105.....I am no longer in the physical shape to work underneath cars, on the floor ("Ooooh, me "Chalfonts" etc etc.) whilst dealing with welding blobs that have a magnetic draw towards my family jewels. This has come alongside the realisation that I may not get my call-up to play in goal for Leyton Orient, McLaren are not going to bell me about a possible "Drive" and that Rachel Riley really did mean what she said about a Restraining Order.

Art takes many forms and is divided by both opinion and perception. To me my rotisserie is art:

Here is this months list of rants: 1. Why, when there is at present, basically a "free-for -all" with Derriford Hospital's parking re-modelling, is it now easier to park there than it has ever been? The chaos is more efficient than the "organised" system.

2. The "Classic Car Market" has gone mad. In the last month we have valued a Ford XR2 at £7900. It was not perfect. I travelled to a small village near Tavistock ( "Oh gosh yes we love it and we try to get down whenever the Sprogs are home from boarding school....Jeremy and I came down once for a weekend in term-time once and it was like a ghost-town....we still don't understand why") to do a valuation and inspection on a Ford Anglia Estate....Lovely car, perfect original patina (how the **** has that word transformed from what I thought was pronounced to rhyme with "sciatica", to some Yank version that now rhymes with "Cortina" ???) The asking price was £ 8750.....In 1963 it was sold new by Gates of Woodford for £677.00. Don't get me wrong, I love an Anglia; my first car, first SIC, first arrest (Where are you now Nick Alexander?) and evntually modified to destruction. She (Rosie) actually tore out her own axle mountings. But, ultimately we are talking about an estate car that would struggle up the ramp to a cross-channel ferry with anything more in the boot than a suitcase and a tin of Hannbury Fruits. Flat out at 81mph for anytime longer than 20 minutes and your chances of reproduction were reduced by 70%. .....and yet.....research, knowledge and inspection (and a quick scan through Car&Classic) dictates that, in the current market, it was worth every penny of the asking price.

I need to start stock-piling Nissan Micras.

3. As you know, Dear Readers, we have had an Aston AMV8 in for various jobs, one of which was to try and get the wipers working a little better. We found that the rubber mountings for the wiper motor were shot. Naturally, we ordered some new ones from Aston Martin and as a temporary repair we found that the right size wiring grommet was a perfect fit Two weeks later and £17 lighter the proper mountings arrive. I open the packet and there in front of me are......3 wiring grommets, exactly the same as the 10p each ones I have already used!

4. Brexit. How many voters thought the money was going to the NHS? Well it is. Not to reduce some of the longest waiting times in Europe but to fund some (probably) overpaid Management Consultancy to see which A&E departments can be closed, which staffing levels can be cut and how much more can be flogged off to the highest bidder.

I have many more rants but I am saving them up for the bitching crescendo that we all call Christmas.

I have managed to get out and do some fishing again. We spend too much time trying to earn a living and too little time really relaxing. My mate Terry has managed to drag me out a couple of times to drown some worms and he has probably saved my sanity. It doesn't matter if I catch anything or not. The whole sitting on my ever growing backside, doing very little is just sheer pleasure. As Terry says " If fishing was easy it would be called "Catching" instead. As my Grandad use to say "Enjoy life 'cause you're a long time dead". And he was right as he's been dead for over 40 years now.

Josh, my youngest son, has been helping out in the garage this week. I have had him drilling out spot-welds which may sound easy but requires a degree of hand-eye coordination and delicacy. I marvel at how both he and Jack have adapted to a set of skills that their "Education" didn't even brush past. The vast majority of the young'uns that we have had working here leave school having never used a power tool or even basic hand tools and yet they are all capable of using them, with minimal tutoring and most of them thoroughly enjoy it. What else do they miss out on whilst Head Teachers worry more about exam grades than Knowledge? This isn't a rant BTW. It just makes me sad to see kids not fulfilling their potential.

Jack can now seam weld, Josh will be able to in the very near future and the reverse bonus is that I now know who Ellie Goulding is and how to make a Jelly Vodka.

'Til next time.......

Alan S.

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