Friday, 22 April 2011
Here in the UK we are embarking on one of our periodic rashes of bank holidays. A late Easter, a Royal Wedding and May Day mean that we have four of them in eleven days. We're surrounded by a rash of monarchism and apathy as the explosion of national joy at William and Kate's impending nuptials turns out to be rather muted compared to that surrounding his parents' wedding back in 1981. Back then we had a village party with a huge spread of food and several families clustered round a slightly blue-tinged colour telly. I seem to remember some of the women sporting highly improbable outfits featuring more than a little red, white and blue, though that could be a confusion with memories of the Silver Jubilee in 1977. This time I guess my mother will have it on in the background in digital widescreen HD but I doubt she'll watch the whole ceremony. I saw a piece yesterday making the point that the royal engagement ring alone is worth £32m, £4m more than the UK Government's total 4-year spend on services for abused women. Sigh.
Unfortunately my wife will be at work for some of the holidays. So I'll be at a loose end. Not that I'll be short of things to do. After nearly nine years languishing, the Rusty Old Wreck is finally booked in for an MOT test on Wednesday, and I have to ensure that it's as ready as it can be. Old cars can always surprise you with the diversity of ways they can let you down , and I'm anxious that the Wreck doesn't do that to me on its Big Day. I've had enough drama so far with its brakes. Who knew that finding a drum brake adjustment tool would be so difficult in 2011!
In a way having the Wreck roadworthy will be an anticlimax. Sure it's fun bimbling through the countryside in a fifty year old car, but I've found that the fettling of an old piece of machinery is what has kept me coming back to it of late. Something real I can involve myself in to help myself ignore everything else. You'd never have caught a twenty-something me drooling over supercars at the Motor Show but it will be interesting to see whether I rediscover some of the fun I had in owning an older car back in the '90s. I guess if I'm short of old machines to fix I've always got a geriatric motorcycle begging for my attention.
With so many days free I'll probably attach the mutt to her bit of string and set off across the fields a bit further than my usual circuit. My part of the world is looking pretty good at the moment as you can see from the picture attached to this post. So by next Tuesday I'll no doubt have caught the sun, have sore feet and insect bites. But I hope at least I'll be happy having shed the girl as best I can.