Posts Tagged ‘brompton’

The Feds are in town!

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

A day of variety.  Awoke to learn that we seem to have some naughty neighbours.  After a quick tea, hooked up and checked over our trailer before taking it to the vehicle inspection station for its periodic WOF.

100 1114

Took a bunch of stuff to read as the queue is always a long one on Saturdays.  Upon arriving, I was surprised to see that there was no queue – until I remembered that this is the weekend of the annual local hot rod show.  While the roads were choked with cars as always, clearly no-one was getting theirs tested, judging by the large number failing checks at the police check point down the road.


Back home in record time and after fruit salad and coffee, I set to and tackled the ‘honey, do!’ list of tasks requested by SWMBO.  For the record this included:

  • Resurrecting the non-functioning turbine head on our Dyson vacuum cleaner.  Having fiddled with, disassembled, reassembled, tested, disassembled again, disassembled some more, cleaned, dried & re-lubricated the brush & drive components and reassembled again, I fixed the thing. I take my hat off to James Dyson and his design engineers – not only is the vacuum the best we’ve ever had, it is user serviceable and therefore flies in the face of the ‘cheaper to buy a new one’ mentality so prevalent these days.
  • Repairing the grip of the expensive salon-grade hairdryer.
  • Glueing a Dr Scholl’s heel file back together.

IMG 0568

After providing a quick lesson in how to use sandpaper to a crafty daughter making a wooden wall hanging, I jumped on the Brompton to run last night’s DVDs – The Tree of Life and Oranges and Sunshine – back to the store before heading to the library to scoop up a requested book for SWMBO and Brad Meltzer’s The Book of Lies for me.


Following lunch, I took the smallest and a friend to see The Adventures of Tintin. Great fun and technically brilliant but always felt like it was tailored to favour the 3D version with heaps of in-your-face action and, with its linear plot and set pieces, maximise the spin-off game potential.

Later, after a brief read, a longer nap and a fish supper, we decamped to the home of Canasta-playing friends on a whim when SWMBO decided she wanted to learn to play the game.  Whether it was because I’m tired, was sober due to being the designated driver or simply not the most motivated of card players when it comes to longer games, I struggled from the first hand.  Even with the patient coaching of my mate Paul, I found it hard to match the enthusiasm and growing skill of SWMBO who was under the tutelage of Paul’s wife Tracey.  That said, we somehow won.

Back home and with a glass of red wine consumed, I’m off to bed and to delve into the darkness of Adam.

New Year News

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Having booked a couple of weeks off, we had hoped for a relatively relaxed Christmas. We had a great Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, spending them with my friend John, Sean and John and their families respectively, however a few family dramas both here and in the UK took some of the shine off.  That said, I’m trying to take an even more positive stance this year, so I’m sure it’s onwards and upwards from here.


Last Thursday, feeling a little bloated from all the festive food, I joined my friend John and his two lads for a day-long tramp in the Coromandel.  Due to my admitted lack of fitness, we took a few hours climbing up the track to the Pinnacles (above) and then dropped down to where the hydro line crosses the Kauaeranga River.  From here, we left the track and went bush or, to be more accurate, we went gorge.

We spent the next five hours working our way down the Kauaeranga Gorge and in doing so, we got a workout that I needed three days to recover from.  We climbed down old kauri dams, walked over the endless riverstone-strewn riverbed, clambered and slithered down rapids, leapt off rocks into cold dark pools and swam the river between towering stone walls hundreds of feet high, using our ruscacs as floatation aids.  It was a fantastic guys’ day out with John and I working with the lads to keep safe whilst experiencing the wonders of creation, testing our nerve, pushing our physical limits and beating the occasional voice in our heads.

After eight hours of continuous and sustained effort in rain, working to keep the contents of our rucsacs dry, make progress down river and keep warm despite repeated swims, it is fair to say that each of us was tired as we walked back into the Kauaeranga Road End Car Park.  Thirty minutes later, dried off and in clean clothes, we tucked into fried chicken and fizzy drinks in Thames to refuel and warm up before the drive home.

IMG 0488

After a great New Year’s Eve evening with friends on their block and an equally lazy New Year’s Day, I decided that I really needed to get myself motivated and do a few things around the house. So far, this week’s labours have centred around tidying up and creating more storage in our workshop/laundry.  Measurements in hand, we took a trip to the local big box DIY store and grabbed a set of bolt-less shelves that have more than doubled the effective storage space in the workshop, leaving the workbench and the space under it clear and useable.

Our Jack Russell cross Abbie and her stone deaf best mate white cat Olive sleep together in the workshop.  This being the case, I bough an extra sheet of 10mm MDF and used a bit of jigsaw-pokery to create new sleeping quarters for them.

IMG 0483

Rooting amongst some of my old bike stuff in the shed, I was pleased to find my long lost Gerber multi-tool, lurking at the bottom of a box of bits.  I bought this great little tool on a wet and horrible day in Tenby (Wales) whilst competing in an off-roading competition years back.  I spent a good 40 minutes cleaning and oiling it and rewarded myself with a nice, deep cut to my finger with the serrated knife, which Robyn helped me apply three surface-stitches to in an effort to staunch the bleeding.

In that funny way things link up, during the tramp I mentioned to John that I was enjoying reading Bear Gryll’s autobiography, Mud, Sweat and Tears (a Christmas gift from my ladies) and John said that he had a great Bear Grylls-branded bush knife that he got from the US.  It turns out that these are also made by Gerber!

IMG 0491

Having been stored next to the old pet bed, my Brompton was covered in dust, fluff and accumulated animal hair. This afternoon’s job was to clean the bike, check the tyre pressures and check the gears and brakes, ready for some summer rides in order to try and get a little fitter and trimmer.

IMG 0492 2

That done, SWMBO and I tackled a bit of upkeep around the section, mowing and weed-eating until things looked tidier and now, with the smell of curry drifting from the kitchen, I’m off to investigate!