Friday, July 31, 2009

Bella Bella!

We're soon going to be off to Belladrum. For those who don't know this is a lovely little festival just outside Inveness. It has a good line up of acts (no one too big you understand) and lots of up and coming talent. The cider is tasty and cold and the people are friendly. We had a superb time last year.

Being in Inverness means I need to do a lot of preparation. There have been a few things to sort with Jessica. First off was the oil change/oilfiler/sump leak job I have been putting off for ages. That took a good while to get sorted, the sump need cleaning out (handfuls of "grit" in the bottom) the oil filter didn't want to come off and the sump seal needed careful alignment. But now its done and doesn't seem to leak. Saying that there is oil falling from the bottom of the engine, but I've managed to convince myself that its just due to a leaking rocker cover and/or oil I dribbled while refilling it.

I have also changed the fuel pump in an attempt to address the high power misfire she's had since the Yoxall Commer Van Fan Meet. New plugs and a clean up of the high tension system helped a bit, but she still ain't right. Tonight I changed the fuel pump and fuel pipe maybe a test drive tomorrow can shed some further light on it.

Finally after the tragic demise of the awning in North Berwick, we had to get a replacement. Well eBay turned up the goods and it arrived today - hopefully I'll get a chance to check it out and put it up before the weekend. Early indications are that it is big (3 x 3.5 m big...).

In other news A CommerVanFan put me on to this... I'm in love... swap spoons for old cars and thats me that is... oh the feel of rusty metal.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bad on Paper - Good in reality

This weekend the kids and I went away to North Berwick, it didn't start in a promising way. The forecast was for lots of rain - and we got lots of rain. While we were dealing with that on friday night, Megan trapped her finger in the back door and made a right old mess. We took a trip to the local cottage hospital * and she ended up with a huge bandage. By the time we got back the awning had succumbed to the stormy weather and made a break for freedom. Sausage and chips were the only way to get over it all, and by the time were were done, we were much happier and ready to get on with the rest of our holiday.

brave little girl with a comedy giant bandage

By saturday morning the rain had subsided and we could survey the damage... oh dear - new awning needed I think.
a crumpled mess...

On Saturday - after swapping the comedy large bandage for a smaller plaster, we went off to the seaside in search of icecream.

standing on a beach (staring at the sea)

little man - big thoughts

As everyone knows Saturday night is party night and its no exception when we're away with the Van. The little bucket barbecue came out and did a fine job grilling Quorn sausages, home made veggie burgers and jumbo mushrooms.

big cook - little cook

On Sunday we stopped off at Longniddry station car park and went for a bike ride along the old Longniddry - Haddington line, stopping for lunch at a disused platform. Its a great little cycle path well maintained with a long gentle incline. Its about 4 miles end to end and perfect for Sunday afternoon.

Oh and little Jessica came along for the ride too...

* If there were a review system for NHS services, this one would get 10/10. Infact I'm wondering how I can make sure any future health requirements for me or the family can be met here. Cottage hospitals are a wonderful concept - all the skill and experience of of a proper hospital, but with none of the queues.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I like having 2 cars on the road - it's great! I get to have fun and pick the appropriate vehicle for whatever I feel like doing. The Commer is great for shifting big stuff, taking the kids to places they have to be and cruising around in the rain (oh, and camping too...), Molly is great for everything else (including searching West Lothian for classic cars).

The problem - of course you guessed there would be a problem - is there is twice as many things to go wrong. Now I don't want to sound like I'm whingeing, with great cars, comes great responsibility. Molly has been great, a few things were loose (like the wipers, and the main electrical connection to the things which are on when the ignition is on), but I've come to expect that. I've also fitted a voltage regulator and a temperature gauge - worth having.

The Commer on the other hand has been rather more annoying. Everytime I want to go for a drive, the battery is flat. So it's been a diagnosis process - was the battery being drained or is the battery dead? I'll let you know...

The other thing I've been up to is refurbing the trailer. Its half way through and looking pretty nice. Bit of a problem with the bearings though. I got myself a new set and they're not quite long enough. Bum....

By the way sorry about the lack of posts - been on holiday. We went to Fuerteventura, and frankly dear reader, don't bother. Its hot (too hot) and there are no classic cars. Modern cars seem to fall apart under the sun and sandstorms. Avoid.

We managed to loose the camera (some ring tailed lemurs were to blame) so no pics for a while - sorry.