Friday 19 March 2010


Crikey, it seems only last week that it was freezing cold.

That's because it was freezing cold last week.

Yesterday morning, though, I was driving through Flax Bourton (a small village to the west of Bristol, for those of you not watching in colour) and I saw two swallows. So I had to screech to a halt (must squirt something on those brakes) and jump out and watch to make sure.

This is an ostrich, probably. You get them in Somerset, too.

And then I went round to Brendagh's, where I was servicing an Esse cooker. Which involved lots of scraping of soot and cinders, a lot of which ended up on me. This morning I have black snot. Urk. It was quite fun, though, as now I know how the stove works. And it is better than it was before I started. Which is very cheerful-making.


  1. One swallow doth not a summer make. But two do. And seeing as the ostriches have arrived in Somerset, Monkey Island has officially gone tropical.

  2. It was spring here until today... Wednesday and Thursday were wonderful. Sunny, still far too cold in the morning (couldn't feel my hands after getting off of the bike) but going home in the evening was fantastic. Perfect weather for riding.

    Today is cloudy and wet. Warmer though...

    I was amazed at the flowers here too. Last week it snowed. Now there are daffadils out.

    What a difference a week makes.


  3. Same here but no swallows yet. We have an Ostrich farm near to here, but I haven't visited it yet, nor tried roast Ostrich.

  4. I find ostrich rather, um, bland ;-) And dry.

    A nice cheery post Dru :-) Thanks. x

  5. Screech to a halt? On 40 year old drums? Truly you have a foot of steel!

  6. It's always tropical on Monkey Island, Suzzy. Probably.

    The rain has come back again here, Stace, though it's still a lot warmer. And the blackbirds are gearing up into full getting-it-on mode, with much singing and squabbling.

    The're rather scary beasts close up, Anji. The one that came up to me had a look in its eye that I remembered from Jurassic Park. I thought, "If I won't eat you, don't try to eat me..."

    My pleasure, Jo. I lightweight, that's me :-)

    Look after your brakes, Jenny, and they will look after you. Though it sometimes feels as though you need to book a reservation for braking in advance, it does stop pretty sharply if there's an emergency going on. Though the groanings of protest from everywhere in the car are a bit alarming...

  7. Seemed fairly warm and springlike here on Sunday morning as I was greasing up the front suspension.

    Would the under-floor brake master cylinder on the Morry cause complications plumbing in a remote brake servo?

  8. I took advantage of the warm weather last week to do my grease points, Philip, including the universal joints on the prop shaft, which I like to keep a weather eye on ever since the forward UJ failed on me a while back, fortunately with no worse consequence than some horrible noises.

    There is a remote servo plumbed in, so I guess the answer is 'nope'!

  9. Some years ago, I remember seeing a Reliant Robin do a good impression of a pole vaulter when something near the front of the prop shaft (not sure if UJ or coupling) suffered a sudden and catastrophic failure, allowing the shaft to drop and dig into the road. Thankfully, driver and passenger were unhurt, but understandably very very shaken.

  10. I'm not surprised. On the MMOC website someone has described fatal prangs involving a similar failure; with mine, I failed to identify (but then so did a pro mechanic) that the horrid noise was from the UJ bearings failing

    -good job I worked it out eventually....

  11. How on EARTH could someone let a failed UJ get to the point at which the propshaft detached? The racket must have been atrocious! Oh, Reliant driver, I see.

    OK, My apologies. Old car geekery gets the better of me. Just how does a servo attach to an underfloor master cylinder? I've seen a Minor conversion to a Marina master cylinder with servo on the bulkhead, but never an underfloor servo. Servos don't happen in my particular rusty automotive backwater so enlighten me.

  12. It's a Lockheed unit, and it sits in the engine compartment, looking a bit like the one in this diagram

    -it was fitted before I got the car, and I haven't yet had reason to explore its inner workings, though no doubt I shall in the fullness of time

  13. I was surprised to pick up an MOT failure on Froggie a few years ago, for servo body corrosion: this was a retrofitted remote unit from a scrapyard BMW. It worked brilliantly, but we hadn't notice that the rust had set in until the MOT bod found it, presumably while poking at the bulkhead.

  14. (Looks at Lockheed diagram...) OK, I get it. A secondary master cylinder in addition to the Morris one. I'm used to the all-in-one type. Thanks for that!