Thursday 30 August 2018

no shipwrecks, and nobody drownded

Every now and then, I see a large bird flying high, and wonder whether it is a heron or perhaps even a passing crane, because it has that squareness to its wings that strongly suggest one or the other. But I've never had the binoculars at hand in time to positively identify it. 

Until the other day, when a chap was talking at me outside my boat, and I noticed an indisputable heron rising on a thermal behind him. "Sorry," I said, interrupting him mid-flow; "there's a heron!"

He looked briefly. "That can't be a heron," he said. "It must be a bird of prey."

It goes without saying, of course, that this chap knows as near to nothing about birds as makes no odds. But hey, mansplaining.

I didn't argue; just watched the heron rise, circling, until it disappeared from sight.

On the other hand, there are people who value my knowledge perhaps too much.

Yesterday I went over to have a look at a generator that I'd sold to a friend a month or so back. It'd been running fine until it ran out of petrol; when he refilled it, it failed to start, though it did make a big black smoky backfire.

I took the plug out and reattached the HT lead, grounded it on the cylinder and tugged the starter cord. No spark.

Jiggered around with the wires, tightened up a loose crimped connector, tried again. A big fat spark, then a couple of faint ones... drained the carburettor bowl. Nice and clean petrol.

...took the air filter out, and squirted some Easy Start down the air inlet ( I know Easy Start is bad for your engine, be gentle with me. I'd just found the nearly-full can by the bins and threw it into my tool bag, as you do).

Chris pulled the starter cord. Once. Twice. On the third pull the air inlet belched a flame, which ignited the filter housing. Quickly I doused the flames with the rag I'd just been using to mop up the spilled oil and petrol. The rag burst into flames. Threw the rag overboard. It ignited the dry vegetation on the canal bank. Chris stamped it out enough to throw the still-burning rag into the canal. 

Oh well, at least I didn't burn his home out... it was a great comedy moment, anyway. No shipwrecks and nobody drownded.

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