Hi there Dear Reader,
We have been pretty damned busy since my last one, so I apologise for the lag between my diary posts.
From 16 to 24 July, I was enjoying reliving and celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo XI moon landing. Heroes all.
On 14 and 21 July, we popped over to Wisley <more here>.
The more observant (or patient) among you will know that the main events of the Summer Holidays have been fun in the Ratcliffe Universe.
We have enjoyed brilliant stays on the Isle of Wight and also Disneyland Paris.
<Isle of Wight> <Disneyland Paris>
The Sunday after we got back from France, we had another enjoyable stroll around Wisley. <more here>
Going back to work after the summer breaks and Bank Holiday was hard as the vacation baton was passed on to my supervisor. We were busy, so I struggled in truth to get back up to speed.
We started sorting and clearing out some of the "stuff" at mine trying to get my place on the market by the year end.
I have had problems with local kids hanging around the drive and using my front wall as a perch or kicking post for a couple of years.
I don't react well to it, and it has unsettled me.
After visiting my Mum one Saturday in July, I noticed a mark on the window pane. Closer inspection showed the hole and crack in the above photos.
This has been the straw that has broken this camel's back, and is the catalyst towards moving and ultimately setting up home with Jenny and Layla.
Police reports and insurance claims have sorted out the glass relatively quickly, the rest will take more time...
Bookmark this page for that continuing saga...
Train routing amendments on Saturday 24 September meant that I rode to Blackfriars instead of London Bridge and Charing Cross when I visited the Duchess.
I saw some interesting sights on the way <more here>
Later that evening, I discovered that Highway Robbery is still alive and well and being practiced in Brighton.
We parked in an NCP car park and when we realised the mistake paid up £6 for 15 minutes and parked across the road from 18:45 to 11:15 for only £4-50, so we were still ahead of the deal.
My Christmas present from James and Tara came to maturity on Saturday September 14 at the the Brighton Centre.
Professor Brian Cox's World Tour arrived - on the face of it, a bizarre thing - 3,500 people chose to come out on a Saturday evening for a lecture about Space Time, Black Holes, and the Cosmos and Complex Life. ("The Cox" said that could not actually be a lecture because of the price of the tickets).
A great night, "Are there any amateur astronomer's in the audience tonight?".
"No ? - Good, I can make any rubbish up, then".
I found the first half just a little bamboozling in parts - as with some "swottish" TV documentaries for the first 20 minutes I was understanding the content fine, then at somewhere in the region of 35 minutes all I realise is that the speaker is saying words but I am lost !
You have to accept and just move on - it normally works for me !
The second half seemed to be better for me.
Oddly, James told me that the reverse was true for him, and he preferred the first half.
The show was full of stats and facts -
The Cosmos and what science can tell us about it is just amazing.
A Tale of Two Sensors...
In the middle of August, dashboard lights came on to tell me that the Electronic Stabilising Program on my 2002 VX Golf had stopped working - awful grinding noises from the brakes and intermittent power also gave a clue that there was a problem, worse of all a dreaded yellow light on the dashboard.
My usual mechanic shyed (sic ?) away from the issue as "it is to do with the electrics", so I took his advice and booked the car into a Car Diagnostics Wiz in Merstham.
On September 3, he told me that it was the ESP sensor and gave me a part that I would need to source "that would cost about £699 RRP" although you can get them a bit cheaper online.
I found some on EBay for about EUR300, but asked James to see if he could find any.
He did from Lithuania for £15. As he said, it might not work (as it was used), but you have got to in it to win it.
It arrived, James fitted it for me and the light and system is currently OK.
Fast forward to Thursday and this shows on Jenny’s dashboard :
Initial thoughts were that this was the same problem as on mine. Advice was to get the car to the garage, so this was arranged for a check up the day after.
I was off on Friday, due to pick up Jen’s Mum from Bognor in the morning, but Jenny needed to borrow my car to get her to work. We jigged the time table around, and sorted things out.
Nothing showed on the short drive to the garage in Reigate. They came up with two recorded unidentified errors after plugging in the diagnostics gizmo which in turn led to leaving it to see when or if it recurred.
Hoping that would be it, I drove off, looking forward to a supermarket breakfast as it was only 09:05.
I should have been more worried, as sure enough as I entered the one-way system in Reigate, up came the message again.
Around the block I drove, back to the garage and spoke to the nice but harassed guy that I had dealt with earlier. Once again he plugged in the machinery and found nothing except a communications error.
What he did notice however was a misfire, which he was genuinely concerned about - it had not been happening earlier in the day.
Checking under the bonnet as the engine ran, and gestured me to step out and take a look.
A quick look at the engine block showed that the right hand side was sparking across the engine block while the misfire was occurring - sparks were literally flying.
Figuring that random high voltage discharges from the misfiring plug through the wiring loom and engine block would very likely cause irregular sensor readings, it was quickly decided that the coil block and plugs should be replaced. It was scheduled for that day.
Off I walked to Morrison’s for breakfast, after which I picked up the 430 Metrobus to Merstham.
Later we collected the car and for £190, the misfire problem has been sorted and no messages are showing.
Weebly have recently updated their website maintenance pages which has led to some issues which I hope are resolved very soon. Essentially, I have been unable to edit this blog and other pages on that site using a PC.
The last few items have been edited on the Weebly App on my iPad, so I hope that it is up to scratch.
Until any next time, Dear Reader.
Let’s be careful out there.