Sunday, July 10, 2016

Why we are not on Herbie today, plus the finished can and a comical Shakespearean tragedy

We should be out on Herbie now, en route for Calcutt to have them tweak our engine to cure low speed vibrations.  However we are at home instead and we’ve had to put the very nice people at Calcutt off for a week. I’ll explain why.

There was I yesterday at Cowley lock dressed in full CRT volunteer livery, hurling myself like a suffragette under the wheels of speeding cyclists(OK, slowing them down to give them a maplet and asking them to go steady, but I was ever so brave, a bit.)  Just round the corner, in a proper parking spot, well within the marked lines, our trusty Skoda Fabia estate stood patiently waiting for my return, when some person unknown, but equally unforgiven drove too close and smashed my drivers side electric wing mirror.  I don’t know if you have ever driven a car without a drivers side wing mirror, but I don’t recommend it.  Only when you don’t have one do you realise how often you really need one.  Driving without an offside wing mirror is illegal, and having tried it, I can understand why. Anyhow it was late Saturday afternoon and I can’t do anything about getting it replaced until Monday at least, so we can’t get out to Herbie with all our gear in time to make it to Calcutt.

Never mind, we had fun watching Andy Hamilton and Lewis Murray , or was it the other way round? winning their races/ matches today AND I had time to put the last coat of Craftmaster’s wonderful (really) super clear varnish on our repainted Buckby can.  Since I last showed it to you, I bit the bullet and decorated the lid with a picture of a heron and a traditional boaty type heart.  The art of art they say, is knowing when to stop.  In my case I decided to stop before it got any worse, so here is the final result.

fincan3  fincan4


You may notice from the lower picture that the lid surface is pretty lumpy.  That’s not my rotten painting m’lud it’s just that the galvanised surface of the can was pretty lumpy to start with and I didn’t fancy grinding or sanding off all the galvanising.

Anyhow, there it is.

On Thursday we went to our local Odeon who were doing a live showing of Romeo and Juliet from some London Theatre -  a Kenneth Branagh production. These things are beamed live from the theatre by the wonders of sputnik or telstar or one of them things.  There we sat waiting for the screen to start up and nothing happened. For quite some time.  Then just before the time when the real play was about to start the screen burst into life.  Horray! With Al Jazeera news channel.  Boo!  Then up popped a satellite dish configuration screen and we spent a happy fifteen minutes watching some poor soul in the back room frantically roam through all the menus trying to find the right settings.  By now, embarrassed staff were patrolling the aisles taking orders for complimentary soft drinks or coffee or whatever while we could hear the voice of the unfortunate tecchie on the phone to a help desk while various members of our audience shouted out helpful things like “Have you tried Control-Alt-Delete?”.

Then just as we were all about to give up and go home our brave tecchie accidentally pressed the right button and the play sprang into life.  Unfortunately, the actors in the London theatre had cruelly started without us, and we were well into the first act.  So although I know that the Montagues and the Capulets (aren’t they paracetamol tablets?) didn’t get on, I have no idea why.  Anyway we got through to the end without further bother and half the cast died happily ever after.  Not the best cast (by a long chalk) of a Shakespeare play but Derek Jacobi made us laugh with a very camp Mercutio and Meera Syal made a very good Brummie/ Indian/ Jewish nurse.  We got free ice creams in the interval and a free ticket to see a film of our choice any time in future, so we forgave the Odeon, whose staff at our local cinema are unfailingly kind and helpful.


KevinTOO said...

Oh no, electric door mirrors can be quite expensive (I know 'cause I work in the motor trade) :(

Have a look at they might offer a 'reasonably priced' replacement, hopefully.

Herbie Neil said...

£75 gets me a whole new one Kevin, but there is a chance we can rebuild the old one as only the housing and the mirror itself were destroyed. The workings are intact. I'll find out more tomorrow.

Sarah said...

Brummie? Meera Syal was born in Wolverhampton and grew up in Bloxwich. But I guess that's what acting's all about.

Simon said...

Shame about car - I can imagine the frustration. But trains, buses and taxis go to bots too ;-)

Glad I wasn't the techie at the cinema. I never lost a live transmission (although I did artistically 'modify' BBC Choice for exactly 60s, but no-one really noticed.

Herbie Neil said...

Simon - not with all the clobber we need to take this time they don't! We do use public transport from time to time to get to the boat and back and find it very good for the most part.

Oakie said...

I REALLY DO like your roses Neil, but the leaves are divorced from the bouquet. Do those first & then the roses. Great bit of sign writing too. Well done Matey.

Oakie said...
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Herbie Neil said...

That's a fine time to tell me about the leaves Ray ;-)!! It'll be a while before I do any more. I'm sure you are right although I followed the instructions on the Phil Speight roses and castles kit as far as I recall. Anyhow, having seen the photo's of your can I place myself firmly in the second division with you in the first so I gladly defer to you.

I was keen throughout not to copy established technique too slavishly, hence my roses are a bit different from others I have looked at. I work on the principle that Herbie is not a historic or trad boat, so it can take an original twist and I generally can't resist trying new ideas.

Hope to bump into you sometime this year.


Simon said...

quietly enjoying my 'bots' typo ;-)

I do understand the pros & cons of travel, just a gentle, possible misplaced tease. Brought Tortoise down to Brentford on Sunday; I might even do something worth blogging soon! ;-)