Thursday, August 31, 2006

My Mower again...

Well its been some time since I last talked about me mower...and now I am talking about it all the time!
Why you might ask? Well the local Express and Star newspaper has only been and done some features on old mowers...see everyone likes mundanery, and I have managed to get meself into the paper with a piccy of not one but two old mowers.
How mundane can I get? Well...lets wait a few months and see!
The mowers in question are "Puffing Billy" and "son of Billy?".

Billy senior, as you all know from reading the last blog about him, is a Qualcast 16 from around the turn of the war. I have spoke to my "ole man" at length and find that it was bought by him about 1963 and transported home in the front of his Moggy Minor (OUJ90, if anyone knows of its whereabouts contact me) having removed the front seat to get it in. He had bought it from TOC H (?) from around the Wollaston area of Stourbridge where it had been mowing the churchyard of a local church. It was sold because the people using it were frightened of it as it only had two speeds..."Quiet or noisy" Noisy being very fast and unmanegable! Hence the impending sale to my Dad for, he thinks, about a fiver...a veritable Queens ransom in those days with a seven year old lad, me, and a baby on the sister!

Subsequent examination proved it was nothing more than a jammed, wrongly assembled, carburettor and it was soon weaving its magic on the family lawns billowing clouds of two stroke fumes as it went up and down. Hence...."Puffing Billy".

Over the years it has been repainted in a garish green, Dad's a touch colour blind and had a new set of chains. The clutch assembly for the actuating arm broke passing to close to the rockery some years back and had to have a new one fabricated from steel as the cast iron part was beyond repair. and soon it is to have the exhaust box repaired as sixty plus years of fumes have finally corroded it through. Not bad really for its age...its doing better than me!

Billy Junior...well what can I say about him? Not a lot really...given to me a few years ago by my next door neighbour. It in turn had been given to him by a relation many years before. It is an Atco with a fourstroke engine the same as seen on numerous Suffolk Colts from the sixties through to recent years. It has not seen much use as it is awkward to handle because the clutch is a weird affair with a combination of a lever about three foot long and a handlebar lever like a push bike brake lever. It wont roll backwards because of a dog clutch and although light and a very good cut is produced, turning around or backing out of borders is hence made quite difficult.

Would I swap either for love or money? Nah!!! These modern day mowers are pretty useless by comparison. If you can afford it they are not going to last if they are going to last they are just too damn expensive.

Hey Ho...such is life and the evils of modernisation...

More mundanery to follow...have a good life...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

My Back Passage

This last week or so I have mainly been decorating around the house as the weather has been too bad to go camping with the family.
Today I have finally finished my Kitchen, very nice it is too, and my back passage, for want of a better expression!! Hopefully, as the weather doesn't look like getting any better this coming week I shall have time to spruce up the Hall Stairs Landing and fit some new lights around the patio. You read my blog on my patio...didnt you?

Ahh well...the smell of fresh paint still lingers and the wife looks like she wants me to do a few more odd jobs so...
Bye for now...
Moriarty the Mundane

Monday, August 07, 2006

More Mundane Moments....

Well the patio now looks a treat...the garden is slowly starting to tidy up nicely and we are getting closer to the day we have our first party on the new patio!
So....the boys, who are away on holiday from school, have helped me tart up "Kerchunk!"
Kerchunk is our old gas fired Barbie, so called, because in the days when it used to light at the of the press of a button it used to make a clicking noise that sounded sort of"Kerchunk!"
So far we are making new wooden slatted side bits as the old ones have rotted, sanded down the new bits to be stained in a dark sort of teak/mahogany colour and we will be sanding down the aluminium body ready for a new coat of barbecue black paint. Once all assembled with a new rubber gas hose it should be ready for lighting and burning off all the dead spiders and greasy fat! We cant wait!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My new patio....
Well we decided to have a new patio. So, Mrs Mundane and I got some quotes in and chose Scott a local up and coming landscape gardener who has just "Gone on his own." Having used Scott in the past for other mundane gardeny like things such as tree surgery and fence erecting we know his work is really good. He has relaid slabs and turf at the mother in laws so we were expecting a good job.
One week later not only has he laid a beautiful new patio in Indian sandstone but remodelled the drive for us!
It was agreed that as much of the old slabs as possible could be used as hardcore to provide a firm base to take the weight of the family cars. Finally toppedoff with limestone "MOT" whatever that is...whacker plated and gravelled, the final outcome was a whole lot better.
So what did it cost...well, thats imaterial suffice to say Mrs Mundane is more than pleased and thats good enough for me!