HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Posts Tagged ‘nissan’

A Large Purchase, or how Stephen’s eyes were very nearly larger than my car boot

Posted by HelenEdith on June 16, 2009

I've folded the handle down, but it's just not enough

I've folded the handle down, but it's just not enough

Stephen and I went to the Wrotham Steam and Vintage Classic Rally last Saturday. As well as the usual attractions of steam engines, tractors just like Daddy had from the 1950s onwards, stationary engines, and classic cars and bikes of all ages, Wrotham boasts a considerable number of stalls. In fact, there’s an alley there which resembles a well-organised car boot sale.

I spotted a cat carrier, which we paid for and promised to collect later, but I quickly gravitated towards the arena to view the classic tractors being paraded, while Stephen lagged behind in the area where money could be spent, and didn’t surface up near the arena until about an hour later; and when he arrived, he told me he’d bought a lawnmower. 😯

I was a bit sceptical about a purchase that large fitting into the boot of my Nissan 200SX, but Stephen was absolutely confident that it would fit.

When we started getting footsore, we decided to visit the burger van for some sustenance and then visit the car to have a sit down. We collected our purchases (once we’d found the right stalls 🙂 ) and took them back to the car, too.

That was when the fun started.

My misgivings about inserting a lawnmower into the boot of a sportscar were borne out when Stephen folded down the handle of said lawnmower and tried to load the implement into the boot without any success. The handle simply wouldn’t fit through the hole that is the aperture into the boot of a Nissan 200SX.

That's the idea! Undo the brackets so the handle will lie a bit flatter

That's the idea! Undo the brackets so the handle will lie a bit flatter

So it was on to Plan B.

While I stood guard over our marooned lawnmower, Stephen went back to stall alley and purchased a shifting spanner for a very reasonable price. So armed, he returned and proceeded to dismantle the brackets that the handle attaches to. They were conveniently held by two nuts each. [No comment about the one who purchased a sports car and the one who expected to stow a lawnmower in the same. 😀 ]

Look, no brackets. It's bound to fit now.

Look, no brackets. It's bound to fit now.

Soon the lawnmower, minus its brackets, but with the handle still attached although now floating free, was ready for another attempt on the boot.

Hmmm... This is still bigger than the way into the boot. I know there's enough room if only I can get it inside...

Hmmm... This is still bigger than the way into the boot. I know there's enough room if only I can get it inside...

We were very nearly foiled again! The top of the engine stuck on the back of the boot and just wouldn’t slip inside.

That was when we thought to check the level control and discovered that we could get the wheels in much closer to the body.

Yes! That level control was a charm. Retracted the wheels and in she slipped!

Yes! That level control was a charm. Retracted the wheels and in she slipped!

Thank goodness for that! It went in – and the boot lid would shut, so we didn’t need to go back to stall alley and purchase an octopus strap.

However, we still had another large purchase to stow: the cat carrier. Stephen thought it most unfair of me to record his struggles with the lawnmower, so he forgot his disdain for Pentax and relieved me of my camera and told me that he was getting his own back while I got the cat carrier into the car.

This cat carrier *should* fit on the back seat

This cat carrier *should* fit on the back seat

It really wasn’t hard at all: front seat tilted right forwards, and just a little twist and the cat carrier was in!

Ah yes... Front seat right forward and turn the carrier just a bit to one side

Ah yes... Front seat right forward and turn the carrier just a bit to one side

I’m not sure about that little twist if Boonie or Sam had been inside: maybe if we have cat transporting to do, we’d better take Stephen’s Reliant Rialto with its superior load-carrying capabilities!

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Entry for March 15, 2009 – Crises in Chislehurst

Posted by HelenEdith on March 15, 2009

We are still without heating. It was supposed to be fixed last Thursday but the engineer who was due to do it called in sick. I phoned the plumber on Friday, but by then they had two out sick. I have an appointment for tomorrow. I hope the engineer booked for the job is fit and well.

At least it was warm today and we didn’t have to run the fan heaters continuously. It still gets cold at night and Stephen’s really feeling the cold. He found an additional fan heater so now we’ve got one in the living room, one in my study and one in our bedroom and we don’t have to keep unplugging them and moving them around.

This morning I was supposed to be playing wind quintets with the girls at Sutton Valence. I got everything in the car and set out up the road and decided that I could hear noises which weren’t coming from the car radio, so I turned off the car radio and listened and sure enough, I could hear a crunching noise.

So I came back around the block. Stephen was on the driveway and he’d heard the noise when I left, so wasn’t too surprised by my return. He got in the car with me and we drove up the road with the windows down for a listen and isolated the noise to the exhaust system, which after 10 years, had picked today to let go. 😦 So I missed my trip to Sutton Valence, as Stephen didn’t want to think about what would happen if the whole exhaust came off. He later decided that it had enough anchorages that it would just make a big noise, use lots of fuel, and hopefully not do drastic things to the turbo, but he didn’t decide that in time for me to make the 60-mile round trip to Sutton Valence.

Being a somewhat unusual car, I decided not to just front up at the nearest KwitFit but to phone around first. I got a consistent story: bring it in for a look-see so that we know what it is and we’ll order it in for tomorrow. Stephen wanted to come with me for the look-see and I wanted him to come, too, because if I order something that he doesn’t approve of, I won’t hear the end of it.

So we duly took the car for a look-see and it needs the central and rear parts of the exhaust replaced. KwikFit will make some calls in the morning. I’m not altogether optimisitic that they will locate the spare parts by tomorrow, so I suspect that getting it fixed might have to wait until the next time I’m home-working later in the week.

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Entry for November 06, 2008 – the 200SX is still sick

Posted by HelenEdith on November 6, 2008

I did some “hospital visiting” today: I went to the dealer and saw my 200SX.

She’s sitting outside Service Reception with a big DO NOT DRIVE card hanging from her mirror.

I removed my Dart Tag from the windscreen and a pair of my previous prescription of glasses from the console box, as I may have need of both before my 200 is better again.

I also picked up a courtesy car, a metallic blue automatic Nissan Micra on this year’s plates. Predictably, I got in and my left foot immediately sought the clutch! The controls on the Micra are in the same places as on my 200 and it is vastly better to drive than the Toyota Yaris I had last time I was without my 200. (On that occasion, the problem was what a Dutch lorry had done to her in a traffic jam.)

It is to be hoped that the intercooler currently on order from Holland will be all that’s needed. It’s hugely expensive, but less so than buying a different car, particularly as I’d never be able to afford another one so nice.

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