Just a load of old rambling about me and the different things I end up doing...normally projects and builds of some description!
I have also published a book called "The Project Has Landed..." about the Land Rover Series 3 rebuild I did and it can be bought from any amazon website so please feel free to go and get yourself a copy!
If you feel the need or just want to talk feel free to contact me via Nick@nickysmith.me and I will get back to you asap :)
Campervan ProjectPosted by Nicky Smith Sat, December 16, 2017 15:21:49 You have just got to love the snow. It looks really nice for the first 24 hours then you are sick to the back teeth of the stuff! It really was too damned cold to be playing outside on an evening so last night was really the first chance I got to do much of anything. Today though saw me putting in a full six hours because I had worked out the date of when the camper had to be officially converted for the insurance...January 22nd 2018.
Best pull my finger out eh!
Using old pallet wood I built up the kitchen storage area after securing in the microwave so it doesn't come flying out at me if i have to harsh brake.
The kitchen cupboards were then boarded in and I set to fitting tongue & groove paneling long the front of the work surface. The waste and fresh water tubs are secured side by side under the sink and the doors have been made with a thin plywood back which I then T&G'd up afterwards to give them some strength.
My good lady Wife and youngest daughter returned home at this point and checked out my handy work. The youngest then came out with "That looks really nice!" with the sound of surprise in her voice. I then replied "What did you think it was going to look like then?" "Well you know Dad, seeing as you were "building" it yourself...not nice like it does"
Don't you just love your kids. They think you are as thick as two short planks and rubbish at being able to do anything by yourself because, to them, you are just plain old!
The plan is to hit the van as much as possible this week getting the worst of the building all finished. I would like to be able to send the V5 back to DVLA for the change of vehicle by the new year...
Campervan ProjectPosted by Nicky Smith Sun, December 10, 2017 13:25:28 I genuinely do not know where to begin. A few things have happened in life so I have just pottered on with the most evenings trying to do at least one thing a day to push the whole build on even though it is bloomin' freezing most nights now. A chest infection has sapped my strength and my faithful old dog reached the end of her days so as I look back at all of the pictures I am about to put up I am genuinely surprised at what progress has been made.
When we last left off the floors and walls were mostly in place. It was time to start getting the framework in place. The bed was the beginning soon followed by the seats and cupboards.
With that done it was time to look at the 12v lighting. I had already predrilled the holes out so it didnt take long to wire them together and dig out the old car battery I have kicking around to tes these sort of things.
The keen eyed among you will also notice that I have boarded out the headboard area across the rear doors. This will give us something to lean on in bed and the back of it will be a place our coats can be hung after opening the rear doors.
I measured up to fit a microwave so that covers the "cooking" element for the conversion on the V5 and will be a bonus when we are on 240v hook up.
A pallet wood kitchen sideboard with new taps and sink fitted will add a little variation and colour in the sea of brown.
Add a couple of shelves, along with the microwave, an old door to give a little depth and a front to the big cupboard and it really is starting to look like a campervan :)
Campervan ProjectPosted by Nicky Smith Mon, November 27, 2017 16:28:11 Still feeling as rough as a badgers behind if I am honest. This though wasn't going to stop me doing a couple of hours work on the camper though. Firstly I had to choose a colour for the walls.
Seriously where the hell do you start with that?? I was not going to ask WIfey about colour choices so I decided all by myself, like a grown up, on a darkish oak and I don't think it looks too bad all in all...
The floor was bought from Wickes a couple of weeks ago and by a stroke of luck it actually matches! The eagle eyed among you will notice it does not run all the way to the back and that's actually planned believe it or not. All in that dept will become apparent as we go along.
Campervan ProjectPosted by Nicky Smith Sun, November 26, 2017 17:45:12 I have been a busy boy. Quietly in the background these last couple of weeks I have been plodding along in the evenings doing the odd bit here and the odd bit there.
Throw in a chest infection, putting my back out picking up my nephew and being generally bloody busy across the board I think I have done pretty well so far. Whenever I look at the van though the 90 day limit alarm bell rings at the back of my mind. I should really figure out when that date is so I have something to aim for.
So what's been happening then? I set to fitting the vapour barrier over the insulation. This was a nice steady easy job that used about a hundred meters of tape...
The electrics were first fixed, the battens refitted and then I had the pleasure of battening the whole of the inside. I needed framework in place to attach the tongue and groove wood. Seeing as I didn't really want "boxy" corners it did take a bit of time to to create the curved framing on the roof.
The sides were easy enough...they just go straight up. The roof though... It took some fiddling, a little cursing and more than a couple of walk aways from the whole damned thing but it hasn't turned out too bad.
Then it was just the final meeting up of the boards on the ceiling. Of course they were not a perfect match but when working with wood nothings perfect. A quick strip of wood later and the finished article is not too bad even if it looks like a log cabin :)
Campervan ProjectPosted by Nicky Smith Sun, November 12, 2017 16:53:51 The second window is in! There was slightly less poo this time which my backside thanked me for no end. It was a slightly smaller window so I only managed to destroy two jigsaw blades in the process.
Once the window was bonded into place I set my sights on the van floor. The timber had arrived so I cracked on fitting it into place.
The last two cuts were for the 240v input and a cheeky little outdoor 240v mains three pin plug so I can use outside cookers etc when on campsites.
The start of the internal wiring will come next along with proper markings out for the furniture. Sorry for the bland post but quite frankly I am shattered!
The soldier stood and faced his God, which must always come to pass. He hoped his shoes were shining, just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now you soldier, how shall I deal with you? Have you always turned the other cheek? To my church have you been true?"
The soldier squared his shoulders, said "No Lord, guess I ain't. Cos those of us who carry guns, can't always be a saint. I've had to work most Sundays, at times my talk was tough. And sometimes I've been violent, the world is really quite rough. But I never took a penny, that wasn't mine to keep. Though I worked a lot of overtime, when the bills got just too steep. I never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear. And sometimes God forgive me, I have wept many a tear. If you have a place for me Lord, it needn't be so grand. I don't expect or want too much, but if you don't I'll understand.
There was silence all around the throne, where the saints had often trod. As the soldier waited quietly, for the judgement of his God. "Step forward now you soldier, you've borne your burdens well. Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets, you've done your time in Hell
Campervan ProjectPosted by Nicky Smith Sun, November 05, 2017 07:25:57 I love a good steak. When Wifey suggested steak and chips for dinner, me to cook it of course, I jumped at the idea! Why oh why though does your house have to stink of steak for two days after cooking it? It was a strange experience eating my cornflakes this morning at the kitchen table whilst smelling last night's meaty dinner!
I had planned for Saturday to be the day to fit at least one of the potential three windows into the van and of course woke up nice and warm in my cosy bed to the sound of rain pounding on the roof. With a mental shrug to myself I thought "It's got to rain sometime" and pottered on with a few bits on on Wifeys car instead. She seems to have a habit of getting a puncture at least once a week at the moment so I shot off out on my new Saturday morning habit of getting that repaired. Let's see if she can make the whole week this time keeping all of the tyres a round shape. The book is open folks, place your bets.
Thankfully the rain passed soon enough and I got around to actually measuring up all of the windows I have bought. Yep there will only be two fitted I think. I thought there were two large, one medium and two small but I was mistaken. There is one large, two medium and two small. After a bit of thought I have decided a big one at the front and a medium at the rear. What to start with though? Bugger it, go big or go home!
I measured the window again and checked it against the panel it was going into behind the drivers seat so as to be the kitchen window.
Yep, definitely the right one so I made a template and offered that up. Then I checked the measurements again...yep seems about right, maybe, but I marked up the panel in pencil just incase I was wrong. I needed a nervous poo now so there was a short delay at this point.
I cleaned the window on both sides so I didn't have to make the first cut quite just yet. This killed another five minutes which turns out to be just about enough time to make yourself need another nervous poo.
"Right then. Enough of this" I thought to myself as I was doing my trousers up for the second time in twenty minutes. "Time to take the plunge!" I drilled in some pilot holes around the corners and set to with the jigsaw on what turns out to be paper thin metal. I popped some tape behind me as I cut to stop teh vibrations getting any worse than they were.
Within minutes there was rather a large hole in the side of my nice little van. I know it's not an expensive van but it's mine and as I looked through the side of this colossal hole out through the sliding door on the other side of it I needed another poo.
Once the spasmodic bowl had calmed enough for me to walk around again (after a suitable length of lying down recovery time of course) I went back out and primed the edges ready for bonding.
With the edging strip fitted I then stuck the bonding on, top tip here do not get any of that stuff on your skin as it does not come off at all!, and the moment of truth had arrived. With the help of my daughter I popped the window into place, bedded it in as best I could and secured/propped it place.
Honestly I think it could have been a little tidier but overall I am very happy with the result :) Hopefully it wont fall off as I drive along and I need to try and get around to fitting the second one now but I fear that will be a job for next weekend. I need a proper day off from work and hobbies and that's exactly what I plan to do today. A hole lot of wandering around looking at the colours of Autumn somewhere nice is on the cards.
I need to box clever now on the rest of the build price wise. There are a few bits to sell on already so I may get around to that later to top up the pot. Turns out wood is pretty damned expensive when you buy it new!
Campervan ProjectPosted by Nicky Smith Sun, October 29, 2017 15:04:37 Summertime is over. So with that extra hour in the day it seemed like a good idea to drive to Cleethorpes to collect some side windows for the van that I had managed to source online. The sun was out and Wifey wanted to go to the seaside, this particular seaside in fact. You see a couple of years ago or maybe last year, well at some point recently she said that she wanted to go to Mablethorpe. Once there she then insisted that I was a stupid pillock and that she wanted to go to Cleethorpes! Now us gentleman do not make such drastic errors when driving so she was of course lying through her teeth. Still at the time we had a pleasant, if very cold and wet, twenty minutes there because absolutely nothing was open, not even a cafe. So we soon left.
But today only a mere year or maybe two later I managed to get her to sunny Cleethorpes where not only did I make Wifey happy but got the next big bits for my van for a very very reasonable price.
The journey down was not without incident though. You see before we left I had consumed two large mugs of tea. Then on route I had a rather large cup of coffee. This of course led to rather an uncomfortable issue. Half way in I needed to pee but not to worry I was sure that I could hold it. Two thirds of the way in I was not quite so confident and by the time we were three quarters of the way in knew I would not be able to make it without causing a rather large, if warm mess.
There was nothing else for it but to pull into a suitably wooded layby. As if by magic one appeared within the mile and I gladly jumped out of the car making sure to look at what I was walking over to get reasonably hidden to have a much needed piddle.
Such was the relief that I was not quite so careful walking back out of the woods. As I stood back onto the tarmac path it seemed remarkably spongy. I had of course stood in some dog poo. Yes I know that it was probably not dog poo but the fact I had to clean the sole of my boot off with baby wipes for several minutes before I could get back into the car I had to convince myself that it was indeed some dog poo left behind by a lazy owner who did not want to pick it up.
Wifey of course thought this all highly amusing and happily snapped away with her camera so I could "Share the experience" with you all...
I didn't find it funny but in all fairness I would have done exactly the same thing if the tables were turned!
But despite the poo and the storm force winds trying to take us off of our feet at the sea front we managed to get in a cheeky Fish & Chip lunch and I have got the next big bits to move this camper project onwards.
90 days for the build? Yea, we should be ok with that!
Movano £1600 Windows £125 Other stuff £loads and loads but will price up individually in a bit :)
Campervan ProjectPosted by Nicky Smith Sun, October 29, 2017 07:38:00 I don't think I can properly explain how different this project is going to be for me. The majority of the work is being done inside in the warm and dry. If as winter arrives and the temperature drops I will have the horror of running an extension lead lead out then plugging in a heater. Then as part of a cunning, keeping myself warm plan, I will close the doors and continue the conversion in earnest.
The is insured now and I managed to find a way to save the best part of £200. This came with a rather important condition. I have to do the whole conversion in 90 days. That's not as bad as it sounds though. All of the work is in the interior so thankfully not mechanical which makes life so much more straight forwards.
So in order to begin putting the stuff inside that I we want I had to take what was in there out. I opened the doors and was presented with a sea of plywood and solid bulkhead.
All of this came out very easily much to my surprise. No nonsense with the screws apart from a couple that had to be ground down after the wood was removed. The bulkhead also practically jumped out of the van upon request. I was then left with a filthy dust ridden panel van which when was swept clean is in exceptional condition for it's age! I have definitely got the base vehicle right with no welding needed anywhere at all, anywhere. Not a bit, or a patch. No hidden just under surface rust wanting to surprise me later on. This in itself is a breath of fresh air for me as it feels like all I have done for the last few years is weld stuff up before doing the simplest of repairs.
At this point I have had to have a good think on the position of electrics, the general layout of the interior and how many windows I will fit into it. Hopefully today I will collect five windows of which three will be fitted to the camper. Once I Had figured out what I wanted where I started to fit the insulation. Having bought two cans of high temperature adhesive I thought that this would be enough to do the whole thing. I was wrong. I needed to double the amount and then add some more so that'll be another trip to Screwfix on the way home from work tomorrow.
The insulation looks well though and really makes you feel like you are getting somewhere already with it all :)
Now at one point I had our porta loo inside of the van so I could visualise the size and placement of such important things as this major thinking spot. In fact I got so engrossed in this that when my neighbour stuck his head around the corner he found myself sat upon the throne, pants up I would like to point out here, asking "Would you like me to come back?" With a grin I replied "If you can put up with the smell you can stay"
My bank card has also been in meltdown over the last 48 hours buying all manner of necessities for this build. A full price breakdown will follow shortly when I can bear to look at what I have spent.
Campervan ProjectPosted by Nicky Smith Sun, October 22, 2017 21:17:53 Well they say you cannot keep a good man down. In my case that is not quite true, the good man bit I mean, but Wifey has had enough of me wandering around "her" house aimlessly getting involved in all manner of things that I should not be touching because I "make a mess" or "leave stuff lying around". It quickly got to the stage where she was sick of seeing me indoors so I was given the go ahead to go and buy something interesting that would be at least of some use to the both of us when it was finished.
With that sort of broad spectrum handed over, along with a very small budget of course, I set to working the internet hard (not that way you dirty sods) trying to figure out exactly what I could next get my teeth stuck into.
After a few days of thought the answer really was quite obvious... I would build a campervan! What else would be of use to the both of us and an ideal get away for the weekend kind of toy!
All in all that was around a month ago and I have been hunting for a base van in earnest ever since. I have hit all of the usual sites and looked at over a dozen vans in total, that's another story in itself, until I found the little beaut that is now currently sitting on my driveway blocking all of the light from getting into the living room. It is a Vauxhall Movano 2.5 Diesel Long Wheel Base Extra high Top Van. This I am told is a small price to pay to get me out of the house on a regular basis.
With the motor found it is now onto the planning stage of exactly what we want to fit into this build to make it completely bespoke to us. Even Wifey is showing an interest in this stage but I expect will be hiding away in her Christmas cupboard once the heavy lifting comes around. So here we go again folks, it's time to get stuck into the next big project because the nights are drawing in and it is far too dark to do much else other than sit indoors looking at the TV. Those of you that know me know that this was just not going to happen!
Well due to personal
circumstances I am having to sell “The 110”.
This has not been a
decision that has been taken lightly, in fact it's a decision that I
have been dancing around over the last couple of weeks but sadly it
has to be done.
I hate selling
anything, especially motors, as it always seems to draw out the time
wasters who want to come along and kick the tyres whilst
simultaneously sucking air through their teeth and shaking their
heads in a way that they think this will convince you to sell the
motor for a tenner and feel that they are doing you a favour. So what
you will get here is a warts and all expose on this old D reg 110.
I bought this a couple
of years ago and it was a wreck. It seemed where ever you poked a
hole would form so instead of being the quick patch and play I was
hoping for it turned into rather an extensive rebuild. If you go to
www.nickysmith.me and click
on the category “The 110” you will be able to see exactly what
has been done to it. You will also see in lots of places me saying
that I will never ever sell it. Turns out those words were a
poisoned chalice because here we are with the old boy up for sale.
A quick list of things
that have been replaced are as follows starting from the front:
200tdi engine fitted
Turbo & manifold
Extensive work to the
Hinge upright bits
(forget the name)
Modified for the turbo
Full brake rebuild on
the front including new discs pads and calipers.
Wheel bearings front
Axle fluids changed
front and rear
Full brake rebuild on
the rear inc brake plate, pads, springs, calipers
New shocks and springs
front and rear
¼ rear chassis
Soundproofed where it
Tinted rear windows
Carpet fitted to rear
All lights replaced
front and rear
Discovery transfer box
Clutch slave cylinder
Painted front to back
Power steering fitted
It sits on a set of
Heated front screen
And I am sure there's
more I have forgotten!
I have done less than a
hundred miles in it since it was MOT'd (I think the MOT is until June
18 I will have to check) so it's still being run in after the
extensive work done on it over the last couple of years. The light
bar is fitted but not wired up yet.
The furthest I have
travelled in it is around 40 miles at once. The temp gauge reads a
little high but I think that may more due to the sender as it just
sits there not moving once its got up to temp. On starting it smokes
a little but this disappears once it has got warmed up! Best to be
I was going to under
seal it from front to back but now I am going to sell it I wont
bother so anyone who is interested in buying it can see it for what
it is underneath. Nothing to worry about there just surface rust.
It's old, it's noisy
and the cab rattles inside when you are on tickover. It will break
down on you because it's a Land Rover and they all do. It is an
ex-military model but is 12v with a civvy spec inside. Still manages
to leak oil. At least when it's leaking a bit of oil you know
there's still oil in it!
It is sold with no
warranty implied or given. If it breaks down on the way home it
does. It is what it is, an old Land Rover that has had the base work
on a rebuild done. This doesn't mean it's a new car it just means it
will last a little while longer than it was going to!...hopefully.
It is a sound base for an overlander conversion which was my initial
If you have any
questions please get in touch via message or on 07398103184.
I have the full V5 in
my name and a full receipt will also be given at the time of
MusingsPosted by Nicky Smith Mon, July 10, 2017 20:12:47 Honestly why do I do these things to myself? I think that deep down somewhere in there I am some sort of sycophant. Oh I am not talking about the hair, well that is looking stupid but not what my thoughts are here, nope I am talking about the brave way I have volunteered myself to walk up yet another mountain on the 9th October 2017. It is a different mountain this time, I shall try to top out Scafell Pike. The mountain will be hard enough but the more immediate problem is my current fitness levels. Especially my rather portly stomach. I look like a Vicar who is at the age of retirement and lost the battle with the belly many years before giving in to the resignation that it is now rather a large part of life.
So the training started today in earnest for this mere little bimble up the mountain side. I arrived home from work and quickly donned my 1987 pair of dayglo shorts along with t-shirt that has somehow been shrunk in the wash (must be the tumble dryer again. Wifey seems to have been shrinking a lot of my clothes that way recently) and a rather fetching pair of running trainers given to me by my Dad and guaranteed by all sorts of clever scientisty type people to make me run like the wind from my first day.
Knowing it has been some time (years) since my last attempt at running, managed to get up to ten minutes constant running or maybe fast walking depending on how you look at it covering at least a mile, I decided that a quick run around the block would be a good first day back on it. I warmed up on the driveway feeling good about myself and what would undoubtedly get rid of my extra stomach on the first outing. The jogging commenced on a slight uphill gradient along our little cul-de-sac that is about 200 metres long and by the time I got to the top of it I had decided that "Interval"running would be best for me so I could actually just walk for a thirty seconds.
Soon I was off once more full of grit and determination for at least 45 seconds before the walking interval had to kick in. This seemed quite a pertinent idea seeing as I was more or less unable to breathe. I felt as out of breath as an overweight ex smoker in his early forties that had done bugger all strenuous physical activity for most of this year. Oh hang on a minute....yea, that would be me.
Not to worry just a bit longer would see the ticker kicking in properly and the muscles catching up with the brain I was sure. Nope. It did get a little easier but my legs were screaming, I could not expand my chest enough to get the required amount of oxygen in and there was enough sweat pouring off of me to fill a childs paddling pool. But the gods seemed to be on my side because the sky grew very dark and the heavens opened! I have never enjoyed being in the rain that much! As I turned into our little cul-de-sac I decided that it would not be very good to let the neighbours see me walking back home and seeing as it was down hill I just kind of lolloped back towards my driveway letting the curtain twitchers think I had been all so very good and healthy. When I pulled under my car port and out of the sight of prying eyes I bent over double to try and ease my screaming lungs which only took about five minutes....not too bad at all for a first time out I would say.
I am sure it will get easier when I try to do it again next month.
It's raining it's pouring the old man is snoring...well I'm not really but I was feeling a little stir crazy stuck indoors so I grabbed my camera and new to me 10mm lense and took shots of whatever I could see in my slippers from under the car port.
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Sat, June 10, 2017 16:23:30 I woke up to the sound of rain hitting the roof hard above my head. I didn't care at first as I turned back over onto my side whilst pulling the duvet of my comfy bed that I had just spent the first night in a week in. It was cosy, warm and I desperately wanted to drop back off to sleep but the morning held a job that was a week overdue in the doing already, so with a gentle sigh I flipped the covers back letting in the cool air and dragged myself upright to start the day.
The week's holiday we have just taken was lovely. Lots of Spanish sun and far too much good food and drink had been had by all but reality had kicked back in as I sat nursing my morning brew looking out of the front window into the typically British rain. I wondered whether The 110 would start after sitting so long, the battery had been a bit on the low side when I moved it last week but I guess there was only one way to find out. I chucked on my rain hat along with my coat and headed out into the downpour with the landy keys in my hand. After removing all of the various anti theft measures that are put into place because there are so many thieving buggers about hungry for any Defender they can get and also because you could nick one using a wet sponge, I hopped into the drivers seat dripping water all around the cab. The key was pushed home into the ignition and with a quick flick of the wrist the engine roared instantly into life.
"Bugger me, it started" I thought to myself hoping that this was going to be a good omen for the day. What was I forgetting though? Oh yea, the big box of tools that I had set up ready in the garage before going off on our jaunt to Spain. I wandered back down the driveway grabbed the box out of the garage and promptly popped it into the back of the motor.
I needed diesel so the first bit of a drive was to the local petrol station about a mile away. Much to my surprise we made it there without any breakdowns... "Going a bit too well this" I thought moodily to myself because this now meant in my head that the engine would probably explode on route to the MOT centre. Fuelled up and paid for I was once more travelling along the road building up a steady speed keeping an ear on the new noises that The 110 was making. Seeing as this was our first trip out together I was unsure of it should sound like but seeing as everything was still moving as it was supposed to with nothing falling off I figured all must be well.
Our speed built up steadily to 55mph and this seemed fast enough while all of the new components from the rebuild settled down into their own rhythm. The noise though! Wow! It was like sitting inside the exhaust of a B52 Bomber plane that nose diving towards the ground at a ludicrous speed. "Need to sort out some insulation then" I figured mentally adding that to the list of future work to do. The distance passed quickly enough and before I knew it I found myself parking up outside of the test centre. I handed over the keys and wandered out of the way enough to keep an eye on what was happening with the old boy. I have to admit I found myself smiling thinking that even if it failed it still looked bloody good!
The MOT guy meandered back over a fair while later to give me the news...
It had passed!
Grinning from ear to ear I couldn't believe that I was going to be able to start having a play finally in The 110. The next list of jobs to do came alive with the next stage of it's transformation into an Overlander. This next section though can be and will be done over a much longer period of time with no rush involved.
I bimbled home without a care in the world wondering how long I would get before it broke down but no! today he wanted to stretch his legs as much as I did. I will admit to missing the odd gear here and there but apart from that there were no issues at all.
He needed a name now he was alive once more. I thought of "Pukka" at the start of the build using the letters from his number plate but no that just did not suit. Over time on the build I had caught myself calling him "Mator" the same name I gave the Series 3 I rebuilt. So after some careful nosing around online trying to remember where I had seen the recent pictures of the old series 3 I found that the name sticker had been removed and a few other mods made to it.
So bugger it, I introduce to you one road legal, taxed, mot'd and insured Mator Mk2 and quite frankly, I have never been so pleased to see the back of a rebuild in all of my days!
I would like to take a moment to say a huge heartfelt Thank you to all of those people that put themselves out for me and this build especially over the last year which has undoubtedly been the toughest of my life. Thank you somehow doesn't seem enough to say or do but I will pass on the help you have all shown to me as and when the opportunity arises in the future. Life without friends that support, encourage, love but most importantly still take the piss out of you when you are down would be no life at all.
So this motor, The 110, Mator Mk2 has been a labour of love. It has driven me mad had me seething in rage wanting to sell it or burn it but it has also kept me busy when I needed it most. It gave me time to think and reflect on my own and time to spend with my friends as they pitched in helping hold me up when I needed it most. You see these Land Rovers are special. They are fun. They are frustrating. They are money pits. They are also beacons to pull folks together from all walks of life with a common interest that always seems to end up somehow in laughter quite often with a couple of beers in tow.
Oh and I am never ever ever rebuilding another one!
Bit of an issue really and not with The 110...There was a problem with the trailer so The 110 has been rebooked in for a week on Saturday and insured for the driver there instead. A little frustrating but after all of this time another week or so is nothing in the grand scheme of things!
It only seems like last week I was writing away about The 110 but after having a quick nose through the website it turns out is has been a bit longer than that. So I have a few things to tell you now then...
The 110 is sat on my driveway. Not underneath the carport in the "Try and fix area". Oh no, it is sitting proudly upon the gravel of the grown up driveway in front of the house.
This is because many little bits have been completed of late. A shiny new alternator has been fitted after some modification by a friend because I bought the wrong bloody one again. There is now pipework running from the turbo in all directions. I still need to buy a cone filter to get it through it's MOT then I will look at mounting something a little more permanent. The oil flush is waiting to be used on an oil change to clean the engine out a little more as it has been standing for a few years now. It will probably be next week for that now if I am honest. The floors have been secured and painted green again so and the front number plate has been bought and fitted and the spare wheel is once again in it's rightful place upon the bonnet.
The lightbar is also in place as well. I do like a good light bar! May have to head down getting it some LED's fitted though as they look a little nicer.
All in all we are very very close to getting the first MOT now. I will be taking the old boy to the test station on a trailer then hopefully getting him insured so the actual pleasure of driving him can begin.
I feel like I owe the readers of this blog a bit of an apology. I am well aware that the ending of this particular series of blogs on The 110 have been more than a little flat. Those of you that know me and follow regularly know this is because I lost my little sister a couple of months ago and to be honest the pull of writing has been missing for the most part since then. It is coming back in dribs and drabs so my drivel will continue on!
Having said that I have also been busy in the background starting the process of setting up a charity in my sisters honor to give other people with special needs a rare old social trip out at least once a year to the seaside or a show etc. This is because Kazzie my sister loved to be out and about meeting new people and spending time with the friends she had already made.
With that in mind the first fundraiser is going to be from me while we finish the charity bits off. I am not having the hair on my head cut at all for a whole year! I am six weeks in now and have gone from a shaved bald head to some grey haired bugger staring back out of the mirror at me!?! I'm not too sure who he is because I am only twenty six, full of youth and dashingly handsome to boot. My Handsomeness is only outshone by my modesty.
So if you good folks have enjoyed reading the writing I do please feel free to chuck a pound or two into the pot. If you have not enjoyed reading the writing I do then why are you here? Just a chuck a couple of quid in the pot anyway ;)
We really are nearly there in getting The 110 on the road! It will seem strange actually driving it for real, like a grown up. This build feels like it has taken forever to do with moving house, getting knocked off of the motorbike and actually renovating the odd room that Wifey insisted I do to make our home "livable" Still, nearly there now and the pictures from all of the pretty places that I breakdown will soon be coming your way...
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Thu, April 20, 2017 08:39:58 It's ok I am still around. I am not in the middle of what's become commonly known in our household as "The 110 despair cycle", nope I just have been really very busy with work and fitting life in in general. This is literally the first time I have managed to find twenty minutes to sit down quietly by myself to write a few more ramblings.
It is getting really quite close to MOT time now after putting in a fair few hours on The 110 last week. First point of contact was taking out the faulty steering box again. With all of the practice doing this particular part of the rebuild, I am becoming quite a dab hand at it now. So I popped the bonnet open to be faced with the popped seals unit.
This literally fell out because it has only been in there for what feels like five minutes. All the nuts and bolts came off cleanly, even the ones under the inner wing.
I was going to try and tackle the inner wing bolts with the wheels still on but it soon became clear that this was not going to happen. So the wheel was whipped off to make it a tad easier. Honestly I think I am going to wear out the wheel nuts before this build is finished with the amount of times they come on and off the motor.
With the old steering box quickly removed I went and grabbed the replacement. This is my second and final stab at using a second unit. Honestly if this one is faulty as well I will just bide my time and save up for a new bugger. I could not remove the old steering arm that was on the box for love nor money so in the end I very very carefully cut through it as it sat on the spindles using a 1mm cutting disc. When it got near to the spindle I stopped and using a slightly thicker chisel whacked the cut open with a couple of deft blows. This released the old arm and left me with an intact usable unit.
With that done the box was quickly fitted, it needed some adjustment on the steering column arms to make it all bolt up nicely, and everything centred up steering wise once more.
I have no idea if it works or leaks yet as I have not had the chance to pop out and buy some power steering fluid. No really I haven't, the only parts I have manged to get hold of have been online. These amount to the new turbo oil feed pipe (cost a small fortune), a set of number plates and the bonnet catches. It wont be long before these are fitted and we are then closer than ever towards getting the MOT sorted. Funds and any disasters pending I am hoping this should be within the next month or so. We can then get to the next round of breakdowns and repairs as we tackle the teething problems of the rebuild!
MusingsPosted by Nicky Smith Thu, April 13, 2017 11:48:17 Well good morning to you all! We fast heading towards the end of the first month of me not cutting the hair on my head for a year. Progress is being made (albeit slowly) on setting up a charity but the good news is that my hair is now long enough to have that much sought after "Just got out of bed look".
For many many years I have literally just got up, had a wash then headed out of the door without a thought of what my hair was doing. Those days it seems are now a thing of the past for the foreseeable future as I learnt to my detriment on Monday morning. I just did the usual wash and off to work routine only to be asked as soon as I stepped through the office door "Sleep in?"
Seemed a bit of an odd comment to me that, that still had me slightly confused when I replied "No, am I late?" The person who asked, who shall remain nameless for now as they have pledged a large sum of money to "make sure you look stupid for a year", then said "Forgot to brush your hair then?"
"Brush it? I mean brush it? Why would I need to Brush, oh of course." I replied and went to find a mirror that soon showed me that one side was stuck excitedly upright whilst the other side was flattened and pushed backwards. Not to worry it was only an eleven hour day to look stupid in so I dunked my head in a sink full of water and sort of pushed it all around to look like a more general scruffy mess. I doubt this will be the last time it happens but I just have to say again the way it's starting to move depending on the heat is freaking me out a little... #yetismith
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Mon, April 03, 2017 19:03:29 Now you may think that I have not been doing a deal on The 110 but you would be mistaken. The evenings have become warmer and the daylight is lasting longer so I have been merrily pottering around the old wreck getting it closer and closer to it's finished point over the last few weeks.
I have fitted a full set of new lights! I was just going to replace the lenses but when I saw that the whole unit costs only a few quid I decided why mess around? Now the old bay has a full set of shiny new lights fitted. These even work as well thanks to the knowledge and help of a friend who came over and played in the cold dark night time under the car port until we had them all shining up in the darkness. Thanks fella, you know who you are ;)
The floors along with the tunnel needed refitting so I had a happy couple of hours yesterday afternoon playing with those getting it all fitting just right. Beer stopped play though when a neighbour turned up and we sat admiring The view from the car port with a couple of cold ones in hand.
The power steering header tank needed fitting so this has been done on the passenger wing just tucked up to the front maximising the space on the nearside. There were a couple of brackets to make up here and there as well as securing the rear brake pipes now the brakes themselves have been rebuilt.
I am still looking for a turbo oil feed pipe and a couple of bits and bobs but finances are tight so until a couple more bits are sold off they will have to wait.
Realistically I can see it being ready for MOT at the end of the month which would be fantastic! Providing of course that nothing else gets buggered up between now and then...
Sorry for the short update folks but with everything that has happened of late I seem to have lost my writing spirit! Work is stupid busy as well. Got to keep you all in the loop though now the end is in sight!
MusingsPosted by Nicky Smith Mon, April 03, 2017 18:51:08 Well I have made it to the end of week one of "growing my hair for a year". It's already itching and a mate has pledged to give me a tenner per inch it grows. I thought he was being a tight git until he asked "How long do you think your hairs going to get Nick?" "I don't know" I replied "A couple of inches?" "Best google that mate" he said as he walked away.
So I did Google it...hmm just a tad more than I thought it would be! Around five to six inches apparently!
MusingsPosted by Nicky Smith Wed, March 29, 2017 09:57:25 I have sat here for the last ten minutes trying to figure out how to write this and I am still none the wiser so I shall just get on with it.
You may have noticed that I have been a little quiet of late and that is because my little sister passed away quite unexpectedly and suddenly a few weeks ago. We as a family are still grieving, and will be for who knows how long there is no set time limit for these things, but the time has come to do something to help channel that pain. We wanted to do something positive.
Let me give you a little about my sister because she was an exceptional young lady. She was 39 years old and had a condition called Williams Syndrome. This is a missing chromosome disorder that affects each person with it in similar but also drastically differently severity ways. This made Karan more than special to everyone she met. There was only love to give from her perspective and once you met her you were a friend for life. She never moaned about the hand she had been dealt in life and took pleasure from the simplest of things like just sitting and watching the world go by. Karan was one in a million and as our Dad has said "If everyone looked at the world and loved the way Karan did, it would be a much better place"
Nothing will replace her loss nor take away the pain of losing her but that does not mean we cannot do something positive from this.
We are going to set up a charity in her honor. This will focus on taking her friends from the day work place she attended, all of which have their own special needs or learning difficulties, out regularly for different events. It could be a trip to the seaside or an outing to the panto at Christmas. The reason for doing this is quite simple. Karan had a better social life than most of us and loved nothing more than to be out and about in this big wide world with either family or friends....sometimes both. It brought a huge smile to her face and those that were with her so we want to carry on handing those smiles and that happiness out.
There are lots of different fundraising activities in the pipeline but the first and foremost is the fact that I will be growing my hair.
"Why is that a special event?" you may be thinking. Well I hate to have long hair. By long I mean anything more than a few millimeters because it literally drives me mad. So what better way to begin and set things off than pledge that I will grow my hair for exactly one year starting from Sunday 26th March 2017.
There were suggestions of growing out the beard at the same time but I think I can only push my luck so far at work! Instead I will become a long haired silver fox with a weekly Sunday photo taken for you all to poke fun at!
Now feel free to make some pledges of money to this, in fact I actively want you to do this publicly until the charity is up and running properly with the correct donation pages set in place.
Seeing me turn into a long grey haired uglier bugger than I am now must be worth the price of a chocolate bar or two from you good people!
I thank you in advance for all of the help that I will be continually bullying you into on a regular basis!
MusingsPosted by Nicky Smith Wed, March 15, 2017 21:26:12 I have a tale to tell but I don't know the best way to put into words that would do it justice. To start with I want to say that this is not me looking for sympathy from the anonymity of the internet, it is far from that. I have probably taken as much sympathy as I can directly, not that it is not appreciated because it has been but there is a message in what happened to myself and my wife a few days ago that has also indirectly brought a great deal of comfort since.
There is an expected order within life, we do not always acknowledge it but its there nonetheless. Generations come and go, time after time. The oldest leave first to be followed by the new generation that arrives, this is the way of things. We never expect to lose one of our own generation whilst the older is still present but that is what has happened to our family over these last few weeks. My sister sadly passed away quite suddenly at 39 years old. The hole that she leaves behind in our family is beyond measure for each and every one of us and the only saving grace for us all is the love that is shared by each of us unconditionally that has provided support. When one of us could not walk the rest of us have carried...that's as it should be.
I am the big brother of six and if I am honest here it's all I know how to be. I don't just love my brothers and sisters, I would do anything for them if they needed me to. Growing up with such an age gap from the first to the last even installed into me the beginning of who I was to be as a parent. Family is everything. So to lose one of them, the one that was most special to all of us due to her nature and the uniqueness that Williams Syndrome gave her was something I was not prepared for. God only knows what Mum & Dad are going through because at times it takes all that I am to just get up out of bed in the morning. Their strength and love continually amazes me.
Grieving is hard. It's weird in a way that there is no right or wrong way of doing it. It's like after having found your way into Hell on Earth, then there is the worst rollercoaster ever conceived and you have to ride it until some point way way off in the future whether you want to or not.
Sometimes you can function pretty normally throughout the day only to be sideswiped by a song on the radio or a random memory that literally brings you to your knees. You can laugh at the memories that have passed either with yourself or when sharing others. You can be crying every morning when you wake up because the dreams are just too much to cope with and yet another day has begun in which your sister will not be a physical part of.
Sometimes it seems that every single moment is heartbreaking.
I see my siblings suffering, I see my parents suffering more and all I want to do is take the burden of their pain from them but to do so, even if I could, would take away the love of who we have lost. The love we have is what causes us the pain.
So I have to admit I have been quite angry inside of late. This has been a large part of my continued grieving process. I have been angry with "Them" for taking my sister away. My sister who had nothing but innocence and love in her heart. My sister who literally lit up each room she entered with her laughter and smile. I have no idea who the "Them" are that I am so angry with but I managed to talk to my wife about it a few days ago as we sat on the riverside in Bakewell. The sun was shining and we had had a nice morning being out and about. Things almost felt normal for just a while in the spring air until I remembered this was one of the places I wanted to bring my sister to. I had wanted to sit here next to the river with her this summer eating fish and chips whilst throwing the odd bit out to all of the geese and ducks that fight for every scrap. A shadow passed over me as I realised that this would never now be.
I have always had Faith inside of me and even practised it with the Church of England as it suited the way I like to live my life but truth be told I think that there really is more when we are done here but as for anyone particular all almighty being... who knows. I could not give a monkeys which god anyone prays to as I think when all is said and done we will become something more than we are where none of the definitions matter, but that's just me.
Wifey and I started to talk as she saw the shadow pass through me at the riverside. I explained that I had not lost my faith as such as it is but I was not convinced of anything now because who on Earth would take someone so damned special with so very little warning. I was saying that nothing could convince me at the moment that there was some grand scheme that involved taking my little sister, a constant light and love in so many lives, away from us. I admitted I was more than a little angry about it all.
At this point a very golden bubble about the size of a baby's hand floated down in front of us to which I said "I suppose that's a sign that everything is alright really is it" (I was still pretty damned upset at this point) "There's bound to be a kid blowing bubbles somewhere here" So we both looked in both directions. Then we looked a bit harder. Nope nothing. Wifey stood up and looked further afield but no there was nobody blowing bubbles kid or otherwise.
Thing is it was quite busy with folk coming and going along the footpath but not crowded, the views in every direction were clear. The bubble just floated there in front of us moving gently from left to right before pausing from time to time. Then it headed for the ground where we expected it to pop as it touched the pavement. It just gently landed in the middle of the pavement and sat there. It didn't move again but it did not pop. It's golden colour shone brightly even as other people walked headlong towards it but nobody stood on it. Not one footfall got anywhere near it and there were quite enough people to make this an odd occurrence. The birds never bothered it either. These birds are normally greedily eating anything that touches the ground whether it's edible or not but not this. We sat mesmerised looking at it for a couple of minutes as it spread out a touch wider. I looked at my Wife stating "That's just impossible" and decided to see if I could get a picture of it.
This was not a problem because it was not going anywhere. I took the picture and it stayed with us for a few more minutes. Then it just started to go down. It did not pop as you would expect but just very slowly deflated as all of the passing people seemed to subconsciously avoid it. It's golden glow never faded, even when it finally went flat.
But does this mean something? Anything? Honestly I don't know. But what I do know is as I headed into what was one of the fastest plunges into the dark I have experienced so far, this tiny bubble of light seemed to appear as if on cue. When I thought that all the wonder of the world was lost forever and whatever sort of faith I have was beyond being tested I felt something very comforting out of the blue. I am not going to say that this was a profoundly religious moment but it was a very poignant one that seemed to bring me back into a place that was a peaceful harbour from the storm. That storm still rages on and on some days it's worse than others, as it is for all of us, but I know now deep down in the depths of my soul that part of my little sister is always with us.
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Wed, March 15, 2017 20:05:26 Once again I found myself sat in bed looking at the bottom of a brew thinking about The 110. I had to go and buy some nuts and bolts for the brake back plates and seeing as it was such a nice clear blue sky sort of day I decided to take the motorbike out for a spin to Paddocks. So at 7:45am I found myself cruising into the Derbyshire countryside, there are far far worse places to be in the sunshine. The rolling green hills past me by along with the all of the signs of spring arriving. The daffodils are everywhere and the trees waking up in bud once again, it will only be a matter of a few weeks before we find ourselves sat in warmer weather and the heating turned off.
Since the bike crash I have to admit I seem to have become a bit pants on two wheels. I still enjoy it but my gear changes seem to be all over the shop and don't get me started on my road positioning. The little Bandit needs to come out a bit more often I think so I can get my eye back in once again. Surprisingly there was not a queue at Paddocks and I was in and out in under five minutes...this has to be some sort of record surely! A quick hop back onto the trusty stead and I was headlong back into a different route home enjoying the sunshine and dry roads.
All too soon I was back home and ready to get cracking with sorting out the back brakes on the Land Rover. I didn't want to do it I have to admit here and I very nearly walked away but something said to just get stuck in.
Wheel off then armed with a large hammer the drum soon submitted into rusty cooperation falling off onto the floor with an almighty clang! That was the neighbours up then whether they wanted to be or not. As I looked up into what was exposed the amount of dirt and muck in there was astounding! There was also some sort of unidentifiable slime that I did not want to be playing with for too long so an old rag was brought into to play then promptly dumped into the wheelie bin.
The hub was next which came off with no issues on this side unlike the other side which snapped a bolt in it. That took some serious heating up to remove I can tell you, I thought it was going to be a drill and retap affair but it seems the Landy Gods were looking upon me favourably today. They must have been pleased to see the sunshine as well.
Brake pads then the caliper were soon stripped out, even the brake pipe came off of both sides without snapping! That seems to be just about unheard of to me but why look a gift horse in the mouth eh. The back plate fell off in a rusty heap after a bit of a gentle tap with a 4lb lump hammer and I was left with nothing but the stub axle in situ.
Time to put all of the new shiny bits on then. The back plate along with the pre-fitted new caliper, I mean why struggle once the plate is fitted? May as well sort it out before hand to get the dripping brake pipe back into place asap.
Now it was time to battle with the brake pads and new springs. The ends of teh springs needed a small grind down as they were far too long on the hook end but soon found themselves sitting where they should have been. You may notice in the pictures that there is a set of pads laid out under the The 110 exactly as they came off of the old back plate. I do this to make sure I don't end up fitting the pads upside down or in the opposite way they should be. Helps to remember which holes the springs fit into as well. Looks great with shiny new bits on though :)
Making sure the pads were sitting in the right place I fitted the nice new brake drums too, be rude to scrimp at the very end wouldn't it. In all honestly I figured that if I had to do this job I may as well do it right. The I also fitted all new bearings and seals onto the hub before refitting, who knows how old the the ones that were in them were.
So there you have it the back brakes are done. I didn't want to do them and they took all day but I am really glad I have got them out of the way.
The only stop I had really was for lunch. My neighbour popped around so I figured we may as well ave an egg and bacon cob with our brews. As we chatted away the conversation came around to the subject of scrapyards and how we miss them. We are both old enough to remember hunting around acres of rusty steel looking for the model of car we wanted then rummaging through it hoping the one part that we wanted was still fitted to it. And lugging your heavy toolbox around the place. Then carrying that along with all of the extra parts you had removed "Just in case" you needed them when you were fitting the part you actually had to do. We came to the conclusion that we missed scrapyards. Many a happy hour were spent looking for that extra bit of gold in the motor you were happy to hunt through. It's a shame that most scrappies these days have already removed the parts and put them onto a shelf. Yes it is easier and quicker, less tiring, less work, cheaper, cleaner, warmer and generally less hassle but I did enjoy the hunt...
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Tue, March 14, 2017 21:16:18 I get up really early in the morning for work which in itself is ok. I like to see the start of each new fresh day before most folks have even stirred in their beds dreading the alarm clock and after sneaking a quick peak at the clock dropping back off for a few more snug minutes of sleep. The problem is when I take a holiday. My body does not seem to want to just relax into the warm sheets of my bed in the morning. Nope, it prefers to just keep the normal routine going regardless and as such I found myself reaching the bottom of a cup of in bed well before 7am this morning.
Wifey had already left for work so unable to steep in my own bed warmth anymore I decided to have a poke around The 110 to see what I could up to with it today. There has been a job I seemed to be pushing back (insert running away from there) for some reason each time I thought about it. This was making up some exhaust mount brackets. I don't know why I was so averse to getting this particular chore done but seeing as I had put it off at least half a dozen times I figured that today was the day.
There were only three mounts in all to fabricate up so off into the garage to the old chocolate tin pile I went. There are probably for or five large chocolate tins in there, the type you get at Christmas that the contents seem to disappear from incredibly quickly. This odd effect is usually accompanied by a sick in your stomach feeling due to a large sugar rush. By the time they hit my garage they are bone dry and what tends to happen is any part, nut, bolt, metal, brace, bracket and something small and potentially useful end up being chucked in them. This is a god send in such situations as having to make up three exhaust brackets from scratch! A good rummage later had me with enough bots on the workbench to make a start. With some whacking, bending and cutting I soon, about three hours later, had the brackets made up and fitted. Not too bad really as they were all made from stuff other folks would just chuck away!
It's so nice to have the exhaust actually sitting where it is supposed to be! SImple things eh. With that done followed swiftly by a cheese on toast sort of lunch I decided that I may as well start putting the odds and sods back into place on the old boy.
I fettled the rear number plate back into position.
Then seeing as funds are very tight at the moment I cleaned up the headlight surrounds and an old grill that was in the shed using some WD40.
I will be replacing these with new items in the future but at the moment they will have to do. Upon closer inspection it turns out that most of the light lenses are cracked or damaged so I need to source a second hand set of these along with another Discovery 1 power steering box. Going to have to be later in the month though as funds are ridiculously tight at the moment.
A quick lick of paint on the bonnet wheel brace along with a cheeky coat on the light bar and it was time to call it a day. Then I had a quick scramble in the parts shed to see if I had a horn because I had forgotten all about that! Turns out I had on old Disco one in there which when tested on a car battery let off a convincing noise load enough to pass an MOT. That'll do nicely then and should get fitted tomorrow....
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Mon, March 13, 2017 16:09:40 Now there have been a number of reasons why I have not been posting lately but I am back in the saddle a touch more now.
The 110 has had the odd bit of titivating here and there but nothing worthy of note at the time. I drilled then riveted the wing chequer plate into place so now it does not try to rattle itself off when the engine is running.
I have abit of time off this week so I will be trying to get around to having another poke at the old boy when I get the chance. Wifey had a few issues with her little Fiat 500 so my attention on Saturday was on that tiny little car. New drop links along with front discs and pads cured most of it's ails though. Turns out, so I am reliable informed by said Wifey, that I now have to fill my car up with fuel at Tescos so the Clubcard points can be collected. The fact that I never pass a Tescos petrol station is apparently not an issue because my darling other half is taking my car once a week to fill the bugger up. I still have to pay for my fuel it seems but she gets to keep all of the points...
I learnt long ago to just roll with these sort of things so after watching my motor drive off into the sunrise this morning I stood at my bedroom window looking at this little Fiat knowing I had some mileage to do in it because myself and the youngest daughter were off up into the Peak District to get a bit of a walk in.
I shrugged my shoulders to myself figuring "At least I wont be using my own fuel today"
Well I am man enough to stand here and admit I loved driving this plucky little motor! What a machine! It was like driving a geared up go kart that refused to let go of any grip on any corner regardless of the speed you were doing! It never let up. You had to work the gears to get the small 1200cc engine going but my word I was grinning ear to ear by the time we arrived at Mam Tor.
I can see why Wifey likes it so much now, I can best describe as like driving an original proper mini. The fun was done though and it was tome to walk the great ridgeway with my daughter who was doing this for the first time.
It was a little breezy at the base but not too bad but once we reached the first summit of Mam Tor it soon became apparent that the day was not going to be what we expected it to be...
We could barely keep standing upright. After a mere mile we through in the towel and headed back down to the car moving onto Chatsworth house for a cheeky picnic instead.
The 110 is not that far off of completion and I am tempted to throw a "Lets get it finished party" where I will supply good food and drink to those who want to come over and an odd job on it... Anybody tempted?
MusingsPosted by Nicky Smith Fri, March 03, 2017 09:01:00 I took a walk today, wondering how to say goodbye. Through the fields in the rain and across muddy styles as I walked I thought about your special smile. The way the room lit up with your very presence in it, about the way your innocence constantly stayed throughout your life. Your laughter, your love. None of these ever faded. The spark within your eyes of pleasure just to sit and look around at other people passing by. Your playful banter along with the things you would say, I don't know how to live without these things for another long day. I trudged heavy footed through soaking wet fields with my head hung low, not caring in which direction I go, with images and memories of you so real in front of me I feel like I could reach out and touch you, but no this can never be. So how can I ever say goodbye Kazzie? It took some time to realise the truth. I never will say goodbye my little sister, you will always be in me x
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, February 19, 2017 08:47:34 I don't booze. No, honestly I don't! The days of that nonsense are far behind me and as I sit here at my kitchen table this morning listening to Radio 2 whilst tenderly nursing a cup of tea I remember why. I cant take it. Really, I am a big Jess who can no longer take his beer and I am ok with that. Two days of evening drinking and my voice has dropped two octaves. My stomach feels about three times it's normal size and sweet Jesus the smell that is escaping from my backside could solve all of the issues in the middle east in a matter of minutes. Even the dog has abandoned me high tailing it for lower ground. But it was worth it. It was a good friends surprise 50th Birthday party last night and it's his fault that I feel so bloated...
The 110 was first coat deep when I went outside early yesterday morning to put the second coat on. The second coat is always easier than the first and the finish was looking really good.
So there I was covered in as much paint as the car drinking a brew whilst the headache of the night before was fading when Wifey came and got me to tell me that I had to somehow get my friend Gromit out of the house for a couple of hours because they had to head over to the hall where is party was and set up. Talk about drop it on me! I was filthy (luckily quite a normal state of affairs) covered in paint and skint to boot. How was I to get my mate out of the house for that long at five minutes notice?
As I wandered along the three doors away to his house with my tea still in my hand I came up with a cunning plan. Well it was cunning in the fact it would get him out but not so cunning that it was going to cost me £50 I didn't have but if I had to spend it I may as well get something I needed. With a grin when I saw him I asked him "Can I borrow you and your Discovery to collect some chunky window sills for the conservatory please chap?" With a returning grin he piped back with "Yea why not"
Then after asking his advice on where to go I lead him towards the furthest away from where we were point and off we set. Well as soon as we were gone so were the women of the two households to get things sorted for the evening. My first problem was that there was no traffic at all. Because of this we were at the wood yard in fifteen minutes. Of course we found what I needed in another 3 minutes and had the car loaded within ten minutes of getting there. Right then I need a back up plan here... "Gromit do you mind if we pop into Alfreton? I need to speak to the folks in the leisure centre about my membership" He looked at me a bit oddly but said "Alright then Nick."
Bear in mind Alfreton was about fifteen miles from where we currently were so a bit of an ask really but in good spirits off we set. Again no traffic so we were soon at the leisure centre and thankfully Gromit decided to wait in his Disco while I popped in for two minutes. Indeed it really only took two minutes to do what I needed to do so what the hell could I do know? I decided that having a coffee while I thought about it was a good idea!
I dragged that out for ten minutes then as I was leaving I sent a text to Wifey giving them all a fifteen minute warning. The reply was almost instant saying "No! drag it out" Seriously!! I thought to myself. my friend is already looking at me like I am taking the michael here. ONly one more option on the way home...
"Fancy a KFC mate?" I asked "Not really Nick but we can stop for one if you want"
I didn't want...no I really didn't. About five minutes before this facade had started I had eaten the biggest sausage cob you have ever seen so the thought of a greasy KFC was more than a little unappealing.
"Yes please chap, I am starving" I replied.
Then there I was looking at the menu wondering what I could have that meant I did not have to eat a great deal but it had to be big enough to look like lunch.
I managed to drag that force fed meal out for another twenty five minutes whilst making small talk. By now I was convinced he was suspecting something but a quick trip to the toilet so I could send the text message that we were coming home now and we were on our way home.
We beat the families back. Not to worry they had sent me a message stating they had gone shopping for shoes so my friend and I had a brew whilst comparing notes on how to cut and fix the newly acquired window sills into the conservatory. Ten minutes passed and the rest of the tribe returned with grins all around and slight nods confirming all was ready for the off in the evening. While I had Gromit there we popped the bonnet back onto The 110 and that in place, the front bumper painted black and the chequer plate resting on the wings the old boy looks pretty damned good to me!!
By now the time had really cracked on so operation "Get ready, get out and get to the party before your mate sees you" began in earnest. We got washed and changed. I had to use a pressure washer to remove the paint off of me. Then we crept out into the darkness of our driveway hopped in the car and sped off to the party hall. My youngest was snaptwatting (I think thats what she called it) Gromits eldest and it turned out he was still sat on his sofa in his pants and t-shirt not relishing the idea he had to go out to a party that evening. A little persuasion (read that as bullying) from his three daughters and wife soon saw our friend washed and dressed and on his way.
He had no idea the party was for him and the grin on his face as he entered the hall said it all! A conversation a little later on with him had him confirming he wondered why I was being a bit of a dick asking to be run around to all these odd places that morning. He said he had just put it down to being out and about...
What a day it had been! The 110 was looking the mutts nutts now and really inspired me to plough on and get it finished. I can see once again what I am working towards and this was sorely needed. But most important of all a genuinely great friend had the surprise of his life with family and friends from all over the country coming to see him...something he has never had before and if anyone I know deserved a surprise like that, well it is him!
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Sat, February 18, 2017 10:31:07 Bear with me today I have a bit of a thick head. That "One for the road" last night may well have tipped me over the edge. Still, while I sit here at the kitchen table with my hangover cure sausages are grilling nicely I thought it best to tell you all of yesterdays progress.
The roof is now black along with the bonnet and the chequer plate. But what colour to do the main body of The 110 I hear you ask? Well I think you are asking, if not those voices in my head are back. After hours of internet searching looking at pictures, I decided I best start looking at Land Rovers before the Wife caught me at it. These showed me motors in all colours so deciding what I wanted was a tough choice. I ended with Black (obviously you already know that) and......... Green.
Not overly imaginative but I decided upon the semi gloss finish and I think it has come up quite nicely for a first coat.
The front bumper was looking more than a little drab so I etch primed it so that too can be painted black. I do seem to have more than enough paint!
The second coat should bring it all together nicely! I have also added a couple of extra coats to the bonnet and the roof may well want a couple more too yet. The jury is still out on that one as I need to reverse The 110 out from under the car port into the proper light to have a good look.
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Fri, February 17, 2017 06:14:44 My Wife has a problem with snoring. Sounds of deep rumbling along with what I can only describe as several near death experiences due to what seems like strangled suffocation lead to a Doctors appointment being made before Divorce proceedings could begin in earnest. Not to worry the Doctor says it is probably something simple and that I should begin with losing a few pounds in weight and trying one of those snoring aid things. After standing at one of the pharmacy aisles at Tescos bewildered for about ten minutes looking a shelves full of all manner of things that promised to give me good nights sleep I just picked up one that was in the middle of the price range and headed home.
So a couple of nights back just before bed I found myself stood in front of Wifeys dressing mirror in the bedroom with a packet nose strips in my hand wondering just how stupid I was going to look in a couple of minutes time. After a sigh to myself I spent a few moments (read that as about six minutes) trying to figure out how to take the sticky backing off of the damned thing before squinting into the mirror without my specs on affixing it across my nose attempting my best Adam Ant impression.
I am one hell of a skeptic when it comes to these sort of aid things but to my complete amazement this little plastic strip opened up my nostrils making breathing easier than it has been in years! To cut a long story short I have had the best two nights sleep in what seems like years and so it would seem has Wifey. She has even gone to the extent of putting away the hammer and knives that seemed to have ominously made their way to her bedside table. This bloody chest infection that pitches up each time I have a week off is still going strong though. I will have to pop back to Tescos and see what magic isle they have for that...
To The 110 then. To be honest it has just been a pottering around it sort of week in between coughing a lung up and feeling rather sorry for myself. The second primer coat went on easily giving a nice sound bed for the top coats.
WHilst that coat was drying I skipped off to the parts shed to dig out the wing chequer plate. I have decided not to use the bonnet chequer plate as the wheel will be mounted on there anyway so it seems like alot of work for something you won't really see. If anyone is interested in it before it gets put up tonight for sale give me a shout. The wing plates were offered up just to make me smile while pretending the truck was finished.
Out came the etch primer because these bad boys were going to be black in the end.
Then I walked away letting it all dry properly. After a sleep or two I came back suitably dosed up on cold relief pills to break out the black paint. Firstly a nice coat went onto the chequer plate. This was quickly followed by a good coat on both the roof and bonnet. I will aim to get the second coat on today along with the first coat on the main body. If I can stop coughing long enough that is!
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Tue, February 14, 2017 16:10:13 I shall open with an apology. I have been rather quiet of late but with good reason. That being family. Mine have kept me busy of late so with work added into the mix I have been rather short on hours. Seeing as I had a week owed holiday wise I have taken the last couple of days to begin the rub down of the bodywork along with adding the first thin coat of primer.
I have to say it is nice to see it nearly all the same colour for a change...
The Books...Posted by Nicky Smith Wed, February 01, 2017 19:39:35 Well it has finally been finished! The first book in the "MY CV" Series that looks back on how easily you could flip through jobs in the past from a very young age!
The following link is for the paperback version but the kindle version will be out in the next few days
MusingsPosted by Nicky Smith Tue, January 31, 2017 12:56:20 That horrifying moment that you realise the file containing the book you have been writing for 18 months has disappeared from every electronic gizmo you have...
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, January 29, 2017 15:02:22 You have probably noticed that there has been very little on the Land Rover front lately. This is for two reasons. The first is quite frankly I needed a bit of a break away from the damned thing. It was starting to grate, as most of you know, on my nerves and the constant working every spare minute was leaving me feeling exhausted as well as fed up with the whole process. The second reason is that I also have a house that I am doing up and after all of the dedication to The 110 the house was feeling a little neglected.
This years plan for the house after last years running start on it was to get the conservatory finished. That is as much as I wanted to put upon myself house work wise and this seems like a good plan. Firstly I had to build up the inner wall. It has been well over ten years since I last built any sort of wall and this took me two days along with a raging back ache! Ten years ago it would have been a day job but even at the spring chicken age of forty three I have noticed I am slowing down in certain areas. Heavy block lifting and wall building being one of them. Patience it seems is a virtue though and the wall is straight and true meaning that I have not lost my knack, only my speed.
That was a couple of weeks ago so this weekend involved deciding on how we wanted the conservatory to look, then going to buy some masonry paint, then some poor smuck had to paint the first coat onto the exposed brick wall...yep that would be me.
The before and after effects are pretty good even if I do say so myself! We will be going with an "Industrial" type look on the painted brick wall with old lights and conduit piping for the electrics.
With this lot going on I had declared to my ever suffering Wife that I would "Not be spending any money on The 110 this month" because we have just been paid.
That lasted about an hour. I ordered the primer and paints needed to make the Landy look good but "That's it. Nothing else for it this month" were the next words out of my mouth. In all fairness to me I lasted about seven hours before a set of chequer plate wing tops and bonnet top came up on the internet at a price I could not refuse...
That's it though I am skint. I am not buying anything else for it this month. I have given my debit card to Wifey and put parental access controls onto the sale pages and websites that suck away my cash. Just nobody tell me they have a cheap 200tdi alternator for sale and I should be alright...
Pic of the Day.Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, January 29, 2017 08:06:55 I love this gravestone found in Bakewell that states, Near this place lies the body. "Well, you know, we definitely buried him somewhere near here Vicar"
I am now a forty something who has come through most of my mid-life crisis trying to cheat death by now eating healthy foods exercising more and stopping smoking....I doubt this will work seeing as I have abused (no not in that way) my body with booze smokes and doing sod all for couple of decades or so but hey I feel a bit less mental for trying it!
So instead I rebuilt a Series 3 Land Rover, then a Discover, after that A Defender 110 and now I have decided to head more towards enjoying my outdoor pursuits. In comfort. Yep there will now be a campervan build in progress (as soon as I can find a decent base) for myself and the ever suffering Wifey to head out i ...see there is still some joy to be found in life!
I hope you enjoy my rambling drivel and if you do please feel free to share it around using the cunningly disguised "Share" menu at the bottom of each post I believe it does Facewipe, Twitter and those other places all the cool kids hang out in indoors now a days.