hallelujah! -Today I finally finished the painting of Herman*
*[*terms and conditions apply. Other monotonous activities are available. Further touchups may be necessary]*
Now, I dinnae want to encourage pedantry, but the quick-witted amongst you may have noticed that there’s a thin strip of white down the middle of the roof, which still wants painting. This strip bears mute testimony to the length [or shortness] of my arms combined with the feeble altitude achieved with my crappy, rickety B&Q stepladder and shall be taken care of by attaching a longer handle to a paintbrush - just as soon as this lot is dry....
[ Read More ]I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
23 Feb 2009
Try not to get over-excited here, but today’s thrilling installment is not about painting. Nor is it about sandpapering!
Just for a change the weather was slightly on the ‘moist’ side, so I decided to forgo paintbrush and sandpaper and instead seek alternative entertainment in that other never-ending quest; the search for the source of the air bubbles in Herman’s fuel system. After crawling up and down the length of the van, tightening every hoseclip and joint I could find in both fuel lines [delivery and return] I noticed that the length of pipe which leads from the diesel plugs back to the fuel filter looked a bit worn [this return pipe feeds excess fuel from the injectors back into the fuel system]....
[ Read More ]Seams a Bit Rusty [Geddit?]
22 Feb 2009
I’d been planning to get straight into painting the last white side of Herman this morning, but when I had a closer look at the panel running along the bottom, which had been previously [and badly] painted blue, I decided that - just to be on the safe side - I’d strip that down as well. After my experiences with the roof, I didnae fancy painting straight on top of some other paint of dubious origin....
[ Read More ]Light Side of the Moon
21 Feb 2009
Well…. ‘of the van’ actually.
I sprang eagerly from my foetid pit this morning and ran outside in one of those Wee Willy Winkie nightgowns, with an Ebenezer Scrooge nightcap on my head, clutching a candle in a candlestick - to see whether Herman’s roof had accepted its latest coat of paint or not. To my delight and delectation it had done. So, at last it was time to turn our attention to the previously neglected passenger’s side of the van....
[ Read More ]Roofhog Day 
20 Feb 2009
Yes. I know what you’re thinking:
‘He’s already used that ‘Roofhog Day’ title before. He must be completely bereft of ideas!’
Au contraire - dear reader. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact that I’ve used this title before and have nevertheless chosen to use it again is actually an indication of my collossal wit - a wit that works on so many levels it may be mistaken, by the ill-educated, for a lack of originality and imagination....
[ Read More ]Paint On... Paint Off...
18 Feb 2009
Unfortunately for aficionados of thrills and excitement, the past couple of days have been spent mostly… wait for it… yes, you got it; ‘scrubbing and painting’.
Just before retiring to the pavilion on Tuesday [yesterday] I took off Herman’s grill and headlamp surrounds and - after sanding the odd bit of rust I found lurking underneath - I painted his fizzer for him. Again, using the slightly diluted hammerite seems a lot better than the fully gloopy stuff out of the tin and the finish was a lot less treacle-esque....
[ Read More ]Painting Again!
16 Feb 2009
Well, after a weekend spent valiantly trying to drown my cold germs in alcohol, I thought I’d better get back to work on Herman today. So it was out with the Hammerite and the brushes again, as once more we endeavoured to get another couple of square feet covered before either rain, darkness or the prospect of a cheese, spam and pepper sauce butty drove us back to the house....
[ Read More ]Bogey Man
13 Feb 2009
No work on Herman today [and possibly tomorrow] as I am ‘quoid lidderally’ at death’s door, with a stinking cold. However, next week I’m off work coz it’s half-term, so I should be able to put in a few good sessions and hopefully sort out those couple of niggling problems that I’ve been wrestling with since I got him. In the meantime I shall be studying VW LT35 wiring diagrams through an alcoholic haze which I have inflicted upon myself for purely medicinal reasons....
[ Read More ]Volt-Face
11 Feb 2009
Not the most productive of days today.
On the positive side, my new ‘Next Day Delivery’ battery that I ordered four working days ago, finally turned up. So Herman has at last got some decent amperage behind his ignition system. Mind you, even with the new battery installed, the glowplugs were still only getting about 9volts through them when I turned on the ignition. So, sommit’s not quite right there....
[ Read More ]Inspirational
11 Feb 2009
I came across this piccie a while back on the net and dredged it up again this morning. It shows an LT35 kitted out as an ambulance in the Danish army. I think I should keep it handy for those times when I look at Herman and think “Why the fuck did I buy this great lump of crap?” If he ends up looking half as cool as this, once we’ve finished giving him the Mad Max makeover, he’ll be doing alright!...
[ Read More ]Brush Work
10 Feb 2009
Today I just did a bit of sugar soaping, sanding and painting. So nothing too interesting to report, apart from the fact that my wee paws were as numb as plums by the time I finished my allotted section and repaired to the relative warmth of the house.
Me in action - captured by mazza from the safety of the flat Getting there slowly but surely. Probably got another three times this much still to do tho' Incidentally, the battery I ordered last Friday evening from Alpha-Batteries still hasnae come....
[ Read More ]Glowing Report
09 Feb 2009
Up at the crack of half nine this morning and out to work on Herman. I thought I’d take a look at the glowplugs first, coz I read on the ever-informative Brickyard Forum yesterday that the glowplug light on the dashboard can light up and go out as expected, quite independently of whether or not the glowplugs are actually working. So not exactly the most helpful member of the instrument panel family then!...
[ Read More ]Roofhog Day
08 Feb 2009
Today was spent pretty much as yesterday was; Mazza carried on scrubbing away at the gluey remains of the vinyl lettering, with Hammerite thinners and sandpaper - while I decimated the alien lifeforms on the side of the roof that I had spared the day before.
So not much to report really. However, Herman now has a roof which is spic-n-span enough to start painting on.
About an hour after I finished scrubbing down the roof and came upstairs to put the dinner on, it started raining with the odd lonely snowflake in amongst the wet stuff...
[ Read More ]The Trouble With Lichen
07 Feb 2009
This morning my super Optrel Solarmatic welding helmet arrived. So, assuming it works properly [not tried it in anger yet] I’m almost fully tooled up for many a forthcoming bout with Herman.
Abovementioned helmet arrived with postie at half bloody seven on a Saturday morning! Methinks the post office are running some extra shifts to cope with the backlog caused by the snows of last week - coz my drill came at about six o’clock last night....
[ Read More ]Words'n'Pictures
06 Feb 2009
Today I had a full day at work and then, afterwards, the weekly fuckwitt dodging session round ASDA. So didnae get a chance to work on the wagon. I did however order him a new ‘heavy doooooty’ battery from here [£70 inc. free delivery, which isnae bad - although it’s a bit of a no-name brand].
This evening, I also designed the risible logo which now adorns the top of this page....
[ Read More ]Paint Your Wagon
04 Feb 2009
Today when I got home from work, I dragged Marie away from the internet so we could make a start on the epic task of covering Herman liberally in luvverly black Hammerite. Rather than try to ‘paint the whole Forth Bridge in one go’, we decided we’d do a section at a time, to try and keep monotony at bay. The thought of having to sand down an entire van that size is enough to send anyone flying from the room screaming....
[ Read More ]Man [And Woman] of Letters
03 Feb 2009
Today, when I got home from my half day at work the sun was shining and the ground was dry [although still bitterly cold after the snows of the last couple of days] So me and Marie went oot to start the tedious task of removing all the vinyl lettering from the side of Herman.
The task was indeed onerous. In fact, far more onerous than we’d expected. With one of us working with a hairdryer and the other a blowtorch [not held too close!...
[ Read More ]Now, Ye're Sookin' Diesel!
02 Feb 2009
Today, thanks to the joys of not working Mondays I had a whole day at my disposal to start working on Herman. Priority number one being of course - the nailing of the fuel problem. Elsewhere the entire country was grinding to a halt due to some unseasonal snow showers, but in Manchester, the show would go on.
Having charged his battery up overnight, I managed to get him running again from his jerrican drip-feed and left the engine running in this way to warm up for a half hour or so....
[ Read More ]A Kind of Homecoming
01 Feb 2009
Well, Herman is finally resting in his new parking spot after another hassle filled day!
Made it - eventually! Incidentally, sometime between yesterday and today our anonymous VW LT35 was christened ‘Herman’ or ‘Herman the German’ by Marie. Although some people might consider it twee and childish to give a huge lump of metal a name, one thing my many years of wrestling with the class of car someone at my budget end of the market can afford has taught me - is that motor maintenance is a mixture of 50% mechanical knowledge and 50% voodoo....
[ Read More ]The Best Laid Plans...
28 Jan 2009
Aaarrrgh! -where to begin?
Peter came and picked me up on his way home from work and we headed down to his to finalise the paperwork and hand over the rest of the cash and Herman [although at this stage he was still a nameless VW LT35 van] was mine.
So, after topping up the tank with a jerrycan of diesel I’d brought with me [I noticed we were running on fumes during the test drive at the weekend], I set off for the journey home....
[ Read More ]