One of the main aims this week has been to make work those things in the camper that aren’t working. The first (OK the only) major success was the radio.
Having decided a couple of weeks ago that the radio itself was faulty, and that the one we bought for Clare’s Astra would do nicely, we bought another. The new one arrived whilst we were away, and I confidently fitted it and wired it in. Nothing. That seemed to suggest a more fundamental issue.
Although I have fitted a few radios over the years, this is the first time for quite a while that I have had to wire one in, instead of plugging it in. It seems the relevant technology has moved on and, unsurprisingly, I have failed to keep up. The wiring blocks, I find, have two power feeds: the red feed is for normal, fused power, and the yellow for a permanent, unfused supply, this latter to permit the retention of some of the settings, station presets etc. available. As we are most unlikely to use presets in France – our main requirement is to play the iPods – and as the battery isolator is used whenever we are parked up at home, there seemed little point in establishing an unfused feed. Just for fun, I thought I would try duplicating the feed – connecting both the red and yellow feeds to the live connector on the block. The new radio suddenly sprung to life. In a state of excitement not felt since we managed to obtain French driving licences, I disconnected the new set and wired in the set we had originally bought for the camper, again using the same fused feed for red and yellow. Nett result? As I said in my facebook status, and no-one seemed to comprehend, quoting from that well-known nursery rhyme “Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross” – Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes – oh yes indeedy!
Anybody want a cheap car radio? Make me an offer before I put it on eBay – details.
When we bought the camper, the person who sold it to us said that he had always had a great deal of difficulty getting the water heater to fire up and had always resorted to boiling kettles. The first time we took it out, the water heater worked perfectly. Since then, we have had a great deal of difficulty getting the water heater to fire up and have resorted to boiling kettles. Additionally, because we don’t have a leisure battery, we like to camp where we can get an electric hook-up. That generally means sites with dish-washing, toilet and shower facilities, so we don’t need to use either the hot water or the chemical toilet.
We did some extensive tests with the satellite set-up, which proved everything is working, but the dish is too small. It is actually sold for use in the UK, where a small dish is adequate to receive the services on Astra 2. Because of the shape of the footprint and our place in it, we really need a 60cm dish here, and an 80cm dish in the deep south of France. Back to the drawing board.
Anybody want a cheap portable 12v satellite system suitable for camping/caravanning? Make me an offer before I put it on eBay – details.
You want another success story? Ask Clare about her garlic and her broad beans.
It looks sometimes as though autumn is on its way. Certainly, stunning sunsets are not a feature of summer. However, I recall someone saying recently that when the sun sets, forget the brash, stark image of the sun and look in the other direction. I did, and look at this:
Forget the brash reds and oranges of a conventional sunset image. On the other side of the sky are pastel blues and pinks that tell a much more gentle story
Finally, a bit of a family appeal.
On 23rd September, my older brother, Tony, will abseil down a very tall building to help raise funds for the Children’s Ward at the Oxford Children’s Hospital.
His 4 years old Grandson, Lewis, has the rare Langerhan’s Cell Histiocytosis, for which he is being treated with Chemotherapy/Steroids at the Kamran’s Childrens Cancer Ward.
Lewis is just one of the many children treated annually on this ward, where the Doctors, Nurses and Play Specialists do an astounding job. Many of these children need to stay on the ward for prolonged periods, usually with their parents. The toys, Playstations, Wii’s etc. that all children love are donated privately. There is also a vast amount of medical equipment that is funded through charity.
More details are on the donation page Tony has set up through Just Giving. http://www.justgiving.com/tony-channing1. It’s not only at Tesco where every little helps!