Astra down to Earth

We got half way to Hebden today when I noticed the car heater wasn’t working; then the thermostat started to head North. I thought it was the fan belt because I’d just been booking the car in for a check-up and had discussed the slipping-belt squeal with the mechanic. After nursing the car back to the Walsden garage, their diagnosis was not good: head gasket about to go. It’s tragic because the car is generally quite good but, because its resale value is so low, no-one will do the work and it’ll go into a crusher. I didn’t like buying a cheap, disposable car; now I hate the idea. The waste is grotesque. I could replace the gasket if I had tools but, somehow, they got left until the second shipment and won’t be here for weeks.

As it is, I’ll likely have to rebuild Angela’s engine this year, on top of the other projects and maintenance. At least, with the Land Rover, I can’t over-capitalise on DIY. Almost every improvement will add to its value. Restored fully, it could be worth ten grand so I won’t mind taking a spanner to it because it’s worth doing the jobs properly and because the jobs are amenable to DIY.

Today I noticed that the beech trees behind the farm, those I plan to take down because they block the neighbour’s view, consist of about a dozen long, thin, straight poles. Rather than chop them for firewood, I plan to make a huge tipi for use on the yard. I saw one like the picture attached at Bury Nights festival and thought it would be a cracking way to get shelter for a party group. It’d scare the neighbours, too; they’d think Hebden Bridge was expanding!

Now *that* would be a good use of my time!

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