I’ll give you a warning in advance… This rant is going to go slightly off-topic!!
Why is it that, whenever something good happens, the bad news is rarely very far away?
To start off on a positive note; this morning, I arrived at a job interview (my first for some time) and left an hour or-so later with the offer of an on-going temporary role that’ll keep the money rolling in through the cold, quiet Winter months. At last, I’ll be able to properly insulate my workshop even when it’s too cold to do any real woodworking! What’s more, I will finally be able to use some of my new-found income to add a suspended floor overhead! 😀 Once that’s done, I should be able to regain a lot of floor space by dumping all the household junk and offcuts overhead!
Now, on to the bad news…
While on my way back from the successful job interview, as I left the M5, I noticed my car was making this very odd noise. As I slowed down to let traffic pass at the roundabout ahead, my car bizarrely stalled, even though I had put the clutch down in good time. Foolishly, I carried on driving for most of the six-mile drive home before deciding to stop and take a look. This noise started getting worse so, eventually, I decided to pull over.
Despite the fact that I’ve done a fair bit of driving around the South West of England recently, I’d neglected to do a full service check of my vehicle before setting off and, on this occasion, I’d managed to let the engine run dry of oil! 😳 That explained the banging, rattling and rubbing sounds I could hear while accelerating…
Managed to get refill the tank before starting the engine again and, with a bit of patience, it was running much more smoothly again. However, a brief trip to let a professional check it over revealed that ‘a noise’ was still present. It isn’t nearly as obvious as it was before; it only becomes clear when the revs are high and you’re about ready to change up a gear [if I knew about car mechanics or even if I could just remember all the technical names; believe me, I’d have posted them here already!!]. While he said that he has heard much worse on the roads today, the unavoidable truth is that I’ve now shortened the remaining lifespan of my 1994-95 Ford Escort Sapphire, pictured briefly below:
That’s two machines and now one car – I wonder what I’ll break next?! 🙄
Though, to have squeezed seven-and-a-half years from a now-sixteen-year-old car that was bought for £700 as an eighteenth birthday present… That, in itself, is an achievement. I’ve only clocked 30,000 miles in that time (90,000 overall) but, as you’ve hopefully read by following this blog; it’s certainly helped my woodworking along the way, with various trips to several timber yards around the West Country and, more recently, in the collection of second-hand eBay goods for the workshop.
If only I had checked the oil several weeks; even this morning, before I dashed off for the interview… Still, this does at least provide me with an opportunity to ‘upgrade’ to a car more suitable for woodworking – I’m currently think of an estate-type vehicle; possibly a Ford Focus or Peugot 206 (these two were suggested to me by somebody who knows about cars).
Sadly, there’ll be no more trips to the timber yard for this old Escort. Well, okay; if I need a very small order or a sheet of MDF, I should be able to manage that. It’s almost as if my faithful old car is now living on ‘borrowed time‘… While it remains functional, I’ve been advised to avoid steep hills and anything over 55mph on the motorway; not to push the engine too hard and to check the oil level regularly. Ironically, I won’t be able to reach my new place of work without either travelling along the M5 or, going up and over several hills! 😛
Yes, as always; it could’ve been worse… Had I not been offered a job this morning, I would probably now be in a position where I would possibly be unable to afford a replacement vehicle, let alone get around easily enough to attend other interviews… 🙂
On the new-job front; I should point out straight away that it is not related to woodwork in any way. I’ll basically be working in a warehouse, five-days a week. As I mentioned at the beginning; it’s a temporary, on-going position. At the very least, this job will provide me with an income to pursue other things. Best of all; working 14.00-22.00 each day means I won’t have to get up early and scrape ice of my next-car’s windscreen every morning throughout the coming months!! 😎
Still, I’d like to purchase as few woodworking tools as necessary, so I can at least put some amount of money away for the future. I’ll also be able to take part in some of Bristol’s furniture exhibitions for 2011, as I money I earn will allow me to buy the timber necessary in order to explore the ideas I’ve created since the shows this past Summer.
Does anyone have any particular recommendations for “woodworking” cars?
Whatever vehicle you drive – please take the time to look after and service it properly. Treat it as if it was part of your workshop!
Thanks for reading.