THIS MAN CARRIES his house on his back in a drawing just completed by me for a nice lady* who asked me to make her a drawing for her house-builder husband. She had seen my Goods & Chattels Man and asked for a little drawing in a similar vein but with a house on his back and a nod to the corrugated iron roofs of Australia where they live.
It is also a rather apt illustration for our predicament right now. We feel like we might have to hoick our house onto our backs and walk!
Regarding our recent and ongoing engine troubles all I can say is GrRrRrRrRrRhHhH!!!
The problem that we went to that garage with in the first place all that time ago is still not fixed, despite all the money we paid them and the weeks we spent parked there. We are very frustrated indeed!
Our intention was to leave for East Anglia this week but alas we are back in the park and ride! There have been days peering under the engine hood, and thinking 'aha we've found the cause', ordering a new part, collecting it from the post office, fitting it and crossing fingers, starting the engine and driving down the A2 a bit to see, only to be greeted with momentous chugging at junctions, revving of its own accord and billows of exhaust smoke down the road. We are pretty sure based on advice from various quarters that all this is being caused by air getting into the fuel somehow... so we have looked for cracks and loose nuts and bolts until blue in the face. Finally yesterday we were put in touch with a knowledgeable man who trained on TKs and can recite the serial numbers to you over the phone. He reckons it's the fuel pump playing up... but alas cannot work on it as the truck won't fit in his yard. So, he recommended another place... which it turns out is just down the road from here and on a farm! And that is where we will head in a bit when I have finished moaning on here. Gawd knows if it'll be good news, we are starting to despair a bit and not trust people. The knowledgeable man made a knowing noise when Tui mentioned the garage in Faversham where we had been and said "..well my mother said if you have no good thing to say about someone then don't say anything!" It seems we were lead to a nest of cowboys, and it is such a shame. We probably never needed six brand new injectors fitting at all. People can so often disappoint you, and we are even more at the mercy of garages as this is our home.
Mechanical troubles are the real downside of living on wheels. It is so much more important for things to run smoothly and the freedom to move vanishes in an instant when things go wrong, leaving you wherever you happen to be. As it goes the park and ride is a sort of sanctuary in this kind of situation, it's quite alright to be parked here for lengths of time, and we are close to town to frantically sell pictures in order to pay for the work!
All the while we have been in this loop of trying-to-get-to-the-bottom-of-it-and-then-not, I have struggled to work and we have sold some pictures. Tui even turned the carpark into a carpentry workshop for a day or two whilst he made a new cupboard for our crawl-through. The space between cab and house had become a sort of pile of vegetables and cartons of juice and milk and bags of salad, and butter (it was cooler you see), so we thought why not put all that into a cupboard... and there's the lovely result above. Tui can be seen here from my desk window mid saw, and his activities even brought the carpark attendant over as he'd had a call from the central CCTV monitors telling him "there's some bloke in the carpark making a cupboard!"
The handles (which I think look slightly like poached eggs) are my contribution to the new creation and are made from a piece of Yew that we found back in the orchard days before any chugging was even on the horizon.
I leave you with a familiar scene of recent days... our house pulled in on a roadside somewhere with the engine hood up, spanners strewn across the pavement, Tui underneath cursing, and kind folk stopping to cough through our exhaust smoke and ask if they can help.
Will we be wandering again next week? Oh I do hope so...
*edited for secrecy :)
Rightyho, well I shall return soon with more cheery tales of travelling again!