Tuesday, 7 April 2009

A house on your back


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 :)

*************************************************
JUBILANT POSTSCRIPT!
I would like to report that following this rather glum post we chugged off to the garage-on-the-farm and had our faith in humanity restored. The kind fellows at Injection Development took time and care and diagnosed the problem straight away. It was just a small heater plug part malfunctioning that was letting unburnt diesel through the system. Our relief is tangible... and they shook their heads at the rogues in Faversham, quite incredulous at how much they had charged for not fixing it! It is so nice to have someone who knows an engine inside out really look and work it all out. We needn't have had all this trouble if we had been there in the first place. But now we know, and if ever anyone else is near Canterbury with diesel problems, I can't recommend them highly enough. And the setting is so much more lovely than that dreadful industrial estate.
Rightyho, well I shall return soon with more cheery tales of travelling again!

54 comments:

Butler and Bagman said...

Good luck with your engine troubles. Your vehicle is a work of art itself. It would be an assault on beauty for it to have an engine malfunction! I will watch and hope and cheer you on!

28parkave said...

Chin up old girl ;-).. I hope you get sorted soon.. bad kama will go back to Mr didnt fix it in Faversham Im sure....

Keep welll
Morag

Gail said...

I hope all gets sorted for you soon, and I echo what Morag says about bad karma and Mr didn't fix it!

Love the new drawing, I'm sure Annie's husband will love it!

Take care and wishing you all the best
-Gail X

amarkel58 said...

Funny, and when I saw your drawing I thought that's exactly how *I* feel with my rooted house, what with things always breaking and wearing down and needing attention! For what it's worth, my husband was a mechanic & always maintained that it wasn't enough to swear at the vehicle, you had to bleed on it a little bit, too. Maybe Tui can skin a knuckle & all will be well...

SJ said...

Maybe you did and maybe you didn't need those parts, but one thing is certainly true unfortunately: when you have an old engine introducing new parts can cause stress on the engine. This means that though the new parts fix the existing problem, they also can cause a great deal of stress to other parts of the engine, and that can result in more breakages.

Sometimes it can be better to get a new - by which I mean reconditioned - engine, if things keep going wrong.

(my father ran a garage and was a veteran and vintage car enthusiast)

Anyway I hope you get sorted out soon.

ruthie said...

thinking of you both in your oh so sweet little home, may the sun truly begin to shine on your days in the very near future!

Vickie said...

Sorry to hear about your continueing mechanical problems. Love your prints, they're all so nice.

Aleksandra said...

Hang in there dear Rima,it will be all right.Good luck and take care of eachother,Sandra :O)

pRiyA said...

I am amazed that you have managed to create such a beautiful drawing in the midst of your 'house problems'. No excuses for me then!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Perhaps a horse or two instead......Good luck, at least you are able to keep working and have work to work on.....

Lisa said...

Do hope you get your traveling abode reengineered pretty soon, so, you'll both be on the explorative spring road, once again!

Morgan A. said...

Sounds like getting your house fixed on the farm might be just the ticket! Best of luck~

sarah said...

Chin up! see you soon

Arija said...

I came over to check out your Aladdin's cave and ended up in a caspital, I do hope you get lucky with the farmer man and he can fix it. We have just changed garages too because of shonky and expensive work. Since we had 6 cars serviced there, they may regret it.
Good luck with your beautiful rolling home and I look forward to posts from East Anglia.

Anaïs Goldemberg said...

I do hope you'll find a way to fix your troubles one and for all. It's so marvellous to read your adventures ! I really love your drawings to, such a rich universe...

Amanda said...

Despite those shady Faversham garage folk, it sounds like you may have found good spirit in this knowledgeable man. Hope it can be resolved without too much out of pocket this time.

And I have a technical question: Do you have a loo on board? And, if not, how do you manage such business.

Just strangely curious. My little sister went through a phase of having to visit every toilet no matter where we were when she was five or six. Her temporary obsession had an affect on me, I guess.

Sonia ;) said...

Rima and Tui...

Blessing be with you...The cowboys in Faversham will have their Karma bite them back.....Love Tui's dreads..Chin up and keep on trucking...

Smiles,

Sonia ;)

nina said...

oh honey, i am so sorry for the continued mechanical troubles, i really really am. living on wheels that don't want to move forward because of a faulty engine must be more frustrating than most things. i remember waiting and waiting for a bicycle part for a couple of days when the boys' dad and i were on our bicycle trip across europe for many months...and that pales in comparison to your dilemma. take advantage of the still time to paint your heart into a contented place; and springtime must surely be on its way there by now, although here in the states we keep having bouts of snow and wind and cold.
thinking of you, always...and i love tui's lovely length of dreadlocks, reminds me of my older son robin xxxx

Nancy said...

I live in a creaky old house in the middle of the city and things are always going wrong with it, so I think that no matter where you live you always have a problem with your house. Only for your poor house, it's more immediate since you can't drive. You find good helpful people and people that make you feel like trolls are in all shapes and sizes but always remember someone nice will come along and save you.

It's spring where I'm at so I send warm spring like thoughts your way.

Nancy

Basht said...

i wish you both and your lovely home all the luck in the world right now and hope that you'll be moving along somwhere new soon with new adventures to tell us. though my home hasn't been on wheels i know what being screwed around over vehicles feels like. my last car was sick most of the time i had her. we'd take her to get fixed and she'd come out with a new problem. i miss that car...

Kitty said...

At least you are brightening the carpark with your presence there. Such a real shame about your house's engine - it's good that there are folk who want to help. Love the crooked house in your drawing.

All the best, Kitty.

Tiffany Gordon said...

Oh, I really do hope you get your home on the road again soon. Wishing you well with it. I am days away from bringing our first baby into the world, and we love the pictures we ordered from you - they are on the wall above the fireplace of the 'baby room'. I added you as a link under our 'Artists we like' on our new family website. Hopefully it will encourage folks your way. Take care and good luck! x

Heather said...

Annie's husband will love that drawing, and I hope you meet up with lots of good people to make up for the one's who have taken advantage of your predicament. Have a good Easter and I hope you will soon be on the road for East Anglia.

acornmoon said...

Well, my heart goes out to you, things were so much simpler when we used horses.

We often walk along a canal path and I can't help thinking how I can see the two of you on a barge, I suppose they are prone to problems also.

Taluula said...

This is a delight.

From This Moment to That said...

Ah Rima, so sorry you are still having engine troubles! What a let down that they didn't fix things as promised,but your new cupboard is no doubt smashing and your House on your back drawing is superb, and the weather is promising to get better! Soon soon your home's sturdy wheels will be back turning and the Park and Ride will then be silent without you!

Hugs Jane :)

kabivose said...

Thank you for yet more delights!
I was pointed to your blog days ago and I'm still exploring it! Absolutely wonderful :-)
It's only just occurred to me - too late - that I could have asked people to buy something from your wondrous site for my birthday :-(
Never mind, I got some money! And you're coming to East Anglia, which, though vague, is near enough for me to pop in see you with a welcoming offering. And money! AND I know a good and trustworthy garage! Oh yes, by the time you get here you'll be fixed, *puts brain back in*
Do let us know where you are when you get here!
Love, hugs and best wishes

tracy said...

Hello both of you, don't despair this time is meant to be spent where you are, at the moment the reasons are obscured from your view but all will come right.
We are having a wonderful time, seeing snow on the mounatin tops reminds me of what we have missed, but I wouldn't have swapped it not to have met you. So you see good things always come out of bad.
The TK was sold but we are visiting another truck home on our way back. Will keep you updated.
Bright blessings on your home and love and light to you both from all three of us x

Anonymous said...

For those who have troubled eyes now will fade as quickly as a new day will dawn as we pry our eyes open to another day and troubles be gone.

Tracy said...

Hi Rima, have been following your blog for a while and sharing your highs and lows. I know how important the "engine" thing becomes when it's the working part of your home. I spent many years living (part time) in a VW travelling to Portugal. On one memorable trip, we had flames coming out of the dash board, fried the whole electric system, happened to be in France at the time and way too expensive to get fixed but managed to get ourselves into Spain.
I now live in australia - under an old tin roof - which has a charm all of it's own. If you have time to visit my blog you'll see why LOL
Good luck with the Engine, it sounds like you have found the right person to put you back on the road, these things happen for a reason.
Tracy

dowhatyoulove said...

Oh, wishing you the best with all of the engine troubles! That is very frustrating to have to rely on the mechanics of the engine to get your home from place to place, and have it not working properly. I know what you mean about finding it hard to trust people after paying them and the problem isnt fixed. Sometimes I think they honestly think they have fixed it, and might just not have the knowledge to get to the true trouble. The best mechanics are the ones that can become one with the car they are working on, and sense what is causing its ailments.

Mobius Engineer said...

"there's some bloke in the carpark making a cupboard!"

rofl !!

Aleksandra said...

Dear Rima,there is a small award for you waiting on my blog,if you want,may be it will bring you luck.Its a lemonade award.:O)Ciao Sandra

Marie Antionette said...

Isn't that always the way? Why do pepole want to do that to others.They will get theirs in the end,No bad deed goes unpunished, belive me.I'm so sorry ,you had to go though all that trouble with your house on wheels,which BTW is absolutely wonderous. You take care out there,in the end ,wasn't there some good people? XXOO Marie Antionette

Carl V. said...

It was so good to read the happy news at the end of the post! Although it is small comfort, just know you share in a misery that is common the world over when it comes to dealing with mechanics. Unfortunately there are many who either intentionally or through lack of motivation end up doing things that cost far more than repairs ever should. But if you ask around you can usually find a reputable one, like you did. Knowing a good mechanic, or at least knowing someone who knows a good mechanic, is such a blessing. I wish you well in your new found freedom! I bet it is great to be properly back on the road.

pRiyA said...

Wonderful that you've found 'People Who Know' to sort out the engine problem. I am so looking forward to your next post.

Thank you for your lovely comment on my post Rima. I didn't know Marina Warner had written a sequel. That's something I will be getting for myself soon.
:-)

Carolee said...

So happy to read you're on your way again - happy travels! :)

~ Carolee

Joan Tucker said...

Happy travels; we drove through an icy night with a hunk of metal in our van tire.. at the garage the next morning, Mt Fixit did nor charge us a dime. Wow, You regain your faith in people. Best of journeys, Joan Tucker

anthromama said...

I am so glad you got that sorted out. We have to have our brakes fixed sometime very soon and I am not looking forward to it! So frustrating not feeling like you can trust people.

ArtSnark said...

Wonderful new piece - the house is so charming!

Glad you found some help fixing your house. Hopefully the new mechanic restored your faith & people too :D

Good luck with your next adventure & as always, thanks for taking us all along for the ride

syren said...

Happy Easter. Have just discovered your blog via Not all Faeries are Beautiful website. I love your all your art and your home looks divine. Thank you for all the lovely photos, I almost feel I'm back home in UK. Ian, my partner and I were discussing how long to cook a particular dish and I'd already been thinking about your clocks and somehow the two ideas colided and we came up with the idea of a timer with increments of "almost no time at all", "a few minutes", "an hour or so", "ages" and "forever" :)
Glad to hear your engine problems have been sorted out.
All the very best to you both.

Trish said...

Hi Rima, trish here from Rhode Island. Just wanted to say best wishes and say how much i admire you and your partner for how you choose to live. My husband and i read you from our laptops in bed and talk about how we wish we had that kind of courage. fondest wishes,
trish
buttercupberet.blogspot.com

littlerobot said...

Yay a hundred times over for good engineers! x

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

oh hooray for you~canned heats 'on the road again' springs to mind :)
looking forwards to seeing where you park your home next!

Paddy said...

Hey lovely. So glad I'm only getting to read this after the cheery postscript!
I look forward to hopeful tidings and happy tales!
Thinking of you both, Love C x

Ciara said...

Ha Ha! That last comment was from ME, CIARA!!! And NOT my Dad... I was just using his computer.

Oh he would be SO embarrassed! I have to laugh... Just don't tell him! :-D

Jessie Lilac said...

Wonderful news Rima, and just in time to enjoy the coming of spring! Happy travelling, your picture is lovely, it's great to see your artwork :)x

MemoryKeeper said...

I found this amazingly beautiful image on the web, and it linked back to your blog. I'd like permission to use it for a post card for our church.

The link is here:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_xh1gR-R6Mks/Sc6XeIdAF-I/AAAAAAAABrc/1cBnYm56FZs/s400/rain+on+pane.jpg

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Sincerely,
Jeanette
Easy Custom Blogs

Carol Stocker said...

Hi Rima! Your latest drawing is so wonderful; what a lucky guy to receive it! I am so delighted to hear that you won't have to carry your home on your back this week and that you are on your journey again. Have a great week! I'm off to email the guys at Injection Development and thank them for taking such good care of you! :-)Hugs, Carol

Melanie said...

Hia Rima, just catching up here. When I wrote that I hoped you would find a garage on a farm, I hadn't popped in here. I jusdt had this pic in my head. WOW! So glad that it was the right place for you.

We had the same with a boiler chap. Luckily when we called in a different one, he said there wasn't such a part on our style of boiler and sorted it. There are definately some bad-uns out there.

Don't you just wish there was a web site which recommends tradesmen based on real customer recommendations not just that they have paid some money to belong to a federation/guild?

Ulla said...

Rima! How dare those 'cowboys' be so nasty! Happy to hear that all is better now... I can remember days spent grumbling over our 'wheels' discomforts as a child. No fun! And almost always it was just a 'little something' that needs to be tweeked a bit - so we could venture on.
Blessings and hugs my dear!
Ulla

Yoli said...

Sweet Rina I am glad everything is back to normal in your world. Love that drawing, you are such a talent dear girl.

mariel said...

Ah Rima, sorry to hear of all your wheeled problems! I do hope you make it to East Anglia, over here in Norfolk it is particularly beautiful this time of year! I'll keep my eye out for you.

mister M said...

looool