Tuesday, 25 July 2017

A short trip north

For several years Naomi and I have talked about visiting Scotland in Jim, but every year we end up changing plans. The urge to visit is strong, but faced with a 650 mile drive, we have always elected to head south instead, ending up in the sunshine on a beach in Spain or France. Not wishing to put it off any longer, this year was made the decision to forego guaranteed sunshine, and chose mountains and whiskey instead.

Being naturally lazy folk, I've seen a lot of the parts of England within an easy days journey from home, but anything more than few hours drive from London has been largely unexplored by me or Naomi. To break up the journey from London, we chose to spend a few days in Cumbria on the way up, which is an area I've not been to since I was a child. Though England is small, even Cumbria is more driving than I like to do in a day, and so we left late on Friday night, and drove for a few hours to make the following days drive a little easier.

Our first stop was at Cannock Chase, an area better known for murders and dogging than a pleasant rest, but it proved a quiet place to park for the night, an in the morning, gave us a large area of forest and heath to walk Boris and stretch our legs.

The next day, we made the rest of the journey to the lake district. As is is often the case when picking remote places to visit, the first 90% of the journey was quick and painless, spent almost entirely on the M6 motorway; however, the last 10% took the same time again, as we threaded our way around the edge of the hills, headed for Wasdale Head. There are not many roads heading into the heart of the Lake District, but the road to Wasdale Head takes you about as far as it is possible to drive. The last stretch of the road is wholly unsuited for a large truck, and the last stone bridge in particular is extremely narrow, with a tight turn straight after. I find it difficult to imagine that anything larger than Jim would be able to navigate this obstacle without getting a front wheel off the road  at this turn. Nevertheless, the road was quiet, and we took it slowly without causing much of an inconvenience.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Much needed repairs

I am aware that its been an extremely long time since I posted anything here, this is largely because Jim has been forlorn, inactive, an unattended to. We've taken a few small trips away in him, but nothing worth writing about unfortunately.

We're now in Cumbria, a few days into a two week holiday visiting the North of England and Scotland. In the run up to the trip, I attended to a couple of the growing list of repairs which Jim needs doing.

For a few years water has been getting into the back nearside corner of the cladding on Jim. Over time it has completely rotted through the plywood. I have known about it for a while but haven't had the motivation to deal with it. The damage has happened because one of the stainless steel capping pieces has started to separate from the truck body, and water has got behind the plywood.

The thin GRP skin is the only thing left in that corner, the plywood behind it had rotten away completely. The hole you can see in the photo is from me inadvertently sticking my finger through it when trying to ascertain how bad the damage was.

A few other corner trim pieces are loose and I will have to deal with these quickly so that the damage does not get as extensive as this section. I started by pulling away at the rotten wood to see how far the damage spread. Getting to this point took nothing more than a gentle tug with my hand.