Tales from a Motorcycle Saddle.

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Abigail's Page 62 



April to May 2020

Date: 6th May 2020


By now we are well into lock down. On my last page we wrote:"Dad is sensitive that many people are ill, have died, are grieving or have no income. He feels we should not be broadcasting along the lines of "Hey, look at us!" when so many are suffering. We hope you agree." Well, he has now changed his mind after watching the news and social media (yes, honestly - he now uses WhatsApp!)

I'm afraid that this update is all about us keeping busy at home which is a good record of events for us but isn't exactly stimulating for others, but here goes anyway.

We've been blessed with good weather in April so I thought I would start with a view that Dad took on an early morning cycle ride past a local park.


I spend most of my time in my room doing school work, communicating with friends and watching films. My main exercise is dance practice, trampolining and stretching exercises.

Dad took this photo as he came up the stairs. I think he got a bit of a surprise!

My dance classes and drama class I now do on line via Zoom. My school work may not necessarily be done on line but I'm sent course work via Edulink from school.


Mum has been doing end of year accounts and other stuff for church. Our pastor has done an excellent job of preparing services for uploading on YouTube for adults and youngsters plus Zoom get togethers. Mum and Dad's Tuesday evening Bible Study group has now become a Zoom prayer course.

Mum has many skills. Here she is catching up with alterations to some of her clothes and some of my new ones.

Mum also did a big jigsaw that our friend Michelle carried all the way from Australia, (nearly four years ago!) Dad joked that we had to live on beans on toast for three days.

Do you like Mum's new jacket? Knitted by her own clever hands.


Dad had prepared for when the weather got warmer and already had all he needed for some DIY jobs. He wishes to point out that he hasn't been busier than us, he just takes more photographs.

Job 1: Dad's first job was to fit a solar panel onto the caravan roof. He said on one sunny day that the solar is really kicking butt so we can go boondocking without shore power. I think he's been watching way too many American RV videos on YouTube.

Shame they didn't warn him about not damaging a wiring loom of 15 wires...... The drill slipped sideways, OK? Anyway, they're all made good now. - Dad. Meanwhile, Rosie some how makes it to a top cupboard to inspect his work.


Job 2: Dad made a new garden gate from a kit. It only took Dad 15 years to get a round tuit, what ever one of those is. Shame about the gaps. Oi, is this get at Dad time? They are not gaps, but glue which the preservative wouldn't cover. - Dad.

Exciting picture Dad! The window cleaner used to force the gate open (with our permission) but last time he said the arch is too small to get under.


Job 3: Re-felt the playhouse roof and make new barge boards. Rosie is his little helper. He blames her for making him dip his paintbrush in his tea, not his paint pot, and yes, he really did!

Err..Dad, shouldn't they be pink?

I hope the pink covers the brown. Rosie is still helping.

That's better, Dad.


Job 4: Mum spent a long time spring cleaning the sun room and dining room. Dad's contribution was limited to removing the curtains and rehanging after they were washed. He must have been bitten by the spring cleaning bug as he did the the playhouse. Is there really room for a railway in there?

Yes, there is but I haven't done much to it recently, just some extra detail and a new control panel facia. Dad.



Job 5: Dad's easiest job (below) was to dismantle the "railway seat", paint and reassemble.  I hope the preservative is dry, Mum!


Job 6 and the most difficult so far: The caravan was damp under the sink area. It was caused by the tyre rubbing a hole in the mudguard as it went over bumps. Dad Googled "Bailey caravan Al-Ko suspension problems." He said it was like opening a can of worms. This has been going on for years and has affected a huge number of caravans, not only Baileys. This is due a combination of poor design and/or overloading. He has spent countless hours on the Internet and, being reluctant to pay a dealer 1500 to fit a new axle he decided to remove it, package it up and send away for repair and upgrading at a cost of 600. What ever next?

You can see below where the rubber is being forced out of the axle tube.


Our neighbour Jim helped Dad. The idea was that they kept the correct social distance with Jim one side of the caravan and Dad the other. If that was the case, how come Dad got hit on the nose by Jim with a socket wrench?

There it is, one caravan axle ready for a trip to Scotland. Err, Dad, have you seen Mum anywhere recently??


Dad is still only volunteering at the Foodbank one day a week. Just look at what he has to take from the warehouse to the distribution centre before collecting donations from some supermarkets.


Some sad news to end with I'm afraid. Mum went to cover Topsy the guinea pig's hutch up for the night (5th May) and found she had died that evening. She was six years old and her little friend passed away last year so now we are guinea pig-less.


So, now you know how we are keeping well, busy and sane. We trust you are as well. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, we hope. But not too early for safety reasons.

Love from Abigail.

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