Life in a Dol house
2016 - Week 12

A long time ago, in a far away place....

I still have not replaced my broken pocket digital camera yet. I keep prevaricating over which one I want to get to replace it. The problem is that there are just so many, and so many different options (and prices). I only mention this because there are not going to be many photo's in this week's newsletter.

The weather this week has not been especially conducive to anything which would take time outside. We have had a low pressure system push through, which brought rain and sand, dragged up from North Africa.

Sunday was a nice day and I emptied out my big Konoba in an attempt to locate a number of boxes which had things I was looking for. bearing in mind the number of boxes which were shipped from Abu Dhabi, I still have quite a few which have not been opened, or have been opened and then repacked. I seemed to have a number of items which I was wanting, but they were not listed separately on the inventory or in my QR coded packing list.

As Sunday's are quiet days, when the use of noisy power tools are frowned on because of Religious sensitivities, I opted for a quiet day of moving, listing and re-packing.

At the end of the day, I had everything safely re-ordered, a new list of which box is where, recorded on a digital tape recorder and I had found things like a 250 mm lens for my Canon EOS digital SLR camera, a heavy duty hole punch, a box of hand tools which I knew I had somewhere and a few other oddments. One thing I was looking for but which remains unlocated is an A4 page scanner. I know it was packed, but have no idea where it is.

Monday was a day to catch up with small jobs here and there, to dodge rain showers outside and to extract weeds when the sun shone. Following my comments last week about two especially pernicious weeds, one of the newsletter readers came back to me with the information that both plants are in fact edible.

It seems that the grass which develops from white bulbs, some 10 cm under ground is called Romulea rosea, or Onion Grass. Completely logical now I think about it. It is also classified as an invasive weed from Australia to North America. One very good suggestion is that when dug up, the bulbs should be planted in a pot, to supply bulbs for eating as required, but to curb its spreading tendency. The other plant, the Hairy Bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta, can also be collected and eaten. It apparently has a peppery taste and is good on salads. I do not propose to find out how tasty it is, as I have been trying to eliminate it from the orchards, but good information all the same.

It is nice to see the sun rising earlier each day and on Tuesday I was on the 05:30 ferry to Split with my German neighbour. 

A long time ago, in a far away place, as a Traffic Officer I was trained as a vehicle examiner. This was a six month night school course at Technical College, that culminated in written and practical examinations and the award of a City and Guilds of London certificate. It also allowed me to present evidence of vehicular mechanical defects at Court.

Whilst it is a long time since I exercised my vehicle inspection powers under the Road Traffic Act, the basics are still embedded in the "grey matter", so I was in Split to have a look at LWB Land Rover which was for sale.

The past vehicle examinations I remember were mostly on cold wet winters nights, by the side of a road, with little or no equipment. However on Tuesday, it was in a warm, dry garage and on a vehicle which has been well maintained, even if it is of 1968 manufacture.

The mechanical parts were pretty much in good or very good condition. For a 48 year old workhorse, there was little corrosion, and what there was did not affect anything critical.

So it was with a degree of pleasure that I saw my friend drive his new acquisition onto the ferry for the trip back to Dol.
The vehicle is something of an enigma though. 

The chassis number does not match any series that I can find on-line, and a number of the external parts suggest that it was built for a military customer.

There are other surprises too. Anyone who has ever driven one of these old vehicles will recall that there are three gear levers in the cab. One with a black knob, one with a yellow knob and one with a red knob. Well this vehicle has only two, a black and a red, and the markings on the top of the black one suggest it has one reverse and 4 forward, but the gearbox has one reverse and five forward gears! It seems to be a bit of a hybrid.

It has been suggested that it was once used by the Yugoslavia police, but the colour is wrong. It is going to take quite a bit of detective work to trace it's history I think, but it is a very nice vehicle to drive.

Wednesday was wet for much of the day, so I spent my time marking tiles, ready to cut outside, once the weather had cleared. Thursday was a nice, warm and sunny day when I completed the finishing touches on the gates, things like the letter box to go behind the letter flap, and drip strips. Friday was similar, but being Good Friday, I refrained from using anything which would make a noise. It did allow Risha and Callie to enjoy the sunshine in the greenhouse, while I planted seeds.

What more could one ask for, but a comfortable bed in a sunny spot on a nice warm day?

Which leads us to Saturday, when friends came round for a long, lazy lunch. So not a lot has happened this week, but I have spent all week doing it. Remember that in Europe the clocks move forward one hour tonight, and with the though that there will be an hour less in bewd tonight, I will sign off for another week.