There is now less than a week to go until I set off for 39 days camping in the 39 historic counties of England
. To be honest this last week has had me just a bit terrified, if it’s possible to be a bit
terrified. One might imagine that being terrified is an all or nothing situation, perhaps it’s digital rather than analogue. Anyway, I digress… as usual.
After the last blog, where I had the Truck looked at by the fine chaps of the Vauxhall Frontera owners, I’ve been a bit nervous about it all falling apart (okay I suppose being a bit nervous means I probably wasn’t wholly terrified). That’s the trip falling apart not the Truck, though that may be what you think as this post unfolds.The owners group did some sterling work on the Truck, changed the vacuum tubes (whatever vacuum tubes do) and cleaned out the inlet manifold. (I can tell you with certainty that if you ever own a 15 year old Vauxhall Frontera that’s done about 120,000 miles it’s well worth getting this done, as even your Vauxhall main dealer won’t know about the need for a clean-up, my main dealer certainly didn’t and they still charged me 200 quid for a service!) So the guys cleaned out the oily gunk that had been stopping the truck breathing properly and it ran much better, even using less fuel. However, in the two weeks since I’ve had an electrical problem and an intermittent starting problem that has had me on edge about the whole project.
When you think about it, going away from home for a little over six weeks is a bit beyond the norm, though I’m sure many people have done it and some go travelling for years. Usually they are young with parents at home, on the other hand I’m considerably longer in the tooth and my domestic arrangements differ somewhat. I’ve worked in other parts of the country and in Europe for months; even now I’m in Kent during the week which is sometimes a bit like another country when you consider the Dartford crossing and all that. However, I’ve always managed to get home at weekends. Most of us manage a two week holiday every now and then, although personally I prefer to pepper my summers with a series of weekends away, frequently under some sort of nylon construction, often listening to the coolest of counter culture music or involved with people into the weirdest of counter culture philosophies. (I use the word weird advisedly here.) But going off for six weeks is something I’ve never done before so I’ve had to consider the logistics: finances, access to email and Facebook plus any number of unforeseen issues from unexpected bills to watering the plants. Add to all this the fact that the Truck was playing up it seemed the whole project was beginning to look like it was in jeopardy.
However, after an impromptu visit to the nice mechanic at Fort Horsted
he checked the work of the Vauxhall enthusiasts and declared it all clean and shiny, but he did discover a guilty glow plug, of the worn out variety. So it seems the Truck is now in good shape and it started as easily as ever this morning. Therefore, things are looking better and I’m feeling a lot more positive about the project. Now all I need is for the Met Office to stop predicting snow for next week.