Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Rusty's Back!!

Yep, here he is.  Parked at the back of the house in his usual place again after another bout of MAJOR heart surgery by me.  The rain stopped for long enough yesterday for me to run my home made electric lamp outside and be able to see what I had to do and fix him!

The whole gear selector cable mechanism collapsed & I couldn't get ANY gears at all and so had to put him into 2nd gear from under the bonnet and limp him home.  It was quite funny and rather distressing at the same time.  Distressing because, well, doing 20-25mph on major roads with your hazard lights flashing and not knowing that you'll overheat or run out of fuel isn't good, it's sort of funny because you spend more time looking in your wing mirrors and every time you look there's an increasing cue of cars behind you.

Whilst I spent most of the journey back home saying "sorry, sorry, sorry" out loud, that was interspaced by my saying "at least it makes a change from being stuck in a queue behind a slow moving bloody caravan doesn't it?!?!?!".   ....Welcome to the world of A Man With A Van!

This is the tiny little cable mechanism that failed and caused so much distress.  The rusty clip on the right of the pic popped off and the bit on the left of the pic is the aluminium plate & nuts & bolts I had to engineer myself to keep the end of the cable on it's ball joint.  (Boring eh?)

....anyway, it works and now Rusty the van, Sally, monza the dog and I can all continue on our ongoing (Bonkers) adventures.  Keep checking in!

Monday, 5 October 2015

What happens when the gear box is out of action!?......

What happens when the gear box is out of action on a big white rusty van!? well....I had to stop. that is what happens. then I have to lift the bonnet and have a look inside. If you are not a trained have no chance.

Just coming home from helping a customer move from a storage locker to his new flat....fortunately I had already dropped off the customer. ...I got the gears into second......and gingerly drove rusty van back along country roads at 25 miles an I was the slow irritating one on the lovely roads on which I would put my foot down into corners......everyone hang on......but not today.

I eventually got home about one hour after I was expected. I was only about ten miles away fortunately.

About two years ago I fixed the gearbox by making a cable and a bit of gigggerypokery with a new day the cable decided to come gears. No driving of van.
I took the offending clip into the house to show Sally.

Is that it! It is tiny!

Well that is it. And without this tiny thing holding together the gear box on rusty van we ain't go in, anywhere.

So we went no where as it is raining, I have rigged up a light and then well rained. Not fancing being under rusty van in the rain with a self rigged up electric light.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 is out and about.......   Is out and about again. Monza the dog is sad today as he does not get to go out this time. He is now so big he can not fit onto the van for long journeys! he is okay over to Otley but any further and it all becomes a bit of a hairy jam.

I have a new helper.    A PH.D in art. It is truely amazing what you can do with a degree these days.

I simply cross palm with the Queen's head and off we go out on the van for a day of adventure .
to day we have got a sofa to deliver to Shipley. This sofa is a bit long suffering, as I was given it to take to the tip. This sofa was in quite good condition, so I put it on free cycle in Leeds, along with a double bed, a drum kit and some other bits and bats.
I had a few people contact me and then change their I could not even give it away! So I decided to take it all to the tip and we loaded the van ready.
I need the space in my workshop to make a wind turbines, and Monza dog likes to sit and watch. With the sofa stored there was no room for either.
midnight last night a text came through! a lady wanting the sofa.
So the long suffering sofa was saved from the tip, delivered, and I was paid too......

                                                               Turned out nice again.

Also went over to Ilkley and Otley......
 The winter gardens theatre, Ilkley........
 First.... Sally wanted to go to Boyes to buy yet more knitting wool. I patiently looked at the tool section.....
 Then a quick scoot around the charity shops...
 I am looking for something to make a crucible out of for making some metal faces......
 Then on to Gregs for lunch....

and a drool over the Betty's tea rooms window........

Home now.              is now having his official beer time.

where have I been? why have I not written this blog?......

Where have I been? Well the answer is right here in West Yorkshire fluffing about making wind turbines and reusing junk to make more stuff, that is where.
I am still out and about on the van......though not with Sally and Monza the dog so much now. It is more small jobs locally now.....and I have a new helper.....
My new guy is much fitter than I thought. And dare I admit it fitter than me at the moment.
Yesterday Sally and I went to Chapel Allerton hospital for my check up. I have rheumatoid arthritis, which was discovered about five years ago. I spent about a week crawling around under the van trying to fix it up to get through an M O T test. This made my feet hurt and I started to hobble around like an old man. I could not even get up stairs.......which was a real pity as this is where the bathroom and bedroom are.
All eventualities were gone through at accident and emergency, and with repeated GP visits, until I was referred to a foot doctor with a fancy name at Otley hospital.
The appointment here was spent with me hobbling about and the doctor crawling around me observing. His conclusion was that I had a corn, and that I needed insoles, that I should be tested for hang on mate Henry V111 had this still around today? Then he really hit the nub of the problem......he told me there was a new blood test for arthritis and that I should go to my GP and request one......just to rule that out as well the doctor said....

This I did. And fortune was on my I saw a locum, just out of medical school....therefore well up on all modern developments.........I went for this blood test...eleven fail s of blood were taken, I watched mesmerized as it pored out of me from a tap.......even the nurse had not heard of this test yet. I was lucky, kinda in the right place at the right time speaking to the right people, otherwise I possibly would never have found out.
So the results came back, and I went to visit my GP......and to everyone's surprise it was rheumatoid arthritis, and I carried a whole selection of inherited antibodies, genes and all types of things that really excited the GP......I have a rare kind to cut a long medical paraphernalia short. This was how I came to be referred to Professor Emery at Chapel Allerton hospital. The same day I found a newspaper with his leading light of research on the front page. I was besides myself with glee........not because I had! Because it had been diagnosed and I was going to be treated by a professor who had made his life work researching and developing new treatments. Luck was on my side at last.
After this I went to the hospital a lot, as I was added to their research programme. This in evolved a lot of blood tests, being photographed and scanned from every angle , testing meds combinations, and one appointment I had Five people all shaking their heads and staring at me in disbelief.
That day there were two nurses, two doctors and the professor himself. they had discovered my heart defect......something I was born with, and has never bothered me....up to that moment....and my wife Sally had told them how much I smoked and drank. The medical profession wondered at the fact that I was alive......
Anyway I was put on a very new drug called Etanacept. I can tell you....I felt the effects of this immediately...... a nurse showed me how to inject myself......

My next appointment was full of my symptoms. had disapeared.........and ""fixed" was written on my file and the magic meds were delivered to my house by courier
Lately, I have not been so well. My hands and feet have started swelling up and the pain is back. My visit this time was not so gleeful.  So basically the wonder meds no longer work on me and my arthritis has developed another way of attacking my body. A change of medication is required. This time I to have a six hour infusion of a completely new treatment. Six hours in hospital! Before this I have to stop this current med.
sally and I drove home really upset. It goes like that sometimes.

April 30th 2016......An update

Sadly the new meds did not work. I have more infusions planned for May 2016 and I am told by doctors that the second time often has more success. So I can only hope.

Now on to. here is a link to my website. Rusty the van passed his MOT test the first time this
year and is out and about with a new driver called David. His usual job is an artist. He also loves cars and mechanics and makes modles of cars and driver of rusty the van this comes in very useful.

The business is just the same, as my wife goes out with David as an "extra pair of hands".
/     and here is a link to my facebook page.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The end.

 The doors...This is the end. My Beautiful friend the end. or something like that. I do not know this wife said this was the end. .....It is the end of the road for my you know is a relief. I no longer have the worry of living below the poverty line....
 How do I know this! well the government....yes the government......states that £113.00 is the minimum that a couple can live on in a week.....we earn nothing like that most weeks. For the last four years....we have averaged £100.00 a week...and that would be a really good week.......My wife has one pair of boots and some flip flops from the £1.00 shop. I have one lot of working stinking trainers which make my feet hurt and I got them out of a skip....not even the right size, but I made do.
 So this really is the end........... My wife...Sally has signed me on to Job seekers allowance. .....she also has applied for and registered me for paid jobs.
Sally is ill. I am not much better.
Time to give in and find something else.
Sally phoned the Macmillan help line in desperation as we have no gas or electricity....that would be again.....
I went and borrowed a tenner from my dad. There is no such thing as an emergency loan any more.......

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

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 addition to A Man With A Van, we also provide a Really Useful Garage Clearance Service.

If you're lucky enough to have a garage, chances are that like me, there's a lot of "stuff" in there that (being honest!) you've just stowed away in there that you really don't need or and probably won't actually EVER get around to using or fixing.

Basically, it's in the way .....everybodys way!!
There's usually a number of reasons that once it's sitting there that it's NEVER got rid of :-
1. It won't fit in the car
2. Can't be bothered to
3. It's too expensive now
4. I still like it / It's useful
5. It's a HUGE amount!
A number of things can be recycled/repurposed or taken to charity shops. This can reduce the cost of just taking everything to the tip as it means that the overall weight is reduced. The weight is where the council takes its charges from....
Our charge for taking everything away for you is not as expensive as you might imagine.
...and just think about the space you'll recover or what it might be like to be able to put your car back in your garage again!!

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Friday, 30 January 2015