My fellow Magneteer and I left Heathrow in glorious sunshine, landed in Oslo in equally fine weather (if a couple of degrees cooler) but the next leg of our trip which took us North of the Arctic Circle, presented a gloomier picture. The sun disappeared and layers of cloud and torrential rain threw us around on our descent into a very wet and grey Bodo airport.
We rented a Tonka Toy-cum-Transformer and drove for about an hour and a half to a dry and much happier looking Rognan, home to another Nexans cable factory and one of my favourite postings. The scenery is stunning and the Rognan Hotel, though sparsely appointed, has incredibly comfortable beds,
and a splendid view from the breakfast table. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Following my return from Germany on Thursday, orders came through on Friday for a silly o'clock departure (to Rognan) on Sunday morning, making Saturday the only window for a run out in the Hillman.
Still, I had most of Friday free which gave me time to collect and deliver to the silk factory a whole lot of brackets (that I'd organised to have laser-cut and powder-coated while I was away) and then have a day out with The Ambassador's Daughter, rowing up the River Stour to Flatford Mill and, staying with the milling theme, lunch at Pin Mill on the Orwell.
A Wherry was moored up on the jetty at Pin Mill though the really interesting stuff from an arty point of view, was a walk through the woods, a scramble down a bank and then over a wall to see the derelict boats lying in the mud.
Saturday's outing took in Awkward and Leon's workshop where the Avon's engine, complete with natty flywheel balancing fandango, had been reinstalled after a long rebuild. The jury is out on the effectiveness of the new fandango as the engine is still very tight; full chat is a bit of a way off.
Brunch at a new café in Kenninghall - one to add to the list - and a flying visit to Old Buckenham airfield before moving on through Attleborough...... where something in the back axle started to complain. As we were only a couple of miles from Very Learned Counsel's works we called in, jacked up the back and couldn't, initially, find anything wrong...
... until I gave the propshaft a good rattle. The pinion which meshes with the crown wheel and links the propshaft to the diff, is housed in a detachable casting and contains two taper-roller bearings. The front bearing had collapsed so we weren't going anywhere else that day unless on a trailer. Hats off to R H Insurance! Their recovery procedure couldn't be faulted and the Hillman was back in its garage a couple of hours later. As far as the pinion carrier is concerned, I remember that adjusting the end float and the meshing was a completely baffling exercise. Maybe I didn't get it as right as I thought I did?
I'll find out next week.