There once was a time I used to write articles about indie bands (I actually managed one for a while too), I would write about awesome artists such as Avery Watts, White Valentine and more I also wrote for several journalism sites regarding technology and engineering.
Now, I write about…teethers.
The mighty has not fallen, just changed direction, but if you told me 10 years ago I would be writing about babies and post-pregnancy nutrition, I wouldn’t believe you.
I ended up buying Monster what appears to be the crème da la crème of teethers the other weekend. Sophie the Giraffe. While we do have other teethers, when you say to someone that your Monster is teething, the first questioned asked is:
“Do you have Sophie the giraffe?”
It is like the celebrity of teethers. But at the same time, because we did not instantly have Sophie the Giraffe, I felt like I was going back twenty years and being told “she doesn’t know how to use the three seashells!”
After speaking with my sister-in-law, the reason why this teether is so popular is because the whole thing is made of soft rubber which is soft enough for even the most delicate of bites. Definitely not my Monster.
It seems to be working though. When my husband drove me to the train station this morning, I waved goodbye to Monster in the back seat and saw them chewing away quite intently, or more accurately, with shear determination on Sophie.
I have also learnt that if you are trying to keep your calorie book a secret, don’t use a Lego Mini figures notebook. People will want to look inside of it. A few awkward situations at work this week.
So back to some techie and engineering news. Those who have followed this blog for years will remember that 2.5 years ago, during our last Rogue Run trip, the engine to our beloved WV T4 Transporter, well, kind of exploded on a very busy Italian motorway. It literally could not have gone in a worse spot, considering the services were less than a mile away from where this happened.
Since then, the van has received an engine transplant, a very long engine transplant, meaning that when you perform a task as big as this, inevitably, it is not just the engine that has to be changed. The gear box needed modifying, because the replacement engine was a petrol instead of diesel this meant new fuel filter and lines, an exposed inter-cooler was added and the wiring, let’s not go there with that. Spaghetti junction does not even come close to describing it. We also changed a few things cosmetically (why not, when we had the chance), such as the lights and some of the front features with turned it from a rather feminine looking to a slightly more masculine looking T4.
The biggest hurdle to begin with was getting the van back from Italy, even though the RAC were doing their utmost to try and get it scrapped rather than repatriate it back to the UK. The second challenge was then trying to find a mechanic to take up such a job.
Many who are not on the “VW scene” asked why we didn’t just scrap the van in the first place, well the simple answer is, look up the price of an old bay window campervan, the increase in value for T4s is going down the same route. It was a no-brainer. If the T4 was to increase in value in the same way as the bay windows, the best option was to keep hold of it for as long as possible. Providing the work could be successfully undertaken, in the long run we would profit.
Well, I am pleased to say that the work to the van was eventually carried out, not before going through months of court proceedings due to the first mechanic we used, but that is a different story. We briefly had the van back on the road in working order, however our relief was short-lived.
As the engine went through such a transformation, from diesel to petrol (this was done because of the low emission zone predominantly), it has also required a lot of new parts (as mentioned above). The van was 90% complete when we put it back on the road, thinking that the minor finishing touches could be done at a more leisurely pace.
We were wrong.
A few weeks ago, while my other half was driving back home, the van began making a nasty sound. We found out that the “little end” malfunctioned. The ramifications mean either another engine or a repair on the current one.
Sadly we have got to the point where we can no longer put money or time into this, especially as we now have Monster, we need two vehicles and given the amount of work the van has been through it doesn’t feel like our van anymore. However it could easily be someone else’s. Even though there sounds like more work that needs to be done, given the rebuild, once complete it would serve someone for a long time whether it would be a general works vehicle or something that can be used at VW events and camping.
If anyone is interested, here is the Ebay link to the advert.
In other news, if you are apart of the VW scene or a camper in general. you will want to have a look at this website. I am very happy to draw some attention to Sheltapod which is a innovative campervan drive away awning. Check our their website and the many ways you can use this awning in all types of weather.