I spent the day of the Six Nations final undoing rusty bolts and grinding fittings off two large pieces of machinery that sat in the front belly box and made the old wheelchair lift work. Every time the timbre of the commentary reached try intensity I had to drop everything and come in to watch. It was in, out, in, out all day. What a great day of rugby and so close for England.
The wheelchair lift won’t work any more, but I have liberated a new belly box cupboard in the front of the lorry that will be very useful as a store for all my cables. The two chunky pieces, one a motor or pump and the other a cylinder which may have been a pressurised tank of some kind were very heavy. I could hardly lift the tank. Well, to be honest, I couldn’t lift it as a dead lift. When I think of the years I have driven around with those two huge bits of redundant metal and of the gallons of fuel I have bought for carrying them, in some ways I am grateful to the Jobsworth for making me take it all off. Of course it means that I can’t now invite wheelchair users to tea in the lorry and I can’t contemplate a time when I might be one myself. If it does happen I shall have to deal with the issue then.
Together these pieces I have removed must weigh in at almost 100 kilos. I can just about lift a person of my own body weight (although maybe not with the pounds I have accumulated over the last few months). The front axle of the lorry was overweight by 256 kilos. So say this will now be lighter by 56 kilos, as the weight I took off was towards the front. There is still quite a big chunk of metal making up the steps, the lift itself and a big hydraulic ram that sits across the width of the lorry. I guess this did the actual push and pull/lift job. These will be more difficult to remove and I think I will leave them to the experts here. Paul, my commercial vehicle engineer, the guy who has kindly let me stay in his yard, says he will do it on Monday. I am very curious to know how much these bits weigh as that part of the working is almost all on the front axle. I am not convinced they will weigh 200 kilos though. However I did hear from one of the people I spoke to at VOSA (a much more approachable and customer-focussed guy called Simon at the Wrexham VOSA place) that they would allow a vehicle to be 5% over the plate weight without issuing a Weight Prohibition ticket. Whether the Jobsworth would take the Weight Prohibition off with that leeway is debatable though. 5% of 2570 kilos is 128.5 kilos so maybe if the remaining bits weigh another 100 kilos, all might yet be well and I won’t have to have it re-plated with all that involves in time and money. Time will tell and watch this space.
I wish taking my personal weight down was as easy as grinding off a few bolts. My belly box is still crammed with too much easy living (perhaps a consequence of being an old-age pensioner) and yesterday I made a final apple crumble (one of the few Alexander culinary specialities). I already had the Bramleys and they couldn’t have gone to waste now could they? I will ration the crumble to one portion a day. As you may have noticed yoga has been rather neglected of late. It’s just been too cold in the garage yoga space I made to do it in and there’s just not enough room in the lorry. That has been my excuse anyway.
So a new personal regime emerges with all the changes. The chocolate has gone and the cream has almost gone. Maybe one or two last portions with today’s crumble. Phase myself out slowly, that’s the ticket. I bet the adrenalin of all these latest challenges has taken off a few pounds.
All the best from a road near you,