Saturday, September 26, 2009

Step foundation

The slow progress continues on the paved area. Today we used the mixer that the builders have left to mix some concrete for the foundation of a step at the conservatory doors.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Best day yet.

In March, when Marty and I were in California for 3 weeks with work we were determined to have a good holiday, as well as doing whatever work had to get done. Every day when we went somewhere we enjoyed it more than the previous day, Big Bear, Sunset Beach, San Diego, Vegas, Grand Canyon, Beverly Hills. Each day we acknowledged that we'd had the 'best day yet'. Well, today was another 'best day yet'.

A few months ago the guys at scoobyireland had arranged to hold a "rolling road" day, and today was that day. It had finally come round; it's something I've always wanted to do, I would have loved to have put my GTE Astra on the rollers as I'm sure it was pulling close to 200bhp.

Anyway, headed off this morning for AI Autosport near Randalstown, and was the first one there, so got first shot on the rollers. I'd hoped this wouldn't happen as it would have been nice to see what goes on before actually going. Phil reversed the car onto the rollers and they got it tied down with ratchet straps. Because my car was the first of the day the rollers had to be heated up, so he took the car up to 100mph and ran it there for a few minutes.

Then the run began, the car is held at 3000rpm for a few seconds to calibrate the machine, af
ter which the operator lets it rev lower, and then floors it. The graph is updated live on the machine, although its hard to see what is actually happening on the screen; there is so much information.

My car ran twice, once on SUL, and once on LPG. I was really curious about both runs because the car has 135000 miles on it, and IMO it has never really been going 100%, so I was expecting less than the stock 208bhp for the petrol, and slightly more on the LPG as it has a higher octane rating (apparently).

Wrong. 251bhp (219 at the wheels) on the SUL, and 240 (203 at the wheels) on the LPG.
Fantastic result, and although it cost £70 for the two runs, I think it was a good economy, as I was thinking about a chip, or boost controller, but sure now I don't need one, I'm already 20% over stock power!

Next it was off to Benone for a spot of kitesurfing. It was alright, first ride was the best going slightly upwind, after that it was a series of sinking, or crashing into waves etc. Then the wind died etc, so not a great session, but great to get out again for the first time in 3 weeks, after our wind drought!

Finally I have just spent over 7 hours painting in the living room. It's well overdue as with a coal fire burning there is a lot of soot. Now its got a nice fresh coat of paint. Actually found the job strangely enjoyable today, I'm sure that feeling couldn't last!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Garage - Day 5 - Brickwork complete

The brickies finished off the brickwork of the garage today, so we have to wait for a week for the trusses to arrive.

While the brickies were here we decided to put their skills to good use, and they finished off the copings on the wall. This was probably a wise decision, as it took them about a full day in total, so I don't think I could have done nearly as good a job.

After marking out the sizings for the pillars and wall at the road we got the foundations dug and poured today. Now all we need is the building done!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Garage - Day 4

More work on the garage today, and we also marked out at the roadside where we hope to put pillars and a wall.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Garage - Day 1

The workers arrived today to start the garage. I expect it'll not take them long to put it up, at least they're getting great weather for starting.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Moving shed

In preparation for the garage getting built we had to clear out the accumulated rubbish from the foundations. For the most part this meant lifting wood and other rubbish, but the biggest item was the garden shed, which was a quite substantial task.

After preparing the path we got the heavy lifting machinary in and got it delicately balanced on the forks. Matthew kindly drove it all the way around to its new resting position, where it will stay until the real garage gets done.

Now we just have to wait for the builders to turn up :)

Thursday, September 03, 2009


On day 4 out on the water I'm finally riding, only short distances, but still up. Once I made it over several waves, and couldn't believe how I got over each one! Looking forward to getting out again...