23/04/2014

As a remnant from my days of Land Rover ownership, I have a Hi-Lift jack. In case you don’t know what this is, it’s one of these: Hi-Lift Jack.

Well, supposedly you can use it as a tyre bead breaker. Some research revealed that the method for doing this is to put the tyre underneath the front bumper of your Land Rover, place the base of the jack on the tyre, and jack up the Land Rover. Well, I no longer have a Land Rover, and the tractor is at the other farmhouse, so obviously another method needed to be used.

Further online research gave me an idea. I placed the tyre on the ground, put some blocks of wood on the surface of the tyre, and a stout oak beam across these. A strong chain was attached to the underside of the rim, and by linking the chain to my Hi-Lift jack, I was soon rewarded by a loud “pop” as the tyre bead let go of the rim. Having repeated this procedure on the other side of the tyre, I removed the inner tube and inflated it. I was unable to find any punctures, and the valve was not leaking either, so I put the inflated inner tube to one side to see if it goes flat after a couple of days. I need to repeat the bead-breaking procedure on the other spare wheel.

In the evening we went to dinner with Lady A. (I suspect this will be a one-off occurrence, so I don’t think she qualifies to be included in the abbreviations list on the right). This is one of LSS’s students; although she retired five years ago she decided she wanted to learn English because everyone else in her family is fairly fluent! Her husband is in the very top echelon of one of the largest companies in France, so they live in a residence which is known locally as a château. It’s a very large converted hunting lodge. I refer to her as Lady A not because she has a title but simply to indicate the type of person she is. Cook had prepared a dinner of asparagus, followed by roast beef, and a simple dessert of strawberries and ice cream. I have been to more formal dinners; but this one was fairly formal. It was what is known as “butler service” in English (or “service à la francaise” in French!)

Lady A was very pleasant, although it was subtly evident that a large portion of her income had gone straight into the pockets of Parisian plastic surgeons. She mentioned that she was looking to buy another house in the south of France. Two of her grandchildren were staying with her for the school holidays, as the skiing season in Switzerland was over for the year. They attend school in Poland, so were fluent in Polish, French (obviously), and English. They are currently also studying German and Mandarin. Very well-mannered they were too. Lady A is keen to visit London towards the end of the year and wishes to employ LSS as an official translator for the trip.

Wildlife diary: There are no eggs left in the duck’s nest; Mrs Duck has disappeared as well. We think it’s unlikely to have been a fox; but a marten could have been the culprit as we have seen one around here.

2 thoughts on “23/04/2014”

  1. I think you could still do with an old Landy on your farm, if only for nostalgia’s sake!! I still have The Heap by the way, he’s 54 years old now, and I’ve had him for 22 of them 🙂

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