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How was your Christmas then? Was it full of festive cheer spent with your loved ones over eating on meat,sweets and anything else you just fancied having a nibble on?
Mine was a nice affair I have to admit, Christmas day saw me preparing and cooking a nice beef roast and over indulging on puddings only leaving the house once all day and that was to change the spare wheel on the Discovery so I could justify being bloody lazy the rest of the time to myself.
One day is enough though for me I am not one to sit around idle watching the day pass me by and if I am being honest here when it got to about 8pm on Christmas day I did start to feel I had wasted it but everyone needs some downtime I am told.

Boxing day found us travelling down to Kettering Northants to see my siblings (all 5 of them on this side of the pond) and their other halves and their children as well as Mum & Dad of course. I dropped off the first car load of us and presents then set off to collect another one of my wayward children and her boyfriend a 20 minute drive away to drag I mean bring them into the festive celebrations.
After too much food again with a stomach that was quickly resembling a wet gremlins back the game of getting everyone home started again as well as teh drive back up to Nottingham. I do like Christmas, I do love to see my family but I do like it when it is all over and you get home undo your trousers before Stripe and his menacing cohort burst put your feet up and….relax.

So today was only Sunday which was great because it meant no work…at all! Well I say no work I mean the physical got to go there and do something kind because I had a load of work sat at home linked to the books I have published and New York New York a 3 day whirlwind tour only being a few days old needs all sorts of promotion via social media which just confuses me, makes my head hurt and I would rather find any excuse not to bother doing it. Wifey went out shopping, the youngest headed in the opposite direction shopping, the eldest was still stewing in her stinking pit upstairs and I was left looking at the screen of my laptop. It was right then I remembered that the oil and filter to finish servicing the Disco had arrived on Christmas eve and I chucked on my babygrow headed straight out to the driveway to get stuck into this most urgent and important of tasks. When I got to the Discovery I recalled i had reserved a 200 piece socket set at Halfords that I had used my Christmas vouchers to buy so I went there first babygrow and all because the engine oil needed warming up to drain properly.

I walked into Halfords looking like a cross of an RAF engineer in a flight suit and a pirate with my black bandana…I could not have cared less I was not looking at the laptop screen and it appeared that I was giving some kids in the store a little amusement as they were pointing and sniggering at me from behind the end of the aisle. I would have given them a bit of a slap but they were about three and I didn’t think their 6 foot 3 Dad built like a brick house would have been too impressed so I settled for pulling faces and sticking my tongue out at them….which they thought was great and I have to grudgingly admit made me smile.

This set has me quite impressed and when got it home and opened it all up it was like having some car porn sat on the kitchen counter…


That done I dug out the big blue bin that I drain all of my Landy oil into seeing as the drip drain away one I bought a few years back only holds five litres there tends to be a bit of a puddle left over on the driveway and quite frankly I am sick of cleaning that sort of stuff up as the race starts as to who can get across the public pathway at the bottom of the driveway first…me or the oil slick.
I don’t know who last tightened up the sump plug but my money is on a 300 pound silverback with a four foot power bar. After a bit of struggling the plug came out and oil as black as the night itself poured forth missing the edge of the tub for all of one second the the oil dance began again…

Once that mess was cleared up I got into position to battle off the oil filter. I have never had an easy oil filter change ever and if the sump plug was anything to go by this would be no different. I reached up with both hands gripped the filter tightly and with all of my effort started to twist in the direction to get the bugger off.
Imagine my surprise when it loosened up straight off the bat and quickly twisted off completely! I was grinning like a Cheshire cat and quickly got the replacement filter fitted into place. As the oil was draining I set to checking the diff’s for oil, all good there, but I could not for the life of me get the plug out of the gearbox to check that. I feared that if I put any more pressure onto that plug I would rip it from its casing! That will have to be dealt with in due time.

New engine oil in I fired it up and the old 196,000 mile engine sounded much happier apart from the tick of the tired brake vacuum pump which will be replaced once the gasket actually arrives.

That all done my attention turned towards the 110, seeing as I was already dressed up to the nines in my finest “fix the landy ” attire and the day was dry “I may as well get stuck into something on that” I thought to myself. The rear suspension was next in line on the to do list so I set too getting the old boy up on a pair of axle stands and the rear wheels off. I was confronted by years of spiders webs and dirt…


With those tentatively brushed off without an army of angry spiders marching upon my arms I attacked the shock absorber first. Right then I should point out here that this is a job I have been meaning to do for a few weeks now and each time I thought I would have a chance the next day I have nipped out and sprayed on some penetrating oil to help with the rusty nuts. This has been done at least six times now so all of those nasty looking rusty nuts came off like they were brand new! I then jacked the axle down gave the spring a good few whacks with a hammer and it popped out no problem. Then I offered it up and took a picture of what I was to replace it with…


Feeling smug of how easy my day was going I set to scraping off the rust and then the first hurdle of the day hit home. The bottom spring mount was well past and sort of serviceable repair…


Hmm I don’t think even the welder would be much use here so I will order myself a new one. Added to that the bump stop was rotted to hell so that will need sorting at the same time. I was not going to put all of the new bits in place just yet though so I treated the top spring mount area with a good dose of underseal and popped the old spring back into place to act as a bit of support…


As I am writing this I am treating myself to a cheeky bottle of Bombardier Burning Gold to which Wifey has just had a rather large slurp and commented

“That would be nice with some lemon in”

Honestly you cannot educate some people!
Still where were we? Oh yes onto the other side to see if that was in such a bad condition. Wheel off and cobweb city once again..


But thankfully no major rust issues on this side. It all came off and went back on again with next to no bother at all apart from a few extra big whacks with the hammer to get the spring out of place…


It was about now the heavens opened so I took that as a sign to put the tools away and call it a day. I left the copious amounts of rust I had cleaned off underneath the 110 as I am sure they will still be there next time I get a chance to play!
The afternoon was then spent with a cheeky trip to send a parcel to my other daughter at Uni and a quick look at a house we had seen online that was just up the road. We don’t want to live just up the road nope we want to live in Derbyshire because we bloody love it over there but this house looked particularly nice but when we went to have a nose around there was no room to put up a garage which for me when we move into our own home after leaving a rented one is indeed an very important must. As long as there is the space for one I will build one, I would prefer it already to be there but if I have to build it it will be to my perfection spec!

Now I really think that the next time I get a chance to do much will be in the New Year so I will see you all on the other side folks 😉

www.nickysmith.me

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