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It is no great secret that I don’t really booze any more, I think we all have a finite amount of boozing in us and I used most of mine up by the time I was 40 and these days I enjoy a drink or two rather than a skinfull because any more than that and I have a hangover for days! So you can imagine New Years Eve holds no great appeal for going out and partying as there is nothing worse than being sober amongst a crowd of people how are rather merry.
The last two years has seen me staying at home away from the crowds then getting to bed trying to sleep through all of the fireworks and text messages but this year I decided that I wanted to do something a little different.

I unexpectedly got New Years Day off of work which has never happened before so the plan was to get up very early and drive from Nottingham to the Peak District, climb Mam Tor and watch the first dawn and sunrise of the first day of 2016. Much to my surprise Wifey agreed to come as well so we did indeed get up way before the Larks chucked the dog into the boot of the car, she was particularly up for an early walk which was another surprise because she is really lazy and normally just looks at you like you are stupid if you try to get her up in the dark, then drove up to the base of Mam tor.
The dawn was just breaking in the east so we jumped out of the car chucked on warm clothes and started to climb. There where a surprising amount of other folk waking and climbing all looking to see the sunrise so I was not as original as I thought. When I say other folk there was about another ten spread out over two peaks so we were in no way bothering each other and most of them were proper photographers.

We found a spot between the peaks and watched the sun come up which was just astounding and amazingly was Wifeys first ever sunrise! If you have never seen a sunrise make the effort one day it is fantastic!





The plan was to do some serious hiking once the day had broken but do you know that nasty diarrhoea bug that’s doing the rounds? Well turns out it was my turn with a chronic stomach ache I thought I could walk off and I as doing ok until Wifey slipped over on the frozen flag stones and we decided to turn back to wards the car. It was a few minutes after this that the wind arrived in a howling freezing gale and it seemed someone wanted to get off of the hillside as soon as possible…so we did.

It is amazing how quickly you can find somewhere that is open and has a toilet you can use when you think that within the next few minutes you will have to sit on the dogs towels to get home! That issue solved we took a steady drive through Derbyshire had a cheeky cooked breakfast out because now I was bloody starving hungry then headed home.

Being back home by lunchtime meant I could do a few little jobs on the Discovery that were building up the main one being replacing the Brake vacuum pump. This has been ticking away merrily since a few days after buying the Disco and needed to be sorted before I was happy driving it any sort of distance and I have not actually changed one before today.
It really is a straight forward job! I thought I would be battling bolts out of the engine but nope they all undone easily enough and within minutes the old broken pump was out and the old gasket removed. This is not the most easily accessible part it has to be said especially if you are a short arse like myself and the best way to get to it is with a small step ladder then lying along the wing with your knee near the battery so you have no fear of falling off of the edge! What a sight I must have been and I had to get down twice to wish the neighbours who were passing with smirks on their faces to wish them a happy new year!
The replacement pump dropped in with the new gasket just as easily as the old one had come out and a quick test drive to check everything was ok proved that all was well as well as the brake now working much better.

This was all achieved using my new socket set as well, there is nothing like that feeling when you get to play with your new toys! Then it was onto supervising my youngest daughter doing a few bits to her project scooter while I heated and peeled the old plastic coating off of the nudge bar that came with the Disco because it was cracked and coming away in places. I want to get this treated and fitted back on quite quickly because it has a couple of good recovery points built into it. Although I do not want to be off roading the Disco in any major way I would like to partake in some old git gentle green laning and as such will just do a few gentle additions to the old boy.

The doors did opened on the 110 to get some tools out but by the time I had done everything else I was loosing the light of the day so called this first day of the year quits for outside playing.

It is going to be a busy year this one with all we have planned and I aim to fill everyday! I wish you all dear readers a Happy New Year may it be prosperous and I truly hope you all enjoy it in whatever way you have planned 🙂

nickysmith.me

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