HEALTH & WELLBEiNG: Pre-Medieval Nonsense of a New Age Nutjob

This is both a book review (my first zero stars one!) and a polemic, I guess. It also touches upon troubled familial relations.

Many years ago my mother gifted me a copy of Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. I read the first half, and found it asinine. But, in essence, I agreed with Hay, that thinking positively is healthier than thinking negatively.

But the second half of the book? That was another matter entirely. And it is in that part of her ‘work’ that Hay’s true colours are shown to be, not to put too fine a point on it, a motley flag of insanity. Insane, and very dangerous for anyone taking her advice to heart.

I have, I suppose, some unresolved issues with my mother, around both the break up of our original ‘nuclear’ family. And, subsequently, being treated less equitably than other siblings. When my sister lived abroad, my mum visited Spain far more frequently than travelling the few miles to us, for example (I’ll leave it at that, for now).

Anyway, back to the main topic of this post. Her having bought me this book, whilst in part motivated by good intentions, perhaps, revealed a deeper – I might say unstated, except it wasn’t/isn’t – view of her apparent opinion of my life circumstances.

What it boils down to is what is nowadays referred to as ‘victim blaming’. In this case it’s the ancient pre-scientific idea that illness is a form of punishment for ‘sin’, wrongdoing, evil, or just a bad attitude. Call it what you will.

When I first read You Can Heal Your Life I put it down in absolute shock, horror and disgust when I read Hay’s moronic assertion that the disease Polio is caused by ‘Paralysing jealousy. A desire to stop someone.’ She has an A-Z, or, more accurately, an A-W, of similarly ridiculous ‘explanations’, for everything from Abdominal Cramps to Warts! [1]

The impact of polio on my family’s lives is huge. Polio killed my grandmother on my father‘s side, contributing to the consequent disruption of his life (he and his brothers were brought up in foster care, as orphans). Polio also disabled my maternal grandmother, meaning she lived her adult life on crutches, and eventually in a wheelchair. My mother had issues with family, quite possibly related again, in part, to the knock-on effects of this disease, running away from home very young (so I’ve been told), and ultimately into the arms of my father.

Does she really and truly believe that these two ladies got polio as a kind of cosmic or psychic punishment for ‘Paralysing jealousy. A desire to stop someone?’ Such views are horrific; they are obscenely offensive, and totally unfounded. The actual cause of polio is, as should be universally known now, a virus, identified in 1909, transmitted for the most part via water contaminated by human faeces. [2]

Something that struck me very forcibly when I decided to research this post is the total mismatch between endorsements and critiques in relation to Hay. Everybody , from Wikipedia’s entry on her, to the Guardian’s obituary, simply parrot Hay’s own completely unsubstantiated ‘personal history’. There’s no mention at all of any sceptical views of her anti-scientific ideas and claims.

I find this deeply shocking. Does her financial success make her immune to proper evaluation? Apparently so. The only objective or balanced critiques I could find were those of individuals, pointing out what crackpot nonsense she grew rich peddling.

It’s a great shame, I feel, that so many people – millions, perhaps, if sales of her stuff is any indication – are suckered into uncritically adopting her bullshit. Even if only thanks to the positivity aspect of her ideas. It smacks of a blinkered desperation. I can understand that. Having chronic ailments myself, I recognise that deep longing for some kind of simple solution to what might otherwise appear to be intractable problems.

It has been demonstrated – the placebo effect, for example – that the mind can be very powerful in relation physical health. But to adopt Hay’s alleged position (her own life needs to be thoroughly investigated, as to the truth of her own claims/actions [3]) is to fly in the face of the findings of all modern medical science.

It has been medical science, not New-Age quackery, that has dealt with my psoriasis and related arthritis, and manages both my physical pain and mental ill health. We can thank (or curse?) developments in public hygiene, in light of this hard won knowledge, for creating the conditions that have allowed for humanity’s demographic explosion.

I thought about giving this book half, or maybe even just one star, for the first part, about the benefits of positive thinking. But the issue is that these come attached to the second part, which, in my view, is poisonously bad. Evil, in fact. The rose here is attached to an enormous stinking turd that really cannot be ignored.

It has oft been said the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It’d be damning enough if one were to know how many desperately ill people have died as a result of taking Hay’s unfounded nonsense as truth [4]. That people will have died following her advice is sadly inevitable.

But, just as bad in my view, is the pernicious and completely bogus idea that illness is the fault of and consequence of the sufferer’s thoughts and/or actions. This adds self-righteous condemnation to the arsenal of the healthy, and unnecessary guilt and self-condemnation (how ironic, given the alleged healing of loving oneself Hay professes to peddle!) to the afflicted.

My mum needs both her hips replacing. According to Hay’s worldview this is somehow my mother’s own fault, on some negative psychological level: ‘Fear of going forward in major decisions. Nothing to move forward to.’*

This would be laughably preposterous applied to a car; do my tires regularly need replacing because, A) they have a ‘Fear of going forward in major decisions. Nothing to move forward to.’ Or B) due to physical wear and tear?

If your local garage mechanic said ‘You don’t need new tires, your tires just need to truly love and value themselves. Here are some affirmations for them to repeat.’ Would you pay them, or go back there in future?

Not the cartoon I wanted. But the same idea.

In her lifetime Hay profited monumentally from peddling her dangerous brand of nonsense. Her personal claims are all totally unsubstantiated. And her broader claims fly in the face of medical science. Why – other than the toxic marriage of hopelessness to comforting BS – has she not been taken off her pedestal? It has to be the present day sanctification of success. She’s made lots of money, so she must be right.

Louise Hay (source: wiki)

* These quotes are lifted from the appalling second part of You Can Heal Your Life. It ought to have a Government health warning: New Age BS is no substitute for scientifically grounded medicine.


[1] Her ‘explanation’ as to the cause of warts would be hilarious, if it weren’t so frighteningly vacuous: ‘Little expressions of hate. Belief in ugliness.’ Her list reads like a dotty New Age analogue of horoscopes; arbitrary, open to wide interpretations, and based not on real knowledge of understanding underlying facts, but a vague even whimsical form of associative imagining. Warts are in fact caused by a virus. Not by the mind of a person who may have them.

[2] Tragically, under our current Tory rulers the potential return and rise of such diseases is being increased by the total disrespect shown to both the environment and the humanity it sustains, by their rampantly capitalist ideology. Brexit is part of this downward scramble towards private profit-motivated deregulation.

[3] As far as I’m aware none of Hay’s autobiographical claims, from the alleged facts of her childhood, to her ‘miraculous’ curing of her self from cancer are in any way reliably documented.

[4] I need to re-find the quote, but one of the few critical things I found about Hay included a comment from a bereaved man whose wife died whilst following Hay’s imbecilic ideas.

CAR: New Old MX5!

I recently got back in touch with a friend, Melanie de Smith, who I hadn’t seen for several decades. We found each other via another mutual friend, on Facebook, How they know each other I’m yet to find out.

Mel and I have now met a few times. The first time was at Amy Ellis’ last birthday party. And it there that we discovered we both have MX5s, of similar style and vintage. Hers is 19 years old, and has done about 110k, mine is 20, and has clocked up over 190k!

They’re neither of them in tip-top shape. Mine has the ubiquitous rust issues. Hers has those as well, although (poss’?) to a lesser degree, and, she tells me, needs a new clutch soon. Judging from how it drives, she probably needs rear brake callipers as well.

And, rather tragically, both our cars have had the CATs stolen in the last 6-12 months! I only just had mine (and most of the exhaust) replaced! The idea is, with the two MX5s, I might just get one that’s a runner. And keep the other for spares. Or poss even a project re-build?

Southbound platform at March Station.

I took the train from March to Cambridge, and then a bus, from the rail station to Cavendish Avenue, where Mel and her car are/were. I always feel a bit like tourist when I’m on public transport!

View from March rail station foot-bridge.
Nice shadows!

That was all yesterday. Today I fitted a new number plate holder. Mel had broken the old one, in a bump. I also gave the car a light partial wash, in the muckiest areas. Just to spruce her up a bit! Need to get her declared SORN now.

CAR: More Exhaustion…

Clamped up ready for cutting…

In readiness for the work that needs doing on the MX5 exhaust system, I’ve chopped out the section with the oxygen sensor attached. I did try to take the sensor off/out. But it’s seized solid!

The section I need, with attached sensor.

Apparently the garages that do this sort of thing can undo such tightly seized joints. I hope so! I certainly can’t. But at least now I can transport the parts more easily.

Got all the parts on order – for Monday, they tell me – from, and scheduled to go straight in for fitting at, either Monday or Tuesday.

CAR: Thievery & Exhuastion

[thievery vid… need to find!]

Some while ago our neighbour alerted me to some footage he’d caught on his home security videos, showing some villains fiddling with several cars on our street, inc. mine!

Rear view; exhaust attached by sensor lead!

At the time we’d concluded – and confirmed with a neighbour further down the road – that these miscreants were thieving catalytic converters. One of the neighbours further down the road had actually arrived home as the bastards were leaving his front drive.

Look how the thieves cut/compressed the pipe!

They were so quickly down and back up again by my car that I assumed they’d decided against bothering to try and take mine. I was wrong! But it took a while for the issue to develop; gradually my exhaust system grew noisier and noisier.

It turns out that some cunts do this ‘professionally’, and use a tool called the jaws of life* (or something like that?) to snip through pipes and noiselessly remove CATs.

Sheets and tools in the road, trying to disconnect the sensor.

Anyway, as I got into my car today, to go to do a delivery route for Amazon, the whole exhaust system was roaring and rattling like an emphysemic dragon. I barely got 10 yards, and had to stop, get out, and look under the car. Almost all of the exhaust between where it exits the engine bay, and the box at the rear of the car, was hanging loose.

The engine side of the ‘snip’.
The rear of the car, and the other break.

Even worse, it transpired that it was solely connected to the car by the wiring of a lambda oxygen sensor. After several hours spent getting the car up on jacks, with thoughts of zip-tying it back in place, which didn’t work, I tried to remove the sensor, where it joins the exhaust.

Second view of the rear break.

But that was seized solid; so, no dice! It then became a question of finding out how to disconnect the other end of the sensor wiring. This, it turned out, disappeared up into the bodywork of the car. It took a lot of hard work, both on the car and researching online, to finally crack that conundrum.

And all of this in very cold, muddy, drizzly conditions, with the car protruding several feet into a busy road. Gaaargh!!! I had to cancel the Amazon delivery shift, and forego any lunch. And I spent literally three or four hours doing all this. It’s the sort of thing one ought to be able to do in minutes if, A) one knows the anatomy of the vehicle intimately, and B) has the right tools.

The clip end of the sensor cable. Inaccessible!

Once I’d finally and mercifully got the damaged and broken section of exhaust off, I stuck it in the passenger side of the car. Doing all of this did teach me more about the motor. And I took the photos that illustrate this post, which I sent to various MX5 parts folk, and potential repair garages.

A YouTuber’s vid’ located the sensor clip junction, inside the passenger side interior.

It was thanks to the photographic evidence that I learned my CAT definitely had been stolen. The most damning and conclusive evidence was how the exhaust had clearly been snipped, and compressed, just around where the CAT ought to have been.

So not only do I have to replace 80% of the exhaust assembly. I also have to get a new catalytic converter. I got some quotes on parts and work. And it’s a nightmare, frankly. Because, as ever, I’m stone broke.

Finally! Unclipped. Allowing exhaust removal.

Still, in the past we’ve always battled through and found a way, even if – as with the cam-belt episode – I had to do the sourcing, buying and fitting of everything myself. This time I can’t see myself doing the installation. Partly this is due to the time of year; having to try and do such work out in the front drive or the main road? It’s just too cold and wet!

The exhaust, sat in the passenger side.

* As used by fire crews to rescue passengers trapped in crash-damaged vehicles.

PS – This is the YouTube video that enabled me to finally locate and uncouple the sensor:

MiSC: Lazy Sundays

Chester grabs hold of my arm, adorable!

Today was a terrifically relaxing Sunday, after a rather odd Saturday (about the latter*; least said, soonest mended!).

What a funny boy!

For once we actually got properly stuck in to doing next to nothing. And boy was it worth it! It’s actually incredibly hard to really stop and do very little. Modern life has this way of making one feel permanently plugged in to myriad little chores and worries.

Of course we didn’t literally do absolutely nothing. It was Chinese New Year, so we had a Chinese meal, partly from the local takeaway, and partly home cooked. We ate at the dining table. A rare event! Mainly because it’s usually overloaded with detritus.

The Sunday Scrabble board.

We also played our usual game of Sunday afternoon Scrabble, after taking some turns on Crash Bandicoot 2, on my ancient but still functioning PS1. Whilst playing Scrabble we watched The Fast Lady, starring Stanley Baxter, James Robertson Justice, Leslie Phillips and Julie Christie. Goodness me, Christie really was something!

What a great poster!**

I think we must’ve watched this movie before? Either that, or it’s almost identical to another we’ve seen!? The weird thing is that I have memories of watching a film with almost exactly the same plot (and possibly even the same actors?) but in black and white, not colour. And with a different car at the centre of the action. A car with all kinds of weird pipes coming out of the engine? Or am I conflating two different films into one? But of a mystery either way!

Screen blankets…
… prevent frosting.

And talking about cars: my Mazda needs these protective window doodads Teresa bought me, which keep the two main screens frost-free. And I’ve also been putting a blanket in the boot, to wrap up the battery, and prevent it causing no-starts!

-3° according to my iPhone weather app.

* This little asterisked note is a much later (23/3/‘23) addition to this post; only much later – the gravity of the situation at the time eluded me – have I come to realise what a complete effin’ nightmare might ensue from my getting thrown out of our local ‘Spoons, aka The Hippodrome.

Teresa and I used to be model customers, and regular patrons. Not because of Tim the Twat’s appalling politics, or the enlightened way in which he runs his business, but because it was just good enough on the cost/benefit scales, when it came to eating out as an occasional treat, to work well for us.

I am now a leper pariah, barred entrance!

A sporran affair: ‘Och, worra lassie!‘

** If misleading: Leslie Phillips, his babes, and JRJ all really take a back seat to the two stars missing from this poster, Baxter & Christie!

CARS: CaRSE!!! Pt.2 – Further MX5 Battery Stuff…

The battery in my MX5 is in the boot!

Having had to postpone my Wednesday teaching to today (Thursday), I had to cancel it altogether. On account of the car still being a frozen block of ice!

However, the sun was out today. And despite the temperature remaining zero or below, it meant I could more easily defrost the car.

This thing seemed to (eventually) do the trick.

Not only had the Arctic conditions drained my battery. They had also meant that the door locks weren’t working as the should. Somehow the electrics for the door locks were going mental, or just seizing up altogether. Squirting WD40 into the locks seemed to ease them a bit.

Around midday I decided to try to start the car again. I’d defrosted it, partly with the sun’s help, and the locks were now responding to my keys (at one point the locks had been so seized up I couldn’t even insert my keys!).

Our local Halfords gave the battery the all clear.

And, lo! The car didst start!! We drove to Halfords, where I’d bought this battery (prob’ about three years ago?), and they tested it. Somewhat to our surprise they told me it was fine. Fine!? Oh well… saves us some more unwelcome expenditure. I just hope tomorrow she’ll start up on, as it’s fookin’ freezing again!

CARS: CaRSE!!! Pt.1 – Dead battery on MX5 (again!)

Not a great pic. But car is all frosted up!

Aaargh! For the second time in about one week, my MX5’s battery appears to have died/drained.

First time it happened I was in the middle of nowhere. Luckily for me there were a few houses about a 1/4 mile away, and I was at a scenic spot where folk walk their dogs or just stop to look at the riverbank.

A local chap tried to help me start with jump leads. To no avail. So I enlisted the help an older guy sat in his Merc’, no doubt relaxing, and we all three push-started my little motor. Since which time she’s been running fine.

And then this morning, at about 7am, getting ready to take Teresa to work – on account of the train strikes (which I wholeheartedly support; up the workers, and boo-sucks to our crypto-fascist Tory state), nada… totally dead!

Tried to jump start via cables again, with two neighbours pitching in. But no luck! After a bit of anguished searching, we located a small battery charger I got via Amazon Vine.

The manual for the charger (a Noco Genius 1!) says it’ll take 9 hours – trickle charging, I guess? – to recharge a 12V battery, such as our MX5 has.

So, it’s no work, as we’re stranded at home. And instead I’m going to do lots of practice pad stuff. Finger and hand technique: fast finger rolls, open-close, push-pull, Moeller, etc.

CARS: MX5 Nipple Reduction Surgery

I used plasticine to profile the inside of my ‘nipple’.

A few days back I posted about how annoying this particular little job was becoming: first I get two new parts, but the one that prompted the work – the ‘nipple’ for the really poorly fitting/closing latch – breaks almost immediately. Back to square one!

Another view; hopefully the different shapes are slightly clearer here?

So I order a new part. But it’s different, and doesn’t actually fit. It’s a more ‘pointy’ shape. At least this clarifies for me the type of latch and nipples (oo-er!) I had installed before, i.e. the more rounded type.

These differences in shape mean that the screw hole in the nipple doesn’t align with the threaded hole in the latch, necessitating either a different part, or making changes to one of the parts, so they do align.

The holes don’t align!

According to some sources it’s only the pointy type that are easily and widely available now. I don’t know if there’s any truth in that or not, as I definitely can get the other sort elsewhere. And, indeed, I already have done (on my first attempt).

The ‘male’ latch part filed down a bit.

Anyway, as I’m broke, rather than buy a third one (or pair), I decided instead to file the metal on the latch to conform to the ‘nipple’, instead. That took a bit of work, but I think it achieved the desired goal.

Viewed from t’other side.
After some filing, the two holes align nicely.

This job turned out to be a right pain in the rump. Firstly, with parts breaking or not fitting. Then, when I’d filed the latch to fit the nipple, I discovered that the entire soft-top frame seems somewhat out of alignment. I had to wrestle with it a fair bit to make everything align better.

Reassembled and back in place.

Is this the price I’m paying for loading my little MX5 with all kinds of stupid burdens over the years? I’ve had all sorts, from fence-panels, timber, doors, to trees, chests of drawers, fridges, and lord knows what else, on the back of Maisie. Often sitting atop the folded away roof. Have I bent it all out of whack?

After struggling with this latter issue for a while, and fiddling with the latch adjustments, so that both are quite tight, but neither are fully tightened, I’ve finally managed not just to close the top, but to eradicate the very large (and formerly plainly visible) gap, on the driver’s side.

Sooo much better! Green algae points to next job.*

I can’t find any before pics (although I’m certain I took some!?), alas. But above and below are some after shots. Trust me, it looks waaay better!

I’m hoping it’s improved the ride as well, as before the sound of wind coming through said gap was really, really, REALLY, REALLY annoying! It was sooo loud – it literally roared – that music or conversation were pretty much out at over 55/60mph.

Passenger side, looking as it did both before and after.

I’ll be taking her out for a spin later to see how all this nipple play has affected things!

… A bit later the same day… Well, I took her out, with Teresa, for a brief spin. And, my oh my, what a difference! No roaring airflow, nor can I even feel any draught. And – although we’re currently in a heatwave – this’ll mean no more ingress of rain. Wahoo!

* Next? Either adding some of the silicone pipes I got from BOFIracing a whiles back , or using the Auto Glym products I have to clean and re-waterproof the soft-top. Hmmm!??

CARS: MX5 Roof-Latch ‘Nipple’!?

For quite a long time now the soft-top roof on my MX5 has not closed very well. It’s apparently a common issue. There’s a rubber or plastic ‘nipple’ (!?) that wears away, allowing the latch to become floppy and loose.

I recently replaced this part, on both sides, with a new pair. Can’t recall who I ordered them from (I ought to find out; I think they’re Jass parts via BOFIracing?). But I’m pretty miffed that one of them – the dodgy one on my side – failed almost instantly.

I’ve subsequently ordered yet another one, this time as I got an individual one, not a pair. Wound up costing nearly a tenner, for a £1.95 part! Really annoying. But even more annoying. It doesn’t bleedin’ fit!

My ‘only option’, at least via

I’ve contacted Autolink, who I got the more recent one from, to let them know (via email). Not had a reply as yet. I’ve also contacted, and they say there’s no longer a choice of two parts, but just the one:

I know that there used to be, and via some channels – e.g. Autolink – there still are, two different parts that have formerly been sold, that do this job. One is curved, the other is more ‘pointy’ (but still a bit curved).

These are the two types.

So, what do I do? Keep buying these little bits? I can’t actually afford any expenses right now. Even a tiny trickle such as this has become. Or do I modify the metal part of the latch; file it down and make the latch fit?

I might be forced to go the latter route, for purely economic reasons.

CARS: MX5, The Saga Continues…

More supplies from BOFIracing.

Since fixing the cam-belt the car’s been running pretty well. But it’s felt a bit syrupy, or even porridge-y recently. It’s hard to get across exactly how one knows or feels this. Things just feel a bit sluggish. There’s also quite a bit of engine vibration when one starts and moves off.

I’ve heard this can be either timing related or due to misfires. Hopefully if it’s either it’s the latter, as I’ve gone to great pains to get the timing properly aligned!

VVT spark-plugs, wires and spark-plug socket.

Rather disappointingly the VVT spark plug wire set is just two leads. In a normal engine it’s all four. This is because there are two ‘coil-on’ plugs or packs, which are rather complex, and, apparently, not available commercially. At least not easily, commonly or cheaply. Bummer!

Uh-oh! Oil in the second spark plug chamber.

When I did all the cam-belt work I didn’t take the plugs out. I thought about it. But I was busy enough with everything else. I kind of wish I had now! Why? Because I found that there was oil inside the second from front plug well. It would be interesting to know if this problem predated my work, or was a result of it.

The old plugs. Second from left is the oily one!

I had the cam-cover off several times during the cam-belt and cam-cover gasket changes. According to several YT videos I’ve watched on the ‘oil in your spark-plugs’ topic, the most likely cause is a faulty gasket on the plug’ole.

Now mine is a new gasket. But has the on and off business damaged it? I guess I’ll have to check again after this job is done. But in the meantime, once the old plugs were all out (see above pics), I had the cam-cover off yet again, to really clean it.

This is the oily one.

I took numerous pics of all the spark-plug holes, both before and after, for my own reference. But I’m only putting up one or two of those images, not all eight plus of them!

The cleaning of the cam-cover was the most time consuming part of this day’s work. And it’s only really a cosmetic thing, if I’m honest. I should’ve done this the first time I had this part off. And actually I did, just not so thoroughly.

Cleaning the cam-cover.

This time I spent a couple of hours, repeatedly washing the top, with a little washing up liquid in warm water. Then I scrubbed it, again repeatedly, using Swarfega, getting into all the nooks and crannies as best I can. I used wire brushes, wire wool, and plastic toothbrushes, both large and small, going over it all multiple times.

I then rinsed it all off in warm soapy water, and dried it using lint-free cloths. After that I went over the entire thing several times using wire rotary tools in a hand-drill. Then it all had a dry-clean with the lint-free towels. And to finish off, a thorough rub down with isopropyl alcohol, to clean up.

I had to remove or mask certain bits.

This whole cleaning period took ages! And during doing it my iPhone battery died. So I didn’t get any photos of the masking I did, nor the removal of sundry bolt-on bits, nor even much of the cleaning itself. Thanks Teresa for capturing me at work in my home-made denim apron!

Whilst the cam-cover is certainly much improved, it’s nothing like as clean or shiny as I’d really have liked. There’s still a residual ‘rash’ effect. And the embossed lettering was hell to try and clean out.

This and the above are the ‘after’ pics.

With the cam-cover cleaned, mostly top, but also bottom, and the gasket cleaned and re-installed, I put the four new spark-plugs in (see pic immediate below). It was at this point that one of my major frustrations with this day’s work came to a head.

Throughout the work I struggled to find all sorts of things I needed, from my car keys to the socket set I prefer to use (I have several!). And then – and this was the real cherry on top – part way through the work, I appear to have lost or mislaid a crucial socket-set adapter.

New plugs in.

This means I can’t torque the bolts down to specific settings, but have to guess, and do it all by feel. Not very satisfactory for a newbie grease-monkey like me. The room that leaves for anxiety over cock-ups is grand-canyon-esque!

So I had to ‘button everything up’ in an approximate manner. And at this juncture it’s worth noting that, if one’s learns from mistakes, I ought to be learning plenty! Here are a few I made during this particular session of maintenance:

  • I took all the VVT bolts out before loosening – or make that trying to loosen – the 40NM torqued banjo bolt. This led to the bending of a ‘hard line’ hose. I’ve tried to bend it back, but it’s still misshapen. This makes re-fitting the whole VVT arm harder. Doh!
  • I couldn’t find the ‘loosening’ sequence – tightening yes, loosening no – for the cam-cover bolts, so had to guess (based on reversing the tightening sequence… ‘ish).
  • When I did the sequence I got to the ‘end’, only to realise I’d somehow skipped one bolt, leaving that one tighter throughout, with the danger of deformation or even cracking of the cover. A visual inspection seems to indicate I’ve gotten away with it this time.
  • During cleaning myriad little things occurred: using tissues that leave debris everywhere; getting cleaning stuff meant for top only underneath; snagging the rotary wire brushes on the towel on which the cam-cover was sat, sending it flying (another visual inspection promotes a relieved sense that I probably got away with this).
  • Constantly mislaying stuff, from car-keys to tools. I need to tidy, streamline and get properly and thoroughly organised… in advance!
  • I’m sure there was more… but I forget!

I sincerely hope I do actually learn from this litany of errors! Some of these are already repeat mistakes, shoddy organisation being my most repeated ‘sin’!

All back together. Looks nice!

And at day’s end, when I took the car for a test-drive? After all that work it felt exactly the same. Grrr!!! Has oil gotten into that spark plug chamber again? Do I already need another cam-cover gasket, having had this one on and off repeatedly?

Two other new parts – a thermostat gasket and a little plastic doodad that’s supposed to fix floppy roof latches – both failed more or less immediately. So perhaps the new cam-cover gasket has as well?

At least the engine bay looks a bit nicer! But what good is that if she still runs iffily? Guess I need to check to see if oil’s still getting into the second spark-plug well. But without the torque adapter I’m not keen to be taking stuff apart again right away.

Birthday stuff for mum.

Plus we’re due to go out today to meet my mum for slightly belated birthday tea and cakes at Anglesey Abbey. So no further fiddling about under the hood! I just hope we don’t have a repeat of the original ‘on the road to Anglesey’ debacle, which required an expensive AA tow home!