We don’t sell that anymore….

For months now our cat flap has been broken. Not the main part of it, but the screen that opens in and out. Basically we had tried to keep the big cat in at night by putting the lock on it, but he forced his way through and broke the flap part into three bits. For a while I glued it together, and taped it up with sellotape, but soon that had been ripped so my next idea was to tie it open with some string. I can’t get down on the floor so I couldn’t swap one catflap for another and I didn’t know if I could get a replacement.

Today my sister came over so we decided to go on a search. The local petshop said it was a staywell catflap and they only stock petsafe ones. So we went to the big petstore. We had managed to take the front and flap mechanism off as it had catches you push in to release it. The store had about seven different sorts but according to the customer assistant out catflap was out of date!

Eventually after much head scratching we found one that was about the right size. We couldn’t take it out of the box so it was a guess but I decided to try it.

When we got home I and looked at it I realised the whole catflap was slightly narrower than the old one so the screw holes were closer together and if I were to use the whole thing we would have to get someone in to re-drill the holes. Plan B was to take the plastic flap out of the new one and put it in the old one? Yes it fitted, but it was too stiff, the diameter of the cylinders that go into the holes in the flap were too big. My sister filed the sides of the cylinders down where there was a flange around them and I used a knife to whittle the inside of the tube shaped bits it fitted in…. Result! The flap now swings freely. There is about a two millimeter gap at the bottom but it hangs in the closed position and opens both in and outward.

Now I’ve just got three confused cats, there isn’t a hole to leap through anymore, but a window out to the garden. Bemused looks! I opened the flap for one of them and opened the door for the other… If they want to come back in they will have to learn to use it!

Car door update…

We have an old car (no not this one) but parts for it are getting harder to find.

I had to have a new drivers side inside door catch because the old one snapped. We couldn’t get the right one so had to wait for something similar from Latvia. I picked it up from the garage and the door was a bit stiff, I got home, locked the car but when I went to open it later it wouldn’t unlock, in the end we got in by unlocking the passenger door and leaning across to open the drivers door from the inside. We took it back to garage and they oiled the catch and took the surround taken off as it looks like it was catching on it.. Fingers crossed….I don’t want to scrap the car because of it..

Almost there

Three year old digital drawing. Dots and swirls! The closest to a tree I will have this year. The cats climbed up the last one so I’m not risking my old glass baubles. Plus my cats are bigger this year and with three instead of two… Disaster would be bound to occur.

Did I ever mention the Christmas eve my husband tripped over after too much beer and snapped the tree in half? About twenty years ago. I stayed up and tied it together with tinsel, rehung the baubles and but the lights back on it. When he got up in the morning he thought he had dreamt it happening!

Need to replace this!

The plastic catch inside my drivers door should look like this…..

But it now looks like this because it snapped. It’s hard to find a replacement. My friend has looked at ebay for me but there are lots of variations. At the moment all I’ve got to open it with is a cable tie I have to pull forward to actuate the lever. This was done by the nice man from the AA, who I have to say was here in a few minutes. I’ve booked it in to a garage and I am not scrapping the car for the want of one small catch, even if I have to import it! Watch this space.

Trike – restored

The trike is restored! Very pleased, my hubbies tricycle was damaged last week when he turned. One of the back wheels had buckled! The tyre and tube had come off but the tube was still inflated.

We rang a couple of bike shops and were advised to contact Brian Rourke Hand-built Bikes in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

We gave them a ring and were told to bring the trike in. When we got there, there was a lot of sucking of teeth and questioning if they could do it? But yes, they would see what they could do. Then on Monday they rang, they couldn’t source the right size wheels, (26″), so they suggested it might not be worth fixing, which was understandable. But I argued that it was a historic machine. It had been ridden in time trials and my hubby had come third in a 25 mile time trial about thirty years ago. It would be a challenge. Also they could maybe use 700c wheel rims and spokes instead? Cue chat with the mechanic. Yes they would order them in.

Yesterday we had a phone call, the trike was done! It’s got 700c rear wheels built onto the original hubs, 32 spokes per wheel. The other back wheel was eaten away with rust so they replaced that too. Also a new 26″ wheel on the front (it has less spokes than the back wheels so they could source that). The wheels are all Mavic. New white walled tyres and tubes on 1 3/4″ rims. Also a new front side pull brake. It cost a lot, but it was worth the money. Call it my anniversary present to him.

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Rest

My friends blue chair, its so comfortable. I had one like this, but mine had woodworm. I treated it then wondered what to do. One of the legs was worst effected so I got two thick metal knitting needles and pushed them up into the leg where it had broken. Then I got some electric flex and wound it up and down the leg until I had covered the missing section. The cable fitted in quite well with the woven split cane that covered the rest of it. A second treatment of woodworm killer, then I painted it bright red. Like my friends chair it was extremely comfortable. That Christmas I was short of money so I gave it my sister who had recently moved out of home. As far as I know she still has it thirty years later.

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Keyboard problems

I got my computer back today from the repair shop. The computer was fixed and they could find no real problems. We put it down to a bad extension cable that was now dead. Great. It took me ages to plug all the wires in. Screen, yes, video camera, yes, speakers, yes. My mouse was working, but no Internet? Oh, forgot to plug it in. Now I could check my emails. But when I came to typing my responses? No joy. No letters! No words! No number lock or caps lock. I tried all the different USB ports. Nothing. I tried updating Windows, nothing. I tried re-booting, nothing!

Grr! Just a message each time I tried to type.  Something along the line of your USB connection failed the last time this device was connected. Windows does not accept it….. No! This was after the computer shop had closed! NO!

Washing machine working again

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So after I rang the electrical goods shop about the washing machine, they said the thunderstorms we are having must have blown one of the two pcb boards that control it…

I asked to have them replaced, but that would take two weeks to order them in and the cost would be £60 for one and £80 for the other, then £50 for Labour, plus Vat.

The decision is do that or buy another one. So I decided to go for a new one as I don’t know if I would have problems again with this machine.

So as I say, I rang to order a new machine this morning. Then for some reason I switched the washing machine on again, just to see if the thing would do anything (it had beeped before but the screen you press to choose spin speeds, and the start button had stayed black). I switched it on. Loud beep, I turned the dial to a random wash, I still had things inside from a few days ago… Beep, I saw the panel light up! I pressed start, it worked! Rang the shop back and cancelled the order!

My hubby reckons that the electricity from the lightening had disrupted the pcb panels, but by leaving it a couple of days it had allowed any power to dissipated and the circuit boards settled down. I’m holding my breath! I will unplug it every time its not in use.

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