Lemons and Slides

Today I took a day off work – second to last day of the school holidays.

When The Chaps were smaller I was going to a good dad. Around the place. Not one of those fellas at work till all hours. Alas, it’s not quite turned out like that. I’m usually at work till 6:30 pm, I have things to do both volunteer and otherwise on weekends, and so have all the usual regrets. Especially seeing as Oldest Chap will be 16 in about 3 weeks and wants to rush off and get his Learning-To-Drive permit. Ye Gods, it seems like only a few months ago that I was cleaning poo out of his socks. (And he’ll be mortified to read this, naturally, which is why I wrote it.)

So anyhow, today we did a bit of Boys Stuff and Silly Stuff.

The Lemon, see, is playing up again. This time with some kind of weirdness where after it’s been driven about 10 minutes the automatic transmission gives a big “clunk” and after that its locked in 3rd gear. At the same time it seems to be running hot. Again. A few days ago I bought a car diagnostic fault analyser that you plug into the vehicle – it extracts and displays the fault codes from the car on-board engine management computer.

This is very informative, it tells me I have a P0220, a P1550 and a P1890. Gosh.

It seems that P0220 is related to muck building up the in the throttle body (the newfangled version of the carby that applies to fuel injected vehicles). So we went and bought some carby cleaner, and pulled bits of the engine apart. Got the throttle body out enough to squirt cleaner in, and polished it all up nicely so you could eat yer dinner orf it. Oldest Chap got covered in as much grot as me so it must have been fun!

After reassembly – the car did actually start. I cleared all the fault codes from the computer, and we took it for a spin. Ten minutes in…. CLUNK. And a Christmas tree worth of fault indicators on the dash. Drat. Well, that one didn’t work then.

So what the heck – we went off to the St Kilda adventure playground with a couple of daggy old towels, climbed the fort and the hill, and spent an hour zipping down the huge slides, the double helix slide, and generally being a bit silly. The Lemon got us there and back – driving the automatic as a manual and changing through the gears works reasonably well.

But after 40-mumble years I feel I’m getting a bit old for  this playground thing. The slides are not wide enough, so I have bruises on the sides of my hips. And have had the living daylights shaken out of me from the bumps. They still terrify me – looking down – and they still exhilarate - sliding down. But it sure is more difficult than it used to be.

Perhaps I just need more practice.


Ya need a new car.

Comment by river | October 9th, 2009 8:11 pm | Permalink

Enjoy those bumps while you can. Next thing you know, they’re all adults and living on another continent.

Comment by MikeFitz | October 10th, 2009 1:34 am | Permalink

Ditto the new car sentiment. Mine’s being repaired at the moment. I didn’t realise it but the hand break doesn’t work! As for thrill rides . . .try Disneyland . . everythings bigger there! (For some reason I thought you were in South Australia!)

Comment by Baino | October 10th, 2009 6:12 am | Permalink

I am in St Australia. There is a St Kilda here as well. It’s…. well… a dump compared to Melbourne. It’s a small sleepy little place in amongst the few remaining mangrove swamps on the Adelaide coast, around a bit from Port Adelaide. But it does have one of the few remaining FREE adventure playgrounds with huge slides and other silly things.

Comment by Wally | October 10th, 2009 10:14 am | Permalink

Maybe the pit of foam IS more your style – it’s far more comfortable (if you close your mind to wondering about what kinds of kids’ germs and bodily fluids have been soaked up by the foam cubes)

Comment by Kath Lockett | October 11th, 2009 7:32 pm | Permalink

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