Wednesday, July 22, 2009


It's been an absolute age since I updated this blog, but Olivia's been very busy. She's the workhorse that makes it up mountains to sort out high sites, the loader of e-waste, and transporter of large things like ladders.

All this with a sick mind. Or rather a problem with her head - gasket. She's taken to drinking oil along with her horrific petrol habit, then spewing oil and water out when she starts in a huge patch behind her exhaust pipe. The water level drops dramatically in a short trip, steam pours from the exhaust at times, and the oil filler cap has a nice coating of mayo. All indicators that there's a gasket replacement coming up as soon as I have a few days free to do so.

It's a measure of her ability to keep going that she's still trundling up the mountain and to Cape Town and around town. Granted, not smoothly, but going still.

Today she nearly had a major mishap. It rained overnight and was still drizzling when Favourite Man and I headed up the slopes once more. With her big mud-ready G90s, awesome torque and a steady slow speed, we were going well. Until we hit a dangerous corner with the middle of the road washed out. The soil on that mountain is clay - and her rear end started sliding out toward a very steep slope straight down. I managed to wrestle her back just in time. Coming down was even worse - we slid and slipped sideways and forward, way too close to the edge for anyone's comfort. And by the time we reached the bottom the gears in low ratio were sounding terrible. Favourite Man drove her later, but promptly turned back when the gears in high started sounding just as bad. Tomorrow sees me under her adding greases and oils liberally all over. All that dust has made things squeak and groan.

And then there's the hybrid thing.

Olivia has two batteries - an engine bay one to keep the essentials of forward motion going, and a large one (original to my ownership of her) as secondary for the peripherals. Well Olivia has decided that she'd rather be a hybrid. The front battery is now far from optimal, wears down in a day or two and doesn't recharge - she now does what some really fancy cars do, and gets plugged in to the C-Tek charger at night to feed off electricity! Meaning we can at least start her on one of the batteries come morning.

And then there's the electric gate that opened randomly and smashed two of the rear lights and surrounding protective cage as I was reversing...

The poor girl really needs a few weeks at the spa getting all her issues seen to. Unfortunately I don't have a few weeks to spare, but I'm determined to sort them out one by one. Starting tomorrow morning with the oily, greasy things and moving on from there.

Truth be told, I'm looking forward to getting down and dirty again - as long as I don't get rained on.

PS There's a new Landy Mag going around online... yours truly is now an e-editor! :-)