The heat is on

Cool. Snow sliding, somewhere in Austria, 1974. © PJ Croft

Whoooo, it’s warming up. The forecast for Xmas Day a week ago was for 29deg, but they’ve been revising it upwards ever since. It was 35deg today, it’ll be 39deg tomorrow Xmas Eve, and it’ll be 42deg on Xmas Day. This is the way it was ten years ago, before a decade of moderate (high 20s, low 30s) temps.

Doesn’t worry me, solar power plus aircon means a very pleasant house.


I’ve just come back from doing a small amount of food shopping for Xmas Day. The benefit of living in a small neighbourhood is that the shops are not very crowded. The local Coles carpark was pretty full, but I had no trouble parking To be honest, because there are no bays for seniors there, I use a Parents with Prams bay. I feel I’m just as entitled as they are, given as I struggle to get in and out of the car and have trouble walking these days.

I can’t get over all the people with trolleys full of bottled “mineral water”. There’s nothing wrong with tap water! If they were just wasting their money, I wouldn’t mind, but it’s the plastic waste that’s the problem. Hundreds and thousands of empty plastic bottles thrown out afterwards. I wonder how many people could really taste the difference between “spring” water and tap water. Ridiculous.


My usual Silver Chain cleaning lady is off on holidays at the moment and today they sent a man in her place. I’m a bit disconcerted, not about the guy, about my attitude. To be frank, I don’t like having a man do my cleaning and I’m asking myself why. There’s only one obvious answer, that I find it demeaning for a guy to be doing a menial job for me. Whereas it’s not for a woman. That’s pretty sexist, I admit.

Yet I don’t find it demeaning for a guy to be cleaning toilets at the shopping centre or serving me at a supermarket checkout. I guess it’s because I’m used to those, whereas it’s new to be having a guy clean my house. Oh well, I’ll get used to this too.


I had my COVID booster vaccination last Thursday, as I said, and had a slight bruised feeling afterwards but nothing more. But on Monday, four days later, I developed strong ‘flu feelings – mild fever, bad aches and pains and bad fatigue. I went back to bed at midday (on the bed, not in it, it’s too warm here to get under the doona) and slept for several hours. Up for some food, then bed at 9.30pm. Still felt fatigued on Tuesday but the other symptoms were gone. Much better yesterday and today.

The question is, was this a reaction to the vaccination (Pfizer)? Four days later? It seems unlikely. But who am I to know. I had to cancel a doctor appt on Wednesday for fear it was COVID or I could have asked him.


I finally got the Verada going last week. It wasn’t the bad connection problem in the Martybugs article. The RAC guy did a great contortionist act and got his head right under the dash, but he couldn’t see a problem.

But he was familiar with this model and said it can be a small stepper motor in the fuel metering intake. He fiddled around and actually got it going. but it was running roughly, so it was onto a tow truck and off to their workshops.

It turned out to need a new mass airflow meter assembly. Actually, a new one would have cost around $650 but they sourced a used one for about $290. So all up with labour, $371.

How odd that this should go wrong just at the time I was planning to sell it. Unfortunately, it’s not finished yet – the tow truck guy pointed out that the two back tyres need replacing, and the mechanic pointed out fairly bad oil leaks from the camshaft cover gaskets. The front one on the V6 is not too expensive to replace, but the back one needs the exhaust manifold removed to get at it, which is labour intensive. To do both would be around $650. Damn,

I only paid $1,200 for that car and all the things I’ve done since are starting to add up. I doubt I’ll get my money back. I don’t know what to do now.


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