As it was my turn to do the night shift at Cuxhaven, I left the ship at about midday and went back to the hotel to try to get some shut-eye before getting back for supper and kick-off at 6.00pm. Drifting in and out of sleep, I was thinking about the fact that I couldn’t remember the pin number of my credit card and was wondering how I was going to cough up for the hotel (I’m a bit of an ace plongeur with many years experience but trying to get that over in German could have been tricky). In trying to remember the ‘shape’ of my pin….. I stumbled on an interesting phenomenon that I’m sure everyone in the world knew about already but, just in case you didn’t…. if you take an ordinary number pad on a keyboard (it doesn’t matter which way round it is – 1,2,3 at the top or bottom) and observe the numbers arranged at the points of an ‘X’, you’ll see that when added and subtracted in a certain order, the result is always the last figure in the pattern. Clever or what?! I’m not very good with numbers (and rulers) so holding the image of the pad in my head and performing the mental gymnastics without forgetting the number I’d first thought of was quite tough, in fact I had to check and re-check my calculations several times befzzzzzzzzzzzz
When I got home I put Wright’s General Theory of ‘X’ through a more rigorous testing regime and blow me if it didn’t still come up trumps. I’ve made up a cut-out-n-keep block of numbers for readers interested in pursuing further experiments in sleep inducing activities. It’s the time of year when the grass starts to get out of hand so a quick whizz round the lawn on the mower would start the day and then I could get on with the Riley racing car. That was the plan but, before breakfast I had to take the lavatory cistern apart because it decided it wasn’t going to stop filling and then a tyre fell off the lawnmower on a particularly tight turn around a Laburnum tree. It was well after midday before I got into the workshop to address the steering column on the Riley.
On this car I’m going to get everything in place and then take it all apart again before restoring and repainting. As there are so many unknowns, it’s the only way I’ll make progress in reasonable time. Now I’ve got an idea of where the pilot’s going to sit, I can think about positioning the engine and gearbox.
I’ve got to turn up a couple of wooden blocks to get the engine mounting bar in the right place and I’ve got a spare timing chest to slap on the front. The gearbox will no doubt have to be attached to the block to get a sort of three-point fixing to the chassis but that should be clearer once I can get hold of an illustrated Riley spares list. And if it’s not, I’m sure I can dream up some sort of scheme.