The Alarum!

I have to admit to a Pooterish self-congratulation when I can deliver a snappy one-liner. As I was on the night-shift in Rognan, I leapt from my  hotel bed the other afternoon and scrambled down stairs to the muster point with fire bells and sirens wailing all about. The receptionist was concerned that I might be in a state of shock…. ‘No, it’s just the way I do my hair’, I replied smoothly, generating a very satisfying response from the assembled guests. I’d used the line before at Silverstone when I was asked if I was a (visiting) helicopter; having moderately wayward hair helps things along – in fact it’s been known to raise a smile without any comment from me.


The weather had changed in Rognan; the temperature had dropped considerably since I was last there a few weeks ago.


All those spectacular reds, oranges and shades of green and gold have disappeared….


… and the snow is back on the mountains. Fortunately, our hire car was equipped with snow tyres which were a complete revelation. Driving on ice and snow over the mountains on our way back to Bodo Airport; the car was incredibly sure-footed without a hint of instability. We don’t have harsh enough conditions for them to be mandatory here in the UK but, if I lived anywhere where snow was annually guaranteed, I wouldn’t hesitate to invest.

Snow tyres

Just before the airport at Bodo is the Luftfartsmuseum. I was happy to see an Avro 504k with a Sunbeam Dyak engine and it now seems eons away when I was flying up and down the country in my Scarab powered 504. It’s funny how little things come back to you – the wear on the steel aileron cable runners which I cured by covering with model aircraft fuel tubing, the tailskid which I beefed up with a Stellite blade and throwing out the Palmer Cords and replacing them with motorcycle tyres.

Avro 504K Dyak

The Maelstrom at Saltstraumen was another attraction. Reputed to be one of the strongest in the world, my fellow Magnetiser and I made a brief excursion to the top of a bridge to look down on this wonder of nature.

Maelstrom Saltstraumen

We were not there long because it was -3° and with the wind at a modest 10kts, it felt more like -9°. My camera doesn’t convey the drama or speed of the currents and certainly doesn’t show up the whirlpools that formed with voids at least a couple of metres deep. When they really get going, you can take a ride in a boat and get up close…brrr!

Orford outing

Back in England it was time to get up a posse for a breakfast run so, in order to get an early start and beat everyone to the Pump House Bakery in Orford, I thought it would be a smart move to fill the tank. On the way back from the garage, alarm bells sounded as a great clattering arose from under the bonnet.

Petrol engines don’t run terribly well on diesel.





2 comments on “The Alarum!

  1. …or not “pure” diesel anyway! I remember though adding some gasoline in the tank of my diesel Golf during a remarquably cold winter here to avoid it freezing. I remember also being stupidly filling diesel in a friend’s Golf GTI I borrowed. Fortunately I reacted faster than you and a 10% diesel did’nt disturbed the GTI at all. I did’nt share the incident with the owner though… I could have to borrow it again.

  2. I hope your friend isn’t reading this!

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