Finally Time to Tune the Porsche!

We finally made it out of the house!

Boxes, clothes, furniture and all. Eliza and I have vacated the premises and left it in the busy hands of our daughter.

Now I can finally crack on with the pet project that has been evading my attention for the last 10 years. A decade ago, I found myself drifting into a dangerous simulacrum of a mid-life crisis. That’s how I ended up in Liverpool buying a Porsche 928 GTS from Tech-9 Motorsport.

Mid-life crises are not to be laughed at. That’s what I attempted to tell my kids when they mercilessly criticised my choice to blow over £60,000 on a sports car from the early 90s. Of course, I wasn’t really going through a crisis. I was happy in my job, satisfied with my lot in in life. I just felt like I needed to indulge in something that would keep me busy in my oncoming retirement.

I’m just glad that our new little two bed terrace has an adjoining garage out the back.

I’ve not owned a dedicated garage before and I’m not ashamed to admit that I find the novelty of commanding my own private space rather thrilling.

After 40 years or so of sharing spaces with my wife or with my kids, I finally have my own area that I can use at my leisure. It might just be a standard sized garage to the casual onlooker, but to me it is my Bat Cave. It is my Fortress of Solitude. If I were James Bond, this would be the place that I would meet Q to assess my new toys.

It is all of these things because in the centre of this room is a high-powered sports car that can take me from 0-60 mph in under 6 seconds. I might look an utter fool when I fold myself into the front seat, but when I push down on the accelerator, I feel like I’m 40 years younger. Which is never a bad thing for a man my age.

When I first bought this car I was overwhelmed by the speed that it could travel and how good it felt to drive.

The team at Tech-9 had done a great job of refitting the car with new parts it needed, so I was ready to speed back home as soon as I picked it up.

Now that the Porsche has found it’s home and Eliza’s busy putting our new house in order, I’m going to have all the time in the world to pull it apart and fine tune it. Strictly speaking, I’m more of a hammer and nails man than an oil and grease fella.

However, when you’ve got an endless stretch of time in front of you, there’s no excuse not to learn!

The car was in pristine condition when I first picked it up, with that ‘new car’ smell that is truly intoxicating. In the years that I’ve let it sit, that scent has diminished somewhat. Cars need to be driven and I’m afraid that in the last few years I’ve left it to fester somewhat. The engine will have to be completely taken apart and rebuilt. The seats will definitely need a vacuum.

Hopefully by the time June comes around, I’ll be able to take her our for a spin again.

Window Replacement from Allerton Windows

There are some things in this home that I’m loathe to replace.

The threadbare carpet in the living room has been on the floor for as long as I’ve lived in the place – over half a century.

It’s been worn down by countless feet, big and small, walking over it and hundreds of vigorous vacuum cleanings. The pattern is barely recognisable, but I know I’ll miss it when it comes to chucking it away.

I don’t have the same feelings reserved for the mouldy window frames, which have not been looked after as well. These single glazed frames were fitted by a friend of my Father’s back in the 80s. My Dad was too old to get up a ladder to look at the job himself, unfortunately it wasn’t done as well as it could have been.

For the last 30 years or so, numerous generations of Austins have quietly drawn more blankets over themselves, as they’ve struggled to keep out the draughts that have whistled through the house.

Now we’ve got the finances and my daughter’s bringing in her young family, it’s finally time to replace these lousy fittings with something a little sturdier. To think that we’re nearly 20 years into the 21st Century and still relying on single-glazed windows!

Being in the construction business for so long, I’ve luckily built up a wealth of contacts specialising in a vast array of trades.

One of these businesses, based in the North of England, is Allerton Windows.

Specialising in fitting the finest of energy saving double glazing, I first came across this company some 10 years or so ago on a job up North. Although they started out of Liverpool, the small startup has widened its operational reach, fitting windows and building conservatories out in Wigan, Chester and Warrington.

My Father did his best to design the house with sunlight in mind.

He wasn’t the greatest of architects but he knew that getting as much light into the house as possible would give the place an airy and open feel – perfect for a home that was due to be overrun by kids for the next five decades.

Each of the four good-sized bedrooms features double aspect windows, letting in a piece of the sun throughout the day. In fact, my Dad invested so heavily in windows, that the house has always felt a little chilly.

I’m lucky to have the links that I do with Allerton Windows, otherwise this build would certainly be setting me back a lot more cash.

Although I still need to get cracking with the big job of doing up the kitchen, I’m glad that the windows will be getting replaced soon. They’re one of the few glaring faults that this house has; a niggle that has kept kids up late shivering and parents swearing at the expense of heating bills.

The last couple of months that I’ll be spending in this house will be the most comfortable that I’ve ever had. Not only will we spending practically nothing on keeping the place warm, but it will be completely draught free.

Something I’m sure my daughter and her kids will be happy of.