Fixing things gives a special pleasure . . .

A capacious wheelbarrow is an important component of any heavy gardening task

What if your wheelbarrow develops a flat tyre, possibly as a result of trundling through endless thorny branches from a long hedge trimming odyssey? That’s going to play havoc with the big gardening effort, but it’ll take a couple days before the tyre can be fixed at Paul Gowland ATV in Allendale. It doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes to remove the wheel with the flat, but wait a moment, mightn’t that other tyre on the wheel you’ve rescued from a previous barrow, possibly fit?

Ooops, same size, but it’s flat too. Wait a moment, why’s the valve stuck inside? Careful probing with a variety of blunt tools retrieves the valve stem, and after a quick application of the trusty air pump the salvaged tyre seems to be holding air. Hmmm. But will it fit on the new barrow?

Err, no. The axle is too big. But wait a moment, mightn’t there be a long bolt type thing on the premises, somewhere? After a reconnoitre through my miscellaneous supplies, I’m prepared to admit defeat, when suddenly I remember our friend who’s renovating the big horsebox into a bespoke campervan. Maybe he has something that might do as an axle. He thinks he might just have a cast-off section of threaded rod from a previous trailer job, and after digging through four boxes, he retrieves it. And it fits through the salvaged wheel! And he’s got nuts and washers too. Delight.

But when I come to fit the rod into the barrow frame, the bolt is just a millimetre too thick to go through the openings. Drat! But wait a moment, mightn’t I be able to apply a bit of drilling finesse to enlarge the holes? Tried and true reaming effort allows access, with a bit of persuasion, for the bolt. First nut on, second one and — oh no! Haven’t I just bashed the thread a little too much to accept the nut! But if I’m more careful with the longer rod our friend offered as a safety, I might just, I might just, ah ha!

After all that perseverance, the repair feels almost like an anti-climax. The fun, the joy, was in muddling through.

One response to “Fixing things gives a special pleasure . . .”

  1. I had almost the same experience with my wheelbarrow”s pneumatic tire. Over the years I’ve been in moment of feeling great bc I managed to fix something. Felt great. Fixes might not have looked pretty but they worked. Too bad we’re so far away bc I could have given you one of my Fix-a-Flat cans for temp fix of flat tires. Oh well, all the more opportunity for you to feel the thrill of victory in getting your wheelbarrow rolling again.

    Believe it or not today’s joy relates to me putting up a model train yard. I flooded family room 4 or 5 years ago. 2 train tables taken down. Since I am no longer physically able to construct a train table I bought a ping pong table to use. Just like storage is not great for tires it is also not great thing for electric train engines. Now that you have inspired me I may just take one of my best HO engines apart & see if I can’t get it going. If I can’t get my Lackawanna-Erie, 12 wheel, diesel engine back together again can I blame you bc of the inspiration I’ve gotten from your wheelbarrow tire repair? 🤣  I’m enjoying daily joy.. Keep writing Larry!


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