BLOG 36 – MOTHBALLS, JAMMIES & MOULD


Alas, it’s that time of year.  The 2010/11 winter is coming.  The nights are drawing in and it’s time put the bus to beddie byes for a few months.

The bus doesn’t have any heating (that works), so apart from it being cold to drive, it’s almost impossible to keep the windscreen clear from misting over with condensation.  Combine that with the pathetically weak lights and the not so brilliant brakes and it really makes no sense to keep driving the thing through the winter.  Otherwise we’d be out there camping every winter weekend, naturally.

Time to get the mothballs out.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a mothball?  Are they made out of moths?  Lots of moths rolled up into a ball?  And where do you keep mothballs when you don’t need them?  Do they get mothballed themselves?  And then those mothballs that are doing the mothballing – where do you keep them when they’re not mothballing?  Do you mothball the mothballing mothballs?  Where does it all end?  You do the moths[1].

Unfortunately the bus has to live outside in the open air.  A bit like neglected, sad and lonely horses you sometimes see standing stock still in a windswept wintery field.  Poor thing.  But it’s OK, because we bought a big pair of jammies for the bus.  It’s one of those NASA styled shiny silver covers that will protect the bus from the elements and also, presumably, stop it melting should it ever have to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere at 13,000mph[2].  Apparently it’s waterproof but breathable.  My jammie preference is a tartan number – they always look a wee bit warmer than the shiny tin foil look.  But they don’t do bus covers in tartan.  Note to self – invent tartan bus covers.

So we did the right thing and brought most of the paraphernalia into the house.  I think we left the fridge and the cooker bits & pieces in the bus along with the remnants of Soldier Ben’s army ration pack.  That stuff lasts forever anyway.  We were clever enough to take out the curtains, back seat furnishings and mattress too.  The bus looks quite sad with the interior stripped out.  Poor thing.

So that was that.  The bus was mothballed and all locked up, with its jammies on.  Not that we actually put any mothballs in there of course.  I don’t know much about moths, but I don’t believe they hang about for your typical British winter.

Couldn't you do that somewhere else please?

Couldn’t you do that somewhere else please?

Fast forward from November 2010 to March 2011 and it was time to dust off the cobwebs and put a little spring clean sunshine into the bus.   Cobwebs my arse.  The sight on opening the bus was more akin to a slimy dank cave.  Oh man, that breathable cover I guess breathed two ways.  More in than out I would suggest.  The condensation created its own micro-climate perfect for cultivating mould.  The headlining was just covered all over with it. Yuk.  The dashboard was soaking wet and in places the paintwork had disappeared to reveal rust tinged bodywork.  The steering wheel and dashboard was coated in a thin film of the stuff and the gearstick knob almost looked like it had become alive.  Imagine my surprise to find Alexander Fleming inventing penicillin in the back corner.  I don’t even like penicillin but at least the bus will go down in history as playing its part in helping to cure most of planets’ illnesses.

Fortunately we had used an anti-mould bathroom paint on all the interior furnishing that Ahhh John had made.  So that stuff was OK.  Yeah, like hell it was.  Anti-mould my arse[3].

[1]    Did you see what I did there?  Using the word Moths instead of Maths?  Comedy genius.  Why do I bother, really, why do I bother.

[2]    Whilst the bus’ re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere could be a possibility (you just never know), it will never do this at 13,000mph.  The laws of physics won’t let it.  The terminal velocity of a VW bus is precisely 61.2mph.  Fact.  And you need about an hour of good hard free fall acceleration to get close. If you filled a bus with lead to make it really heavy and chucked it off the Empire State Building it might reach 20mph by the time it hit the ground, that’s assuming it doesn’t break down on the way (highly likely).  Yet another fact.  As Galileo once said to Isaac Newton, “, Izers, are you sure you got that gravity thing worked out proper coz I’ve just chucked a bus off the leaning tower of Pisa last Wednesday and it hasn’t hit the ground yet?”

[3]    “Anti-Mould my arse”.  Now that’s a quality brand slogan just waiting to be used.  Do you suffer from mould up your arse?  Then you need this: “Anti-Mould my Arse”.  Be sure to find a friend to get stuck into those dark crevices.  Apply with finger.  Also good for cobwebs. 

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