A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Hooptedoodle #269 - Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure and various other topics

A lot of work going on in these parts - fortunately, most of it is being carried out by an excellent Australian chap named Luke, who is almost certainly the best house painter around here. Some of the more tactical, fiddling-about work, though, falls to me.

Luke the Painter
As often happens, we had a small accident which has made things a bit worse than they might have been. As part of this mighty painting project, I have agreed with St Luke that he will also take on a couple of inside jobs, so he has something else to get on with if it rains. Sorry - that should have said when it rains. One of these jobs is the downstairs toilet/shower room, which will probably need to be out of action for a few days while it gets sorted out. During the lead-up to this, of course, we managed to break the mounting for the shower-screen in the upstairs bathroom (i.e. the one which will not be out of action during the painting), so it has become necessary for me, moi, Comte Maximilien S Foy, former General de Division and military hero of the First Empire and subsequent leader of the liberal opposition in France, to apply my many years of experience to installing a new shower screen.

As long as you double-check that everything fits nicely, and check for snags before you hit them, this is not a formidable undertaking, and I am pleased to say that the job has gone well. Shower screens, however, involve the dreaded silicone sealing mastic, which is right up there with Nitromors on my personal list of pet hates.

While I was poking about in the garage, falling over gardening tools, and wondering whether my existing tube of bath sealant would have solidified (it had), and whether the white spirit would be filed away with the weedkillers or the things for washing the car (do you have a garage like this?), I came across this faint blast from the past. It might be just the thing, I reasoned, to prevent water seeping into the fine joint line between the screen and its supporting stand.

Chortle now - thank you
That must be worth a chortle, surely? The Contesse thought it was funny enough to feature on her personal Facebook account, which must be a very positive indicator. I have this stuff in store because once - many years ago - I spent a fair amount of money on getting my old Land Rover 90 repaired and smartened up, and when it came back I was disappointed to find that the windscreen still leaked. This is stupid - I realise this - it is like choosing to live in Scotland and then finding fault with the weather; however, I tried various products and gizmos to eliminate the leak, not realising that a Land Rover 90 without a leaky windscreen is a fake.

Horace the leaky Land Rover 90 - this is what Defenders were called before
they were Defenders - on account of the 90-inch wheelbase. Photo taken circa
Autumn 2004, when his days were numbered.
Captain Tolley's magic brew did not eliminate my problem, but after a quick succession of further mechanical problems I solved all my difficulties with the LR90 by selling it and buying a modern Mitsubishi. Sorry about that - it's painful but true. If you have an old Land Rover and you love it, then you have my respect and my undying sympathy. I never looked back. My banker was grateful too.


  1. My garage IS like that! "Creeping Crack Cure" ought to be a required item in every USA plumbers' toolkit. Perhaps, this only plays well in America?

    1. Hi Jon - required item - certainly. Plays well in America? - it's pretty much universal, I think. The obscure bit might be the inventor's name; I understand that this stuff actually was invented (and is still marketed, though the PR people have revamped the product name) by one Peter Tolley. I'm not sure how widespread it is, but checking out "tolley" in a dictionary of Scottish or Australian slang will reveal - what shall we say? - the icing on the cake (that is how we spell "cake", isn't it?).

      Apologies to all scatophobes.

  2. Ah, but does it come out of the tube as a series of lumps, like 'proper' silicone sealant?

    1. I should have included an orange or something in the photo for scale - this is a very small bottle, and the stuff inside is a very runny liquid, which looks yucky to start with but dries clear and flexible. I think it has more potential and more uses than I have thought of, but I'm a bit scared of it.

  3. I have a bottle of the very same in the boat tool kit - absolutely indispensable... on a boat....

    1. I can see it would be useful. It failed to cure Horace's windscreen leak, but I have to admit he never actually sank.