The Gang of Four

Towards the end of the Chinese Cultural Revolution the Gang of Four controlled much of the power in China. They were led by Jiang Qing, the wife of Mao Tse Tung and the blame was laid on them by the offical Chinese authorities for many of the atrocities committed during the revolution. They all received long prison sentences and the last of the four, Yao Wenyuan died in prison in 2005.

My gang of four are very different. They involve three packages and some vegetables.

Package number one arrived on Wednesday and was the official Clymer manual for Little Project (although I should stress that it does not mention Little Project by name on the cover). I have been searching for one for some time and it never occurred to me until the start of the week that Clymer may have a UK website from which to order their products.

The vegetables were a little bit exciting (for me at least). There’s a bit of a vegetable patch behind the shed and I sowed an Asparagus bed an eternity ago. This year is the first year in which I can harvest and I was somewhat surprised to find several bold stalks reaching skywards. They were rapidly harvested and consumed with some gusto. My only recommendation to other budding Asparagus farmers would be to wash the bloody things before you cook them. Especially if you’ve been covering them in horse poo for the last three years.

Package number three is HOAP. I had a call from Dave the courier of HOAP (not to be confused with Dave the seller of HOAP) who asked if I would be available on Friday at noon to take ownership of HOAP. With a rather undignified cheer I said that I would and would be dancing in the street as the parts arrived. Dave is apparently not going to unload HOAP until I have performed a little jig. That should keep the neighbours amused.

Package number two. Oh, package number two! Can you guess? From afar I could hear the sound of drums and trumpets. An aeroplane flew overhead with a celebratory banner trailing behind it. From the plane jumped a squadron of parachutists who landed in Twickenham stadium. They placed package number two on a golden platter and then the drum and trumpet band marched through the town, preceded by a troupe of scantily clad cheer leaders twirling batons and chanting witty ditties. People lined the streets, cheering and waving. It was just like the Royal Wedding (or perhaps Mrs Thatchers funeral).

The postie rattled the door. The postie knows about Little Project. I didn’t know that he knew, but in idle conversation one day he said “You’re the bloke that’s restoring a Honda”. It seems that he is keen on old motorcycles and had recognised some of the post as being relating to such activities. Remember folk, the postie knows everything.

Anyway, postie rattled door. There’s a parcel. From Queensland. It has been in transportation for 58 days. In comparison, the Cutty Sark managed a best time of 73 days (and didn’t need any diesel to do so).

Seat is here!


Seat is most definitely brand new. Seat has never been sullied by a bottom, Australian or American. Seat has been unwrapped and feted. I might put Seat under my pillow tonight so that I can be sure that it remains safe.

The big question now is whether to press on with Little Project using bits of HOAP or to dash through HOAP, sell it on and use the funds to finish Little Project.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.