Restoring the Ruby

Now the Ruby is well and truly mine (the registration documents arrived today!) I can begin the restoration in earnest. I took the car to the garage last week for a quick check over and heaved a sigh of relief when I didn’t get a huge list of repairs that were urgently required.  I had a wee drive to Lytham last Saturday, the car drove as beautifully as I had hoped and I couldn’t stop smiling, I’m looking forward to taking it on a longer drive as soon as it’s possible.

I found a dog guard on e-bay and am waiting for it to arrive and found a Saab rubber boot liner in the small ads on the UK Saabs website so the car will be ready for canine passengers soon.

Next week the car will return to the garage to begin the process of fixing the oil leak, replacing the ball joints and removing the rusty patches. Since I can’t do any of the actual work on the car I’m contenting myself with sourcing and collecting spare parts, sorting out paperwork and of course paying the bills! Fortunately Saab owners seem to collect spare bits and pieces and if they don’t need them themselves to sell them on to others who do, there is a brisk trade in even the tiniest parts usually accompanied by a discussion of which car you have, what else you may need and good wishes for the future restoration.I think the next purchase may well have to be shelves and boxes to store my rapidly expanding collection of spares!

The sad state of the Saab company’s affairs always gets a brief mention and there is usually a discussion on the idea of resurecting production of the early models such as the 900, 99, 96, and 95.

PS I know there has been little news of the puppy recently, rest assured that she is growing enthusiastically and learning to behave and Nino is benefiting from her calmer behaviour. We had visitors for coffee and cake yesterday and both dogs were very good. Skye sat with us ( i.e. the ladies, drinking coffee/tea, eating cake and knitting), playing with her Stagbar and Nino and the very small (2year old) boy chatted to each other in the other room…well the small boy chatted and Nino listened politely and occasionally sneaked a lick of the small boy’s ears.


Quiet Nights…

and busy days. Skye went to daycare all day on Monday and Wednesday and enjoyed herself a lot. She was such a sleepy little pup when she came home each night it seemed a good week to begin working on her sleeping downstairs as she’s become too heavy to carry down in the mornings and isn’t yet able to get down our steep stairs unaided. She accepted the change without difficulty and now sleeps soundly from 11pm to 5 or 6 am. She has been having at least one or two walks each day, her favourite destination being the local park where she can watch lots of other dogs and be admired by all the passers by. Because she is sleeping well, Nino is getting a better night’s sleep although he still wakes and paces once or twice a night. And because he is sleeping better so am I so a good result all round!

The Ruby went off to Malcolm for a check up, there are a few jobs to do which I knew about already, and a couple which I didn’t, but thankfully nothing major. I’ve got the car back for the weekend but it will go back next week to start the work. I haven’t driven the car much yet so I’m looking forward to a wee trip this weekend.

I employed a couple of gardeners (their term not mine) to come and cut the hedges and lawns today as they had become very overgrown. When they came to price the job I mentioned that I also wanted to have the lilac trees cut back from overhanging the back driveway. This morning I left them working while I took Skye for a walk and on my return found that they had cut one tree off at waist height, slashed a few branches from the second and left the third intact however the amount of overhanging branches on the driveway is almost identical to how it was before. I think Skye could have done a better job just by chewing the branches! They obviously realised they were making a mess and charged me just for the hedges and lawns and went on their way sheepishly. The trees look a complete mess and will need to be sorted out by someone who knows what they are doing but I have to admit the garden does benefit from the extra light that they were blocking out. All four trees (they ignored the fourth one) are very old and have got a lot of dead wood surrounded by rather leggy new shoots growing from the bases so they may be beyond repair. The cherry trees and the birch also need to be pruned too and the garden will be so much better once they have been done. To be fair to the two “gardeners” the hedges and lawns look much much better and should be easier for us to manage now, especially if we replace the ageing and ineffective lawnmower. . . I still think a sheep would be the answer!

Come in no.53

Not the best photo but here it is, a Saab 900 Ruby no 53 of 150 made for sale in the UK, (apparently around 15 were also made for sale in Sweden and northern Europe too.) This is the car I’ve wanted since I saw a new one in 1993. I couldn’t afford one then and they were the last of the classic 900s made. I’ve had a couple of 900s and a Saab 96 and even a Saab 9-3 briefly but I have kept looking for a Ruby. It is beautiful, a deep ruby red, 3 door hatchback, the interior is excellent, the exterior has a couple of small rust patches but they will soon be sorted out.  It was delivered this afternoon, I was like a cat on hot bricks all day but occupied myself finishing my Le Creuset panstand.

The colour is Farrow and Ball Parma Grey which is a blue/grey colour to match the sink unit in the kitchen.



It’s Saturday, I’m ready, actually more than ready I’ve been up since a little after 6am with the pup so it’s been a long morning . Yesterday Roxyrana brought me some tablet (a Scottish delicacy made from milk, condensed milk, sugar and butter and guaranteed to make dentists rub their hands in anticipation of the work it will bring them!) and I keep going to the cupboard for a wee corner to take my mind off the wait.

Somewhere between Oxford and here is my…… no, you will have to wait too!

Something exciting is on its way…

I saw something for sale a while ago, something I really really wanted. I heard that it had sold and had almost forgotten about it when a post on a forum I belong to mentioned that the sale had not gone through and it was available again. The post was a couple of days old but suggested that interested parties could contact the owner so I did…and if all goes well the said item will arrive on Saturday! I don’t want to jinx it by being too specific but I will just say that it is my favourite colour, it is 17 years old and there were only 150 of them made so it is rather special.

Half term holiday

Although it is not long since the Easter holidays I was ready for this week off work, the last four weeks have been so busy with the arrival of Skye.

So what have we achieved this week

  • Skye has visited Doggie Playcare twice, once just to look round and one afternoon to stay and play.
  • She came home exhausted and has been so much easier to live with. Nino is feeling the benefit already!
  • I spent the afternoon that Skye was at Playcare baby-sitting a 14 week old baby and had a lovely time.
  • Skye can now go for walks and she has explored the park, met lots of children, met other dogs, learned to sit at the roadside to wait for the pelican crossing noise and to cross the road calmly. Having had a dog who was terrified of the crossing “bleeps” and would run across just to escape them this seemed a good skill to learn as soon as possible!

And what have I done apart from Skye related activities?

  • I bought a Le Creuset panstand, something I’ve wanted since I began collecting the pans. I’ve looked at a lot of panstands on Ebay but thay have always sold for ridiculous amounts of money as they are no longer made. I spotted this one last week and was fortunate enough to get it for a reasonable sum. It is a very basic wooden one in need of some TLC but has potential.
  • I sanded and undercoated the panstand after carefully removing the Le Creuset cast iron name panel. I’ll give it another coat of undercoat and then paint it to match the kitchen cupboards in Farrow and Ball’s Parma Grey and put the name panel back on. I would have preferred to leave the wood unpainted but it needed some filler in places and was quite badly watermarked so painting was the best solution.
  • I’ve been collecting flooring samples for the kitchen. I’d like rubber flooring preferably the studded kind that reminds me of Lego bricks but I am quite tempted by the Harvey Maria Cath Kidson spotted flooring.
  • we are finally in a position to have the rest of the kitchen cupboards built and installed so I need to get the preparation work (electrical and plumbing) done and order the cupboards and worktops from Olive Branch. That will mean emptying and removing the existing cupboards … something I’m not looking forward to having to do as I suspect we’ll find all sorts of problems behind them judging by the disasters we found behind the old sink unit (bare wires, leaky pipes, unfinished plasterwork etc!)