It is time for me to fess up.
GOF has an obsession.
An obsession to provide backups and backup plans for lots of things in life.
I will claim that it is driven by necessity, given that 45 years of my life have been lived in places not served by city amenities like water and electricity supply.
If a psychiatrist ever got hold of me I suspect a different opinion would be proffered, along with a lot of muttering about my "need to control".
The diesel powered water pump way down the hill beside the dam which provides our house water has a backup pump, for use in the event of failure of pump No. 1.
The house water tank has a backup tank up on the hill, along with a couple of hundred metres of poly pipe to connect it if required.
The solar power supply has a 60 year old diesel generator for emergency use if the sun does not shine enough.
( and no, Mrs GOF, some new man getting into Brooke's knickers on Bold and Beautiful does not constitute an emergency of sufficient magnitude to start the generator on a cloudy day simply to watch television.)
This backup generator has another petrol generator on standby.
Every piece of machinery has a spare fanbelt, injector, sparkplug, filter and dooverlackey in the shed. Many of these dooverlackeys have been sitting there for 25 years and never been called into service.
Mrs GOF's little lawn mower has a backup thoughtfully provided by me, so she will always be able to enjoy the health benefits of pushing one or the other around our one acre of lawn, whilst wearing her little denim shorts.
There are enough pairs of work shoes in various stages of dilapidation cluttering the verandah so that if it rains for 40 days and 40 nights, I will at least have a dry pair of shoes ready for when Uncle Noah Onassis comes to pick me up in his luxury yacht.
Our cupboard is filled with enough tinned food to feed an army of invaders for a week. (or if Elle ever turns up, enough to keep her adequately victualised for a month while we discuss world affairs.)
I also have a more personal backup story to reveal.
A very long time ago I found myself on a marriage train which was rapidly running out of track and heading for a very deep ravine.
It became obvious that I was going to need to search for, then jump onto, another train. (this may well prove to be a poor choice of metaphor)
The first suitable one travelling in my direction turned out to be equivalent to the Orient Express with luxurious suspension, accommodation, dining and sleeping facilities.
It also has, after 29 years of travel, no terminus in sight.
Yes, backups have served me well in this life.
Now, if someone can just provide me with a backup youthful body to replace this old worn out heap of junk, then I will be forever grateful.
P.S. For the mechanically inclined, the green diesel engine depicted above is a 6 HP Ronaldson-Tippet 800 rpm, manufactured around 1950 in Ballarat, Australia.