Monday, June 25, 2007

Mistaken Identity?

'What happened here Gadgeteen?'

'Dunno, wasn't me. Why do you always blame me for everything? Gadgetgirlie must have done it.'

'You're having a larf, Gadgeteen, no way could she have done that, come on, own up, what happened?'

'I DID NOT DO IT' (shout, shout, strop, strop, stomp, stomp)........

Below is the visual evidence so that you guys can decide on who the guilty party is for yourselves.

Gadgetman had actually spent quite a time filling in holes, (in anticipation of the redecorating that still awaits), left by 1) the old stairgate on the right, from years and years ago that got bigger somehow, and 2) the old cat flap-sized hole down on the left, that disappeared through to the cupboard behind, up a ramp, and to a window, where there was a cat flap for the previous occupants disabled cat! I hasten to add that the said window was in fact 5' above ground....Work that one out!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The 3 B's 'Only fools and bikers' Rally

The 3 B's are a bunch of bikers that live on the borders of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, and 13 years ago they held their first rally in the field behind The Mucky Duck at Effingham, (Surrey), otherwise known as The black Swan. Such was the success that they now are on their 3rd site due to the popularity of the rally, evident by the numbers that show up year after year.
The site is within the grounds of Headley Park, near Borden, Hants, with lots of flat grassed area for campers, a large stocked pond for fishing, and woods with walks around the pond.

Gadgetgirlie enjoys the view of the pond.

The kids get together for 'footie'

A biker arrives for the Saturday evening entertainment, laden with camping gear.

Another couple arrive at the gate.

The bike show is well attended, with 10 categories for us to vote for on our voting slips.

Love the paint job.

Awesome engineering and radical look.

Another example of a V8 trike, adapted for a family of 4 from Moseley, though unfortunately his gearbox went on the way down to the rally, (like ours did a few weeks ago).

Some other bikes on show...

...or hidden around the back of the stalls

Lots of viewers stand around discussing what they're looking at.....

An original Indian, sounded great...when she eventually roared into life after lots of fiddling and about 12 kickovers....

Detailed paint job.

Live music played in the beer marquee, there was a huge firework display organised by the pyromaniac section of the club, and a brilliant fire to sit around after dark o'clock.

We had intended staying for the weekend but school shoes had to be bought on Saturday morning, so we arrived in time for the bike show during the afternoon. Gadgetman won a £50 tattoo in the raffle, (for which he will have to make a special trip to Kettering for), I bought some new bike gloves, Gadgeteen and Gadgetgirlie had loads of money off us, met some old friends and made some new ones, and Gadgetgirlie lost her brother's football. We met up with Stan & Jane who organise the Isle of Wight rally, and were actually able to sit and chat with them for a while, nice to see them relaxing at someone elses rally and able to just sit!

Fazer and Lala rode down to see what a rally was all about. Fazer had a bit of a shock at the gate when one of the 3 B members, who'd had quite a bit to drink, demanded a ride down to the marquee. Fazer has never had anyone as pillion before, let alone a pissed someone! The trouble was that the route to the marquee was grassy and slippery and muddy, (tee-hee), and the route to parking for day visitors was dry tarmac. Lala then followed Fazer down the slippery slope....assuming that it was the way to the parking area....then they both had to make 'u' turns and come back up again. Good test for their riding skills....I really don't like muddy slopes on a bike....Next year Lala is keen to come and camp for the weekend, Fazer would probably get bored and want to go off for rides during the day...
All in all a great day out.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bike fun at last

It's been a long time a coming, haven't been out on the bike for yonks and yonks, what with my broken leg n' all.

For the last few weeks I've been building up to this day, just waiting to be comfortable with the strength in my ankle.

I've had to buy new protective clothing too. My leathers won't fit for some time yet due to the size of me at the moment so that was a quick exit of £180 from my meagre bank balance, then there was the matter of insurance and tax. Comp insurance was only £122 so there are advantages to being a dinosaur after all. I remember paying £800 TPFT when I first started on my 750cc Honda.

So....charged up the battery, warmed her up, replaced the tax disc, put some air in the tires, filled her up and rang GSX guy.

I met him in the hospital, where we were following each other around with our crutches having our casts off, and x-rays, and then trekking over to the physio dept. He was a boy racer on those crutches and I was the one with 'L' plates. I'd been well looked after during my time in cast but he'd had no such luxury. He lost weight as a result and I'd gained a ton.
He had fallen on the first day of his skiing trip somewhere cold and snowy, and broke his tib & fib. He had to have a plate fitted, so had a scar running down his leg to hinder his recovery too. We got chatting, as you do, and gave him a lift home afterwards to save him a bus journey.
Turns out he has a bike too, also sitting in his garage gathering dust, waiting and waiting to be taken out for a ride.
A week later we took him out for the day on the Trike down to Littlehampton and nattered away easily. I said I'd keep in touch, so that I could drag him out, kicking and screaming in protest, for bike rides,...if he'd even consider riding with a Harley.
So, today was the day, I was well excited, champing at the bit I was. GSX guy turned up on his GSXR 600 and deemed me suitable company for the day so off we rode, leaving Gadgetman working on the Trike.

A few weeks ago the gearbox seized, and since then he has had to take the gearbox and engine out, send off the box for repairs, and yesterday he picked it up again. Next weekend we are off to a bike rally so he is keen to see if he can get it back together before then. So much for a relaxing fathers day today for him.

I got that buzzy happy smiley feeling as we rode along the familiar roads to Newlands Corner, my bike responded beneath me to every curve and straight, she felt so good, she sounded great, I felt at home and at peace within.

Time flew by as we sat with our coffees at Newlands in the mid afternoon sun, then we headed off down the A281 to Devils Dyke, down near Brighton. The A281 is actually a really decent riding road, lots of little villages, a fair few open stretches of road to open up on, some nice bends, plenty of over-taking opportunities, (which is just as well cos Sunday drivers were out in force), uppy-downy bits, and the big hill at the end.

Yet again I missed the turning for the top of Devils Dyke, so took the long way round. The pub at the peak is so poorly sign posted, only those in the know can ever get there. There are lots of sign posts outside carparks for 'Lower Devils Dyke' this and 'upper Devils Dyke' that, but none that indicate the way to the top. You'd think that I'd be one of those in the know by now, considering that this was my 3rd trip up there, but each time I've got it wrong, and too much time has passed between each trip for a blonde like me to remember.

It was chilly up there today, the sun of Surrey was replaced by the cloud of Sussex, and the chill of sea air. Nonetheless we sat outside with our soup and coffees, and enjoyed the far reaching views. Box Hill, Leith Hill and The Hogs back lined the horizon to the north, and the South Downs stretched east and west into the distance. Walkers dotted the hills, and kite flyers took advantage of the breeze.

Time passed quickly by as our bikes sat and cooled in the car park, then we just had to start northwards again. We discussed blatting back up the M23, but opted for the same route back because of all the Sunday day-trippers that would clutter the M23 and get in the way of a blat. Not a lot used the A281, only locals really, so lots of vehicles travelling at 40mph and turning off to go home. We broke up the journey back with a pit stop at Box hill then headed off to our respective homes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Catch up time

I've been spending all my spare writing time on the Britishexpats forum, writing this and that and posting on others threads.

We have decided to apply to immigrate to Canada via the long term/slow route, which is under the skilled Worker Permanent Residents route. This process could take between 36-48 months because the Canadian High Comission in London only has an annual quota of 16,000 visas to dish out but 32-48,000 are applying.

We sent off our application last Friday the 8th June, and just to get an Aknowledgement of Receipt takes about 4 months, but at least we can get in the queue now that it's in.

The reason for this change of approach is for the financial security that we will have in 3 years time. That's not to say that we won't both have to work anyway, but that we will be elligible for a small monthly income and a lump sum that we wouldn't get if we went now.

My cast is a distant memory, but getting rid of all the swelling and getting back all the movement that I had there is taking alot longer than I anticipated. lots of physio and exercise is helping. Unfortunately, I'm a bit of a heffalump now, I put on alot of weight whilst being immobile and nothing fits anymore, apart from my flexible friends, elasticated everything!

I've yet to get back on the bike again but the pangs are getting too much and I have just been out and bought some LARGE sized protective clothing, insured the bike again, and am waiting for the docs to come through so that I can get the tax sorted. I also have to take her for her first MOT within a month. She is sitting in the garage covered in dust so needs some tlc too.

Big apologies to anyone that still bothers to see if I am writing but check out the forum if you want to see what is drawing me away from here.