15 June 2017

Sound Mirror

Recently the replica of the sound mirror has been painted by some local volunteers. 

It looks good in the dark green rather than the flaking and badly applied grey/beige it was before.

It's there to show visitors how the mirror works.  From the other side of the canal,  maybe 25 yards away, someone speaks and another person in front of the mirror (the grey bit) can hear it.

The original mirror is on the hillside about 200ft above sea level.

This technology was invented as early warning of air raids.

Reggie left his mark.

Read more about the mirrors.

Premier League Fixtures

The fixtures are out already.  Time to plan which games I will attend and which Alex will go to.

13 June 2017

RBLR Non-Attendance Rally 2017

This year's Royal British Legion Riders Non-Attendance Rally will not be held in the Elysian Fields this year.

The money earned after the cost of the badges goes into the Poppy Appeal.

I can't remember how many times I've not been to the Rally. It's quite a few now.

5 June 2017

Motorcycle Insurance

My insurance is due on the 27th June.  Or I should say my current policy runs out at midnight as the clock ticks over from the 26th into the 27th.

So as usual I have seen the forums discussing what people are paying and they are generally  less than me.  I guess the risk is supposed to be assessed on a personal basis. However that is too simplistic.  It's computer generated.

What is annoying is the price for the same insurance. When I say same I mean the same basic cover, plus any accidents ( I have the car one in May 2015) and other elements AND the same insurance company.

Once comparison site quoted £156.52. My renewal arrived at £179.79 and another comparison site at £107.22 although the last one doesn't include any extras like legal cover. Wen that's added it comes to nearer £140.

So what to do?

30 May 2017

TomTom 410 - Update

The combination of the "nothing wrong with it" returned from Netherlands 410 and the new car mount means that whilst connected to one of the car's power points the unit is now charging on the go.

On the trip to France we had only one problem where it turned off and wouldn't restart for a few minutes and when it did it thought the route it was following was to take us home.  Home at that time was 560 miles away. Once re-programmed to where we actually going, some 5 miles away, it was fine.

The only fly in the ointment is that the live connection using Bluetooth tethering from my phone to the unit didn't work.  I logged a call with TomTom and with 3UK and it turns out that 3UK blocked it.  3UK being my mobile phone "partner".  

3UK operate a "feel at home" system where whatever you pay for in the UK, data and talk time ( I have unlimited of both & sms) works for no extra charge whilst roaming. But, they block tethering. I guess that stops people downloading huge videos and live streaming over the networks but it also stops people using satnavs and downloading live information once an hour.  The download can be measured in kb not mb or even gb.

This tethering allows TomTom's MyDrive system to keep the unit up to date with problems on the road and allow it to plot a new route to avoid accidents and other things such as traffic jams etc.

A shame that a decent and useful safety item is blocked by the mobile network.

20 May 2017

Tomtom 410 - Update

The TomTom came back from its trip to Holland and back.  The new car mount arrived. And...

Success.  We have charging in the car. 

Hopefully the trip to the Dordogne will be accomplished without getting the Urban Rider out of the bag.

13 May 2017

Steam Trains

Who doesn't like a steam train? It might be an age thing but steam was King when I was a boy.

Then in the UK the government employed a guy called Richard Beeching to write a report on reducing the rail network.

But steam lives on at many heritage sites. One of these passes my garden: The Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.
This weekend had guest engines on the tracks pulling the RHDR stock.

I took some pictures over my back fence. In fact I took about 100 on auto on the Nikon,  but the best pic is from my phone...

By some fluke. The pics are of the same engine in both directions.

12 May 2017

Insignia - New Tyres

Once I had managed to remember the tyre details for the Insignia's tyres I had a search online for local fitters and get some prices.

Tyres now come with a scale from A to F for their efficiency in two fields, fuel consumption and wet grip. Ideally you will look for AA rated but once you see the prices then you start to go through the list to find the best rated at a price you can afford.

In the end I opted for these CA rated Uniroyals. Most of the online places had them but Asda came out the cheapest with an all-in price, and have a local fitter.  The most local fitters are only open weekdays and so I had to pick the second nearest.. A garage that although I have used for petrol on many occasions, I had no idea they did tyres.  We'll find out tomorrow morning.

Asda Tyres

One of the tyres is the original from when I bought the car in January 2014 and at the last MoT it was noted that it would need replacing although legal.  I've done about 25000 miles in that  time (below average mileage for UK) and it was obviously not brand new then.

The left front is newer. The original was destroyed in the accident of May 2015 when it came in contact with the kerb. They replaced it as part of the repair job to the entire right side of the car wiped out by KFC munching van driver. I've not been entirely pleased with it as it constantly needs the air topping up.. 

Having new valves might sort that out but in truth I have become less and less confident in them as they wear down.  I have never heard of the make either!

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