28 February 2009

On the Marsh

After lunch we had a ride out to have a look to see if we could find the church on the Marsh at Fairfield. I couldn’t find it on the map although it is supposed to be slightly west of Brenzett and Brookland.

In the end we head to Brenzett across the Marsh from home and after a bit of messing about it came into view on the left. Although closed for services it was nicely kept inside and is in good condition.

23 February 2009

Old Suzuki Roadtests

I had an email asking if I was the Paul Devall that wrote a few road tests for the Suzuki Owners Club a few years back. The writer had found them whilst looking for road tests on the first model Bandit 1200.

I had forgotten all about them and did a search and came across http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Downs/7594/roadtest.htm.

Four of the articles are written by me. One by Andy Pratt and another by Dave "Greenfly" Greenhalgh, other SOC members at the time. I have now secured the source in case after all these years the Geocities site goes to the wall and we lose these gems! ;)

The roadtests of the Bandit, Marauder and TU250 were done with the assistance of Suzuki GB and they provided the bike on the "drop it and you own it" basis. Unlike professional magazines that take pride in dumping bikes into the tarmac and worse, the SOC wasn't insured for third-party ownership and my own insurers were unable to help; not even at a price.

The last of my articles was about riding the Kettle at the VMCC's Festival of a Thousand Bikes.

DATE: 7/7/12 - Geocities has closed and the web pages were lost on the links above)

22 February 2009

Weekend in London

For Claire’s birthday we had a night in a hotel in London and wandered about like tourists all day Saturday. It was nice to get out in a good day and walk around the city of my birth and see it as a tourist sees it.

The hotel we chose was the Hilton Docklands. We booked it on the 50% January sales and it came out at a tad over £60 with tax, inc breakfast. We arrived around 11am and parked the car in the car-park outside reception and booked in. Then as rooms weren’t available we set off for the day in London. With the Jubilee Line out of action (or so we were told) we made use of the local buses to get into town.

I had bought Claire and Oyster as I have a travelcard for the Tubes and buses. It worked pretty well apart from charging it with £5 wasn’t enough as the travelcard equivalent on Oyster was more than that! On the way up we sussed the C10 and then into London. Our first port of call was Hays Wharf and then along to Tower Bridge and a circuit back to Monument via the Tower and Trinity Square.

Once we had passed through this City we went to Jessop’s to get a bag for Claire’s camera. In the end we chose one from the London Camera Exchange along the Strand. With bellies rumbling we had lunch in a branch of Leon’s on the Strand.

Then with the afternoon starting come to an end we wanted to get back to the hotel and then change for dinner. Another few buses and we were back at the Hilton.

Our evening meal was booked for a Moroccan restaurant near where I work in Islington – Maghreb. In the end it was an inspired choice as the food excellent and the service was good and the staff very attentive. One to recommend.

Afterwards we head back to the hotel and a good night’s sleep.

All-in all a great weekend and should make up for going to the footie on her actual birthday!

18 February 2009

Handsome bloke and two Suzuki Motorcycles

Not my title but Steve's!! In the mountains before the Moosham Rally. Me with my GT750 and Steve's Bandit 1200 on the left.

17 February 2009

Me in Venice - May 1999!

img080, originally uploaded by stevehh@yahoo.com.

Steve took a couple of pics on our day trip! It was so hot I had to undo the steel toe capped boots to let a bit of air in.

img081, originally uploaded by stevehh@yahoo.com.

15 February 2009

Italy in May II

As well as Pompeii I’ve been reading about some other sights to fit into the week… Vesuvius? Herculaneum? Paestum? The latter just across the Gulf of Salerno from where we are staying in Sorrento.

Is a week enough? I hope so!

Hythe Beach Ranges & Martello Towers

For the first time (mine anyway) we had a walk across fisherman's beach and across the line into the ranges as far as the first Martello Tower.

Beach Detritus @ Hythe, originally uploaded by Devaldo - An anchor part buried in the shingle.

Hythe Beach Ranges & Martello Towers, originally uploaded by Devaldo

One of the many wooden groynes along the beach. This one is good condition as it is in the Hythe Range area rather than along the public beach.

13 February 2009

Fair Weather Biker?

I can’t remember when I last went out on the bike.

Every time I get a chance to get out it is freezing and icy, or more recently it snows! So I am a fair weather biker of the highest level!

5 February 2009

Italy in May I

The plan was to get away for a few days over the May Half Term holiday to Italy, and more specifically to Naples, to visit Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast. Claire has been before and I have never been south of Rome. And then only once.

Unfortunately, airfares were a bit on the high side as it is a kid’s holiday and so we had to cast about for dates where the weather would be t-shirts and so earlier in May was chosen. Flights with Easyjet were pretty reasonable outside Bank Holidays and so I booked and then checked on a few websites to get a hotel around Sorrento. In the end Active Hotels came up with the Casale Antonietta hotel. It looks pretty good and has car parking and free wifi!

The car park will come in useful as I have booked a car. The airport to hotel transfers were pretty expensive although the train system looks pretty good, but I like the freedom of my own transport. We can always use the trains if need be. Searching the net came up with a FIAT Panda from Opodo with Hertz.

I’ve started preparing and have a guide book, the tight arse £4.99 Berlitz guide! Plenty of information about Naples and Pompeii on the net. Plus if there’s free wifi in the hotel then we can surf the net using the Samsung Q1!

4 February 2009

Kent Pet Run 2009 - Poster

1 February 2009

Beer of the Week - Hollandia

Beer of the Week. Hollandia from Asda; 3% ABV for the princely sum of 90p for four cans. BARGAIN. Much better taste than the 4% Triple Filtered Stella Artois of last week!

Sandling Station

This photo shows one of the old platforms from the spur line that used to go from Sandling down to Hythe and then along the coast to Sandgate.

Uneconomical it was scrapped many years ago.

This is the main station building at Sandling. The station was opened on 1st January 1888.

Give Generously!

On Deal Pier

Snowing in Kent

Kearsney Abbey near Dover.

Deal Pier

Trip to have a look at the pier at Deal. This is the new wooden building at the end of the pier that has been open since Novermber 2008. It was opened by the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.


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