I have started feeling very guilty again. Why?
Today I was out for a walk at lunchtime, just a mile or so around the park when I heard a familiar two stroke rattle. Across the other side of the park was the unmistakable sight of a Kettle parking up on the pavement by the former Sondel Sport bike shop on Highbury Corner.
Back in the days before it became a motorcycle clothing store, no bikes on sale, and more recently, a Waitrose Supermarket, it had the workshops out the back and it was on this apron of concrete that the rider had hauled the bike up onto the centre stand.
By the time i had got over there he had gone and I took a look at the bike.
All I can say is that it looked "original". By that I mean it wasn't polished to within a mm of the alloy being so thin it would crumple under the touch of a butterfly landing on it.... Slightly faded orange tank that matched the old P reg it had on the licence plate. The rest was in keeping with a bike that had been reasonably looked after for the best part of 37 years.
A quick look under the edge of the seat showed the same corrosion I experienced with the chrome rear mudguard around its mounting points and where the indicators hang off.
Just as I was standing up, I was caught by the rider. A bloke I guess in his 30's. He said he had inherited from his Dad who had died and he was keeping it going. Mechanically it was sound but parts for it now simply too expensive to replace, even with New Old Stock (NOS) parts.
Depsite being drummed out of the Kettle Club many years ago for a stand against the bullying of my friend John Storrie, I suggested he try them for contact details and also to Google "Sean Chandler GT750". I've never knowingly met Mr Chandler but I understand him to be one of the UK's Kettle experts, an acolyte of the great John Storrie I think.
Sadly, I didn't get the guys name as he fired up the old girl and headed off towards the football ground.
No doubt he saw me as one of those old blokes that come up to you on the sea front somewhere and tell you about the Triumph they had in 1960. Old guys living past memories.
So what can I do about it. Sort my Kettle once and for all and get her back on the road. That's what.