30 April 2015

On the Beach

A short walk on the beach with Reggie.

Need to do exercise to get back to fitness and now I can drive I can take Reggie out.

Today was Dymchurch Beach. Parked by the Martello and then had a walk. Hard going as the tide was still going out and the sand was still damp and easy to sink into.


This Martello is lived in and we have watched the owners transform it over time into a home.

If I won the lottery I might buy one too!!



Reggie investigating the shells that wash up. On the tide line today it was crab carnage! Never seen so many dead crabs and the water birds greedily eating them. I had to get a larger leg out of Reggie's mouth!


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28 April 2015

Win a bike

Well worth a go, win a Yamaha Tracer. Competition ends on April 30th, so must be worth a punt. Got to be in it to win it.

http://www.motorcyclenews.com/mcn/2014/november/win-a-yamaha-mt-09-tracer/

I failed to win the Norton on the Bennett's competition, but after winning the scooter I doubt I will ever win anything again!

24 April 2015

Driving Miss Dozey

My brother Neill's return to Route 66 is the subject of his "Driving Miss Dozey" blog (http://dmd66.blogspot.co.uk) and I am sure that it will be a memorable trip for Neill and Cath.

I am also certain that anyone that has input on places to stop off along the way, they are more than welcome to suggest it!

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23 April 2015

Scotland Glamping

When the Norway trip was eventually put to bed for this year I started to look for an alternative where we could go in the car, and take Reggie with us.

We saw a TV programme where glamping was featured and this led to our first attempt a couple of weeks ago in Essex. The tester overnight at Lee Wick Farm.

So, I set about looking for a glampsite and chose the Loch Ness Glamping site near Drumnadrochit in Scotland.  I chose Scotland as it is is still UK and Reggie doesn't need to have a pet passport.  

Armadilla
Although from where we live, France would be much nearer (about 30 miles and a ferry) but with rabies and other things like tapeworms that we don't get in the UK but the passport is a bit of a pain in the arse. Not so much before we go, but before we come back. Maybe another time.

The round trip to Loch Ness is somewhere in the range of 1400 miles round trip before any excursions. So we'll need to plan stops for Reggie as well as some overnights!

The first I have planned is at Shap in Cumbria. A dog friendly inn.

Shap Wells
The next couple of nights will be in Glencoe Youth Hostel. The Scottish YHA have recently trialled some dog friendly rooms and so I have booked one for a couple of nights. 

Glencoe Youth Hostel
Glencoe is actually one of the "rides you must do" when in Scotland.  Although in the height of summer it can be slow going as the cyclists and motorhomes (RV's) clog up the road. However, there is plenty of room off the road to walk and enjoy the countryside! And that's my hope.

The main glamping is midweek and the drive from Glencoe via Fort William to Loch Ness will take a few hours and there are plenty of places to stop on the way.

After five days in a pod, we turn south again towards home.  I am currently looking for overnight stops to break up the 600 mile return journey.

Garden Rehab

A nice sunny day and after a visit to cardiac rehab for my assessment I took the opportunity to drink my free Waitrose coffee and get out the D50 and fire off a few pics of the few tulips we have in the garden that Reggie hasn't ground into the dirt!




The "black" tulips are my favourite and these are growing in a pot.

22 April 2015

TomTom: Paddling

TomTom - car in space
It looks as though the crisis over the TomTom has been averted and the problem comes back to it being a problem with the USB cable!

Changing the cable, and amazing though it seems, it is working today and happily connected to the phone and the headset.

As I am in the UK and the mapping is US, it looks as though our new car logo is hanging in space.

What it also means is that I no longer have to contemplate updating to the latest TomTom Rider 400 at the princely sum of £319. Although for that outlay it does come with the powered head for the bike and free for life maps. At the end of the day the new one will pay for itself after a few years as updates for the current TomTom mapping for the Rider can work out at anything between £35 and £50 a year!

Spain: Bluetooth Headsets

When we were in Spain last summer I used my Cardo Scala headset connected to my TomTom Rider everyday.  I did check the law in case it was different to the UK, but although there was something passed in 2003 aimed at the overuse of handheld mobile phones by drivers and drivers using iPod speakers in their ears, it seems it may have covered motorcycle use of the headsets.

One of the many other motorcycling blogs I follow on blogspot is Gary France's "Flies in your Teeth" and he also brings up this subject.  Follow the link to see the full story.

I have replied with what I had found out from RACE (Real Automóvil Club de España) but as yet he's not added my comment.

The translation from Jorge at RACE is:

"The Rules of the road says in Article 18 Section 2 of the following:

"It is forbidden to use headphones or connected to receivers or sound reproducing apparatus, except during the corresponding teaching headphones and conducting try outs open for obtaining driving license for two-wheel motorcycles circuit when required by the Regulations on Drivers.

Use is prohibited while driving mobile devices and any other means or communication system, except when developing communication takes place without using hands or wear helmets, headphones or similar instruments (Article 11.3, second paragraph of articulated) text.

Exempted from the ban's enforcement officers in the exercise of the functions that have entrusted (Article 11.3, third paragraph of text articles). "

Therefore it would be forbidden, but really there is a loophole, because the court of Zaragoza, in the judgement of June 22, 2010, ruled in favour of a motorist who had been fined for carrying and using intercoms, claiming that:

"It is a small headphones that are placed on the hull, not the ears, but against these. This seems to lead us to conclude that this is a headset, and therefore the prohibition is violated, but the fact is that the difference between a speaker and headset becomes not the shape or size, but the form of use, so that the headset is in contact with the inner part of the ear, blocking the ear, which is to prevent or greatly hinder the reception of other noises, covered by the handset and usually overcome by the sound coming out of it, besides producing or promoting a certain self-absorption of the driver.

Therefore, in this configuration, by not going glued to the ear, we are rather to a speaker that does not stick to the ear and in principle can have a limiting effect on the perception of external noise, which adds to the that if it produces the helmet, but it is actually similar to a speaker inside a car (car well soundproofed and powerful music apparatus hardly hear outside if it takes a certain amount that), the which is not prohibited.

In short, we may find ourselves alleged that the legislation would prohibit wanted but not exactly fit the ban, or at least raises serious doubts, and therefore, pending regulatory clarification possible, apply the principle of in dubio pro reo, which proceeds to estimate the resource and waive the penalty."

Clear as mud, but we can still use them?

21 April 2015

TomTom: Found a paddle!

As a fall back, mostly for the UK and Europe, I got Claire's TomTom XL out of the bureau. It hasn't been used for a good while but once connected to the laptop it fired up okay.

We decided to take their kind offer of £19.95 for a year's new maps and the download failed a few times as it claimed I had cancelled the download, more than once. Testing the XL gave the same result as we had a few weeks ago with the Rider, where it won't route on the unit. I fixed it (?) by deleting and reinstalling the application. We'll see!

I thought it might be the USB port on the laptop, but trying that had no effect. So I did what all good computer blokes did and I replaced the cable as well......  It well went smooth after that.


I decided to logon to my account on the laptop and see if the Rider worked.  Gulp!  It fired up and started to do the upgrade on the files since the USA maps got installed last week!  It also seems to be holding a charge as well.

Could it have been a dodgy cable after all this?

I have it on charge in the conservatory and then I can have a play and see if it is fixed.



Walking

Walking. No sitting about for months waiting for the heart to get better!

Hythe Seafront

Hythe Seafront
So tonight a short walk along the seafront. Freezing though. I'm supposed to work up to 200 yards and I did that easily but about 75 on that shingle was a bit knackering.


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20 April 2015

TomTom: Up the Swanee

After downloading the US maps from TomTom and even paying for the year's updates to bring them up to date, everything was working well.

The waypoints for the places we are staying in loaded from Tyre okay and I checked the unit would route between them.

I turned it on a few days later and nothing. Dead as the proverbial dodo.

With the power connected it cycles through the start screen and some error messages and won't connect to TomTom Home.

I've had to log a call with TomTom as there seems to be nothing to be done without assistance.

A month before we go away. Fingers crossed!!





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18 April 2015

Another FA Cup Semi-Final!!

So Arsenal have made it to record 19th FA Cup Final and of the previous 18, 11 have been won. A record currently shared with Manchester United.

As last year we were drawn against a club from the lower division and it proved to to be slightly different as we won in extra time rather than penalties like last year.

Although I won a ticket in the ballot, I had to sell it to Alex as I am only two weeks on from the heart attack and simply not fit enough to go.

So I watched on TV instead. Nerve wracking? Yes!   

Today, Sunday, was the second semi-final and that went against the odds with Aston Villa beating Liverpool 2-1.

17 April 2015

Rosie has gone

After fifteen months and hardly any mileage put on her clock, Rosie was finally sold to a new owner.



14 April 2015

Vimy?

Didn't go.  The heart attack on Easter Saturday put paid to that. I provided as much information as I could and the rest of the party went anyway and had a good day.




12 April 2015

Project Kettle

Project Kettle was endangered again!  


Having a heart attack does tend to change things about a bit.  I was planning to ride up on Dora to have a chat about the job with Chris, but being off the bike for a while might put paid to that. Maybe I can persuade Claire to drive up there in a dew weekends?


Exhaust gaskets

The collection of bits that will see her (like ships they are always female!) back on the road has continued.  A quick look around the garage revealed that the engine gasket set I had bought, a while back as a standby, had disappeared or at least been put away somewhere.  Where? I have no idea. So, I bought another set off eBay and it came from Poland;  a Vesrah set, so not too unheard of.

Despite owning her since 1983 she has never had name.

But with help from fellow Meldrew MCC mate, Norman, plans are being made to pack her up in his van, and get her up to Saffron Walden. It Is about 90 miles to the restoration garage.

Luckily, even though I was in hospital last weekend, Norman and Cal came to help Claire handover Rosie to her new owner. So I have some budget to put towards the Project.





11 April 2015

Worst of times, best of times...

That's how I felt last Saturday. Easter Saturday exactly.

There I was blissfully in the land of nod. And Reggie jumped on the bed to wake me.

I awoke with a crushing pain in my chest. I got up and went to find Claire. Then came on a cold sweat.

HEART ATTACK.

That's what I thought. The paramedic arrived quickly and then the ambulance.

By 0930 we were headed to the hospital. I was rushed into the OR, time only to sign a consent form, and then the angioplasty took place.

A single stent in one vein and by 1100 I was in the Cardiac Care Unit.

I felt immediately better. After four days I was allowed home. I have 4 weeks or so to get fit again.

A life on hold until I am back to full fitness.

Thanks to Reggie for waking me up. The paramedic and ambulance team and the entire medical staff at the William Harvey Hospital. Without all these people I most likely would not be here.

2 April 2015

Vimy Anniversary

April 9th 2015.  The 98th anniversary of the Battle of Arras on the Western Front and the anniversary of the day that forces, mostly from Canada, climbed from their trenches and battled their way up the slope to capture and hold the enemy trenches on the high ground near Vimy to the north west of Arras.

Dora and I went last year with the Laguna RAT Pack and I decided to have another visit with the Kent Centre and The Meldrews.

I have the route planned form the Shuttle calling in at the Loos battlefield and lunch in Lens before we arrive in time for a look around the visitor centre at Vimy and then walk across to the ceremony under the imposing twin towers of the Vimy Monument.

Hopefully, the weather will be good and the twelve riders and passengers coming along will have a good day out. Report to follow.

Norway - NOT!!

After several months of planning the next "adventure" for Dora, Claire and me, to Norway, the project has gone on hold.  I am hoping to revive it in May and/or June 2016.

I have the "Rough Guide", a road map plus a route or two safely stored in Tyre.

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