27 September 2017

Decembeard 2017

I have signed up again.  As I still have Decembeard 2016 around my face I will need to shave it off and start bare-faced from November 30th.

So if anyone wants to contribute, this is my fundraising page.



The more sophisticated can even donoate by SMS - Text PAGD50 £5 to 70070 to sponsor me - £5 is their suggestion and it can be anywhere between £1 (boo-hiss) to £1000 (gulp!)



As Seen from the Sidecar - Round the World Blog

An ambitious project to navigate the world on a small scooter with attached sidecar. 

I will be following this and made a donation to the cause earlier today. The donation actually entitles me to ride with them through the Eurotunnel as far as Paris. The first leg of their RTW trip.Whether I'll actually do that is debatable and under discussion with Claire.  The ride is only a week after we get back from Florida.

Slavery exists and needs to be stamped out across the globe. 
It was finally outlawed in 1807 in Britain and its Empire. Yet today it exists in many forms.   

Sign up to the blog and read the entries from the organisations they are hoping to support on the trip.


The guys don't set off until October 21st. Plenty of time to catch-up and even donate.


https://asseenfromthesidecar.org/blog/




18 September 2017

Orlando City Soccer Club

I think I have become the 2017-18 season Jonah.

All the teams I have some history with are struggling.  Even the Arsenal.

But with the club of my childhood,  Oldham Athletic,  currently bottom of League 1 in England, and Zbrojovka Brno bottom of the Czech League,  it looked like my new international team in Orlando would be okay.

Sadly from being top of their MLS division they have failed to amass more than 4pts since I booked tickets and have sunk to 3rd from bottom.

Two places further to drop down the table  to match the others!!

At least Arsenal have managed to get to 12th of 20 in the Premier League.

Hopefully, Hurricane Maria withstanding,  they will rally when I am there at the end of September.

Update 30/9/2017

What can I say? Easy drive up from Kissimmee and parked in 55 West. Walked to the stadium along W Church.

Claire had a backpack.  Not allowed. Only see thru bags allowed. Luckily they give them away free outside and a  mobile phone company had a competition where she won a bigger on. Ended up decanting backpack into see thru bags. Also my big packet of Lays got confiscated.  Obviously the bag could have concealed a terrorist.
With pretzels selling for $5 for two, they don't want Lays sneaking in.

Game okay.  Pretty much at English League One level.  The fans in the Fanzone "Wall" made it more of a carnival atmosphere but with a 0-0 drawer it was never going to get the pulses running of European visitors.  At $34 each it was okay.

New Helmet - LS2 Wave

LS2 Wave

I have been looking for a light open face helmet for a while and missed out on some bargains over the summer. As the autumn sets in though, when you maybe don't want face and weather to meet, there are more bargains.

So I bought a LS2 OF561 Wave .  

It fits well and should do the trick for short rides out locally in the summer.   So it's in the wardrobe.

I chose the Titanium colour as another matt black helmet might not work!


17 September 2017

Poppy Zip Tags

Guessed at what they will call them. Look like a good idea.

Bike stuff especially could do with some of these.

The British Legion are apparently trialling them in South and West Yorkshire!

So have to wait and see if they are produced in time for the start of the Poppy Appeal next month.

I could do with a few for bike gear and hoodies.

16 September 2017

The Shard - Been. Done.

We were on the 1002 HS1 train from Folkestone West.  A coffee to sustain us on the 58 minute journey and it seemed that we were arriving.

A few minutes on the Northern Line and we were at London Bridge Station. The Shard View is signposted from in the station and we were there quickly.

Once checked in and through airline style  security we were in the first lift and whisked to the 33rd floor. Then across the hall and upto the 69 floor for the first viewing level.  Another coffee and a base at a table and chairs. Then we could take in the views. And take some pictures.

The difficulty is getting photos without too much glare from the windows.

The views are stunning over London but the weather wasn't good enough to see some of the landmarks they said you could.
From the Upper View there's not much difference except you can look up and see the top of the tower itself.

From here we decided it was lunch time. So down we went again. Two swift lifts and into the street.

We decided to head for Borough Market. Passing some pubs full of Leeds United fans. All carefully watched by police and a fair sprinkling of dogs.

The market is now gentrified. Where it would have been filled full of produce for the locals,  stuff brought in locally,   it is now more international. 

Cheese from France,  Italy and even Spain.  Olives from Greece. Plus restaurants.
We chose Maria's Market Cafe. A steak bap for Claire and a lamb one for me. Lovely. Can recommend.

We had a walk around. Only buying some goats cheese from French Comte.

And then with Reggie at home we decided to walk over London Bridge to get the Tube back to St Pancras.

We got a great view of the Shard and some other buildings. 



Once across the bridge we crossed the road. The view of the Monument is spectacular.


Then off to Bank Station to get the Tube. Our London day trip almost over.

Tower Bridge

St Paul's Cathedral

Thames Sailing Barges and HMS Belfast

Some further information:

St Paul's Cathedral - https://www.stpauls.co.uk

15 September 2017

The Shard

A while back I was sent a free train ticket by Southeastern Trains. Maybe as a reward for their poor service over many years. It covers two people on their services.

Anyway it has to be used by the end of the month and so I thought a day trip to London would be good.

Since we have had Reggie we've not been able to have a day trip anywhere without taking him. We have tailored trips to include him. London isn't one of those places. 

So we have arranged for a local dog walker to come and collect him. Gulp.

He has been for a visit for Reggie to meet him. But hopefully with us not there Reggie won't attack him. One of Reggie's problems is that he can't be allowed to be at the front door when it is answered to visitors.  If he is out back and the visitors are in the lounge he runs in and wants then to play with him. Fingers crossed.

Looking for things to do and Claire saw the Shard was open. A search for tickets revealed many ticket agencies selling discounted tickets. I chose this one: http://www.attractiontix.co.uk/tickets/the-view-from-the-shard

I booked for tomorrow.  We can see about lunch at nearby Borough Market. 

It only recently opened fully after the terrible events of June 3rd when it was one of the scenes of an Islamic terror attack.



Photos etc to follow. 

8 September 2017

MAG supports Anti-Theft Demo in London

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) in London is calling on all riders to back the movement's strong demand for action against the crime wave affecting both motorcycle riders and the general public.
Tim Fawthrop, MAG's spokesman in London, is issuing a call-to-arms over the crime wave affecting riders in the capital and beyond which has directly harmed the motorcycling community – especially in recent months.


Tim says 'I'm asking you to come and join our demonstration this Saturday, 9th September 2017, in London, to show the level of anger amongst riders regarding the continuing crime wave which has blighted biking over the last 12 months.  The ride begins at 10.30 am in Regent's Park before proceeding to Parliament Square and then heading east. The route taken will ride through some of the areas most affected by motorcycle theft and moped-enabled crime.


Tim is speaking for every rider who's been affected by the attacks and thefts.  'As anyone who follows the news will know, there were some terrible recent assaults on riders who were at work doing their delivery jobs.  The injuries to these victims are potentially life changing.  I know many riders who've been affected, and luckily a lot of the time the attempted thefts and assaults have not been successful.  But this is no way for riders to be treated in a theoretically law- abiding society. The anger is at boiling point now, and it's entirely understandable that riders want to strike back.  MAG continues to advise against vigilantism and invites all those who want to be heard to join the demo on Saturday.'


Previously, Tim has called on riders to share what they know about the criminals with police.  'The authorities can and should deal with them, but they need your information to do that.  Call the police now, and help to apply the weight of the law to these lawless and stupid thugs. Let's show a united front against bike crime, by turning out en-masse on Saturday.'


Ends. 

3 September 2017

Sloe Gin 2017

After a remarkable 11 years since we last put gin to sloe, Claire took over this time and started a new batch.

This time we are without the luxury of Gilbey's finest gin and have once again delved into Aldi and their oddly named Oliver Cromwell Gin.  I am not all that sure the Puritan would have been a great drinker, but it seems whilst they liked a pure life, the odd spot of booze was acceptable.

There is some debate on whether the berries are sloes or actually damsons.

I had a look back through the blog to see when we last made some, and the following link was the result: https://invictamoto.blogspot.co.uk/2006/09/sloe-sloe-quick-quick-sloe.html

In the cupboard we still have a few bottles.  
Nearly 3/4 of the Gilbey's, and about half a bottle of  a 2008 brew that was given to me by Chris Spencer, a former colleague at Islington.

We even have a little of Claire's Dad's version from 2006!  

And how does it taste?  It has aged pretty well. Of the three I think the 07 is the best. It is quite amazing but you would never know they were basically gin with added sloes!  They all taste like sherry! 



A glass of the Gilbey's and some olives

Folkestone Triennial

Every three years Folkestone has the arts festival known as the Triennial.

Artists from across Europe and the UK create works that are displayed around the town.

Here are a few of the works.


2 September 2017

Up for the Cup

The FA Cup. The oldest football cup competition in the world.

The smaller clubs began playing early in August and today in the third round of games called the First Qualifying Round my local club, Folkestone Invicta, began their attempt to reach the First Round Proper.

It's this round where the Football League clubs from the third and fourth tiers on the pyramid come into play.

Invicta are in the 7th tier.

The opponents today were Greenwich Borough from the division in the Isthmian League, currently named after the sponsors Bostik.

Plenty of huff and puff.  A mistake ked to the visitors going ahead after only 8 minutes. Invicta pulled level just before half time but were generally the better side but 1-1 was about right.

Into the second half it was more of the same but surprisingly it was Borough that scored first.

Invicta pressed and pressed and a late and clumsy tackle saw the visitors reduced to ten men with a red card for a second yellow card.

It wasn't long before Invicta drew level.  A fierce shot into the bottom corner.

With some time wasting angering the home fans the game came to a head.  A few skirmishes. What we call "handbags".

The pressure continued and after a long break for an injury to the Borough left back saw them reduced to 9 men.

The last few minutes saw them fighting a rearguard action until a corner and Invicta scored a third to win the game, 3-2.

A superb game for home fans and neutrals. For a tenner it was great entertainment.

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