27 February 2019


Tonight.  What was once a "banker" or should be. See what team Unai "Dick" Emery puts out tonight.  Hopefully at least one of the creative players!!!

And he did. Mesut Özil lined up. Arsenal took the bull by the horns. Completely on top most of the game but one error led to Bournemouth's goal.

But it finished.

The Arsenal by far the better team for all but 2 minutes of the game when some complacent play resulted in Bournemouth getting their goal, making it 2-1.

26 February 2019

MAG @ Young Rider Focus

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is participating in a one-day event for road safety professionals to consider ways to reduce collisions and casualties among young, less experienced bikers.

The event, organised by Road Safety GB, will take place on Wednesday, 6th March, 2019 at the Aston Villa football grounds in Birmingham. Lembit Öpik, MAG's Director of Communications & Public Affairs, and Colin Brown, MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, will both be contributing to the event.

Sessions will cover the extent of the safety issue regarding younger riders, the primary causes of motorcycle crashes, the business case for motorcycling, training, commuting, engagement with younger riders and the approach being taken by the industry and Highways England towards the issues.

'MAG recognises this important initiative as one that we should be involved with,' says Lembit. 'MAG activists and riders in general would find it interesting – and your contribution would be really appreciated in helping to formulate next steps from the sessions. I hope you'll be able to attend.'

You'll find more details at: http://youngriderfocus.org.uk

For more information about the event and to register, contact Sally Bartrum on 01379 650112.  Reduced rate of £125 + VAT for MAG members.

23 February 2019

New sofas

A bit off my usual post. Sofas.

The old ones were getting a bit tatty and although only 18 years old they needed to go. Since we had Reggie both have been covered with throws but both finally had to go.

These are the new ones.

Both already covered with throws to save them from Reggie hair!
Update 25/2/19

He is already comfortable.

19 February 2019

More Archive Pix

Some photos from the past. All of them taken in the 1990's at Czech SOC "Invader Rally" events.

The first is my DR800SL in May 1992. I had been made redundant in December 1991 but to get our payoffs we had to stay until then. I trained to Teach English as a Foreign Language to Adults (CTEFLA) and was looking for jobs. The Czech Republic was a good choice. 

I went to the Invader Rally in Chudčice near Brno. Taking the overnight ferry from Felixstowe to Zeebrugge I rode non-stop on rhe A4 route via Dresden and Prague. When I say nonstop that included petrol stops. When I got to Pod Horkou I could barely get off the bike. 

All the photos are taken from the galleries of the Czech Centre SOC.

We move forward to 1998. A group of us went together. I was on a relatively new to me GSXR750. 

I hadn't had it long and had traded my 90000 mile Yamaha XJ900F for it. I had been working at SIMS in Bedford and wanted something newer. By May 1998 I had moved to my current employment in Islington. The ride into London was a strain on my wrists. 

The bike was superb on the open road, but in town it was simply the wrong bike for commuting.

Not long after I got back it went in part exchange for the TDM850.

MAG asks for clarification on Sadiq's "Scrap for Cash" scheme

In a flurry of Valentine's Day media, Sadiq Khan announced that he plans to double his "Scrap for Cash" polluting vehicle fund, stating that the "£48 million combined scheme will help scrap older vans for the capital's micro-business owners and help low-income Londoners scrap older cars".  MAG asks "Will the Mayor extend the love by confirming that the fund will also assist the owners of older motorcycles?"

The announcement was formally made at the National Clean Air Summit, organised in partnership with UK100 and Unicef UK, where attendees discussed their concerns directly with the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, and the Health Secretary, Matthew Hancock. The proposed new £25m fund will be included in the Mayor's Final Budget, due to be presented at a meeting of the London Assembly on February 25th.

MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, commented:  "It is, of course, admirable that the Mayor is making efforts to ease the financial burden of his Ultra Low Emission Zone on those least able to afford newer vehicles, but there must be a clear and immediate message to confirm that the owners of older motorcycles that he proposes to charge will not be forgotten or excluded when the money is handed out.  Many riders may well have already incurred the cost of scrapping their older machines; will they be able to claim the money retrospectively?  Indeed, how soon will the money reach those that  qualify, with only a matter of weeks to go until the £12.50 per day charge is to be introduced? Will the grant money just end up paying off the loans taken out to pay the ULEZ charge in the first weeks and months of the scheme?"

Colin went on to say "Maybe there is a chance that Sadiq is just playing with us because he intends to take the sensible approach of exempting all motorcycles but, if he doesn't do that, then excluding riders from eligibility for the fund would be a clear case of discrimination"

17 February 2019

Dainese Scout Evo GTX

Yes. They are pre-shaped.

It's not that I have deformed arms and have bent them into that shape. Looking back through the blog I was surprised to see that I had bought them back in November 2017!

Worn for the first time for a whole ride today. They are the most expensive gloves I have ever bought and they were warm and very comfortable.

Until today they have been either in the cupboard with my other gear or In the pannier "just in case".

Had it rained; I am sure the Goretex liner would have ensured dry hands.

Updates to follow.

posted from Bloggeroid

14 February 2019

Flexiday Walk

Although having a day off work today I was up reasonably early to let Reggie out.

They were shooting on the Ranges over the coast road and driving Reggie mad.

Once off. First stop McDonalds for a sausage and egg mcmuffin. Once before they put the second patty in a box rather than on the bun for Reggie. No luck this time.

I drove and parked by The Grand on the Leas and we had breakfast. McMuffin for me and the extra sausage patty for Reggie.

Once finished we had a walk along The Leas towards the bandstand before he turned around and decided he'd had enough.

Walk over.

Mundane shopping for bird feeders and a visit to Pets at Home for Reggie to browse their latest wares.

13 February 2019

Whatever happens this year you have to hand it to Vale!

Whatever happens this year you have to hand it to Vale!

(If anyone knows who took the photo I'd like to credit them. I saw it on the internet and it wasn't credited)

10 February 2019


A really superb second half performance from Latics. 

Both teams quite poor in the first forty-five with passing to a team mate at a premium.

Well worth the 160 mile round trip from home to Crawley via my brother's place.

8 February 2019

Illegal Eagles @ Folkestone

Superb again. The Illegal Eagles - six piece tribute band don't try and look like The Eagles but the sound. 

Wow. Close your eyes and it could be the real thing from those far off days of the 70's and 80's.

7 February 2019

Book Review: Lone Rider by Elspeth Beard

Lone Rider: The First British Woman to Motorcycle Around the WorldLone Rider: The First British Woman to Motorcycle Around the World by Elspeth Beard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Not just a travelogue but an emotive story of travel and the hardships and feelings. Another review said that with all the hassles it doesn't seem enjoyable. I guess not every experience that shapes a life is going to be enjoyable.

Very sad at the end with Robert and how that ended. I guess as she couldn't commit to him that he simply took that decision to let her go.

The lack of interest in her trip is quite appalling from the motorcycling press.

But I guess we all do it. As soon as the holiday photo album comes out, then the dread starts..... it seems that was par for the course for her parents though. Friends? After a while the tedium of your own life means that you don't want to listen to the excited tales of the travellers after they come back.

Having had to sit through a photo show of a friend that went to India and Nepal "to find herself". Between scenic photos we all had the commentary of how ill she was and how she could only keep down the packets of Quavers she took with her in her luggage....

6 February 2019

Frank Thomas Jacket

Today "Ride", a magazine I used to subscribe to, posted on their Facebook page about jackets. Asking us for opinions.

I estimate that this jacket has easily done 50000 miles plus. And all for £99.99 less 20% discount... Ten and a half years later. Still waterproof.

I have to chuckle when a guy says his £825 Rukka Armaxis was superb for four years.

No Ozzy


Next Monday's Ozzy Osbourne concert at the O2 has been cancelled as Mr Osbourne has been taken sick. 

As yet there are no details on ticket refunds or re-arranged dates.

5 February 2019

New Spectacles!

Why do I need a new pair when I have a perfectly serviceable pair of Oakley's?  The reason is that I like to have what I call "car specs" - a pair in the car so that I always have a pair to hand, and also as backup when I go on holiday.

I already have a £10 sunglasses pair in the car and decided to match them with a pair of clear ones. Clear are £6.  Cheap.  

With holidays coming up they are useful in the luggage "just in case".  A few years ago I did manage to sit on the only pair I had with me!

So I went to Selectspecs again.  Now I have to wait for the post.

3 February 2019

A Quarter Dollar

Whoever stiffed me today with a quarter in my change,  thanks.

The US 25c coin is similar in size to a UK 10p. 
But at today's exchange rate worth 19p.
Now that is a fantastic return on investment!!!

2 February 2019

Folkestone walkabout

A walkabout today just me and Reggie. Along the Leas and into St Mary and St Eanswythe's churchyard. Claire was at Specsavers to get her glasses repaired and maybe get a new pair!  Reggie not too good in crowds, especially when people walk to close and almost knee him in the face!  

There are so many old gravestones in there that now are indecipherable that unless the church has records who knows who is buried where. They are hundreds of years in the ground.

On the way back we stopped to look at the sea and the beach by the Lower Leas and the memorial arch.

1 February 2019


Tickets arrived...

Sleeping dog on sofa

This will have to stop with the new sofas!!

New sofas

The current ones are needing replacing and so on a visit to John Lewis we bought two new ones.

This one times two!

The next job is to try and stop Reggie from sleeping on them all day and all night rather than in his bed.  I expect we'll get to see them like this for a few minutes before they are swathed in throws and anti-dog hair (and mud)  covers...



Snow was forecast for our area last night with it causing disruption to traffic and transport in general.

In the end it snowed briefly in Hythe for a few hours and by about 2am it was raining and continued right up to my leaving for work at 7.30am. Even heavy as I drove to the station. There was a little at the station but as Hythe is a few feet above sea level there is an altitude difference.

Folkestone West Station parking

Folkestone West Station

On the way in on the higher ground on the downs there was more but not really enough for the train companies to plan and run reduced services to and from London.

Of course everyone of a certain age harks back to the winters we used to have in the 1950's and 1960's.  (See pix below).  In UK winters have become milder and we do have snow, but not on the same scale.

Those harking back (to the good old days?)  talk of walking waist deep to school and to work.  Here in the south of England things were never as bad.

Until November 1965 I lived in Chadderton near Oldham in Lancashire. A small town of dark satanic mills and modern council estates on the edge of the Pennines. it snowed.  Kids loved it.

In the infamous winter of 1962/63 I attended St Matthews school.  It was a bus ride away.  And here is my tale.

The No6 bus was our usual mode of transport. The bus conductor was a black guy called Charlie. In those days there were very few black people in the area. Charlie was great with kids. Taking them onboard and making sure they got off at the right place for school and on the way home. The snow was deep but the buses still ran mostly to time.

The school was full of wet gear and wellies but we had dry shoes to change into. I was 7 years old.

At morning break we were supposed to stay in school as the playground was about four feet deep in snow.  As it was sunken about ten feet below ground level at the front bordering the road, there was a concrete slope from about five feet off the ground (five feet remember that)  to just above ground level and then an iron railing fence.... Kids used to climb up and then use the railings as a climbing frame.

In winter it was slippery.  One kid decided to do it anyway. I forget his name now, About halfway along. Some five or six yards from the entry gate and steps down, he slipped and slid down the slope into the deep snow. How we laughed and cheered.  From the small area of cleared playground we couldn't see where he had gone.  When he didn't appear after about ten minutes someone went to get a teacher.

We all still thought it was great fun as the caretaker appeared and began to dig through the deep snow; about ten yards of the waist deep partly frozen white stuff. We stopped laughing as he carried the unconscious and very blue looking kid out of the snow.  An ambulance arrived and took him away.

It turned out that as he fell he banged his head on the concrete and was unconscious. If he had been there much longer he may have died.

Since then I have had a very great respect for ice and snow and what it can do.

Some links to 1962/63

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