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Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I continue to make good progress after my stroke some 8 months ago, but have needed to make a few changes to my vehicles. A shame, but necessary.

Before the stroke I ran a rather nice SAAB 9-5 estate car 

however it had a manual gearbox and was a large and heavy beast (as well as fairly expensive to run).Also  I was not using it much since my second retirement, relying on my wife's small Kia Picanto, with her reluctant forbearance.

As my left leg is still weak as a result of the stroke I decided to look for a smaller automatic with a high driver's seat for ease of access. I wanted something where the back was adaptable into a "van" so that I could carry my e-bike to ride at places more distant from home. The result is as ugly as sin but meets all my parameters, the back seats collapse right into the floor with the advantage that, even with the seats up, with their centre part removed, you can just slot a bike down the middle between them (after removing the bike's pedals) and it simply stands there with no securing needed.

(for illustration only - mine's green!)

 A low mileage automatic Toyota Yaris Verso - not made since 2005 but sadly mourned by the cognoscenti ( and cheap too - a mere £2000):

It is an old man's car in my book, - my wife calls it the "Popemobile"!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Roderick Robinson recently queried if the verse on my blog head accurately reflected my philosophy for life.
When I started the blog back in 2006 I cast around for what to call it. I reside in Kent, the right bottom corner of the UK which juts closest to Europe. Indeed the word "Kent" descends from ancient Celtic meaning "corner" or "angle". I live in Ashford, very close to my happy hunting ground of Romney Marsh - itself a jutting corner of the larger corner. Hence "Little Corner of the Earth".

That title rang a bell which reminded me of a verse from Richard le Gallienne's rendering of the Rubaiyat of  Omar Khayyam (less well known than the Fitzgerald version, but I prefer it). What more natural than to use that verse in the blog head.

So the last two lines of the verse had immediate appeal and meaning for my philosophy. Then, a few years later, I eventually stopped even part-time work and the first two lines became even more meaningful as I left the hurly burly and rush of the big world and had time for more reflection.

The verse was originally intended as a link to the blog title but, yes, it now does equate to my philosophy for life .
Lost to a world in which I crave no part
I sit alone and listen to my heart,
Pleased with my little corner of the earth,
Glad that I came - not sorry to depart