I will always reply to comments and always re-reply to re-replies.

Monday, January 23, 2017


I started this blog in 2006. It's been a happy ride with many new and interesting friends along the way. But time has moved on. Much of the joy was in the comments from other bloggers, who have also moved on.

All I have to say really. Thank you for your company, folks (those of you left). I may pop by from time to time.

Mike Knowles (Avus)


Lucy said...

Sad again, Mike. I've answered yours at mine, and can only repeat what I said there, but I would like to go on counting you as a friend. I can't recall if we have each other's e-mail addresses, but mine is lucy-dot-kempton-at-gmail-dot-com.

Lovely to see you at last too!

Avus said...

Your's was the spur I needed, having been thinking about it for sometime. Thanks for your email address. Mine is avus@hotmail.com. I wish you well.

Tom said...

Sorry at your departure, but Lucy has offered a means of contact. Hope you get to use it. S' long

Avus said...

Thanks Tom. I hope your's and Lucy's joint future will be happy, calm and fulfilling.

Roderick Robinson said...

That's a discouragingly clean-looking bike. Could be you even resorted to poking a Q-tip between the cylinder fins to remove that final (invisible) speck of dust. Excessive cleanliness worries me although I confess I welcomed the advent of the word-processor and - even more important - its Delete key, meaning that an MS could be sent to the printer looking utterly virginal, no crossings-out and thus no treacherous evidence as to the ill-directed thoughts that had gone into the article's creation. Tidiness is another matter, quite an obsession in fact, but not in my atelier.

Well you wouldn't want me to sign off with a mere felicitation, would you? As it happens I've just completed a lengthy re-comment to what I assume is your final Tone Deaf comment, the sentiments now no more than whistling in the wind. No matter, it represents practice in a skill which will always be unperfectable.

We were often separated by our opinions but thankfully linked by geography - a reality outside the doorstep for you, for me a series of memories centred on Folkestone (where VR was born and where her parents had always lived) and radiating out to include the Marshes and, oddly, Tenterden where on a Sunday lunchtime in a pub I saw middle-class men in tweed jackets and foulards humiliate another man, dressed similarly but less sure of his status in society. An experience which I've re-cycled more than once in my fiction.

And I'm forgetting a rather more important link; you are of course the father of HHB who flits back to Tone Deaf now and then under the strangely inappropriate sobriquet Anonymous. Well liked and always welcome.

Inter alia, I'm grateful for the comprehensive material you posted on ebikes and for your comments on the first sonnet I posted which you likened to Betjeman. And for age-related fellowship - notably concerning National Service. Amazingly, given I've always thought of myself as an anti-monarchist, I'm enjoying The Crown retrospectively available through Netflix at no cost to me. To some extent it's like a diary of both our lives, expertly and lavishly presented.

I will finish with a felicitation which may be new to you:

Yours to a cinder.


Avus said...

As usual, a long and interesting comment. Do not suppose I will be completely absent from "Tone Deaf" but, to quote one of your past phrases, " will do you the honour of bubbling up from time to time like some extinct volcano".

Do you know, yours was the blog which has kept mine going for so long - probably too long. Your influence has caused me to consider my words (and punctuation). Your comments have often caused me to sit back and consider. Sometimes acerbic, they nevertheless made a cogent point and went home. I guess you were an excellent editor in your past profession.

I liked your felicitation, which is, indeed, new to me.

So, thank you, Robbie

Roderick Robinson said...

I wonder if I was a good editor. The thing I'm most proud of is in hiring deputy editors and urging them to move on after about eighteen months (No one should make a career out of being a deputy). All bar one went to better things, one earning hundreds of thousands of dollars with a magazine in San Francisco. But too late in the day I reckoned I was in the wrong business, though where I should have gone is a mystery. The trouble is I wanted to write and writing isn't the main priority in journalism. Not that I'm grumbling or bitter, journalism was fun and it so happened that I coincidentally fell in love with logistics, the subject of my last, longest and most successful editorship. And there's been an Indian Summer whereby blogging led to my taking up fiction again, but more seriously this time. Singing too, but that came out of left field.

I fear you are far too generous about the way I treated you. One thing that didn't die out when I ceased being an editor was a tendency to meddle, to "bring people on" even when it was none of my business. Freed from the threat of industrial tribunals and of the paradox of belonging to a trade union while simultaneously having powers of hire and fire, I tinkered endlessly through cyberspace, more than once getting right up the nostrils of someone or other, often a foreigner. A form of twenty-first-century colonialism I suppose.

I was drawn to your blog initially by your blogonym. I assumed it represented someone steeped in post-war F1, perhaps to the point of obscurity. You were in fact aware of the eponymous race-track, though not that Jean Behra (killed at the Avusring) had only one ear. Luckily bikes (both types) and Kent filled the gaps and you were later able to correct me when I attributed the wrong village to The Woolsack pub.

I hope Tone Deaf maintains some kind of interest for you. You will be doing me a favour if you feel it necessary to say you detect incipient (or, for that matter, rampant) dullness. Cheers. Robbie.

gz said...

Sad to see you leaving blogging behind...but glad to know you'll be calling by occasionally

Avus said...

Good to hear from you (there ain't may of us left). I note from your blog that you are holidaying in New Zealand at present - a lovely country. If I were a younger man I would have emigrated long ago!

Zhoen said...

Another of us leaving. I shall be a lone voice howling into the empty universe. Ah, well, happy trails.

Avus said...


I am sorry, but I have felt like you for a while now, having "lost" a number of blogfriends recently and one of my "regulars", Lucy, leaving the blogosphere was the final straw. So I bit the bullet and made the decision.

The high days of blogging were the early years of this century. Other, to me inferior, digital means of communication and expression have taken over for most. But I did enjoy blogging. More "spacious" and a means to develop a theme and interact with others through their comments.

All the best.

Anonymous said...

AVE Avus.
see you soon
love Daughter x

Avus said...

So - you do still use your laptop to visit blogs, when you can be bothered to get it out instead of your "smartphone"! (he said sarcastically)

Thanks for your farewell, m'dear and looking forward to your stay in May (just right for the bluebells!)

Love Pa xx

Vita said...

Now I'm not so excited anymore that the pretty blue bike is pictured in the background on page 65 of Feb 2017 issue of the Classic MotorCycle behind a white BMW, because I just wanted to tell you.

Avus said...

I saw it! Thanks for pointing it out though. Thank you, too, for your companionship through the years since I first started this blog. You were my first respondent on my first posting.

It's been enjoyable, but most correspondents seem to have stopped blogging and I have increasingly felt that I am talking to myself, but I shall miss it.

All the best to you and HH.He to keep up the biking and you on the trombone!

Susan Palmer-Jones said...

I have only just found your site. I Googled 'Roman Cavalry shields' and there you were. Well done. Beautiful work.

Vita said...

He's giving as many as he can a ride today, starting with the B-31, and I'm still torturing ears. Love your picture and new bike. Dashing.

Pam said...

Oh, I'm sorry that you're going. Zhoen and I are going to be the only ones left soon... All the best, and do say hello to your lovely daughter when she comes. She sent me tea and biscuits (literally) and a little dish when I was sad, once. So kind!

Avus said...


Good to hear from you - I still look in from time to time in case anyone has commented. All bloggers seem to be disappearing as new, slicker ways appear, but I enjoyed the spaciousness of a blog - and the time needed to do it properly.

Susan, my daughter, arrives on May 3rd, with her husband and stays until mid June so we are really looking forward to the visit.

Keep safe

Pam said...

I meant, of course, say hello from me! not just hello in general, which I'm sure you'll do anyway. Have a lovely time with Susan.

I too enjoy the spaciousness of a blog. Sigh.