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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

KEEP RIGHT ON!


I am attaching a link to a post I made in 2011. I make no apologies for this as, in old age, it continues to inspire me - and indeed can bring tears to my eyes.

https://little-corner-of-the-earth.blogspot.com/2011/06/keep-right-on.html

Most of those bloggers who commented at the time have faded away into other more superficial social media, but a very few old faithfuls are still around. Good luck to them and long may they continue.

Monday, January 02, 2023

2023 A HOPEFUL NEW YEAR

First, I hope all readers will have a calm and contented 2023. I do know that some of you have health issues in old age, but maybe even those will find nuggets of joy for contemplation.

You will have seen from my last post that my life has had its setbacks, but I am determined to resurface and look to the future (however short that may be at age 84).


The weather has not been kind for me to exercise my motorcycle for a while but that has led me to consider my (small) stable. I still like my classic 1997 Suzuki TU250X


which will continue to be ridden as long as I can keep it upright. But I decided to discard the small Honda scooter and find a small, lightweight motorcycle to replace it as a general runaround. I have never really been a great fan of scooters, but they are a useful convenience. Their riding position is akin to squatting on a kitchen chair, legs primly ahead, knees together and with no ability to ride the bumps by taking weight on the footrests as with a motorcycle, legs apart, with some body weight on the arms - akin to astride a horse.

Honda has recently  updated their perennial Honda Cub (100 million produced since 1958 - the most amongst all road vehicles of any kind ever made in the world). Their new 125cc Super Cub seemed to fit the bill for this decrepit, ageing motorcyclist. I looked around and eventually found a 2020 example, down in Gloucester (joys of the internet) which had only done 180 miles 



The dealer offered free delivery to Kent too (no doubt included in their asking price but still....). Is it a motorcycle or a scooter? I suppose it is the former, but dressed somewhat like the latter. It has the advantage of a bike's riding position, but with a scooter's weather protection. And it only weighs a touch over 100 kgs - a great selling point for this ageing, decrepit, etc., etc.

Now we only need some decent weather for me to ride it!





Wednesday, December 21, 2022

       (Anna Dillon - The Ridgeway series)       


 HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE

I see my last post here was in April. A lot has happened in my life since then as my wife for 63 years died last May. But life goes on and Christmas is here. A verse of Joyce Grenfell's seems appropriate:

If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone
Nor if I go speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must, parting is hell.
But life goes on, so sing as well.

I had intended that this blog should close (running since 2006) since most of the others seem to have faded away. But it is something I have always enjoyed and interacting with your replies (which have likewise tended to fade away). So, "life goes on" and so will this blog.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

HOW TO LOAD A RUSSIAN TANK

 


I sincerely hope that bastard Putin's army are all so incompetent!

I also submit an idea for local councils to change the front of their dog waste bins.



Monday, April 04, 2022

PIPPA (PIPS)

 


A "Hello" from Pippa (to be known by me as Pips). I have had 6 dogs over my adult life, but my last, Roxy, sadly had to be put down last July.

For some months I was just bereft, but after Christmas the urge came on me once more to get another companion. Never can such be called a "replacement" for a previous dog who can never be  "replaceable". After much searching of rescue centres, where suitable mature small dogs were gone before I could even apply for them, I decided to consult the private "dogs for sale" adverts. Again, most were gone before I could get to them.

At last, a week ago, an advert came up to sell a 6 year old Jack Russell, which was reluctantly for sale by a mature lady who was no longer mobile and was going into a one bedroom council flat where dogs were not allowed. I rang the number immediately and was told that she had had many enquiries (I should think so as many dogs are for sale at £2000/£3000 where this one was priced at £100) but no one had yet arranged to call to see her. I said I would be there by 4.00 pm - it was now 1.00 pm and snowing heavily at that time and accordingly I made the 70 mile round trip to Tunbridge Wells.

I was met by the lady carrying a towel-wrapped dog. "I have just bathed her to show her to you at her best" she said. The animal at once wriggled free of the towel and enthusiastically attached herself to me, tail going at 20 to the dozen. "Oh, she likes you. She has never done that to a stranger before" the surprised owner gasped.

I was sold! My daughter, a confirmed "dog person" has always said, "When the right dog wants you it will find you". Well this one obviously did and has.

She is a Jack Russell terrier in body, but her head is definitely Chihuahua, with her fine skull and pricked up ears. It is an excellent combination though and makes for a good looking dog. She settled in immediately, although would not eat for the first day. No problem, as she is overweight through overfeeding and lack of execise. "I just put a bowlfull of food down for her each morning and she eats it all day when she wants it", said the owner. That will change......

She goes to the vet tomorrow for a check over, vaccination and to get her over long claws clipped (lack of walks on road surfaces).

She is a quick learner and has become my little shadow, following me everywhere - but she can be a tart at times.






Saturday, February 26, 2022

SPRING IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER

 A cold January morning, but the sun shone and a bike ride beckoned although time was at a premium.

A favourite run when only a couple of hours is available is to St. Rumwold's Church, Bonnington (a bench to rest on is usually available in churchyards). On reaching my destination I walked up the church pathway and these views convinced me that I needed to change my Blog Title from "Winter" to "Spring" (where this church is part of its scenery).



Daffodils were starting to bud and the Narcissi were in bloom on the yachtsman's grave. Note his grave "stone" is made from a single piece of oak - as is the memorial bench nearby, with this Stevenson quote engraved on it:

"Home is the sailor, home from the sea"

I always make use of it when I stop here and today a flask of whiskey laced coffee was very welcome whilst I enjoyed the utter silence of the landscape around this little Romney Marsh church.

Then home, refreshed, to get the lunch ready for my invalid wife.


Monday, September 13, 2021

CANNOT KEEP AWAY FROM THEM!

 


A few posts ago I mentioned that , after nearly 65 years of  riding "proper" motorcycles I had joined the dark side and bought a new "twist 'n go" scooter .

However all those years have so much engraved themselves on my riding that I found the scooter bored me solid. Everything worked, nothing to fettle and the ride was about as involving as a kitchen chair on wheels! So I sold it and bought this "barn find" (6 years at the back of an old garage). A 1997 "classic" with a bit of a difference. Uncommon in the UK but very popular in the USA and OZ. A Suzuki TU250x with 20,000 miles on the clock. Just surface rust on chrome, paintwork good, sounds and goes like a MOTORBIKE. And something with which to get my hands dirty again.

So I fitted a couple of new tyres (old ones cracked with age) and while the wheels were off new chain and sprockets (adding an extra tooth to the front sprocket to drop the revs a bit) and new front brake disk and pads. 

It will chug along sweetly at my preferred 50 mph around the lanes and cruise easily at a legal maximum 60 mph on country main roads with enough in hand for brisk overtakes (it's top speed would be around 80 mph). Motorways I avoid as totally boring.

Yes, that left foot gear change gives me a challenge since my stroke left me with neuropathy in left leg and foot,  but at least it is a challenge and something to practice and smooth out. That scooter felt to me like one step away from an invalid buggy. 

It's wonderful to be back! As long as I can hold it up I'll ride it.