Tag Archives: #28daysofwriting

100 key breakthroughs



One of the perks of being a guest is being exposed to new books on your host’s bookshelves. With clean hands, obviously. Respectfully, without bending spines or turning down corners.

In the house I’m staying in before flying to Spain (for work!) I found this book, which has told me three new things in the first three chapters, including that our 60-second minute and 60-minute hour is thanks to the ancient civilisation of Babylon. Yes, the one that ISIS are destroying. And we know this thanks to cuneiform clay tablets. Yes, the ones that US troops stood by and allowed looters to destroy.

But that wasn’t my point.

My friend is a big fan of reading on a Kindle. But if all books will go onto Kindles instead of shelves, how will I pick them up in an idle moment and learn new things?

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A Twitter friend stopped by yesterday

He was dropping off his late father’s workbench and vice for my workshop.

There are days when I wish I had lots of money and could buy all the equipment on my wish list. But new tools are not as good as cherished old tools with love behind them. I promise that these will continue to give good service, and I’m very lucky to have them.

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Filed under Garage stuff

Happy St Piran’s Day

Today is World Book Day, but I’m sure I’ve blogged about that before. It’s also St Piran’s Day, which gives me an excuse to mention the Round Britain Rally.

St Piran’s Cross was one of the landmarks in my early days of rallying. I first did the RBR in 2003, well before Sat-Nav. Some of the clues would be labelled ‘Short Walk.’ This is a short walk like that enjoyed by Eric Newby in the Hindu Kush.

Perran Sands on a sunny August day is not a great place to be roaming in full bike kit, carrying a lid, a tankbag, an RBR board and a camera. Oh, and a map. Did I mention this was before Sat Nav? My map reading skills are not very good and a helpful dogwalker took pity on me. I wasn’t the first biker he’d found wandering among the dunes.

Which is why this story made me laugh. I am quite sure the biker must have been looking for one of the more elusive landmarks and cursing Dave the D gently under his breath.

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Happy Monday

imageThrough the window it looked like a beautiful morning – blue skies and sunshine – though a quick dog-walk added a biting wind to the mix. Still, if it looks warm, that’s nearly enough reason to take the bike to work for the first time this year.

In fact it’s three whole months since I’ve ridden more than the distance from the end of the trailer up into the garage. A quarter of a year without riding? And I dare call myself a biker.

Now that unpacking has made decent progress I know where my winter trousers, gloves and lid are. That was good. But my garage seems to be a place where batteries die. The Lomax would barely turn over at the weekend, and now the bike was struggling hugely. She’s always been a bad starter but this is a whole new level. Something might have shaken loose on her travels, or maybe I need to face reality and buy a new battery.

And of course the day I go in on the bike is the day I find my missing box of stuff in the cupboard at work! Please welcome – the kitchen knife! The no-longer needed Vodafone SureSignal! And …the Foot Pump! Hallelujah.

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Lomaxversary ahoy!


Failed at the first hurdle! I will pretend this is yesterday”s post just held up in the ether. but now I’ve told you and my cover is blown. Curses.

it is almost a year since I bought the Lomax, which means only one thing – insurance time. A slightly worrying text from my current insurer advised me that my horsebox insurance was about to run out. I know it’s slow and I transport livestock in it, but even so!

So Sunday night I compiled my list of Insurers of Unusual Cars, filled in a couple of call-me-back boxes, and Monday morning I left my phone at home.

I got an email that said “we have been unable to reach you by telephone, please call us.” And when I picked up my phone at lunchtime, it turned out to be true. Honest and helpful – surely a prince among insurance companies!

They have a standard geographic number, not an 0800 one, so when they put you on hold it’s not to make money. They only paused slightly when I asked if they could cover me for business use. And it all came in 40 quid cheaper than last year’s quote.

So£, full of win, I came home and scraped all the paint off Hortense’s front wing on the corner of the house. Just to restore the cosmic balance, you understand.

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Filed under Lomax, RescueDog

I wore my 44 so long

I have dropped out of the habit of blogging and a pedlar of mystic herbal cures has moved into my vacated URL at Blogger. It could have been worse. I hope that people who search for a blog about motorcycles and three-legged dogs realise that isn’t me – but because I am not posting, I am slipping down the ranks of Popular Search Engines.

This is the rather selfish motive for joining in with #28daysofwriting.

There are other reasons. I had huge fun with my challenge to post every day about my Australian adventure, but that was three years ago and those laurels are getting rather crumpled.  I have moved house and changed jobs, and these things have bumped writing out of my routine.

For three months I was technically homeless. I had places to stay. Some were scary, some had wheels, some were lovely. But it takes an immense amount of psychic energy to remain positive in the face of living out of a suitcase and borrowing other peoples’ washing machines. I was very lucky, I knew that there was a new home in my very near future and all I had to do was hang on. I have learnt humility. I have been guilty of being one of those people who wonder why ‘the poor’ can’t cook healthy and cheap meals. Now I know. In a shared kitchen other people help themselves to the plates you have washed up *while you are standing in the kitchen about to serve up onto them.* Of course you can’t lovingly slow-cook a cheap joint of meat and create a variety of healthy broths and stews.  The Chinese postgrad in the conservatory will come out and nab it off your serving spoon.  Or the cat will be sick into it.

I am home now. The house and I are getting to know each other. Shakey is mapping out the neighbourhood in ever-increasing circles when we go on our twice-daily walks.   The Lomax needs a new battery and to have the plaster dust washed off, but once that is done we should be ready for adventure. Which will give me more to write about than self-pity and stress.

Here’s to March!

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Filed under Lomax, spring