Friday, July 5, 2013

THE PROJECT


 The Project

 July 2011 was the first time I rode a motorbike with a sidecar, and I haven't looked back since, other than in the rear view mirrors. I have fallen so much for the sidecar that in May 2013 I sold the Bonneville and dedicated my riding experience to the sidecar rig. Yes, it's that good.

On the ride back from Tamworth in 2011 I spent nine days riding and staying in motels. Even though I was able to carry a lot of gear, after a six hundred kilometre ride each day all I wanted was a hot shower, a meal, and a bed, not to have to set up a tent or swag.

In June 2012 I went on a long ride around Western Australia's wildflower region for two weeks.   At first my packing included tent, sleeping bag and cooking gear, and the intention was to do the whole trip on the cheap. But after packing it all in the sidecar I stood back and had a bit of a think; why am I doing this the hard way.   The rig was not set up for convenient camping in that packing gear in and getting it out of the sidecar was quite a task.  So the tent, sleeping bag and other stuff went back in the house and I booked into hotels/motels wherever I ended up at the end of each day or leg of the trip.

Cue to a year later in the timeline as I was riding along in dream land (with my full attention on the road, of course) and a thought came to me; Why was I paying for hotels when I could just as easily have a camper sidecar. And so it was that I set about designing one.

Many pages of scrap paper later, I realised that the best way to convey what I wanted to the guys who would be making it was to make a template out of wood. In March 2013 I was forced to take a couple of weeks off work and so, while ill in bed (honest), I took a couple of days to paste and screw together "the box". In early April I took the box to work and explained what I wanted, and emphasized that this would be a work in progress; that there were no design constraints other than the sizes and anything else that I made up along the way. I also reassured them that I would not be making too many changes away from my original discussions unless it was to implement obvious improvements. All suggestions were welcome, but not necessarily acted on if determined counter to what I was trying to achieve. About eighty percent of this worked.

The end date was originally left open, with a target for six weeks completion. This would fit with my scheduled holidays at the end of May, at which time I planned to have the house and pets cared for and take a three week tour out through the gold fields. The best laid......

While the work wasn't completed in time for my holiday, it did finally arrive last week and I am now in the process of setting everything up to go camping....next holiday.







Monday, April 15, 2013

Don't stand still for time

Last night on SBS there was an interesting program about the cosmos.  They were discussing at length the Einstein theory about time NOT moving at the same pace for everyone and all places.

One interesting point was that the faster you travel, the slower time passes.  Based on this theory, I am much younger than I look because I have sped at every opportunity. 

The moral of this story is, quite obviously, don't stand still for time, go like a bat out of hell and you will live longer, younger, and have a heck of a lot of fun while doing it.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The End .... or?

21 December 2012 has come and gone, and I am still here.  Contrary to the belief that 21 December was the end, because the Mayan calendar said so, it may well have been that the Mayans could not conceive of a time that far ahead.

Heck, who of us can't relate to that.  I can't conceive of a time beyond my next pay day.  Which I know is very short sighted, but when you realise that I can't remember beyond yesterday, then next pay day, which could be two weeks away, is an eternity.

So, if anyone else has survived and wants to tell the tale, write a book.  Like they say on SBS, "6 Billion Stories and Counting."  Add yours to it.

Other than that, my next hurdle is surviving this insufferable summer heat and humidity.  So leave me alone; you're taking up valuable energy that my air conditioner could be using.

Monday, November 19, 2012

15-11-51

15-11-51, say it backward or frontward, it still comes out as the day my sister, Bev, was born.  15th of November, 1951.

Thursday of last week would have been Bev's 62nd birthday.  If she had made it that far.  She didn't.

This Saturday gone a small group of immediate family gathered on the bank of a small part of the Collie River East Branch and spread Bev's ashes in Pop's Pool.  Just over six months since Bev passed away.  The ceremony held Saturday was to say farewell to Bev, and to allow us all the opportunity to move on.  Or, in the words most people use, to "have some closure" after Bev's passing.

Bev was a force unto herself.  She was full of energy, full of laughter, full of knowledge, and on most occasions full of shit if she thought she could get away with it.  She loved the funny side, the dark side of life; that humerous side that political correctness wouldn't let us touch for so long.  But with Bev, there was always a way to find a laugh in the worst of life.

And that's how we spent the last months together.......

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Where I went #02

Each day on the road was an adventure. The day I travelled from Dowerin to Mingenew a storm blew across WA, and across me. Adventurous. The day I went to Coalseam Park was the first time I had ridden a distance on gravel roads. Demanding. And the day I road into Mullewa with its (what appeared to be) riot torn main street, chilling.

But the ride into New Norcia on Saturday, August 25 was absolutely awe-inspiring. Undoubtedly like many travellers, I have many times passed through New Norcia on my way to somewhere else. In my wildest dreams I never imagined buildings of such architectural beauty, such majesty, existed in Western Australia.

Two nights at the New Norcia Hotel were not enough. The hotel is very "old world" in its charm, the food was delicious and plentiful, wine and ale to fill the mood, and the service was amazingly efficient and friendly. But wait...there's more.

An extra two nights at the monastery guest house rounded off my holiday with a relaxing couple of nights of good companionship around the table, and equally good food and accommodation as had been enjoyed at the hotel. Into the mix was added a shared moment with the nine monks at evening prayers on the Monday, followed by an invitation to share dinner with them as a guest, a privilege only available to men at this stage. Next time I will go with friends, share the ambience, the food, and the experience.







New Norcia, well worth the visit. Though in the history of New Norcia we must include reference to the hardships experienced by some of the "guests" of the nuns when the schools/orphanages were still in operation. One can only hope that the benefits of a good education outweighed the difficulties they endured.

Where I went #01



OK, so I didn't post updates while I was away. But at least let me play catch-up. Week one started with a run to Perth on the Friday, a couple of nights with family and friends, out to Northam (ditto), then the real holiday began. On the way to Northam I called in at the Mundaring Weir and this caught my eye. I know; it's a chimney. But check out the height of it and the tree next to it... Now that tree was big. So the chimney is a whopper.





Day 1, Northam - Cunderdin - Dowerin


Anyone going through Cunderdin, don't only look at the odd pub...

The savvy traveller should also take the time to view the museum. Lots to see, and well presented. They even have an earthquake simulator to show what it was like in the Meckering earthquake of October 1968. It sure put the frighteners into me.



Days 2 & 3, Dowerin - Mingenew

With a couple of days at Mingenew, I decided to ride out to the Coalseam Park and view the wildflowers. Although still a bit early in the season, there was plenty to see and photograph. Which I did. Only to find on my return to Mingenew that I had the camera set to take black and white images.

Back in the day when B&W was the only ready option, we could show a photo and tell people about the colours we had seen. Their imagination did the rest. This time, I won't even show the photos. Just use your imagination. Think flowers!



Days 4 & 5, Mingenew - Dongara - Geraldton - Mullewa

Throughout this ride I didn't take many photos until I arrived in Mullewa. Geraldton was more a relatives visiting stage, Dongara was just a place along the way. I did stop and spend a leisurely hour or so at the Geraldton museum, though. WHile it might sound like I have a fascination with old stuff, it is very nice museum, with very informative displays. Take a walk through and read the story of the HMAS Sydney II, right up to its discovery in March 2008.

.........

Next post, New Norcia

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Time seemed to slow down for the three weeks I was on holiday. Totally the opposite of what usually happens. Part of this was, I believe, the fact that I was mentally set up to have a completely relaxing time, no pressures, no expectations of what should be, or what I should achieve each day. I was seriously in cruise mode. The upshot of that is that there were none of the promised updates along the way. Well hey, what can I say?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Three more days and I will be back in the saddle, riding to anywhere, Western Australia. I have two weeks, a bike that is a pleasure to ride, and no place particular to go. Riding, stopping, reading, eating, sleeping, looking around. Two weeks of it. Eat yer hearts out. Stick around for updates.....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

2011 August Ride Home

Click on the link to look at a few images and comments of the ride home from Tamworth.

<< The Capelwood Ride - Tamworth To Home >>

The ride was fantastic, and the bike exceeded all expectations. What expectations? With a four year old bike with 60,000Km on the clock, I half expected something, anything at all, to go wrong along the way. But nothing did. Add to that the sheer pleasure the bike is to ride, and the way it handled on the roads, and it was truly a ride to remember.

2011 July 27, Kentucky – Land of the Urals

No, that is not where they are made, but they are brought into Australia to a chap who lives and works out of a small village called Kentucky. About twelve of us assembled and rode out the Sydney main road at 9:00am and took a reasonable pace for a half way rest at the Walcha Road Hotel; a quiet, out of the way pub on an intersection somewhere up there in the hills.

The scenery was beautiful, with rolling hills on both sides, and the traffic was nothing too drastic. But after our half way stop the road took us through ever more winding roads, lots of those left handers that I have trouble with still on the sidecar outfit, and even through a bit of water running over the road. But I handled it well and soon enough we were in Kentucky.

Wayne must have been excited as all get-out as he rode Vic’s sidecar to Kentucky. He had arranged for John (the Ural man) to meet us at the Kentucky store, so we all stopped for a brew while the deal and handover were finalized. I got a photo of the official handshake, but not even a photograph could describe the sheer look of pleasure on Wayne’s face. You’ve heard the phrase “Like a little boy in a toy store”? Well, it might not be the right turn of phrase, but that’s about what Wayne’s look said. Only this time the little boy was going home with the toy as his own.

The ride back was pleasant as well, with a slight lessening of numbers down to just the three sidecar rigs and one motorbike. We came back into Tamworth through the Moonbi Pass, a scenic route into the north of Tamworth. After which it has been a wind down sort of day. I have prepped the sidecar ready to pack and be off tomorrow, and tonight I am invited to tea with the Witchards. It will be a final farewell, and I must thank them for the hospitality and the fun that we have had.

2011 July 26, Historically Speaking

I believe I can say this next bit because it's highly unlikely that any New South Walesians are every going to read this (LOL). Or if they do, I can hide behind the element of truth that runs through my comments.

New South Wales is nothing if not historic. The entire state prides itself on its sense of history, its ability to uphold its level of commitment to maintaining historical sites in the manner to which, well to which history has relegated them.
And tradition is also important to New South Walesians. Aah yes, tradition. That ability to continue to celebrate and yada yada re tradition. Here's the Wiki definition of "tradition":

A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past.

So, we agree that New South Wales is steeped in history and tradition. Even forty years ago I was made aware of this particular piece of history and tradition, and was intrigued to see how diligently the people, the government of this state work to keeping the standards high.

Historically, NSW has had the worst roads in Australia. The state upholds the tradition of keeping their roads in such a state that they still, and possibly always will, have the worst roads in Australia.

Well done New South Wales. Keep it up. If you want a great example of the quality of your roads, drive through Tamworth onto the main road going to Manilla. It has to be one of the most singularly successful attempts at anything, and one dedicated to keeping your state unbelievably untravellable in any style of comfort, unless traveling by air, or perhaps horse on a dirt track, which would be better.

2011 July 23, Tamworth

Yesterday I was picked up at the Tamworth Airport by the gentleman that is selling me the bike; Wayne Witchard. Wayne and wife Barbara picked me up and took me back to their house where, first of all, I was shown the bike. Wayne had actually been concerned that I would not be as pleased as punch when I eventually saw the bike. But I was. It is a very nice piece of equipment, well kept, even though well ridden.

As I had shopping to do, and Wayne had to work in the afternoon, I enjoyed a bite to eat then booked in to my accommodations at the Paradise Caravan Park. Later in the afternoon I went to the Powerhouse Motorbike Museum, where Wayne assists as part time curator.

I will post some pics later.

Today I rode the bike. It is very different to a solo, and I will be somewhat uncertain for a while. But after lunch I dropped Wayne back at his house then went for a ride by myself. It was great. I will write more later as the trip continues. Meanwhile I will get in some practice, practice, practice.

2011 July 22, Sydney Airport - On my Way

Here I sit in the waiting lounge at Sydney airport for the Tamworth plane to arrive. It's late, and the flight has been delayed half an hour. That's not bad considering the train yesterday was spot on, the plane last night arrived nearly on time, and the weather is really bad.

So the adventure has begun. I will meet Wayne and see the bike by lunch time, I think. But whenever it happens I will revel in the excitement of the moment.

More as the story unfolds. Right now I am very tired.

2011 July 19, The Long Ride Home

Here I was thinking that a 300Km ride in a day was long, but here I am on my way to Tamworth in two days planning to ride the 4,000Km back to Bunbury over nine days. That's an average of 500Km per day - on a motorcycle and sidecar outfit that I have no experience whatsoever in riding.

I have to be thankful, though, that I will not be riding the Bonneville, which has a very unforgiving seat and suspension.

And the ride will go so much faster and so much better because, very importantly, the bike half red and it looks great...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Places I've Lived

Recently as I was wandering around inside GoogleMap I happened across an area in which I had once lived.  This got me thinking about the addresses of all the places I have lived, so I worked the grey matter to see if I could remember them.  Here's a rundown as best as I can get.

1954 ~ 1960

  • 17 Baird Street, Collie.

This was a housing commission house in Wilson Park, also known as White City.  I'm not sure what the name referred to, but I'm quite sure it wasn't complimentary.

In 1992 I was visiting Collie when a family friend told me that my Grandmother's house was on the market.  I contacted the real estate agent and, after looking at the house, it came to light that the house at 17 Baird Street was also on the market, so he took me round for a look-see.

Perhaps the "White City" referred to a city of white ants, because the  house was truly infested and close to collapse in some areas.  But so much of my first years came flooding back as I walked through the rooms, and out onto the back veranda where the housing commission built an extension while we were there.

And right outside the back door was the porch where my father sat me on the high chair and cut my hair with hand clippers.  The thought of going to a barber terrified me long after.

The white ants won, and the house was pushed over in the late 1990's.

1960 ~ 1972

  • 37 Brighton Street, Cottesloe

Wow!  Who would have thought in 1960 when we moved to Cottesloe that it would be the upmarket, expensive area that it has become.  Unfortunately, the house here has also gone, and made way for a brick and tile house.  But the peppermint trees out the front, which were just small twigs when we moved in, have become quite beautiful landmarks today.

1972 ~ 1973

  • Railways Quarters, Esperance Railway Yard

After leaving home I lived in the single men's quarters for about nine months.  Bare basics, but adequate, the rom was only about ten metres from the railway line, and the train would arrive at 1:00am daily, followed by about two hours of shunting the wagons into the goods shed.  After a few weeks I became used to it, or perhaps I was just so tired that I could sleep through anything.

1973 ~ 1974

  • Kapooka Recruit Training - Wagga Wagga
  • Watsonia Signals Training - Watsonia, Melbourne

2-8 Alexander Ave, Thomastown, Victoria
Moving around very quickly, the story will be told later.  These months included basic training at Kapooka, a brief time at the barracks at Watsonia, then another brief stint in a flat in Alexander Ave.

1974 ~ 1975

  • 7 Blackwood Avenue, Hamilton Hill
  • 9 Southern Road, Hamilton Hill
  • 13A Lancaster Street, Spearwood
  • 6a Vernon Place, Spearwood

A series of small places that were easy to rent, back when the agent would hand you the keys to go and look, then you could telephone them to say you wanted to take it.  References were not needed and competition was scarce, so finding a reasonable place was easy enough.

We were living in a 2nd floor apartment (flat) when Angi was born in the February of 1975.  And that was where we were when Ants and Kirsten came out from Wales/US.

In some instances the length of occupancy was as short as three months, never longer that ten.

1975 ~ 1976

  • 126 Lefroy Road, Hilton Park
  • Coogee Caravan Park
  • Jandacot Caravan Park
  • Cooke Point Caravan Park, Port Headland

1976 ~ 1977

  • Berimah Caravan Park, Darwin
  • Mindil Beach Caravan Park, Darwin
  • 23 Tasman Circuit, Darwin
  • 37 Brighton Street, Cottesloe

In 1975 after a holiday in Kalbarri, Merran and I talked about the idea of living in a caravan and having more mobility than we had living in flats and duplexes.  As mentioned, some of our stays had to now been as short as three months, and it was obvious we were not going to be tied down by location.  So we went out and bought a 25' caravan, which is why over the period '75 through '77 we stayed at so many places, and were able to travel such distances.  It was a beautiful life, with a book of stories all their own, and far to much for this already lengthy entry.  But in July 1977 we returned to Perth and set the van up in the back yard at Cottesloe, and put it up for sale.

1977 ~ 1978

  • Ken and Chris's house, 35 Matthews Road, Anula, Darwin
  • Salvation Army Warehouse, Coonawarra Road, Berrimah, Darwin
  • 18 Carrington Street, Rapid Creek - Demountable unit - Government Employee housing, Darwin
After returning to Darwin in the October/November of 1977 we stayed with Ken & Chris for about three months.  It was fun, good company, and forged a bond of friendship between us that lives on even now.

Sept 1978 ~ Oct 1979

  • 9 Boyle Place, Canberra
Work with the Bureau of Statistics and a start in computing took us to Canberra to live, while I worked in Belconnen.  After a short stay at a hotel, we found this place at the end of a cul-de-sac, with a park right outside the front door.  It's also the place where we made a house full of furniture that lasted many years.  Yes, yet another story.

Oct 1979 ~ 1980

  • 30 Meadowbrook Drive, Parkwood, Western Australia
Back in WA, still with the ABS.  This was a nice place, too, as had been most of the places we had ever lived.  It's also the house we were living in the night Little-Anne was hit by a car and died.

1980 ~ 1982

  • 86A Howick Street, Lathlain
1982 ~ 1985

  • 6 Gladstone Road, Rivervale
Dec 1984 ~ Oct 1985

  • 507/75 Leonard Street, Victoria Park
Oct 1985 ~ Nov 1985

  • Ito's house, Aobadai, Midori Ku
  • Mitaka Gaijin House
  • 207-3-11-18 Takaido-Nishi, Suginami-Ku, Japan
  • 20?-???? Yashio Park Town, Tokyo Japan
1996

  • 101 Steere Street, Collie
2000

  • 26 Blue Wren Drive, Eaton
2001

  • Lot 4 (108) Upper Capel Road, Donnybrook
32 different places.  Thankfully, I have slowed down in the past thirty years.

Happy 2011

Get set for the barrage of questions about what you did on New Year's Eve.  Yes, that time has come and gone, and now we are bracing ourselves for the year ahead.  And what a bracing it has been.

Queensland is still in the grips of the worst floods in recorded history, and there are areas over that way that have yet to see the worst of it.  Over here on the west coast a cyclone is building on the north west coast, travelling parallel with the coast at present and working its way southward.

Cyclones up north of us quite often bring the benefits of summer rains, but the accompanying winds really do wind you up.  Strong easterly winds, dry days, increased risk of fire, and that incessant howling in your ears day and night.

But the up side of the new year is that we have more sport on television.  Oh joy of joys, just what we needed.  It's tennis time in Australia.  Bunch of nutters out there on the hot days, working up a sweat, bashing a ball backwards and forwards, earning millions.  Damn them.

And the sad news is that I did not win the thirty one million dollar lotto on Friday night.  Not even a look in.  As that draw was from last year, I can only hope that this year will bring with it a bit more luck on the Lotto front.  Not a penny, a pfenig, a baht, or a rupee in 2010.  Now that was a good year, wasn't it.  But hey, I only do it for the charity!

This year will be started on a positive note; work will be good, house hunting and sale of this one will go ahead, I might get something back off the Lotto, and I might even find someone to spend quality time with.  But if I have the same kind of year as I have in 2010, I won't complain, because it wasn't a bad year at all.  In fact, I survived it, sufficiently to be here writing this.

So, have a good one and..........

明けましておめでとうございます.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ron's Collections

My Uncle Ron is a collector.  He is also truly quite amazing in his outlook on life and what we do with the things in our own back yard.

Ron can can see art in anything, and can turn anything into a work of art.  I have seen a tree stump carted back to Ron's farm, turned upside down with the roots sticking out like unruly hair.  This was converted into a planter.  The impact was quite remarkable.  But then, such things have to be viewed with an entirely different attitude toward what constitutes art.

In a recent visit to Ron's I took a few photos of farming implements and bits of machinery that are lying around.  And there really is a lot lying around.  But ask Ron what he has in his collection and he will tell you, after a bit of thought, where it is, where he got it from, and what his intentions were for how he was going to use it.

To most eyes it would look like a collection of unused junk.  To Ron it is possibilities, potential, and pleasure.

For me with a camera, I was able to close out most of the background and make the pictures that I saw as art.  A different approach, but one that wouldn't have been possible if the items I snapped had been in a different setting.  When looking at his yard, I am sure Ron sees each individual item, not just a massive collection of bits and pieces.


Art truly is in the eye of the beholder.

Hot Days, Somewhere Else

This summer the temperatures have not been excessive, not by previous years' standards, anyway.  But as the years roll by I find I am becoming less able to tolerate the Australian summer days, and I dream of places and days as shown in these photos.






This first photo is at Augusta, the south west corner of WA, and usually much cooler than Perth or even Bunbury/Donnybrook.  When the photo was taken the weather was clearing after a couple of very rough days.  We had enjoyed the weather as it rolled over us, sitting in a holiday unit on the coast, watching from the protection of a warm room.  But through all of it there were still fishing boats going out.



The next photograph is at Crusoe Beach, just east of Denmark on the inlet/estuary.  Magnificent country down that way, and being on the south coast it is always much cooler than where I am.  

Hmmm, I am beginning to think it's time for a holiday.

Go to Google Maps or NearMap and take a look at some of the coastline from Augusta through to east of Albany.  Much of it is accessible in two wheel drive, some only in a 4x4, but it is all beautiful.  And I write this comment as much for other readers as to remind myself in years to come that there is still a world of viewing to be done right here in my own back yard.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Graeme, 2004 and 2006.

This one was taken in Singapore in March of 2004.  For about five years I had not had a hair cut; the deal being that I was not going to get it cut until the lady I was with agreed to marry me.  And then one day.... she said "yes".  We were married on March 12, and about three days beforehand I went in and had the gray wisps cut short.  Now I keep it fairly short all the time.  



Two years on and the only significant change is the addition of a few more wrinkles.  Life was still good, and although it may look like a straight line, that IS a smile on my face.

Since then I haven't had many photos taken, and probably for the better.  Maybe one day I will put up some pics of me in my earlier, and much earlier days. But I will have to think really hard about who I want to see those ones.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tucked away.....


In 2001 we moved to a five acre block in Donnybrook, tucked away behind other five acre blocks, with slightly less than half given over to the house, small paddock and some fruit trees, the other more than half uncleared native vegetation.  At the back of the block is a state forest with very limited access to the public.  One result of this is that we have been very isolated for quite some time, particularly as neighbours who became friends moved away over the years.  The above picture shows the entire block, fence to fence in both directions.




Following events of October/November last year, I have had the house on the market since December 2009.  At one stage I thought I had it sold.  In June I accepted an offer that was based on the buyers being able to sell their property in Darwin.  They were certain it would sell, but that offer fell through in mid-November.  The house market across Australia has dropped badly in past months, and there was even a recent report in the news that we are at a 20 year low.  With that in mind, I guess I shouldn’t expect to sell too soon.  What will be will be.




Meanwhile, water is also an issue.  Being out of town, all our water has to be collected from rain for drinking, or the well for reticulation onto the gardens.  This winter has been the driest for many years, with drought declared in many regions.  Where this area would normally have had ample rainfall and water in the well from September through to January, this year I have sufficient rainfall for only one pump up to the holding tanks, and the well has remained completely dry.



I need to sell now, not just for the settlement, but with a smaller place to look after I would be able to spend more weekends doing things that I would like to do, such as spending time away on the motorbike instead of working around the yard and house each week like I do now.  

These photos show how the house looks now.  It’s grown much larger than it was when we bought, and has changed from a small, poorly equipped cottage to being a somewhat larger cottage with a few mod-cons, including solar hot water system, gas cooker as well as a wood fired cooker, and re-furbished bathroom and kitchen.




2010 Charity Toy Run

Yesterday was the annual Charity Toy Run in Bunbury.  After assembling at the Australind Shopping Centre car park we milled around for an hour oohing and aahing at all the shiny bikes, and a few not so shiny ones, caught up with some friends, had a cup of coffee, then readied ourselves for the ride.

My friend Brian had ridden his 1981 Triumph Bonneville and I was on my 2009 Bonneville.  The other 448 bikes comprised a wide range of toys both new and old, 2-wheel and 3-wheel, smokers and non-smokers, dribblers and non-dribblers (the bikes, that is).  Both our bikes ran well, as did all the others, and there were no breakdowns along the way.

My only mishap was when the visor on my helmet decided to pop another screw and I was struck in the face by a bug, which then climbed its way further inside my helmet.  A quick stop and fix put me outside the group and, consequently, unescorted by police as we went through intersections.  The escort was brilliant, allowing smooth flow of our traffic by blocking all intersections along the way, including those as we crossed main roads and highways.  Thanks to the police who gave up their time for us.

Until yesterday, the largest group I had ridden in would have been about 30 to 40 bikes.  Yesterday was a new experience, and one that I admit I was not too confident about before the event.  However, unlike other rides with large numbers, yesterday's speed was sedate, the riders were quite intent on safety, not speed and daring-do.  All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to next year's ride.  Although I am also now planning (hoping to do) a riding tour somewhere in the UK at a time when there are rallies of some sort, or perhaps a TT race to watch.

But yesterday wasn't about the ride.  It was about the charity of giving for other people's enjoyment of Christmas.  I trust this annual Goodwill ride and others like it all around the country, give a touch of Joy, Peace, and comfort and a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Avon Descent weekend


On the weekend of August 1, 2, & 3 this year we went to Northam for the annual Avon Descent.

While you might think that the highest water level for nearly ten years could only be good, with ample water covering rocks and submerged logs, it brought its own problems with fast flow and water too high under bridges.

We spent the first hour at the weir just below the start point, taking photos of the power boats as they came over the wall. It was a bit dark, but tweaking up in Photoshop has given me some reasonable shots to share.


Friday, June 13, 2008


In February 2007 we were in Augusta for a few days, most of which were cloudy, showery, windy or a combination of all.



This photo of the old jetty looking south shows the weather we had as the worst of it had passed, although it does not show the blustery wind we suffered.


The weather made it all the more enjoyable. Fine days can be had anywhere on Western Australia's coastline. To have dark wet days kept most people away, and gave us a sense of being alone.

What the....

What the heck do I want with a blog site?
I have no idea. But when I get five minutes, I might give it a bit more serious thought.

Meanwhile, I can share ideas, views, opinions and photographs, and not worry about the 13,104,000 minutes of worthwhile thoughts I have forgotten in the past 25 years.
If you're interested, hang around.