If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Monday, 30 July 2012


Two weeks without a post. That's poor, really, isn't it? Apologies for my absence.

Anna and I went away for a few days in the caravan and had a great time. We stayed just outside Llandovery, in an area I have sped through on many occasions but never stayed to explore.  Although it's just an hour from my front door, there were lots of places I had never been or even heard of.  It's good to get to know your own neighbourhood every now and then.

Since I have been back, it's been work, work, work -of the paid and unpaid variety.  For the last 12 months my workplace has been undergoing 'restructuring', which is a nice word for turmoil. Where we had a team of around 20 a year ago, we ended up with four in March. Funnily enough, the workload didn't diminish - in fact, we had extra work piled on us. Some good people got the message and left for other jobs. Many of the rest (the old, the dim, the grumpy) were made redundant. Suddenly, we were undermanned, and the requests started pouring in -

"Can you work a couple of extra days to help us out?  We're short-staffed."

"No shit, Sherlock."

There's no overtime as such, just 'extra hours' paid at the normal rate. But work is work and income is income, so we got on with it.  The normal pattern would be four 12-hour shifts in a row, followed by four days off.  The four days of work is fairly punishing, especially when it's night work, and especially when you are not as young as you used to be.  But we have all been working five and six days in a row, just to keep things afloat.  And of course those extra days are taken from your days off, naturally, so the old system doesn't get much time to recover.

At home on my days off, there has been a garden to keep in check, and chores to be chored. All in all, I haven't had much time to get on the computer and write.  And if I had, what's to say?  The economy seems to be going down the toilet even more rapidly than ever, Cameron and Osbourne never fail to disappoint, the whole country has gone Olympics-mad (if we are to believe the media) or have given them a massive 'meh' (if we are to believe our own eyes and ears).  Wars, famine, pestilence, misery - and that's just Nowhere Towers.

I haven't told Anna yet, but the Sprint has gone on eBay.  I've decided that it is not for me. Nothing wrong with it, but every outing becomes a blur of passing landscapes and snatched overtakes, and I think I am getting a bit old for the leaning-forward riding position and an engine that only makes sense at illegal speeds.  I'm going to change it for something smaller and slower,which can also do a bit of exploration of back roads and trails rather than murdering kilometers on the superslab.  I had a great time with D2 in France and Germany, but we agreed afterwards that it would have been even better if we had done half the miles and stopped twice as often.

Oh well, back to work now. Break's over, back on yer heads!

More soon. Thanks for your patience.


  1. Richard

    Heading towards a GS?


  2. Hmmm ... perhaps. An airhead, possibly. Not too keen on the modern ones, I have to admit. I'm thinking more along the lines of Tenere/Transalp/V-strom/Versys type of thing. But a decent GS would be of definite interest. I need to sell the Sprint first, though. Swap?

    1. We need to arrange our meet up soon!?

    2. That was supposed to be in the Spring, wasn't it? Yes, let's get something organised before we're snowed in. Will send you and emaily thing.

  3. I am glad that you and Anna had a good time away. It sounds as though you really needed it.

    The Olympics are on? I hadn't noticed, lol. I had noticed, I just ignore them same as when they are held anywhere else. I just don't understand the need to hand out medals for people playing games and sports. I guess that puts me in the 'meh' category.

    Good luck on the Sprint sale. Hopefully it is a quick one and you can find something else more suitable. Troubadour sold his Sprint a few years ago due to knee issues and going too fast too.

    1. I don't mind watching the odd bit of sport, especially the lesser-known ones. The archery was fascinating. But it isn't possible to ignore it here. The BBC are wetting themselves with synthetic excitement, and coverage is wall-to-wall. I like the idea of other people doing things they like to do, but like you I can't see why the rest of us should admire them for it, or pay for it all. Spending billions on an over-hyped Sports Day when the country is massively in debt - that's a 'meh' for sure.

      I get a bad feeling about selling the Sprint - I've put feelers out in a number of places, and not a twitch. Ebay isn't attracting much attention either. We shall see.

    2. Possibly all the potential Sprint owners are away July/August having recontructive knee surgery?

      Nice ad on ebay by the way!

  4. Welcome back.

    Well who'd have predicted that over-enthusiastic culling would lead to experience-shortages? I guess the Culler-in-Chief retained his/her position!

    I'm intrigued......... "Although it's just an hour from my front door......." - would that be at Trumpet distance or Caravan-Crawling distance?

  5. I asked that very question - if we have all taken a demotion and pay cut, what about the senior managers and directors? Have they taken their share of the pain? I was told "sacrifices have been made". Then they changed the subject.

    I suspect they have lengthened the time before their new company Beemer from two to three years. Savage.

  6. I've regretted selling every bike (bar one) I've ever owned. I've got used to it.
    Totally echo your sentiments. Done speed. Don't see the point anymore (warp speed anyway, still like to progress tho'). Let my Road King go in May. Got me a BMW R1200R with luggage. Normal riding position, massive torque (waay more useful than bhp) and nearly 60mpg when enjoying the view. I know, they're pricey; I was lucky to have 80% of the cost in trade-in value.
    Seen the anti-theft article in "The Road"?
    Choose well and live with the regrets, but think how much your body will thank you ;)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks, Hog. I have quite a soft spot for the RxxxR models - sort of genuine roadsters in an age when it's race-replice, Dakar clone, Harley wannabe or nothing. I confess to rather liking the Rockster, too, which I think puts me in a minority of one.

      The Sprint is not attracting a lot of interest, unfortunately. But funnily enough I have spotted a K75 that looks pretty much what I need, and at a dealers where a trade-in could be possible.

      I'll post when I have something to tell ...

  7. I can tell you about K75s on Saturday and there is a nice R1100RS on ebay!


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