By the way, anyone tells you you will be bored in retirement they are either;
2. Have no hobbies or interests
It is the best job I have ever had .... I am sure I was born to retire !
So back to the end of October I was invited by good friends up north (Leeds, Middlesborough and Hull) to have a few days in Bewdley so we could ride the Brecon Beacons roads. We based ourselves in a Weatherspoons where the food is plentiful and beer is cheap - one night we had four nightcaps !!
Not too many photos but the little blue 650 did me proud as we wended our ways around this lovely part of mid Wales.
Early the next week I was up at silly o'clock on a bike buying adventure. My good friend Les from Scotland had purchased a new bike and I was to have his old bike - well 8 years younger than my little 650 !
I was to meet him in Oxford where I'd go pillion over to Gloucester then I'd ride his (my) bike back to Chichester while he rode his new bike to Dunoon in the west of Scotland - Lovely place.
So I was up at 5.20 am and my long suffering wife took me to Bosham station for the 5.55 or so to Southsea where I caught a train to Winchester then a train to Oxford.
Not a view I normally get - on the back of a bike.
Old and new together - my new (old) bike is the red Honda NT700v Deauville
I took it to see the South Downs
Then introduced it to its half brother....
Later that week I took a lovely walk to Stanstead house to order the free range turkey for Christmas - you see, retirement = organisation
I had wondered why the farmers round here were planting Sunflowers !
Leia missed a gate and I walked on - only to hear her 'Yelp' her concern as I walked away....Just added to my lovely walk
More South Downs Riding was done - I think this was a 70 mile round trip to the Coop - via one of the Meons (not sure East or West)
Catching up with this little fella at Tom and Courtneys place - He is motoring on up. 12th November was the date....
Back down south and it was a strip down time as the pannier catch on the 700 had broken, such poor design and half the bike to be removed to replace one small spring !
Of course the OEM part was no longer available (a spring !!) so I had to make one
My Lovely Honda ST1300 Pan European was written off after a bump on the way back from Germany earlier in the year. I tempted myself with this F800GT BMW and got within £50 of buying it but the dealer would not deal so he got a no sale !
Yes boating - that thing most may read this blog for ....
C&RT made an assessment of the tree that partially came down in one of the Autumn storms and decided to remove it and leave an ugly stump..... no matter it won't fall on our boats now - the wood disappeared as quickly as it was cut apparently !!
I stayed aboard for a few days - added some water and checked Percy over. Last winter I was living aboard... and working but had a solid retirement plan. Since then we have sold a house brought a house and retired (me)
Fradley visitor mooring completely empty !
Boaters gold they call it - free wood
C&RT were dredging the Coventry and spreading it over the farmers fields - good work and they are making a difference - albeit slowly
Part of the reason for being on board was to use the boat as a base to visit the NEC Motorbike show. I came away a little disillusioned as most bikes were 'adventure ' styled - all thanks to Ewan Mcgregor and Charlie Boreman who did a round the world trip on 2 big BMW's now everyone thinks they have to have the same adventure bike to go to the shops on ! These bikes are tall and I am not.
This is an £18,000 bike - lovely but would I enjoy owning it at that price ??
I think after the show I had decided what I wanted.....more later!
On the way from the boat back to the cottage I called at a wood yard in Stoke who I had passed a cutting list to for a workbench I wanted to make - a quite easy jigsaw puzzle
Starting to become a proper man shed !! - Just need to get my bikes in there (well the other side)
Then I spent time sorting a weep from the fuel pump for the Rayburn - us retirees have to DIY to save money - plus it is a great way to keep the grey matter active - beats puzzle books my colleagues kindly brought me as a retirement present !!
Earlier this week I had another 'big' drive after dropping Rachel off at the railway station in Stoke. Up to Macclesfield to look at three bikes - nope, then to Beaston to look at two bikes- nope, then to Chesterfield to buy this one.
Its a Honda ST1300 Pan European the same as my last one only 2 years younger and 25,000 miles less on it. A £500 seat and lots of other bits I wanted - very pleased as this will take me to Scotland, Belgium and Luxembourg next year (at least three trips and I'd like to do Scotland a couple of times)
So up to date as of a few days ago and the broken nose reference. This is my lovely Rover 75 Tourer in bits. A local Derby garage failed to sort the A/C - now I have time I did some research and diagnosed the fault - I took it to a real Rover guru in Colwy Bay who sorted the A/C by adding a new thermistor re-gassing, sorting a small leak out plus lots of other little jobs - and cheaper for a days labour plus parts. He replaced the two belts that should have been done 7 years ago !! (so much for getting a proper service done !)
Finally we lit (tested) the open fire a the cottage - burns and draws lovely and I have not stopped burning stuff on it since !!