Wednesday, 7 July 2010

6 Its been a busy month...

A belated thanks to Sandra and Terry for putting on a great BBQ. Lots of food, lots of booze and great company.

This bunch of psychos are Karens ex-work mates:
Lawerence at the back, Center fron left, Sandra, Marietta, Laura, zelma and Karen at the front.

Something we forgot to mention previously was that we went to the Peterborough National Motor home show. We bought a few necessary bits and had our two almost new and unused pushbikes stolen from the back of our MH. The security cable had been cut through overnight. Not a problem we thought, they are insured. We reported it to police etc as we should have done.
Once home we put in our first ever insurance claim only to be told that we needed proof of existence. “Receipt?” .....””, “manuals ?”.....””, “photographs ?”....””..... Dam.
They were having none of it, we were struggling and getting angrier and angrier about it.
Eventually we located some photos of our bikes on the internet in the background of some photos that had been published whilst doing modifications to our 660 Tenere motorcycle. Eureka.
We sent them the photos and they caved in. We now have two brand new bikes of exactly the same type.
-------------Moving swiftly on-------------------
The TT was, as usual, completely amazing and very scary. We had tried to get to see a bit of the racing but had managed to miss most of the big racing, and one day we actually got a good spot to watch, but due to adverse weather we decided to leave, the racing having been postponed and then further delayed. We had only been gone for about 10 minutes when we found out they had started the race. We felt that we were fated.

Whilst riding aroud the island we came accross lots of these signs....bikes and horses with equal status.....bliss.

On senior TT day we decided to get up to the mountain part of the course using the mountain railway from Laxey. We were with our ski buddy Rex and took a picnic of sorts. The morning was really misty and cold and we weren’t sure it would go ahead, but after a small delay and the sun coming out things got underway. 

We managed to get a good spot on the mountain for the senior TT and got a good photo of Guy Martin a couple of minutes before his crash. The first we heard was one of the commentators stating “Martin has not come past us”. The red flags then came out and the race was stopped as the fire brigade were required to his crash site. We heard no more for about 10 minutes and during this time there was an eerie silence all over, apart from Manx radio playing Hotel California and several other equally long mournful songs. We thought the worst as we knew all the top riders were really pushing it. Finally came the news that he was conscious and talking (too much as usual apparently) but had chest injuries. There was a big cloud lifted from the spectator’s demeanour.
A short while later I (R) witnessed Conner Cummings ride off the edge of the Veranda and slid a long way down the mountain. He was taken by helicopter and later found to have only (only !!) broken limbs. Our best wishes go to them both and we wish them a speedy recovery.
We took part in some of the non TT activities in Douglas. We watched the White Helmets motorcycle display team(for those not in the know, an army display team) doing their stuff, knowing that we were waiting for the Purple Helmets (who are not army), compete with them. (I will let you figure out the deliberate sexual connotation – suffice to say, their salute is an open semi-clenched fist on the top of their head).

For those that have never seen them, they are a piss take of the White Helmets and do similar stunts but revel in getting them wrong in front of the public. They are talented, psychotic and very funny. Their antics have to be seen to be believed. They ride Honda C90s with modified front forks. In one stunt two guys ride through the crowd on a sidecar unit, the passenger is playing a side mounted piano completely naked apart from his obligatory Purple Helmet. 

In another, they do the “save the planet” bit and a guy rides by eating beans from a huge Heinz tin with a huge trumpet poking rearwards out of his bare bum.
At the end of the display, both teams work together in a tongue in cheek display of mayhem, one working with military precision and the other not understanding the meaning of precision.

We stayed on the Island as planned. The whole of our stay was like one long party one way and another. On England’s opening game of the world cup, we were invited to Julie and Neil’s and the girls watched the match from the Jacuzzi quaffing champagne, I could watch more matches like that, and then we had a great meal with them. We were really spoiled whilst on the Isle of Man and would like to thank everyone, and you know who you are, for making it that great. 


On the Sunday after TT Andy Metcalf took us to his shooting range where we loosed off something like 400 round of .22 and 9mm between us. This was a treat for both of us, for me as following the government’s knee jerk reaction over hand guns, I have not fired a gun for many years. For Karen, it was only the second time she had done it. 

Sadly, again for me, Karen turned out to be the better shot – see her target – but I improved dramatically when it was suggested that I use my glasses ! In my defence, the last time I shot, I did not need them. Age is a cruel thing. 

Later that night it was Debbie and Andy’s end of TT /all June babies’ birthday party, there were four of us and a couple of others who pretended, lots of drink consumed and many photos of friends taken.

                                                                    Our hosts, Debbie and Andy Lagdon.

                                                                            David, Karen and Andy (another one)

                                                                      Dave, Tina, Lynn, Jane, Phil and Mark.
                               Karen, Maureen and Derek (PS thanks for thre use of the sewing machine !)

The following Wednesday it was time to leave and all was packed up and ready to go with the Tenere stuffed in the boot again. The ferry was boarded and set off at 0845 as scheduled. At about 1230 we drove down the loading ramp and set off for a 250mile slog back home.

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