BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Monday, 29 October 2012

A week in Hemel Hempstead - Secret Squirrel stuff.

Not much of a blog this week. We're both helping Paul with his secret project which keeps us pretty busy. I've included a few random photos from the week just for interest.


We woke up this morning to find the BM lying on its side. It must have gotten a fright yesterday and decided it needed a little lie down. Or maybe the ground was wet and soft and the stand dug in. Over it went. This is the first time the bike has been over but luckily it was on nice soft grass, so no damage done. Paul and I managed to pick it up without too much trouble.

 I'm having a little rest.
It's very sad seeing a bike lying on its side.

Nearly there.

Paul mentioned it might snow here later in the week. I hope so, I've never been anywhere when it has snowed, apart from the ski fields in Australia. If it does I'm suiting up and going for a ride.

We've been having a few problems contacting our daughter at home for a while. She's looking after our house, and more importantly our dogs and cat. Today we finally managed to contact Paige on Skype. Just as well because we thought we might have to go home if we didn't hear from her soon. A big thanks to all of our friends who brought pressure to bare. The most important thing is that Paige, the dogs, the cat, and the fish are all well.


OK, I admit it, sometimes it's the small things in life that excite me. Today an envelope arrived containing my latest ebay purchase, Gear Gremlin zip pulls.

Do I have to tell you this is a zip pull?

You may remember months ago when Suzanne's Rev'it jacket arrived, it was missing a few zip pulls. This makes the zips very hard to use with gloves on. I contacted both the retailer and Rev'it directly asking for a couple of zip pulls but got no response at all. Thanks guys. This week I was trolling through ebay for a couple of Pacsafes to secure our gear to the bike, and I came across these little beauties.

Gear Gremlin sell these for 1.99 GBP. I needed a couple, and I thought I'd get a couple extra just for spares, so I ordered four. The ebay site doesn't mention that here are four in a packet so I now have sixteen of these. If you see me on the road, and need a zip pull, just ask and you can have one.

They are a great little motorcyclist goody. You can find these here:


Today was the coldest day so far. Brrrrrr. Paul and I spent the day at a secure location conducting more secret men's business. We achieved quite a lot today, but finished up a bit behind schedule. Lot's more to do.

Paul and Juliet have three pets, Tina the dog, who is about twelve years old and reminds me a lot of Nougat, our old dog. She's a bit deaf, unless you're unwrapping food, and a bit blind, unless you drop a crumb on the floor. 

Tina was reclining on the lounge and was a bit cold,
so we covered her with a blanket.

Skittles the (insane) cat, who will let you pat her, for a while, then hiss, growl, and scratch your arm to pieces. She and I have been having therapy sessions, and will continue to do so until she understands that her behaviour is not acceptable. Much the same as I had to do with Suzanne when we met. : )

Skittles thinking,
"Any closer and I'll shred you like tissue paper".

And then there's Olly the (great) cat. Olly is a solid ginger tom and has a high pitched purr that sounds like an old telephone dial tone, or a dove cooing. He's really cool.

This is Olly's James Bond impression.

I was eating dinner last night and Olly decided that he should have some...

...and decided to help himself.

The funny thing is that if it hadn't been cooked chicken bones, I would have given him some as a reward for showing so much ingenuity it placing himself in a position to attack my dinner. 


It was cold alright last night. This is what I woke up to in the morning.

Yup! That's last night's snow...

...and it was still there at 10am the next day.

On the plus side is that the weather is beautiful. Bright blue sky and not a cloud to be seen. But you know what that's cold again. Maybe we'll see more snow tonight.


Suzanne went off to the zoo again today with Magda, another painty friend, while Paul and I continued to slave away. All will be revealed soon. 

One job we had to do today was a car shuffle for a friend of ours, Heather. This involved me picking up Heather on the bike for her first ever motorcycle ride. I love introducing new people to motorcycles. Not only because they usually love it, but because it's reminder for me as well. When you ride all the time you become a bit blase about how lucky you are to be able to enjoy motorcycling. When a newbie gets off the bike with a real sparkle in their eyes and tells you how fantastic it is, as Heather did, it reminds me just how fortunate I am. I love riding. Thanks Heather. We'll go for a longer ride when it warms up. It was about six degrees on our little ride.

I got an exciting phone call from Suzanne in the afternoon. She's got chatting with Yani, the head keeper at Paradise Wildlife Park, and arranged a Lemur visit for us. I'm really excited about this. The two things I've really enjoyed about this trip are the people we've met, and the animals we've met. I've held a McCaw (my favourite bird), a Falcon, we've seen wild deer, horses, and now I'm going to get up close and personal with a bunch of Lemurs. I wonder if they'll teach me how to jump like they do. I'll let you know when it happens. Expect a hundred photos.

Here's a Lemur photo in case you missed all the others.


I watched replay of the Phillip Island Moto GP in the morning with casey Stoner taking his sixth consecutive win at The Island. Yahoo!  Then it was back to work with Paul.

Like I said there wasn't much on this week, however next week looks like it will be a bit of fun. We have a heap of things arranged already, including...a Guy Fawkes night bonfire. When I was a kid we used to call it cracker night. We used to save our pocket money and buy crackers, and if you were really rich, a sky rocket, jumping Jack, or Catherine wheel. That was until the government banned fireworks (Except in Canberra of course) because they were too dangerous and we had to be saved from ourselves. That was at least forty years ago, so I reckon I've got forty years worth of catching up to do. Suzanne however disagrees, apparently spending 200 GBP on fireworks is unacceptable. What do you think? 

At Tesco, forty quid, about $65AUD, will get me the following: A pack of sixteen rockets, a Solaris Selection Box (24 fireworks: 17 fountains, 4 roman candles, 2 rockets, and 1 mine????), a Shooting Star Rocket Pack (6 rockets), and a Magnitude. What is a Magnitude? I'll quote from the brochure. "A delightful 150 shot barrage of multi-coloured stars, with golden tails firing 30 ft into the air". By my count, that's a total of twenty four rockets. If I can't have some fun (or do some damage) with that lot I'll be disappointed. Yes, you're right, I have never grown up. Keep watch for the photos, possibly from the local hospital's emergency ward if the Australian Government is right.

1 comment:

  1. Remember, remember the 5th of November. Gunpowder, Treason & Plot. Guy Fawkes imortalised by his failed attempt to blow up the houses of Parliament in 1605. Love Guy Fawkes night as a child and as an adult!