BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Thursday, 1 November 2012

We're still in Hemel Hempstead.


Work on the secret project is progressing well. For a couple of old amateurs we're doing OK.


It was a 6 am start today. Paul, who is the ebay King, has won some furniture on ebay so we're off to London to pick it up. We're making an early start to try and beat the London traffic. I thought I was pretty good at sniffing out bargains on ebay and I managed to pick up three brand new CDs on the weekend for 99 pence each. I was pretty happy with myself, then Paul walked in and told me he'd bought some desks, chairs, shelf units, and some other goodies, all for 99 pence each. Hands down winner. We hired a Ford Transit Van to go and pick up the gear. It was a turbo diesel and went like the clappers (I want one), pulling high speeds down the motorway to our London destination.

When we arrived at the address in central London it turned out that we had to get the furniture down from the third floor. There was no lift, and the very narrow staircase had two 180 degree turns on each floor. It was a big job, but we managed it over about an hour. The guy who was selling the stuff was amazing. He'd disassembled the desks, marking everything as he went so it was easy for us to reassemble. He then helped us get everything downstairs AND threw in another book case and a couple of leather (yes, leather, not vinyl) executive office chairs and a few other goodies. He was moving into a new office and just wanted to get rid of the stuff.

So we drove off with two large bookcases, two leather chairs, two office desks, with returns, a very large three way desk, and some other bits and pieces. All for under four quid! All the furniture is really good quality and extremely strong (heavy). It's perfect for the Secret Squirrel project.

 A couple of the bits and pieces that we picked up.
Two bookcases, stacked, a couple of desks, and the two chairs.

A 99 pence storage unit. The second one was free.
(And it comes with a set of drawers.)

We unloaded and headed to the second location to pick up another nine chairs and another couple of bookcases, all for 99 pence each. So I reckon the whole lot cost around sixty quid including van hire, lunch, and coffees. That's what I call a bargain. 

In the evening we all headed across to Heather's for a bonfire. It was a fun night with someone bringing along a fireworks tube and lighting it midway through the evening. These things are a bundle of fun and really easy (and safe) to use. Dig a small hole and bury the tube half way, light the wick, watch a fireworks show. Dead simple. I need to go shopping before Guy Fawkes night.


Suzanne face painted a lovely young girl today. Laura is from two houses down She was going to a birthday party dressed as a leopard and wanted her face painted to match. Juliet was out on a job so she couldn't do it, so Suzanne filled the void. Laura was a very happy girl when she left.

So, last night was Halloween. Unfortunately it was very cold and wet so most kids stayed at home. Paul, Juliet and I were all out working so Suzanne was home all on her lonesome. Of course being Australian we don't celebrate Halloween so Suzanne was totally unprepared. Apparently the offer of fruit or cat biscuits didn't go over very well with the two callers she had. At least they didn't "trick" my bike.

I have spent a little time planning our escape from the English cold and rain. We will probably head across to Holland and catch up with another painty person, then down through France, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, and into Morocco. That's about a 4,000Km ride and should clear the cobwebs nicey. There are a few more people we want to catch up with in Spain as well. The rough plan is to hit the road just after Suzanne returns from her Scottish jaunt.

If you're a face and body painter along our route, and you know of a jam or event that's happening soon, please let us know as we love catching up with new painty friends.

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