Nifty at Fifty?
Don’t know if I would ever fit into the nifty club, to be honest. More like the nutter club. On the approach to my birthday I was finding myself doing very strange things. Like walking to the garage. Why am I here? Dunno. Walk back. Repeat. Then realise that I was meant to be going to the pantry for cat food. You would think that the cat sitting with a disdained look on his wee face, paw pointing at gob would have given me a clue. I was tempted to request a present of marbles for my birthday. Thankfully, it seems my marbles are back.
I had two birthday parties which were a great laugh. I would say it was the usual suspects, however, it was some unusual suspects. Given it was the BMW demo weekend, all the crew from Dalkeith came to join in the carnage for a Saturday night BBQ. The recycling bins were full to overflowing the next morning and the ladies that were present did a very good job of making sure that the Prosecco wasn’t going to go out of date! Thanks everyone, I had a blast. As usual, everyone was more interested in drinking than eating. We’re still eating the kebabs (we froze them, honest!).
Of course my best present was Indy. She’s just a joy to ride and already has the best part of 4k miles on her now. I’ll need to think of booking her next service, however, it’s approaching thermal time and quite honestly 1) she won’t be a winter bike – think of those polishing those shiny bits and 2) no heated hand grips – must do something about that! An awesome gift from the Aberdeen crew was a GoPro camera,so years after bitching my face off and saying, “If only I’d had a helmet cam, I could share what we truly experienced….” Now all I have to do is work out how I’m going to attach it to Smoggy and Indy…. and of course work out how to use it. That would be handy! It’s apparently simple. It’d have to be for me! Thanks to the Motorrad Central crew who returned the love of my life, Smoggy on my birthday weekend – what a lovely surprise and on his 8th birthday; how cool.
Since then however, Smoggy threw his toys out the pan and decided to say, “Meh!” in an very inconvenient place. On a corner, no mobile reception with only one really dodgy place to pull over. His fuel pump had given up the ghost. Well, I suppose the best part of 85,000 miles on the original one is forgiveable! Gosh, I missed him whilst he was gone…. It was good fun though, explaining to the RAC what happened. I paused for a second and said, “He said ‘meh'” The guy on the other end of the phone couldn’t stop laughing. He said that no-one had ever described something like that…. ‘Meh!’. Welcome to my world!
A good friend (not a motorcyclist) did make a comment recently, pointing out that I talk about Smoggy like a member of the family. Oh, hello. Of course I do. I’m probably more mushy talking about Smoggy than Dotty or Ed! (sorry Ed!). I am hoping that it’s a love affair that continues to run for a long, long time. He’s home now and fighting fit; ready for his next adventure.
I go to a chiropractor every month, however, I have had more frequent visits recently. The long and the short of it is I seem to spend far to much time on my bikes and into the bargain I’m having issues with my lower back. Bless. Gina, who is fabulous, suggested that I use the fitball thingy – you know – like a space hopper without the handles. Personally, I wish it had been a space hopper, at least then you would have something to hawd on to.
Picture the scene. The telly is on, I am sharing the house with Dotty who is having an emergency clean – you know the one, where he has his leg in the air and is giving his rear end a lick. Well, you know, it’s ok, he’s not a cat that likes to jump on your lap and give you a kiss. He’s pretty aloof most of the time. When he’s feeling remotely friendly, he’s lovely, however, look out for the flicking tail. Andy Brown seems to see this as a challenge most of the time. Hell mend you.
So, I think to myself that it’s about time I got on the ball. What was it Gina said? Ah, that’s right, stretch back over the ball. Hmmm. So I sat on it. That was a really, really good start.
Right, how hard should this be? I tentatively moved my feet forward, trying to get into the right position. I ended up in a very undignified heap on the floor. That got Dotty’s attention. Leg was still pointing to the ceiling, but definitely got his attention. He sat there, curious, for a while, watching. Got bored and continued licking his arse.
Right, I can do this. Feet against the hearth of the fire. Nope. That didn’t work. Bean bag behind the ball. Nope, that didn’t work either. By this time, Dotty had moved off his favourite perch and had obviously decided that my efforts were far more exciting that his emergency clean. He sat watching, obviously entertained.
I tried everything. I thought I had it sussed, leant back, feeling really confident (well, marginally more confident than I was when I started), when the ball squirted out from under my ass, nearly landing in the fireplace; I ended up landing on my shoulders, smacking my head off the floor in front of the sofa. I am convinced that Dotty was laughing. Hell, I was laughing. I gave that up and decided it was a much better idea just riding my bloody bikes.
Then there’s glue. For those who know me well, I have a love / hate relationship with my helmet. I love it (most of the time), the rest of the time I’m gluing the bloody thing back together. There’s so many great functions:
- Full face
- Full face with sun visor
- Flip chin piece back out the way
- Chin piece out the way and visor down
- Chin piece out the way and sun visor down
- Chin piece out the way and no visors… yahoooooo, sunglasses on, I’m on holiday and it’s sunny!
So many functions and too much glue. I’m on my second helmet. I sent the first one back with duct tape attached just to make the point. I should, just for good measure, have got a Sharpie and marked arrows on the helmet of all the bits that had been glued. I was last seen in California with grey duct tape holding it together. The second helmet has now been glued 4 times in different places. I’m reluctant to send it back. I love it. The helmet is just cool. Comfy and so handy. After all, it’s had a substantial amount of fixing, surely it’ll hold together? Nope.
Flappity flap flap. What now? Fucking thing. AAAAARGH! So, meantime, Andy has glued it for me. Neal Palk had pasted things back together too. Neil Frazer spent a substantial amount of time cleaning old glue to replace it with new glue… great job, by the way, it’s still attached. So, having another flappity bit (on the helmet), I thought, I should pull on my big girl pants, I ventured into the garage, searched for the glue. Oh, look! A new tube of superglue. How hard can it be? This is the reason why I ask a man to do it. They understand glue, don’t they? They know what type to use and how to use it.
I thought that it would be easier to start with a fresh tube, how badly wrong could it go? Oh… badly it seems. Confirming that I had ‘broken the seal’ was the first thing. Confirmation was realising the super-superglue was pishing out the side of the top, I was desperately trying not to attach both fingers, it was a close run thing. Trying to wipe off the glue residue with a bit of paper towel wasn’t my smartest decision, but I was in panic mode. FFS. Where’s Handy Andy when you need him? Oh, that’s right, he’s at the bonfire with the lads, drinking cider…. I wiped up what I could without splattering it round the garage and poured myself a glass of wine. Surely that will help?
Giving the glue that had slithered down the side of the tube a chance to dry, I very hesitantly picked it up, hoping it wasn’t going to attach itself to my hand, which, in fairness was already missing its finger prints from my earlier fecking fail. Two fingers are covered in dried glue and I don’t have a clue how to get rid of it. I established that the glue was indeed coming out of the tube. The first thing it did was squirt all over the work bench. Luckily not the shiny new work bench. Phew. I would have been seriously unpopular if I’d done that!
Squirting out the tube uncontrollably, I splattered it on to the helmet. I dare not touch it again. I might end up having to walk around with the damn helmet attached to my finger and thumb. I am crossing my fingers…. (well, maybe not), that the flappity bit will be connected by Sunday morning when I have to wear it again. It’s a Shark helmet, just in case you were wondering. Standard kit for touring: glue and duct tape. Shame, really! Searching for a better helmet with the same functions may take some time.
So, as I type this, there’s another disaster going on. I made gluten free bread last night. Settle down, it was from a packet. Bloody delicious though with pepper, parmigiano cheese and dried onion added to it. Thought I would make eggy bread with the leftovers tonight. Might not have been my brightest decision. It’s looking a bit dodgy to say the least. Unlike gluing my helmet, eggy bread is normally pretty easy.
I have to say, thankfully, it tastes better than it looks. Just.
I think I might have to stick to drinking wine. Spot that one??