Monthly Archives: June 2013

Peony Power

Peony Power? Well I’ve never seen a rose like this before – a full 15 cms in diameter —

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That’s 6ins in old money —

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Sorry if I’m making a meal of it but I’ve never grown a peony rose before. It’s Huge! 🙂

Peony Power

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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in out and about


Scottish Heritage

Scottish Heritage have a little corner of town and as it turned out to be a pleasant evening after a wet-ish day I wandered round there in the late sunshine —

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I don’t see the castle from this side very often —

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but it’s a tidy little cul-de-sac and the ideal street if you want a quiet B&B with a castle outside your window —

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Scottish Heritage

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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in out and about


Peony Rose – My First

My first peony rose and what a beauty!

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and there are many more to come —

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seems a long way from where I used to be —

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but seeing that rose bloom today gave me just as much satisfaction as arriving in Sydney with the team for my first grand prix and is right up there with the day the queen stopped and chatted to me after I took this picture —

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My mum would have loved it —

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once she got over her surprise – because she never ever saw me as a gardener 🙂

Peony Rose

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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in out and about


Three Score and Ten

I only set my stall out to reach three score and ten years because like many people I thought seventy would be ‘old age’ and I didn’t fancy moochin aboot in everyone’s way when I was past my sell-by date. My father had kicked the bucket on retirement at sixty five after a lifetime of hard work but on the other hand mum has just passed away earlier this year at a venerable ninety three after living without her ‘auld Charlie’ for thirty five years.

I was right about my survival guesstimate in some respects for according to Dr Raj – the consultant I spent time with this afternoon – I will need a visit to the NHS Spare Parts Dept for a new knee joint before long as I have worn my right one down to a painfull bone on bone. In the meantime I will have four months of physio to rebuild the leg muscles wasted in the aftermath of my ‘bum fiasco’ – then I can have up to three or four cortisone injections into the joint to replace the ‘disappeared’ cartilage. All being well this should set back the day of the big op for a few more years but I stopped playing rugby and racing motorbikes a long time ago so it shouldn’t disrupt my current sedentary lifestyle to any great extent.

I got my ‘prior planning’ right for once and did the last of the ‘heavy lifting’ in my new garden yesterday when I moved another ‘mobile’ hosta to make room for a fit looking hydrangea that I found myself unable to leave the garden centre without.

I don’t suppose anyone wants to see my x-ray pics from earlier today so here is one of my beaut hydrangea instead 🙂

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By the looks of those little buds front and centre it won’t be long before it’s bursting into bloom —

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From now on the garden should just need an occasional squirt of water from the hose and a scrape with the hoe to control the weeds – easy – something I can do from a wheel chair if it comes to that.

But it won’t – not as long as I can still swing my leg over one of the motorbikes I have tucked away round the corner 🙂

Three Score and Ten

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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in out and about


Butthead and his Bikes

For a guy who gets his kicks from riding on two wheels the past ten months has been quite a trial. But – I can now give the podium placings for my three bikes in order of comfort.

In third place and likely to be locked in the shed for a long time to come after today’s pain-filled ride over our bumpy local streets – she may have fat tyres and an air-cushioned seat but she is no fun and my ancient Raliegh Hybrid deserves to be bottom of the pile —

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‘bottom of the pile’ – did I really write that? Quite apt!

and in second place despite it’s long-travel suspension and gel padded seat comes the Tenere. There’s just something between the interface of butt and seat that doesn’t work for me and has been a source of irritation since the early months of our acquaintance when we spent much of our time on big throttle openings on German autobahns. It wasn’t unusual for me to be stood on the pegs at 100mph as I attempted to ease the pain. The question is – why has she survived so long in my tender care?

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The answer to that question is probably because she has taken me to some fabulous places and never missed a beat.

Hard to believe that what started off as a cutting edge sports bike is the winner in comfort stakes but this could probably be because the other two are so cruel. T’wasn’t always thus with the Gixxer but lowering the pegs by 24mm and replacing the forkleg mounted clip-ons with higher bars has made all the difference and even with my creaking joints I have put in 400 mile days on this baby without having to soak in a hot bath for hours afterwards to ease the pain —

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I will probably give the Raliegh away to a charity shop but I still can’t persuade myself to put the Tenere up for sale on ebay. I live in hope that the medics get my butt sorted out sometime soon and the Tall Tenere and I will visit more fab places before too long 🙂

Butthead and his Bikes

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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Uncategorized



Tenere Goes Clickety Click

It was one of those nights when the loudest sound to be heard was the click of the bowls at the club across the road – I swear I could almost hear my sunflowers growing —

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Serious stuff as they play for places at the National Finals in Ayr later this summer.

The Tenere was sitting looking forlorn under it’s cover so I thought ‘why not?’ Next minute the blindfold was off and we were trundling round the local farm lanes mostly in second and third gear stuff stood up on the pegs so there shouldn’t be any ill-effects to my butt tomorrow —

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I must admit up on the tall Tenere is great way to see over hedges and fences —

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I find myself looking at what other people are growing in their gardens —

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and feeling quietly pleased that I don’t have all that grass to cut —

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The Tenere is looking good for a bike that spent the first three years of it’s life being thrashed round Europe without missing a beat and has seldom seen the inside of a garage —

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It’s happened to me before – I’ve fallen in love with inanimate objects and after four/five years of riding and fettling the big girl I can’t bring myself to sell so I’ve decided just to enjoy her for some time yet 🙂

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Especially with places like this just five minutes from my door 🙂

Tiptoe with the Tenere

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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Uncategorized



Gixxer and the New Galloway TT

The New Galloway TT – not quite but a pretty good day all the same. A late start saw me dragged into the church next door – I’ve never seen it so busy. Turned out to be the special Jazz Festival Service – even the minister got in on the act and was jiving in the aisle to the band. Great Stuff!

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Church service over it was past noon and I still hadn’t had breakfast so I spent the next hour in the sun on the pavement in front of Mulberries Café with my Sunday paper – coffee and a bacon buttie. What a great start to the day!

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I’ve been on a guilt trip over my Gixxer for a few days now. She has been hidden away under a cover by the dustbins while I got the Tenere back on the road and galloped – so out she came blinking into the sunlight for a wash. Couldn’t stop there now could I? Yup on a black leather jacket and jeans day there was nothing else for it but to go for a spin.

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My New Galloway TT route is a smidgeon over fifty miles per lap and one lap is enough for a rider with a suspect butt. So – it was over by Gatehouse of Fleet and on down the A75 to the Minigaff turning and a lovely blast back along the Queen’s Road for a pot of tea and a scone outside the Smiddy Café in New Galloway. Yup – even TT riders have tea and scones and the view up the burn from the bridge is a beaut.

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And that’s when I spotted my next piece of ‘must have’ ordnance!

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I hadn’t been too impressed with the cane and string support structure I made up for my peonie rose t’other day and I have found a posh option made by a basket weaver. Yes I came home with his number and I believe he even does training courses – magic!

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Then it was a case of sharing the craic with a bunch of visiting Irish riders on a £25 Away Day courtesy of Stenna Line Ferries. It works both ways and is a cheap crossing providing you do it all within 24hrs.

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Craic over it was time to head on home down the west side of Loch Ken —

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with the occasional photo op down the twisties —

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This picturesque cottage that I caught in the corner of my eye was another ‘must’ even if I did have to turn back from further down the road to get it 🙂

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Nice one —

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And the weather vane?

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It’s a shot through the treetops of the church spire weathervane taken from my front garden when I got home. I reckon my New Galloway TT course took me 50 odd miles N/NW – not a bad way to spend a sunny Sunday 🙂

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The New Galloway TT

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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Uncategorized



Tenere on the Palnure Burn

I was out for a spin on my Yamaha Tenere XT660Z on a road to nowhere today when I spotted the white water sparkling through the branches —

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and stopped for a look as you do —

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at least as I do 🙂

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Beautiful! But it wasn’t sunshine and roses all the way. The bike feels good on a short ride – everything falls to hand and works as it should. But – and it’s my big ‘Butt!’ No matter how I sit on the bike my weight is right on the scars from my multiple operations and after half-an-hour it’s no fun!

So – my Tenere XT660Z has drawn the short straw and after months of dithering as to which of my two bikes I should sell – against all odds it’s to be the Tenere.

I will hate to see her go – but go she must and I will stick her on ebay in the next few days —


Yamaha XT660Z For Sale

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Posted by on June 1, 2013 in Uncategorized