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Monthly Archives: February 2020

CRF 250 Rally Still Rolling

The robust Rally seems non-the-worse for it’s tumble during a snow storm on top of Glen Ogle a couple of weeks back – pity we can’t say the same for it’s rider.

No worries – so long as I don’t have to raise my arms above my aching shoulders I can still make something of the odd bit of sunshine with the Rally —

The X-ADV750 is also back on the road complete with the new sidestand which arrived by post this morning and was fitted in a jiff —

Lying under the bike between snow showers out on the patio behind the house – lining the new leg up and bolting it tight proved to be easier than I expected. The tiny spigot that locates in a hole in the leg pivot boss to operate the engine cut-out switch isn’t the easiest thing in the world to match up – but where there’s a will there’s a way.

The original sidestand became banana shaped a little too easy for my liking so that’s something I will need to keep an eye on in the future. Hopefully we will get a few decent days soon and perhaps have the opportunity to ‘gel’ with the big Scoot for it has been a bit of a hit and miss of a relationship since it first arrived back in September 2019.

 

 

 

Over the Fence

We have the roofless Blackford church with the snow dappled Ochil Hills to the south —

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and just up the lane towards Gleneagles Hotel and golfcourses a pair of roe deer are quietly grazing —

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Not much has changed since I lived here in my mid-teens over sixty years ago – unless we count in the water bottling plant down in the village of Blackford – just over the brow of the hill from the church. I remember when it started production all those years ago and thinking ‘bottled water’ – ‘it will never catch on.’

Highland Spring – drawn from the Ochil Hills – it was 1990 before the venture showed a profit but with oil money from the Emirates behind it there was no shortage of ‘start-up cash’ in hand.

I see in today’s press the owners of Highland Spring would like to expand again but are at loggerheads with the local Community Council who are not in favour of the plans which have been put forward. From where I sit I can see both sides of the coin and sympathise with both. Perhaps they should ask me to toss it for them – heads Water wins – tails they lose. It would save a lot of argument and nastiness all-round.

 

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2020 in out and about, Wildlife

 

Winter Woes

With Loch Earn just down the road it’s tempting to ride out there now and again —

If only I had stopped at Loch Earn —

But sunshine on the tops drew me onwards and upwards to where the weather can change in minutes —

Once committed the Rally and I weren’t for turning —

Then we ran into a whiteout. Blinded by driving snow the inevitable happened and the bike and I came down with a clatter! I was so sure I had broken a bone or two.

Thankfully I had the Rally upright on my second attempt and somehow scrambled aboard the tall beast – adrenaline beats pain – at least for a minute or two.

The weather had beaten us over the slower ride home but at least the Rally and I made it there under our own steam – the real pain came the following day!

Ten days later and I still can’t raise my right arm above shoulder height – hence what was mean’t to be a ‘rueful grin’ in the pic looks more like a pain-filled grimace! At least Loki doesn’t mind.

 
 

ADV750 with 46 litre GIVI Topbox

The sun shone briefly today in the lull before the storm but at least I managed a photo of sorts showing the Givi topbox mounted on the ADV750.

Looks quite neat on the big scoot —

Although Loki isn’t much interested —

Seems he would rather suck an old fir tree branch.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2020 in out and about

 

Honda ADV750 Comes Home

With Zero degrees registering on the dash and visibility down to not-a-lot due to a stubborn Scotch Mist up here in the hills the Yeti with trailer was the weapon of choice and I hi-ho’d into Glasgow to pick our ADV750 from the supplying main dealer where it has been for it’s first service. The Service didn’t take long but our decision to fit Helen’s 45/46 litre Givi topbox to the scoot put the Givi people on the spot as it seems they didn’t have the neccessary ironmongery to allow the job to procceed.

No worries – a neat fitment eventually turned up and we are pleased to confirm our joint concerns that the slim rear of the ADV might be overwhelmed by the biggish box have come to nought. No pics as yet of the box fitted but I’m sure the sun will shine sometime soon. In the meantime here’s one of the front end sporting a beat-up pair of Acerbis handguards which graced the bars of my XT600E on many a mad exploit over hill and dale from Shropshire to the Cardigan Bay coast back in the Noughty Nineties —

 

And – I’m afraid you will have to watch this spot for a photo of the ADV with box on the back. With the high pillion footpegs it was always going to be a lottery whether H stayed on board when I gave the 750 the berries but hopefully there’s no chance of her disappearing over the back now we have the Givi topbox bolted in there tight.

Having the bikes by the back door gives me that eager feeling again that Spring is just around the corner.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2020 in Comrie, Honda X-ADV 750

 

East – West – Hame’s Best

Hame’s best for a good haddock anyway. Walked along the street with the good Lady Helen for a cappo this morning before she drove back to the Isle of Luing to take part in Drama rehearsal for the play which goes on next month and not only did our famous baker Campbell’s come up with a couple of my favourite baps – softies as the counter assistant called them – looking for all the world like a pale morning roll – softies – or safties as my mother would say in her never-lost Aberdeenshire country twang – have a lighter texture than the morning roll and have n’t gone stale by mid-afternoon when most of us working loons were looking for a simple piece to keep us going till tea-time.

Another favourite of mine is the haddock. With cod stocks reported to be running low the plentiful north sea caught haddock is back in fashion. When I lived in these parts before – vans from the Neuk o’ Fife or Arbroath harbours would call in on a once-weekly visit to the villages and sell their fresh catches.

Today to my surprise and probably because of the haddock having moved north due to Global Warming it was a fellow biker Wull with his van – all the way from the fishing village of Buckie on the Morayshire coast who stopped for an hour in the town-centre car park opposite the bakery! His fresh haddock looked good and having caught up with news of some of my old biking mates from that part of the country it wasn’t long before a couple of said haddock were nestling in my fridge and I knew what I was having for dinner.

Dipped in a beaten egg and coated with proper breadcrumbs – fried to golden perfection and served on the warmed plate with steamed broccoli and a sliced lightly toasted and buttered saftie – I had that for dinner tonight and it melted in the mouth. Tasted like sheer decadence – for not a lot of dosh. I think I’m going to like Wednesdays.

So – while the lady of the house is off on the Isle of Luing doing her Drama – Seamus keeps her seat cosy —

and Loki dozes quietly on the fireside rug —

Yes – peace reigns – but which of us do you think is going to have to wash the dishes?

 

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Moving Out & Moving In

Hard to believe that just a few short months ago I thought that I would spend what was left of my life on the Isle of Luing and was even choosing my spot in the ancient graveyard – but – as ever in life things can change virtually overnight.

Well to be honest the decision to move may have been made overnight but the reality took a little longer. The pro’s and con’s of living on what is treated by many as a remote farmhouse with an inaccessible track on a small island sort of balance each other out but once health or poor health issues come into play there is only ever going to be one winner if we want to keep our independence and sanity.

As luck would have it a brief search found a suitable single storey house in my old ‘stamping ground’ of West Perthshire where every twisting – undulating lochside road felt like racetrack to a young motorcyclist with a full life ahead of him – mountains to climb and races to ride. That was over sixty years ago – I am so lucky to be able to return to these parts still in one piece.

We are in early February 2020 – there’s only one more cardboard box to unpack and this little cottage in the heart of the village – or small town of Comrie is bursting at the seams. Charities have benefited from loads of furniture and other ‘useful’ stuff we thought we couldn’t do without – don’t need – or can’t find room for as Helen and I endeavour to downsize. There’s still lot’s to do – a sailing boat and assorted gear – plus a horsebox and bikes to move but we will get there.

Loki our two years old flatcoat retriever and Seamous our three years old ginger tom have surprised us by taking the move from isolation to here in the heart of Comrie in their stride and if anything have grown even closer to us. Who would have guessed that would happen.

No pics this Post I’m afraid but no worries – I’m sure there will be soon. What feels like a new life is kicking into gear and Helen n I are already embracing it.

Thanks to everyone who continues to follow my blog at ‘givitsum-from-a distance’ even when there’s not much going on – I intend to sort that out very soon — Donald.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2020 in out and about