Monthly Archives: November 2021

Away with the Fairies —

not a bad place to be —

and Loki thinks so too —

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Posted by on November 15, 2021 in out and about



Global Warming and Ben Ledi —

At a few feet under the necessary 3000 needed to qualify – Ben Ledi was never going to be a Munro but it was arduous enough in winter to give me a good workout on a day out —

Even the lower slopes as you left the treeline could be interesting —

and the horizontal icicles once you were heading for the top were guaranteed to have me fumbling for the camera with frozen pinkies —

These first three pictures came from 30-35 years ago – this next one with Ben Ledi on the skyline is how it looked yesterday. At 12 degrees or so centigrade it’s not even cold enough to drive the midgies off the slopes. They were the bane of my life back then and were the main reason I did most of my hill-walking in the cold days of winter — .

OK – with most of winter still to come no doubt we will see a white cap or two before long but maybe the soothsayers are right and Global Warming is really happening bang on our doorstep —

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Posted by on November 14, 2021 in out and about


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The Leaning Tower in the Town Square —

It started off near enough upright no with dancing girl enjoying the rare sunshine —-

But half an hour later it was beginning to tilt at the right corner —

It’s time I was out of here —

before I get the blame —

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Posted by on November 14, 2021 in out and about


A Proper TT Racer —

A few years back I put a post together on here titled ‘Building a TT Racer’ – from memory – which isn’t as good as it once was – the post centred on a Kawasaki twin I was doing something to in Bill Simpson’s race workshop at Dalbeattie —

I have no idea where this pic turned up from but it arrived in my WordPress account today and if anyone knows how to put these Kawasaki twins together it’s the guy on our left – Ryan Farquar BEM – who virtually invented the class. That’s Kieth Amor alongside him in the pic – for many years another top racer on the roads —

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Posted by on November 11, 2021 in out and about


Old Stones of Balmerino —

It wasn’t all about riding along admiring the views on south Tayside yesterday —

As I approached Wormit I spotted a lane heading down towards the shore and followed it until a number of PRIVATE signs as I neared the estuary encouraged me to take heed. The road sign at the junction had pointed to Balmerino – a new one on me – didn’t even sound like a place in Fife —

After wrestling the brute around on the narrow muddy road – she does weigh in the region of 250kgs and probably more – I mean what’s the point of underseat storage if you aren’t going to fill it with ‘just-in-case’ stuff’ like footpump + proper spanners and suchlike – so let’s say more like 375kgs plus rider – bet that got you sweating —

No worries – after backtracking for a hundred yards or so I spotted a hole in the roadside wall leading to a set of wooden access stairs and some interesting ruins —
Turns out the ruins were what was left of Balmerino Abbey – founded in 1229 by a group of Cistertian monks who had walked here from Melrose Abbey to spread the word about their branch of Christianity —

Sorry about that last pic – I’m going to blame technical difficulties – let’s go for something easier – like a 470 years old sweet chestnut tree still alive in the grounds —

Isn’t she a beauty —

and here’s the proof —

Around 1540 the abbey became a casualty of the War of the Wooing and the building was virtually destroyed. Local gentry appear to have nicked most of the stonework for the winning side to build their own farms and country houses – turbulent times back then —

With King Henry V111 up to his tricks – Mary Queen of Scots was betrothed as a two year old to a six years old English prince in an effort to combine the thrones of Scotland and England – not much has changed since. Boris would be a fit for Henry’s wicked ways in his ermine and crown but I’m not sure how Nicola would do as Mary Queen of Scots — she will need to get the striking binmen back to work first —

Best to leave the politics to those who get paid to do it – just ride your bike son —

you know it makes sense —

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Posted by on November 11, 2021 in out and about


South Bank Tay Estuary on the Honda X-ADV750 —

I was enjoying cutting – glueing and screwing a few bits and pieces of wood together to open up the rear of the Yeti but dry days are few and far between in Scotland at this time of year so it didn’t take much persuading to have me togged up in bike gear and off out on the Big Scoot —

A quick squint at the weather forecast showed sunshine on the Tay estuary so that gave me a route down the south bank —

Blue skies showing through streaky cloud guided me by Newburgh and Lindores Distillery to the Tay Railway bridge but they wouldn’t let me cross —

No worries – instead I found a pleasant Cafe in Wormit where I bagged a pavement table with a view of the bridge way upriver and scoffed a cracking bowl of minestrone soup to help keep out the chill —

That fired me up for a blowy crossing on the road bridge followed by a ride along the ever-changing Dundee waterfront and a gallop for home on the northern flank of the river by Perth – on mainly busy dual carriageway and A roads —

That’s Dundee over there but I will draw a veil over my misguided attempt to take a shortcut through Perth when my fuel gauge was showing a need for attention. There was so much stalled traffic in town that I couldn’t be bothered stopping for a refill and ran her the last thirty miles on the dregs —

Every mile I cover on this bike that appears to confuse motorcyclists in general – the more I like her and with 6000 miles clocked since May – that’s a whole lot of LIKE’s —

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Posted by on November 10, 2021 in out and about


Skoda Yeti for Motorhome —

Well not exactly but it’s getting more and more difficult to find last minute accommodation when travelling on the spur of the moment that I decided to make a bed space in this superb vehicle —

She does everything else so why not spend an occasional night in her when all else fails at the back of beyond —

The rear seats unclip and lift out in two shakes of a lamb’s tail in my particular model and considering no one has ever sat in the back in the six years I’ve had this car it’s a no brainer to get them out and replace them with an under-bed storage space —

I have already fitted a full size spare wheel under the floor in the rear compartment so the next step is to floor the whole area with 12mm plywood. I’ve just got to fix it all down now – decide what’s hinged and wot’s not so that it doesn’t come flying round our ears in the event of a collision and hey presto – we have a useful bedroom on wheels —

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Posted by on November 10, 2021 in out and about