Loki Loves the Agapanthus – Not!

My Lily of the Nile (agapanthus) which came to me as a tiny cutting from the parent plant in the artist Hornel’s garden down in Kirkcudbright when I was a volunteer guide there doesn’t impress our Loki one bit judging by his tongue out pose — he can be like a recalcitrant teenager at times —

I gave the small plant two summers at Daar Lodge before transplanting the African Lily to the rigours of a windswept Bardrishaig on the Isle of Luing for three seasons – now blooming on her second season here in Comrie she is proving to be none-the-worse for her adventures as the myriad blossoms show —

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Posted by on August 9, 2021 in out and about


One Man and His Dog —

Herding sheep in the Sma’ Glen —

Our Loki seems more interested in fish — the sheep are over here Loki —

All four of them —

Not much chance of me chasing them — stuck out here on a rock in the river —

But there’s method in my madness – the trees and grass are full of midgies —

I might still have a bit of muscle in my upper half – but the legs are totally wasted —

No worries – we had a really nice spot above the bridge in the popular Sma’ Glen all to oursel’s — and for once we remembered to take sandwiches on our picnic —

and – apart from the rock I was sitting on – this was my favourite —

I would love to have been a geoligist —

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Posted by on August 8, 2021 in out and about


Honda X-ADV 750 all alone at the Welly

I enjoyed my ride up to the welly today — fully expected to meet rain on the way but it remained dry. I parked her up with the ‘Big Boys’ – a cruiser style Rocket 3 and sum sort of Harley before heading off to find a cool coffee —

Had a brief chat with the guys as they got ready for another leg of their ride home to Derby. Turns out they had been doing the NC500 — struggling in the wet might be a better way of describing it. The guy with the Rocket 3 had just bought the beast prior to heading north and had almost been on his derriere a few times —

Perhaps I didn’t express sufficient sympathy or maybe it’s just the way I tell ’em – whatever – in two shakes of a lamb’s tail the Big Scoot and I found ourselves alone in the bike park on what is normally a busy August Sunday —

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Posted by on August 8, 2021 in out and about


Quick flip to the Isle of Luing on the Honda X-ADV750

With an imminent wet spell forecast I decided to catch up with son on Luing – due to covid concerns and so-forth it appears I haven’t been back there since leaving the island for Comrie over 18 months ago. The X-ADV certainly knows the way to Oban and had me there in a jiff – she makes child’s play of road miles – but even so the mid-morning Costa coffee was very welcome.

Unlike the Calmac boats which are in disarray throughout the Hebrides at the moment – the council run ferry running between the Cuan’s was bang on time and had me over on Luing in jigtime —

All too soon my fleeting visit was over and I was heading back across the island for the mid-afternoon boat on my return leg and made it home to Comrie in time for dinner. With 180 miles under the wheels – not a bad way to spend a summer’s day —

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Posted by on August 5, 2021 in out and about


Dreaming with the X-ADV750

There I was earlier today sitting at the top of the steps doing what old boys do – nursing my ‘too-hot’ coffee and dreaming of past glories – however trivial —

When I opened my eyes – there was the missus striding across the square with that welcome smile!

So full of life – makes me thankful to be still alive and kicking – even with my limp —

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Posted by on July 28, 2021 in out and about


So what would you do with an early TDM860?

After thrashing her on public roads for a year I took a grindette to mine – fitted a few bits of fibreglass I had laying around my workshop – gave the motor to Howard Cross to find some more ponies – made up a home-brewed exhaust – splashed out on a nice set of lightweight wheels from Racing Lines – gave the plastics to Ali at Bike Paints for a stunning pink and purple paint job and rode the whole ensemble in early nineties BOTT series and Scottish Open-class races —

I did like that bike —

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Posted by on July 28, 2021 in out and about


Shades of the Honda X-ADV750

I don’t think I will be looking for a shady spot close to a coffee house to park the Big Scoot for a while —

Our heatwave appears to be over and it’s now thunder – lightning and torrential rain with the threat of giant hailstones in the forecast for the next few days.

At least I shouldn’t have to water the garden —

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Posted by on July 27, 2021 in out and about


The 5hp Yamaha Outboard

Yes this little outboard has been on my mind since Spring. I think I last used it late August 2020 and having had experience of our new style green-ish petrol ‘going off’ on low-mileage motorbike carbs I didn’t want the same thing happening with my treasured outboard motor.

With summer passing in a veritable heat haze there was nothing else for it – other than to dig the wee brute out of the corner of my shed and mount it on a home-brewed jury rig set up bolted to my workbench. To think I used to chuck 20kgs Test Weights around like frisbees for a living – I don’t find this supposedly 25kgs of outboard motor the easiest thing to handle but I got her up and safely secured. I even found the piss-pot from previous years to immerse the prop in at a safe depth and soon had her burbling away like a good ‘un – just proves the power of Redex in the right place at the right time.

That wee footstool I picked up on a visit to the rubbish dump pre-covid fitted a treat – after I had ripped off the leatherette covered cushion and screwed on a hardwood capping from my dwindling stock of ‘just-in-case’ timber.

Seems like I’m running out of excuses for not having the good ship Hede on the loch this year —

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Posted by on July 24, 2021 in out and about


To Rannoch Moor with the X-ADV 750

With temperatures in the high twenties it’s never an easy decision to don bike gear and head out but at times like this the open face Bell helmet comes into it’s own. Wearing this little beauty is tempting fate I know as it is a Roland Sands Replica of my first crash helmet bought second-hand from a mate over sixty years ago —

I managed to break my neck in a road accident while wearing my first version of it but the worst thing that happened on this trip – if I discount the bicycle hanging from my right ear – was to look at the first pic and find the Scoot parked facing south instead of north.

That’s better – I’m obviously getting too old for this game —

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Posted by on July 23, 2021 in out and about


All in a Morning’s Work to the X-ADV750

Any excuse will do to throw a leg over the Big Scoot and head by Loch Earn and Loch Lubnaig to Callander for a coffee from Fat Jack’s in the picturesqueTown Square —

Today my excuse was that I’d run out off Tile Grout Reviver and I knew just the place that might have some – yup – Screw-it – and screw it I did – the 60 plus miles of twisting – undulating loch-side roads were manna from heaven to the X-ADV 750 and that’s one tiled wall done —

Darn it! The camera on my Samsung is clearer than the naked eye – it shows up the bits I’ve missed! I might just have to get the Scoot back out of the shed and ride over to Callander for another tube off the stuff —

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Posted by on July 9, 2021 in out and about