Tag: Holiday

Jolly hols/ honeymoon

Hi, we made it! All the way to Inverness, within spitting distance of the famous Loch Ness. Yeah verily, it rocked! The journey wasn’t too much fun, the poor little Micra being thrashed mercilessly for seven or so hours each way. Two hundred and forty miles of toe-down motorway, then another one hundred and thirty three miles of (actually very good, fast, and challenging) ‘A’  roads. Poor little Micra. Some of those hills go on forever. We had been warned previously, so I was able to…, make sure I was maintaining my usual law abiding progress, but there were two cops on the motorway bridges, and a third in one of those ambush vans when we hit Scotland. The roads get empty, there is nothing and no-one for you to hit, and coppers everywhere. Go figure, as the colonials would have it. That aside, the drive into Scotland was grand in every sense of the word. It’s so BIG! Massive countryside and it just keeps on coming. The roads are a bikers dream. Even in the mighty Micra they were superb. Get around there on a Japanese pocket rocket…wow! You wouldn’t even have to kill yourself, the roads are so good. Enough rhapsodising about the application of Mr Mc Adams finest. We arrived more or less on time, having barely got lost, but couldn’t at first find the caravan. We rang Bonnie (the owner, nice person) up and found we had gone past it. We were relieved and gutted in equal measure. We had just (after driving for three hundred and seventy seven miles) realised I hadn’t checked to see if was just an internet scam. That would have been irksome. It looked to be genuine so we were relieved, but we had just passed a shabby, ill used caravan so we were at best apprehensive. When we retraced our route Bonnie was stood outside and directed us in. The caravan was hidden around the back, completely screened by trees on all sides, and in a large field on its own. Joy! The caravan was lovely, the setting idyllic, the vista picturesque. Splendid. We just chilled that evening, knackered as we were from the travelling. Later on I was waiting for it to get properly dark so we could see the stars. There were no street lights and no urban pollution so I thought I would get an unparalled view. Half ten and it was dusk, eleven, still dusk, twenty to twelve and you could still read a book in the light that was left! I gave up and went to bed. Land of the midnight sun! We decided to go out to see Loch Ness and Urqhart castle the next day. I went searching high and low and couldn’t find my camera. I found the spare batteries, the battery charger, but no bloody camera, and I’d just bought a memory card specifically for this holiday. Bastard. Not to let it mar the holiday we went and did the tourist […]

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Day off, huzzah!

Finally got a weekend off. It’s been six weeks since my last proper one. (My last actual one, three weeks ago, I was dying with that cold and had the sinus pain issues. I would have preferred to have been working and well, than off and in that state.)  I had lots of vague plans about what I was going to do, i.e. gardening and generally pottery about having a good time. Not a bleeding bit of it. I had a few chores to do; shopping, nipping to town to the bank (while I was there I wanted to nip to Wilkinson’s to spend my £10 voucher that I got off Iceland for Xmas on lovely plants), and nip my sisters to drop off a (day late) card for her youngest. I went to do the shopping at about half past ten. Half past ten, mind you. Not dinner time, not after work on a Friday, not Saturday or Sunday. Half past ten on a week day. It was chocker. Every doddering idiot, coffin dodger, and work-shy chav was in Asda. Why? They were out in force, all determined to stroll around and stop and chat in the middle of the narrowest isles, blocking my  passage (ooer, Mrs.!). Don’t let my attempts to shop interrupt your conversation you bovine, slack-jawed, ignorant, embodiment of the argument for compulsory euthanasia. So that went well. Then there was the ‘nip’ to town. Some fool in the council has decided it would be a fun idea to block of one of the main roads through Warrington. The joy just keeps coming. It had a knock-on effect of stopping dead all the roads that stray vaguely near the closed one. So I aborted the card dropping off mission. I got home to find a letter on my mat from some debt collection agency saying I owe them £80. Apparently the DVLA had passed them the bill for collection after I had repeatedly ignored their letters about registering my Bandit. The last time I did the paperwork for the Bandit I informed them that it was SORN, and that I  had moved address. Sorn declarations are free, but only when the DVLA send the damn reminder to the right address. Oh yes indeed, that lifted my mood still further. I ran upstairs, went online to the thrice damned DVLA, and their website says ‘when changing address you have to send your registration document back to have the address changed.’ I changed my license details (with the DVLA. A pox on them) and assumed that all my driving details would be updated. Or at least that they would have the wit to check if my license details had changed before hitting me with an £80 bill and handing it over to a debt recovery agency. Especially as SORN is free. A curse on the DVLA and all who sail on her. When the rage had subsided, after I’d had time to realise they had me and all […]

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Getting there

Today has been better. I clipped one pavement, and struggled with that bloody reverse manoeuvre, but other than that it was a lot better. I woke up this morning. and more or less my first thought was ‘hang on, no matter what vehicle you were in, if  you were too close to an object steering in to it would not have avoided it’. Double bugger. Any vehicle that has front wheel steering and a fixed set of back wheels must turn around the back axle. The front wheels turn the front of the vehicle but the pivot point must be the rear wheel. In other words if you get the back axle clear of an object you can put your steering on full lock and not hit it. So not only did I take out those railings, but I then deluded myself as to why. The pavement I clipped (OK, mounted, damn you) today was at an offset island. The painted hump in the road was to the right of centre on what would have otherwise been a large open T junction. You were drawn helplessly into steering to the left of the painted island. The instructor warned me to steer straight across it, and that it was a huge temptation to try and steer around the island, but steer straight across it. Even hearing all this, and him saying "don’t steer to the left, don’t steer to the left" as I’m on the island, my hands still moved the wheel over to the left. Damn those treacherous hands! If only there were some way to bring them under control and bend them to my will! Well, that was a pain. the other instance of lack of control on a cornering exercise was where the road was approaching a roundabout. It opened up into two lanes, there were hash markings on the road and a raised pavement with railings. All of these things are clues that the corner is going to be a bastard for trucks. So I went in a bit wide, pinching some of the next lane, got my front into the island then fixated on getting my arse end through without hitting the pavement. I saw it was getting tight so I swang the cab out further into the next lane. Right idea, but I should have gone in holding that line. As it was if there had been anyone beside me I would have squashed them like the insignificant car-driving bug they were. There wasn’t anyone there, thankfully. The other source of stress is that reversing exercise. You have to start in one lane, reverse backwards and to the side to line up in a different lane, with a lane or two (road lanes size) separating them. I’m still having to be told what to do. On my last attempt today I started by doing what he said, then went my own way a bit. Instead of starting the turn, straightening up, moving diagonally across the […]

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