Category Archives: Motorcycling

deep gratitude

Leisure enough to observe and enjoy the mesembryanthemum

After a busy weekend – plus lots of laundry, of course – I was less than bright and bubbly come Monday morning. It was fabulous to know that I could either roll over and go back to sleep if I wanted to, or simply take a few extra minutes then grab my coffee after everyone else had finished. Some sort of mix generally has more appeal and I don’t wand to miss out every morning on having coffee with the menfolk.

The days are sunnier and warmer (I say optimistically, though we’re also enduring low temperatures and torrential rain – but the ground isn’t as chilly as it has been and the daylight hours are definitely longer). The airborne nasties are making their presence felt and pollen levels are now indicated on the official weather site. Our noses are sufficiently sensitive to know that antihistamine ingestion would not be out of place. Sneezing inside a full-face motorbike helmet is yukky and dangerous. That happened to YoungB a few years ago and, as much all of us laughed when he told us, there’s no doubt it’s best avoided.

I can head out to long lunches or afternoon tea dates with friends and other family members, and casually spend the afternoon walking around a new housing development before hopping on a train to come home. All during working hours. And I can have late nights on the weekend after social outings that I was able to accept very last minute, because I don’t have to worry about being at my best the following morning for work.

I’ve resigned my union membership, which feels rather strange after so many years of solidarity. Without that ongoing financial commitment, I can take out a subscription to an e-book platform. I know that some of the lighthearted titles I have on my – lengthy! – book recommendation list won’t be available through the local library and I wouldn’t buy them myself as p-books. Some platforms have certain titles available free with a monthly subscription, making that cheaper than buying and therefore a cost-effective option. I just have to remember not to stay up all night reading, simply because I know that I don’t have to be up early next day. It’s probably not good for my blood pressure.

I have yet to start any Christmas crafting. The pageant is looming and, although I’m not there to see it from the office window, I’m sure the tree is going up in Vic Square. Another year is drawing to a close. We’ve had highs and lows and the pandemic is not over, but we’re all still here. I’m grateful for that, too.

And, you know, sunshine or storm – some days both! – we’re warm and secure.


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mature. or maybe not

Not that he wouldn’t, but that the bike couldn’t 😉

YoungB recently admitted to being partly at fault in a near-miss when he was coming home on his motorbike. This surely can’t be the same man who once said, when commended for NOT doing a mono at the traffic lights, not that he wouldn’t do that. Oh, no. He instantly replied that you couldn’t do a mono with the learner-legal bike he was riding because it didn’t have enough torque. Not that he wouldn’t do it. Dear me, no. Most improperly, I laughed.

So, on that recent occasion, I looked carefully at this adult admitting to his own poor behaviour and less than sound judgment. I suddenly understood my Dad once commenting, “You’re nearer 30 than 20 now.” O-kay. I’d come home from night duty and was simply enjoying a morning cuppa with him before I turned in. I could imagine him thinking how it wasn’t so long ago that I was a tiny baby – as indeed I was – and now here I was, this responsible, grown woman with a house, a car, and a couple of cats. Quite the credibility gap. I laughed at that, too.

Happens to most of us. We do it. We grow up. But I still laugh at things I shouldn’t 🙂


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hunting gremlins in the harness

Demolition progress, sans gremlins I think

The simplest things are often the most mystifying. What the Bs were up to on Saturday wasn’t earth-shatteringly difficult or blokes-only motorcyclist business, although I loved YoungB’s description of it. They were fault-finding a longstanding ignition problem on one of the motorbikes. While they were doing that, I was working back along the enclosing of row 15 of the temperature blanket. They found their fault, to whoops of joy, and I finished the enclosing PLUS made the first square of row 16. While finishing those ends, I also finished ends on two centres I’d made during my cityward commute on Friday.

Yes, I had a day at the office last Friday, in my role as First Aid Officer! We have to ensure cover if there’s anyone physically at the CBD site and the roster reached me. The office was practically empty and, therefore, weirdly quiet. I’m back again next Friday in the same capacity, but otherwise continuing to WFH. The real benefit of the commute, however, was that it enabled me to produce another couple of centres for the ever-lengthening temperature blanket.

Oh, and being right there in the CBD with that high-rise-view gave me a chance to check the demolition progress. Impressive!

I hope your views are all equally impressive 🙂

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Posted by on January 31, 2022 in Crochet, Motorcycling


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not lunchtime crochet

The few bumpy bits disappeared into the next row

Very last-minute, the Bs decided to indulge in some retail therapy at a city motorbike shop. I wasn’t interested in being part of that. However, they suggested lunch together at the Market afterwards. That sounded much more interesting! I found a nearby pub and sat in a sunny corner with a coffee while they shopped to their heart’s content.

Did I not crochet while I sipped? Do I think that blanket is going to make itself? I didn’t and I don’t. I looked at grabbing a ball of yarn with the aim of making a bunch of centres, but decided against it. Too much danger of things being spilt while I worked.

Once home, I made a pile of centres. I couldn’t think how to store them, but came up with the idea of using an old DPN. There are only 3 that size, and they are much too fragile to use for knitting. I poked one end in a tab that had broken off a blocking mat and decided that, all in all, that wasn’t a bad way to do the job. Those centres have been joined to their middles and are all now part of the blanket.

I have almost finished working back along the joining of row 8. The first square with an Indian blue centre, which was that very cold day back in May, is now fully incorporated. I think this is not bad progress, given that I work full-time.

I hope you’re catching up on any craft projects that are keeping you busy 🙂


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their view of the weekend

There might even be fish! Photo by Gianluca D. Pompili

Aside from yesterday’s cousin catch-up, my weekend view has been mostly about laundry – I could hardly believe the number of SOCKS in YoungB’s basket! – interspersed with large amounts of cleaning and tidying, updating genealogical info, and some crochet.

The Bs’ weekend? A motorbike road trip that end up with them camping overnight in a national park. Yeah. Life’s tough. Like Dr B’s recent previous overnight camping trip, this had been postponed a few times and the decision to seize the opportunity was somewhat last minute. I’m led to believe it was worth the wait.

I hope you’ve been able to seize a few opportunities lately?


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squaring up

Eggs Benedict for YoungB – not our photo, but one from the cafe

Dr B recently had a dental procedure and, being allergic only to kryptonite as he is, was cracking fairly hardy – ie, being foolish – about taking adequate pain relief. I lent him my venerable (but still potent) bottle of clove essential oil to assist with topical treatment. He loved its efficacy and – bonus – the house smelt nice. He then went off for a long-planned (and several times postponed) overnight motorcycle jaunt with his group of old codgers. Obviously, the clove oil went with him. It did not, however, make the return trip. He lost it. I don’t want to know how. He probably doesn’t know how!

Back home, YoungB and I were out enjoying a mother-and-son breakfast before going our separate ways for a busy day. Having decided against a couple of popular eateries whose coffee doesn’t impress either of us enough to make the food attractive, we’d elected to patronise a nearby cafe where we know the food and coffee are both good. We were sitting outside in the sunshine, shivering only a bit, when the message came from Dr B: please buy some replacement clove oil. Righto then.

Luckily, there was a warehouse-style pharmaceutical outlet at the shopping centre. I was able to grab the last two bottles they had: one for Dr B to do with as he will, the other for me. I would have paid whatever was necessary as I don’t like being without clove oil and Dr B plainly needed it. But here’s where having a Seniors Card is useful: I got a discount!

Let’s call that all square, shall we?


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not that right

I spotted these colourful hollyhocks in a neighbourhood garden

The other day, the Bs were out on a motorcycle jaunt. I decided to go for a walk. I know I’ve written at length about the walking options in our neighbourhood. That day, I decided I’d do the right-hand loop. In my mind’s eye I could see the long, straight uphill haul that would be my halfway point. I put a load of laundry to do its stuff – see what I did there?! – grabbed my water bottle and off I went.

And that was sort of that, because I wasn’t paying attention to anything much and turned left, not right. It makes no difference at all to the distance travelled, merely puts the ups and downs in reverse order. Perhaps it was my subconscious telling me that going the other way made for a warmer start, and that the shaded part of the path would be less shady if I left it till later; all of which was and is quite true.

I’ve been out walking a few mornings lately – the energy of it, all before work! – because it’s a time of day that, dislike it as I might, seems to fit in better with a working day that exhausts me. There’s less traffic about, so the air is crisp and not yet filled with exhaust fumes, and sometimes I do stop to look at the flowers. I don’t feel virtuous, but it must be doing me good.

I hope all your exercise makes you feel virtuous and does you good 😀


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heat afflicted

These survived the heat better than mine

My geraniums survived the heat really well, thanks to my providing them with some shading. The agapanthus were not quite so lucky. They’re in shade for part of the day, and otherwise too tall and too many for me to manage the provision of extra shading. I ensured they were watered well, but the blossoms took a beating and are still a little droopy. I know they will come good.

I was out on an unexpected mercy mission this afternoon, when Dr B’s motorbike developed a fault as he was on his way home from a long ride. I ended up parking alongside someone else’s agapanthus bed. Theirs are better located, in that they would get morning sun and receive more protection from the afternoon sun than mine do. They’re looking pretty good.

I took a photo for you 🙂

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Posted by on November 29, 2020 in gardening, Motorcycling


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one of his little haunts

Recently, Dr B and I undertook a quick trip to the Barossa Valley. It wasn’t strictly planned. There came a point where I said, “Left or right?” and he said, “Left.” So, left we went up the road, under the Jacob’s Creek arch, and found ourselves in Tanunda.
Perhaps now best known as an iconic part of the Tour Down Under but also part of the Heysen Trail and the broader Barossa Trails network

By then it was coffee time for sure, and brunch time almost as surely. We found a park, then found ourselves at a cafe well known to Dr B from both pushbike and motorbike ride pit stops, and not unknown to me from a couple of family catch-ups in the days when such things were still possible.

Of course it’s different now, with about half the number of tables and fewer chairs per table. The good part about that is that there’s considerably less noise than before, so Dr B and I were able to converse quite easily. Even allowing for sparser occupancy, there was a cosy enough atmosphere and we enjoyed our brunch-time break.

I hope any unexpected outings that come your way prove equally as pleasant 🙂


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day’s end indoors again

Reduce, reuse, recycle… it IS a gin bottle, but that’s water. Honest!

Just like that, another working week has vanished. I remain WFH, which does not equate to slacking off, so at this busy time of year, the flexitime tends to accrue. The weariness builds up commensurately. I reached Friday evening so exhausted that, when my network connection kept dropping out, I took it as a sign that I should finish a few minutes early: by the time I’d stoked everything up again, assuming it were stable enough for me to do so, it would have been time to shut down and finish for the day, anyway. So, yes, that was plainly not happening.

YoungB and a mate had planned a camping jaunt for the weekend, but the weather forecast was so ill-suited to camping that they – reluctantly but, I think, sensibly – called it off. While the predicted storms have not yet eventuated (there’s still time), it would have been an extremely cold and fairly miserable experience. They will probably try again when the weather is kinder. By way of compensation, he took his car off for a drive in the Hills with another friend, and mentioned perhaps taking in a movie – nicely indoors and protected from the weather in either case.

For me, it’s been a good day to stay indoors and try to untangle some family research: which Timothy Murphy is the right one? Is that other Murphy family anything to do with mine? Probably; but if so, it’s a long way back and before they came to Australia. Is that Thomson there going to cause confusion with the Thompsons in the same line, and the Thompsons in the other line? Genealogy: you have to love it. Luckily, I do; although they are all genuine questions and, yes, sorting out who belongs where requires dedication and a certain amount of muttering about repetitive naming patterns.

Dr B, meanwhile, has been in the shed reupholstering a couple of motorbike saddles. Yes, I know. It’s become his current obsession, but he has enjoyed the work and saved some money. You’re right to assume that, by this stage of his life, he already has most of the tools required, so it’s been mostly a matter of purchasing fabrics and padding. I’d be all sorts of a hypocrite if I complained about that, wouldn’t I?! He bullied cajoled YoungB into reupholstering the passenger saddle on his motorbike, too.

Whatever you’ve been up to today, I hope it’s kept you out of the worst of the weather 🙂


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