Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Friday, 19 May 2017

France Day 4 - 19 May 17

Dear Reader,

We had a real cracker of a thunder storm overnight and consequently an extremely poor nights sleep.   So it was up early, a single cup of tea and on the road by 8am.  We visited a few memorials and cemeteries in the Arras area and then hit the road to Calais.   I did stop at a McD near Arras for a cup of Earl Grey and a bun..  Then Gertie threw another hissy fit and put us on the A1 and then in the blink on an eye we missed the direct road to Calais and went via Lille in the North along the A26 to Dunkirk and back down to the Chunnel.   Ah well we did manage to avoid Belgium !! But rode through constant drizzly all the way...

I am now lounging in the Chunnel Terminal await my turn to be called forward to board.....   I am keeping myself amused by watching the amount of wine and beer being loaded into cars and vans.....  

Thursday, 18 May 2017

France Day 3 - 18 May 17

Dear reader,

All good things come to an end and yesterday's hot weather turned into a storm during the night - lots of high winds and driving rain... on top of all that disappoint I found out that the bar and restaurant aren't open until June...... but at least the owner had the presence of mind to stock up his fridge with some local Le Blonde at 6.5% proof, and what a good night cap that was...... storm huh what storm....

We hit the road at about 8.30 this morning and took in the sights at the South African Memorial, the Tank Memorial, The Poziers Memorial, the Arras underground Museum, the New Zealand Memorial and the Lochnagar Crater..... most of it in the rain..

I did manage some real food at a McDonalds at Arras... don't sigh... it was good food, the room was warm and dry, I managed to charge my iPad, use the free WiFi and finally use the toilet facilities - all the cost of a Big Mac and chips.... can't be bad..

It's now 3pm and it has finally stopped raining and I am back at the campsite. Just checking the route back to Calais avoiding the Motorways. Then onto the metal rabbit and across to Folkestone....... I will take the scenic route home as I am in no hurry to get home and unpack. I will have the house to myself until Sunday, but I do have to visit my late Mum's Cottage as the grass will need cutting and thing need to be sorted before it goes onto the market..

So far a good trip and you just can't help but feel stunned by the scale of the dead and wounded in the 'Great War' of 1914 - 18. I was good to see so many bus-loads of school children at these locations - I hope they appreciate what was done by so many - they sacrificed their tomorrows for our today's...... Black Adder 4 - Over the Top had got the madness just right.....


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Strange goings on.....

There I was just sitting at a bench/table by the shower block (the best place for WiFi) and reading Lois Pryce's latest book when I was approached - no other way to describe it really. He was wearing a pale blue pair of mini speedos or even micro ones... clutching a pair of raybans and a pink iPhone and proceeded to sit at the same bench. He said "good evening" and asked how I was, and where I am from etc and then openly dialled up 'Grinder' on his phone - muttering no, no, maybe and yes as I packed up my book and prepared to move on..... "Are you staying long" he said" with a Dutch accent.... What steps should I take? f******* big ones says I... I am now hiding in my tent.....LOL. I shall shower later .....

Vimy Ridge, Thiepval and Newfoundland Memorials

France Day 2 - 17 May 17

After a good night sleep, only woken by the pouring rain during the night, I was having my first cup on tea at 6am.   I have decided to stay and the same camp site for all three night as it is so peaceful here.   

We set off at 8.30 this morning ( I should explain that 'we' are Madiba and I) I know that my last bike was Madiba and that this one was Herman (coz it comes from Germany) but I just can't ride a bike called Herman-the-German.....

Out first destination was the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge, and very impressive it is to.  Then we moved on to the memorial to the Somme at Thiepval and lastly to the Newfoundland memorial at Beaumont-Hemel.   All were very impressive.  The numbers are just staggering 57,000 casualties including 19,000 killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme!!

Tomorrow we are going to the Somme Museum in Albert, the Lochnagar Crater of La Boisselle and the South African Memorial of Longueval.   Let his hope the weather stays fair.

I will a try to post some photos when I get a good WiFi signal.....


Pink cow !!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

France Day 1 - 16 May 17

Dear reader,
Started out this morning at silly o'clock and made good progress to Folkestone. The train was delayed 25 minutes due to a technical hitch but I am in no hurry. Had a quiet read on the train whilst the other 3 bikers talked broken biscuits about bhp, torque and performance of their BMWs. I had a relaxing ride down to the first camp site just outside Arras, although a closed road did send Gertie Garmin into a spin for a moment. I stopped at a couple of British Cemetery's Ian the area of Vimy Ridge (which I will visit again tomorrow).

It was cool and overcast when I left home this morning, abut riding through Northern France the temperature started to rise and I wished I hadn't put on two layers this morning. Having said that there were some brisk side winds on the exposed hills - having opted to void all motorways this weekend.

This campsite is nice and quiet and only €10 for the night.

Nite nite

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Let's get back on the road....

Right lets do it.... the weather is OK, my chest infection appears to be clearing up, I can't get to the OX 2017 in the USA this year, so I have decided to take a short 4 day trip the battlefields of The Somme in France. I need to get the tent aired and the packing list checked!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

That's better....

Motorcycle Maintenance Course

I had a nice ride up from the New Forest to Haywards Heath to attend a 2 day course.  Had a good day - very informative.  Then a quick ride up to the Hotel !!

So much for planning - I booked the hotel in advance, arrived in good time only to find out they did not have a booking 💩💩bugger.  I went online to find another hotel nearby and finally managed to book a room - I get a confirmation email stating that I had booked two rooms - cancel one I thought - cancellation fee £50 - bugger again - finally got through on the phone (10 minutes on hold) and managed to cancel one free of charge - computers are bollocks...... 

Now staying at the pompously named Europa Gatwick Hotel near Crawley....  update to follow after food and a pint.....🥃🥃

Friday, 24 March 2017

All change....

Dear Readers,

Sadly I have had to postpone my trip to Morocco in April until October 2017, as my 90 year old Mother has been admitted to hospital with terminal lung cancer. I am visiting daily and doing what I can. So sad she is such a lovely lady.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Nigel's off to Morocco

Just getting ready - just two weeks to go..
New tyres tomorrow, and then just the packing to sort aarrgghhhhh.  If you want to follow the route taken, I will try to remember to switch the Spot Nav on every day - it will ping the location every moving 4 hours!!

Spot nav link is:

And the password is Madiba and hopefully  you can filter out all the other trips and just see the current one...

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Bugger it's Storm Doris.....

A quick ride into Southampton today to meet David to go through the possible itinerary for our trip to Morocco in April. The ride in was fine and dry and a little gusty but the ride home was Crap... oh how I hate high cross winds... especially gusting winds of 50mph plus. I tried to keep off the M27 and A31 as they are quite exposed in places, so I took the forest route via Brook but I forgot that it is even more exposed over the heath by the High Corner Inn. I did not enjoy that at all but at least there was not much traffic on that route.

It reminded me of scary myself fartless riding through Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle last year..

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


It has been pointed out to me that I have not blogged in a while - sorry about that but I have been mainly busy with home projects : as laid down by management !!! Painting, Decorating, Gardening, fix this, repair that etc etc.

I have had a few days out on the bike just to keep it warm... I also visited the Motorcycle Live at the NEC Birmingham although I did chicken out of taking the bike as there was a storm running and riding for 6 hours in the rain was not a good idea so I took a car ; but had to pay the £12 parking fee?

I also tried to see one of the bikes on EBay - lots of views (934), 2 enquiries, 1 visit but no bids... ah well it owes me nothing so I still have the twins..

Planning has started for Morocco 2017... I just want to get warm again...

Friday, 4 November 2016

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Another day in 4x4 heaven!!!

Good evening dear readers,
I spent another restless night at this event, in spite of having a couple of cans with John from Felixstowe.   I was in bed by 10pm but I was awoken during the night by the wind blowing through the barrier tape at the other side of the hedge, and then again when the f******** Exped Air bed deflated ( I had it returned and repaired just 3 weeks ago)... Into the bin with that later....

I spent the day wandering through the the endless lines of Landrovers (Landys), Discoverys (Disco's), 110 and even some 101's.  !!!   Everything you can think of the to fix up and bling your vehicle ready to drive it down to the supermarket and back.   Not very much for the biker I fear.   I will not bother next year.   I suppose the next event will be the Motorcycle Show at the NEC in November. 

I met up with Nathan Millward at lunch time and then walked around again...  I have just had supper and another brew so an ready for another sleepless night.   The weather has been grey and overcast all day and the forecast is overnight rain.   I will make an early and hasty departure after breakfast and ride back home the long way, again taking the back roads.

Friday, 23 September 2016

September - Adventure Overland Show Stratford-upon-Avon

I have just arrived at the show and it starts tomorrow for 2 days.
The ride up was good as I had taken to the back roads where possible.  Lots of traffic in the popular towns in the Cotswolds and a few idiots but that is to be expected of car drivers....

I brought the Khyam Biker tent as it hasn't had a trip out for some time - I had forgotten just how spacious it is... about twice the size of my usual tent.

Not too many bikers here yet... I can see just 5 from here....

The bike ran very well.  I had issues yesterday as I was trying to fit pannier fixings (Supplied by Zen Overland)...  The problem was that I mounted the left side first.. But when I came to fit the right side it would have been too low and therefore touching the exhaust!!!  Bugger.   The only way out was to either re-drill the holes and re site the left one or....... change the exhaust for one that I happen to have in the garage.   It was a it do a fight but it is now in place.  It is not a quiet as the original but it works.

Now to get the kettle on and get supper ready...

Thursday, 22 September 2016


I got carried away with the polishing mop. I meant to clean up the bash plate on the bike but ended up with a mirror finish!!!!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The twins in the sunshine

Just get packed for the Overland Adventure show at Stratford upon Avon the weekend....

Now which bike ? It will have to be Madiba... He has not been out since coming back from the USA...

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Dizzy again

Got home from the Overland event on Monday only to have a reoccurance of Labyrinthitis.... Dizziness and loss of balance plus feeling nauseous ... Stayed in bed until this morning... Managed to unpack the bike and hang up the tent etc to dry.. even managed to mow the lawn.

Now knackered and need to sit down a while. It really is a weird feeling, just move your head and the whole world starts to spin... Just like those awful moments when you have had too much to drink and you lie down a try to close your eyes - whooooow super car .... but without the booze.....

Now I need to sort out a haircut and a shave before my birthday on the 11th September

Monday, 29 August 2016

The end of a good weekend....

Back to mowing, painting, repairs and just a few items to fix about the house...

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Some storm and it is still raining now ⛈⛈⛈

At the Overland Event in Oxford

Hi Readers

A long gap since blogging last.
Well we set off on Tuesday and headed for the West Country..... David and I camp for the first night at Bridgetown on Exmoor... Yes it rained... On Wednesday we rode down to Okehampton and yes it rained again... Then on Thursday we attempted to have casual ride to Glastonbury but got caught on the M5 for 2 hours as some tart was on a bridge threatening to jump.... She brought the whole of the West Country to a stand still. Another 20 miles on I had to stop as the bike was not running at all well.... it felt like the clutch was buggered... After closer inspection it turned out to be the heated grip had parted company with the throttle handle and so I applied 3 cable ties to the grip and that will fix it until I get home.

We eventually arrived at Glastonbury and found a very good camp site next to the Tor... The toilets and showers scored 9 out of ten. We walked into Glastonbury for a beer or two... Note there are a lot of hills in this part of the world..... and we walked most of them..... A very hippy place... but my legs were knackered by the time we got back, and just in time to hit the sack as the rain poured down again...

On the Friday we had a in gently ride into the Overland Event and arrived at about 11:30. All set up and ready for the event and Mick O'Malley arrived and we had a good evening with a few drinks with Colin, Mick, Brandon, David and Hulme.

It is now Saturday noon as I write this... The weather is part sun part overcast. So now another walk around is required, the tea and coffee is free all day.. There are lots of people I know and it is great to meet them and swap travel stories, especially now that I can add my trip to the USA into the mix.. They are such interesting and nice people... and as I always say; it is great to turn up and and people to know you.....