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So - That Seals it!

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  This Seals the deal! - The seal colony at Ohau Point en-route from Kaikoura to Blenheim Hello again - Apologies it's been a little time since I last posted but - Well a few things have been going on which have delayed me sitting down and writing some prose. A bit more on that later but first I wanted to tell you about my latest bike trip - My first since proceeding on my leave. I rode down to Hanmer Springs via the Molesworth station (Pictured below) which is a route of just over 200Km from home and which goes via the Molesworth station, most of which is dirt or unsealed road. There are faster ways to Hanmer but this is by far the most scenic and really gets you into the land of the big blue sky and shows you some of the real NZ. The gate to the Molesworth station itself - You have to make sure the gate is closed after you as there's all sorts wandering around! Note the cattle road sign - It wasn't wrong! This was a chance for me to travel through the station before the r

Out and about

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  The mighty Suzuki M109 with a beautiful Cloudy Bay behind - Not a bad part of the world all said! Well hello folks and welcome to some more random mutterings here from the top of New Zealand's fabulous South Island. What a few weeks we've had with settled weather, warm temperatures and a fair few activities to keep things interesting - More on that in a minute. Firstly I'm soon to start my Leave Without Pay (LWOP) after having to ensure yet another rollercoaster of emotions at work this past week. In short I was asked to put myself forward for an upcoming promotion position which, it was thought, I had a really good chance of being chosen for. I have the qualifications, seniority and recent HQ/Staff Course experience which I thought was what they were looking for. It turns out that wasn't the case and so it feels like I'm back to square one in terms of getting ahead. On a positive note it has now solidified my plans to proceed on LWOP and so I'm going to take

Where did February go?!

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  The 'Lunar Rover' in all her glory So - It's March already and I'm left asking where the hell February went to? One minute it was leading up to my 48th birthdy and the next... Well... Above is our trusty Elddis motorhome which we brought over with us when we moved to NZ. Bringing it from the UK was a really good idea and we had visions of seeing the marvels of NZ in it. Alas life has simply gotten in the way and as such we just haven't used it anywhere nearly as much as we would like - Or as much as it needs to stay in good mechanical health. Having the dogs is a major factor in this too as they are pretty restricted in where they can go and so taking them with us in the motorhome is problematic. So it's up for sale and we've had quite a bit of interest in it. More than I expected if I'm honest. Poor old Emma has been fielding calls about it whilst I've been away at work and as such we now have 3 sets of people who've said they'd like to ta

Enjoying what we have

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As you can see above the summery weather has been bringing with it some interesting sights. Here's Fraser on the sun lounger with Emma on the swing seat next to him. Fraser follows Em pretty much all over the place and he seems to thrive on human company. Especially when they provide him with food and treats! Fraser turns 7 this year so in dog terms he's now middle aged but he seems to act like a teenager most f the time. In fact we often refer to him as 'Dufus' because of the daft things he does...   We are blessed here in Marlborough to have some cracking scenery and spots to go and visit. Quite a few of these are only accessible via dirt (Unsealed) roads which f course means the use of an off-road style of bike to get there. The picture above shows the picnic table at a spot called the 'Enchanted viewpoint' en-route to the summit of Mount Patriarch which I went to earlier today. It's a lovely little spot and I just sat there with my cup of coffee for a fe

Making some changes

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  Well hello there - Welcome to my next blog this week coming to you from our beautiful home here in Tuamarina after having been out and about in some of the more picturesque parts of our region. Above you can see a picture of Elaine Bay, some 17Km further on from Okiwi Bay which I showed you in previous posts. I went there today with the Institute of Advanced Motorists Top of the South group (TOTS for short) on one of our fairly regular social rides. We had a few more come along today too which was nice to see. Plus the weather really played ball all day. It was just right being in the mid-20s with a slight breeze to prevent things becoming too warm. Perfect. These rides are good for a whole bunch of reasons. They help improve my mental health, somewhat vital for me at the moment as work has been getting me down for some time, they get me out and about seeing even more of the area we live in, they help keep my riding sharp and they sometimes allow others to join the cause. Riding bett

Trying to be thankful

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It's funny how life throws us all the proverbial curve balls every now and again. It was once described to me (I can't remember by whom - So it must have been some time ago) as life's way of pressing the 'Reset' button for us all, whether we think we need it or not. Put another way 'Life is what happens to you whilst you're busy making other plans'. This saying has resonated with me for some years now and I'm a firm believer in its validity, even more so as I slide gracefully into middle age. I guess the fact is that, at almost 48 years old, people around you become ill, have crappy things befall them for seemingly no good reason and generally have life happen to them.  As one of my favourite F1 drivers, Martin Brundle, once said you make your own luck and I think that there's some truth to that but sometimes you do have to wonder abut the reasoning behind it all... The reason I've started off with this rather sombre tone is related to the ph

A further dabble into the world of cruisers

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As some of you will doubtless know I'm a mad keen motorcyclist - Have been since the age of 9 when, growing up in South Africa, we were bought a small 50cc Italjet off-road bike to ride in the nearby fields whilst living in a place called Ngodwana (More on that in future blogs) . That soon led to a small motocross bike, a Yamaha YZ80, being bought and many an enjoyable ride during the 1983 season before we moved to a place called Springs owing to Dad moving jobs once more and the riding was put on hold for some years. Fast forward to 1990, my final year in high school (Blimey that ages me...) and we were active in off-road riding once more, doing one-day-long enduro events and generally having a ball even if I was never the fastest person out there. Since the late 1990s I've been able to own my own bikes - I've being employed as a Royal Navy Officer to thank for that - And one genre of bike that has always puzzled me is cruisers. You know the thing - Big engines, lots of ch