Where did February go?!


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 take it... Blimey this selling thing is hard work sometimes.

 'Claudia' the Moto Guzzi V85tt near Oyster Bay

On a separate note some will know that I keep a close eye on my bikes' fuel consumption. It's a petrolhead/engineer thing but I also believe that it's a good warning sign that all is not 100% with a machine when the fuel consumption does a wobbly. My Guzzi pictured above is a lovely bike which I've owned for just over 12 months now. It is labelled as an 'Classic Enduro travelling machine' by the manufacturers and I reckon that they are about right. I also reckoned, until recently that is, that being Italian would mean that the fuel gauge would be hopelessly pessimistic.

It turns out that the Italians know a thing or two about making fuel gauges that work properly nowadays as I found out when I took it to the local fuel station from our place a week or two back. It turns out that when the fuel range display stops registering and the gauge shows no bars of fuel left that it really is out of fuel...

Cue some swear words and grunting as I pushed it the couple of hundred meters back home again... At least I now know for future reference I guess! I managed to stick some fuel in which I keep for lawnmower duty and head off down to the station once more. Being a European bike it needs more than the standard 91 Octane fuel which is the standard stuff on offer here in NZ. Thankfully our local station stocks 95 as well as 100+ Octane too. Just as well really as a few of the bikes are a bit fussy when it comes to that.

Finally on a more reflective note I was told just over a week ago that my Grandmother on my father's side of the family had suffered a stroke back in the UK. As it turns out she has recovered remarkably well and has returned home once more but it was the first time that such an event has happened to us since we've been in the UK - Mad all the worse by COVID-related lockdowns and travel restrictions. There's nothing much for it of course but it has hightlighted how life can turn in a giffy and make us all feel very vulnerable again very quickly.

No one on the Blackburn side of the family is very close or indeed very good at keeping in touch with each other. To be frank I stopped making the effort myself when we moved here to NZ as the effort never really seemed to be reciprocated in any way, shape or form. This last week has left me wondering whether that was the right course of action on my part and has led to some soul searching on my part. What do others think?

Speak again soon - Please leave a comment if this has made you think a bit too.



  1. Lee, I had an anxious moment on the KTM recently when I forgot to fill up on the way home. The fuel gauge was surprisingly accurate and I got home with about a litre left. What was scary though was how sensitive the "fuel remaining" was to uphill and downhill attitude when not much was left. Gave a few palpitations!

    Will sent an email on other topics.

    1. Hi Geoff

      The Guzzi is rated as having a 23 litre tank and the most I've ever put into it is some 18.5 litres so I reckoned I still had a good litre or two left. Turns out that I was wrong... It could have been a lot worse I guess!

      I still love the bike though and it's one of my favourite to ride. It's not the flashiest or fastest but it makes you smile.

  2. Hi Lee,

    I can honestly say that I've never ran out of fuel - been on fumes a few times but never lost suction 😁. As you say, a bit of a surprise from the Italians...These days I don't bother checking mpg so much, just put it in as required.
    You obviously didn't ask enough for your RV!! It's a shame that you can't make best use of it, I'm a little surprised that the dogs are an issue, perhaps NZ isn't as dog friendly as UK.

    Anyway the family thing is difficult, your story isn't too far removed from mine - and I suspect many others. At various points throughout my life it seemed that remote members of the family only touched base when they wanted something! It led me to make judgement calls as to whether I wanted to be involved or not.....I don't think that there are standard answers, it's really a matter for your conscience I guess. At the end of the day you can choose your friends but not your family....That's enough amateur philosophy from me!! 😄

    On a brighter note had my first ride out of the year yesterday on the Tiger with the legit reason of a MoT, albeit via Southsea, Petersfield, Clanfield to Waterlooville. Weather was gorgeous and it felt great! Not so cheery is the vaccination rates on the continent; the boys and I are getting more resigned to the Germany trip not happening, so I'm going to start planning a staycation trip.

    Take Care

    1. Hi Ian

      Yes the Motorhome thing is a real shame. We've been pondering whether to sell it for some time but just sitting there and not being used isn't doing it any favours and I don't want to be in the situation where things start failing on it as a result.

      The family thing is indeed difficult. Someone once told me that your friends are the family you choose for yourself and I think there's a lot to that. We are lucky in that we have a small number of really good friends and things on my Mum's side of the family are a lot better, with one or two exceptions of course. Just like any other family I guess.

      A pity about the Germany trip. I guess that you'll just have to see a bit more of the UK instead.

      Take care,



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