So far, so good, so what (again)…

First things first, seems my new job has strict policies on social media, such as tweeting or blogging using their name. So I won’t. Which is a shame because it is the best job with the best company, but rules are rules.

Last week I did two days of induction and started work. As I said I’m starting on a 6 month, temp- to- perm, 3 day  a week contract. They said that if I wanted more work I could request it in the overtime book, first come, first served, but usually always get a shift. I did my induction 2 days,but it was too late to request the following day. I booked the rest of the week and this week (around my rota-ed Sat/Sun/Mon) and got work on every day. 6 straight shifts. Then I legally had to take 2 days off.

So that has answered that question. Yes, I can make my hours up. Also they do overtime rate for anything over 45 hours a week, 1.75 rate for a sixth shift, up to treble time for a bank holiday, match your pension contributions up to 5% of earnings, company share scheme that makes a profit but guarantees your investment in case of share drop…Honestly, this is a golden goose that just keeps laying.

Plus all the standard stuff that I have been lacking on agency/ self employed such as sick pay, union, holiday pay (HOLIDAY PAY! I remember that!)

And, outside of the pay and benefits, the job itself is great. Supportive, helpful, not pressured.  I love it. After some of the jobs I’ve done…I’m never leaving.

My first day was a bit epic. I levered a post into position on my trailer, thought it had locked in place, took my hand away, then it sprang open and smacked me in the face.

IMG_20161215_165438 

It was only a scratch, but as you can see it bled a lot. I got a plaster and I was fine. I had to fill in an accident form when I got back “Time with company?” 3 days! Lol.

In other news, I’ve sacked off the flute. It was a portable means to an end. To whit, to learn the sax. But I just couldn’t get up enough enthusiasm to force myself to play it.  I’ve bought a cheap, new, alto sax (a bit smaller and higher pitched than my tenor and just about fits in my work bag.)

IMG_20161209_120806

I wanted to get the same brand as my tenor (Bauhaus). I struck lucky with that, I bought it by chance just before they became a respected brand and put the price up. But I’ve read good reviews about the alto, so I gave it a shot. I love it. Nice sound, very easy to blow.

By the way, it’s supposed to look like that, it’s “vintage”. *hard stare to camera*

I’ve been lugging it to work and playing it on my breaks. Sod’s law I’ve not been forced to sit around for hours since I started taking it, but even if I just play it for half an hour or so every day, it’s got to be for the good.

 

I’ve also been returning to running. I was going to wait for the new year, but I decided to focus my chi and get stuck in. Running, sax, etc.

This time I’m being sensible. They say if you’re returning from a 6 week or more break start with 4.30 walk, 30 second run, x6. Then 4.00/ 1.00, 3.30/ 1.30 etc. It absolutely sucks arse, but it’s supposed to get you back into running without injury. 3 weeks of 3 runs, then allowed to do 35 minutes run 3 times. Then increase by 10% a week.  If I get an injury after this I’m tracking the training plan author down. So bad. And humiliating.

I’d just crested the hump, got to 3 minutes running, 2 minutes walking, when I’ve been struck down in my prime by the lurgy. Man lurgy, so far worse than standard.

On my day off.

Which is nice.

I woke up in the night feeling like shit. Super.

So no run.

 

A week or two later…

I gave the run/ walk thing two weeks then sacked it off and did the 45 minute run.  I’m supposed to be be taking it really easy and not pushing the pace as I up it by no more than 10% long run, 10% overall weekly distance.  I may have been pushing the pace. And I upped it by 20%. I tried patience, it took too long.

Then I got a warning pain. Bugger. So rested up for a few days with ibuprofen and compression bandage. I’ll get there.

 

Work is great. Except I dropped a huge bollock.

I’m on  a 3 day contract, 6 months, temp-to-perm. I just have to ask and usually I can get whatever extra days work I want. I was putting lots down, then when I came to review the previous week’s work, I realised although I’d had three days off, none of them were consecutive. The law states I must have a 45 hour break one week, but can reduce to a 24 hour the next. I’d had Wednesday off that week so thought I was clear through until Tuesday, Saturday afternoon I realised I wasn’t legal for Sunday!

My shifts are Saturday, Sunday, Monday so I had to ring in and duck a shift. Shit. That’s never happened to me before, damned sure it will never happen again, but trust me, the first month of probation and I do that.

Work were really good about it, I just worked Tuesday instead.

 

In other exciting news (to me) I have been window shopping for a new bike. I thought I’d picked a winner. Honda are doing (probably) the last air cooled (so, pretty) finned engine before the EU regulations consign them to history. As of now, (January ‘17) EU4 is a legal requirement. It has reduced emissions by 94%, which is obviously a good thing. But by 2020 EU5 kicks in and air cooled will be no more.

So Honda have looked to their laurels and recreated the CB750 (The Bike For Which They Invented The Word “Superbike”, The Death Of British Bikes, etc) but as a modern retro. It’s now 1100cc and not at all sporty. But oh so pretty.

17YM CB1100 RS

17YM CB1100 RS

The critics are saying it is overpriced, overweight, underspeced and underpowered. I was just loving it’s look and the thought of chugging around on a bike good for 100,000 miles.

It was compromise though. I went off the W650 because of it’s lack of performance compared to my CB750. Here I’d be paying top dollar for another pretty but sluggish beast.

Then I came across the fact that Triumph have upgraded the Thruxton. It’s now a 1200cc, liquid cooled, weapon. My previous objections to the water cooled Triumph’s was the engine was ugly. Goddamn ugly. If you are buying a naked retro it’s for the looks. Triumph (who obviously read my blog and value my opinion) have upped their game.

Here is the Triumph Speed Triple.

Triple

Amidst the overall ugliness, particularly observe the engine. Smooth and ugly.With a huge radiator.

Compare that to Triumph’s Thruxton R:

2016-Triumph-Thruxton-1200R3-small

2016-Triumph-Thruxton-1200R5-small

Yes, it’s water cooled and fuel injected, but look at the engine fins! Marvel at the fake carbs! Look quite hard to notice the radiator, completely fail to spot the water reservoir!

And they’ve not stinted on performance. Fancy upside down forks, high tech rear shocks, monster brakes and 97hp!

My W650 is 50hp, the CB750 is 73hp. This beast is 97hp! In a retro twin!

All of the reviews are a-gush with praise. Google some of them, the youtube vids are a hoot.

This one is worth a watch for the riding technique alone.  https://youtu.be/jdq_cZN8nbE

In no way reminiscent of anyone I know. *cough*

Some mad Asian geezer testing it out against a sports tourer, 1400cc, plastic rocket.

Basically this is the bike for me. It’s a cafe racer so it looks gorgeous. It has a sports pretention set up with top spec forks, shocks, and brakes so it handles properly. It has 97hp, a 0-60 of 3.2 seconds, a standing quarter mile of 12.5 seconds, 115mph. Which is 0-banned in about 10 seconds. That’s enough grunt for me.

It’s just lovely. Also, as an aside but still sadly a consideration, I won’t have arseholes saying “Is that a Kwak in disguise?” It is exactly what it says on the tin, a modern Triumph retro.

Here’s a snippet from one review to give you a flavour of the praise:

“Its most impressive engineering feat is that it has made nostalgia a reality. This is a love letter to British superbike history, the burbling parallel twin bursting with character, the communicative handling, and the responsive brakes, without the leaks, creaks, and kickstarts of old.

This is not a trip back in time, but to a parallel dimension where the Bonneville never became retro, but became the standard.”

Now I just need to crash save. These buggers only came out in 2016 so there are no cheap old ones. That is going to be my summer bike, as soon as salt goes down it’s back on the CB750.

IMG_CB750 (2)

That’s the plan. Now to make the shitloads of money. The W650 is going as soon as the fair weather bikers come out of hibernation, that should put 3 or 4K towards it.

 

The other thing is *drum roll* we’ve just done our first Spanish lesson!

Woo-hoo! Bloody terrifying when the tutor got us trying to do the “Hello my name is.. what’s your name? How are you? See you later”  bollocks. Embarrassingly bad, but that’s how everyone starts. Getting over the fear of making a total arse of yourself is half the battle, I suppose.

Laters potatoes,

Buck.

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