Category: Life

Bike update

It’s been taking ages and loads of faffing about, but I’m getting there. I finally got my mudguard from Australia, after a week’s delay as they bitchslapped me for import tax then wouldn’t deliver on Wednesday, (when Wendy’s off) and wanted an extra £12 to deliver Saturday.

Anyway, I got it. The small back light and number plate holder arrived on the same day, after taking 13 days to travel from Germany! By tortoise, presumably.

Then the was the small matter of getting the old lot off and rewiring.

It turns out, after much fannying around and endless combinations and experiments, that the new back light had one of the cables loose. The solder was crap and had snapped off. Super.

All the better as I’d started the change over after work one night, and was still struggling with it the next morning. I had to leave for work by 11.35 latest, I I got it working at 11.26. Loads of time.

While I was at it I thought I’d do a proper job on the electrics and ordered a cheap bag of male and female connectors (as opposed to the twisting wires together and taping it up approach). The ballast (thing that soaks up excess charge so LED indicators flash at proper rate instead of going like the clappers) on one of the indicators had come undone, I thought, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to do it right.

When I took the mudguard off to expose the electrics (run under the mudguard on standard bike) I found out one of the ballasts had been ripped off. The new mudguard as well as being shorter is slimmer. This means I can run the wiring invisibly up the side of the mudguard under the seat and have them all safe and sound, as well as readily accessible, sitting on top of the mudguard.

The ballasts arrived yesterday so I got cracking on doing a proper job on my lights and indicators, with proper connections, today. After a bit of messing I realised on end of the ballast is wired into the power circuit, the other has to be earthed. I got it all sorted then realised the back light dimmed in time with indicators. An MOT fail. I thought it was probably a bad earth as it wasn’t on the power circuit. Quick google confirmed it. I moved the earth and Bob is indeed your uncle.

A few weeks back I did a partial baffle-erectomy. I managed to extract the heavily muffled standard baffles from the exhaust and replace them with a bit fruitier cheap Chinese ones.

Here’s the before and after:



(Incidentally that’s before the shocks upgrade as well. A small point, but if you look at where the back light is attached by that arm to the mudguard you can see a black bundle underneath. Looks like shadow in the picture. That was a big, ugly bunch of wires. Couldn’t notice it until you looked, then couldn’t help but see it. Now all tidied away under the seat.)




Looking at that picture I notice the number plate is lightly lopsided, prob buy another one at some point. The bike is on centre stand, it doesn’t usually hover.)

Now I think I should be lowering the back end.

And here’s what it sounds like now.


I’m a happy bunny. Everything is working, lights, brake light, indicators, blue LED spotlights (on front in video) the back end is compact and tidy, the shocks do a proper job in the bends and it sounds like a proper bike, without being offend-the-neighbours-at-04.00-Saturday loud. Just got to wait for the seat and tank to be made and arrive now. This is going to be the awesomest W650 in the history of EVER!

All that’s left to do is clip on handlebars and change the air filter to cones.

Then I have to find out how to strip and repaint the engine. Poor beast had only done 18,000 miles when I got it, most all dry I think, in ten years. Now I’ve put some miles on it and rode it like a proper bike, all year round, it’s starting to flake and show wear. Just cosmetic, but a cafe racer is purely cosmetic. If you want a real race bike you have to get a 4 cylinder, slippery plastic coated, screaming revs, rocket ship.


In none bike news, what has been happening?

Well, I got my dream team for the Labour leadership, St Corbyn of the Bleeding Heart, and Tom Watson. Finally a change from Team Maggie.

Twitter has been a riot of late, firstly due to Socialists fighting with Blairites, that was a hoot. Then for the last week, with Cameron, pig-shagger.  That is the funniest thing to happen on Twitter in ages.


We are officially cat-less. Damned horrible mog was just a parasitic imposition anyway. It was a starving, manky stray that Wendy took pity on when our nice mog died. 8 bastard years it was under my feet.

Anyway, it started having fits and was in a right state. We took it to the vets and they said she’d got a huge tumour on her liver, only a matter of weeks before it interfered with her breathing. We had her put down. £96!

Ninety. Six. Of her Majesties. Pounds! 

Done now.

Wendy has been most upset but as you can see I’m bearing up.

We’ve got a new sofa and rug, still waiting for Homebase to sort their shit out and deliver another seat. Twice they’ve made appointments to deliver only to cancel and rebook. It will have been over a month if they do deliver next time.

The moggy had made a stinky mess of the furniture so this is happy times for me. Finally I have a non-smelly house and don’t have to clean up cat piss, shit and puke.

New sofa


It’s low res, so I’ve left it small.

Even thought we are supposed to be on lean times at work I still got a 6 day week last week. 4 part time jobs were advertised at work, I’ve applied but so has every man and his dog. I’ll just keep turning up until they give in and give me a job.


Wendy has been told she’s losing a day’s work per week, due to loss of government (and other) funding. She was only on a 4 day week anyway, not good. As she’s recently been upskilling to specialist benefits advisor as well as specialist debt advisor, the main boss has said if he can secure some funding he’ll give her an extra day with the benefits team.

I’m not worried. We have been too poor to buy clothes in the past, I was walking around with a safety pin in my fly because we couldn’t afford a pair of trousers. Compared to those days we are minted beyond our wildest dreams. Lorry driving really brings in the dosh, even agency. Plus there’s the whole not drinking our way through hundreds of pound of beer thing. That is such a bonus. We were drinking the cheapest shit we could find to get pissed and still spending over £100 a week on alcohol. If we drank now, with more money coming in, we would spend twice that drinking actual nice stuff. And I would be missing shifts due to hangovers, and Wendy would be dying or dead, and I’d get sacked for being pissed, and banned, and be penniless, and have to sell my bike, and push bike to a horrible graft job for a pittance. So, prob best we don’t drink.


Anywho, here’s some Twitter:


DMreporter had:

TOUCHING: Rainbow emerges from World Trade Centre on 9/11, confirming God loves America but raising concerns that he might be gay.

CAMERON: "Labour are now worse than ISIS. They will kill you and your family. Literally. You’ll all be dead. Because of Labour. For reals."

EQUALS: We accuse Jeremy Corbyn of sexism for giving women ‘shit jobs’ in his shadow cabinet. Our readers respond…

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(The DMreporter is a spoof account, incredibly those are real, approved, letters.)

DEBATE: Trade unions – corrupt, self interested bullies that Hitler would have supported, or something more sinister?

BREAKING: BBC apologises after suggesting partially deaf Tory MP could hear the screams of the poor and vulnerable in society.

READERSHIP: And the comment of the day is…

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ABATORY: David Cameron keeps a porker face despite historic sex abuse allegations that he was a member of secret Westminster group Pork PIE.

DARK MATTER: Could a substance scientists can’t prove exist cause cancer, and how theoretically scared should you be?


Politics/ Tory scum:

Cameron must be shitting bricks. Got in on 24%, the rich, the vindictive and the terminally stupid. Here come the 76%, twatty!

Corbyn vs Cameron in the ‘80s:

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Labour "threat to your family" says bloke who created 1m foodbank clients in 2014. A parcel for TWO for THREE days.

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Tories voted to start cutting tax credits at lower threshold and in harsher increments. Next up: hunting poor for sport.

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Tory councillor Mark Winn says food banks are only used by ‘those with drug, alcohol and mental health problems’

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Saint Jeremy Corbyn, gawd bless ‘im:

Corbyn blatantly trolling the snobs in suits who say hes not ‘serious’ enough by wearing this day b4 result  Love it

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Let’s give the left a voice’ they said, patronisingly. ‘Let’s open up the debate’ they said. One of the greatest days of my life. #JezWeDid

Corbyn is affable, yet passionate and serious of purpose. Like a woodwork teacher by day, Vampire Hunter by night.

All over the British Isles parents are hugging their children closer tonight as there are less than 24 hours to #CorbyGeddon Pray for us

Can I be the one to tell Tony Blair he’s no longer allowed to be a member, as he doesn’t share the aims and values of the Labour Party?

It’s as if if millions of Blairites cried out in terror but then were suddenly silenced. #labourleadership

So the Labour Party is now totally unelectable AND a threat to our security? How does that work?

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"Corbyn’s leftie agenda". Oh, you must mean the one pretty much prescribed by radical anarchists like the IMF and World Bank.

Sun front page: Corbyn wants to scrap the army! Must be waiting a few days before "Pope confirms Corbyn is the anti-christ!"

Back to the Blue Box of Despair. I hate IKEA with the same burning passion the Tories have for the poor.

As an ex soldier who’s been to war, just like to state I’m in no way offended by #Corbyn not singing anthem. Jingoism is for selling empire.

#corbyn didn’t sing anthem but wants an NHS, Minister for Mental Health, housing and benefits. *That* is how you show respect to ex soldiers

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Corbyn won’t sing queen’s anthem? Not surprised. "Scattered moose, scattered moose, can you do the fandango" what’s that even mean?


Corbyn lives in this country and pays his taxes. Newspaper owners live abroad to avoid paying theirs. Who’s patriotic and who’s not?

Jeremy Corbyn is too old to lead the country at 66? Maybe. and maybe Winston Churchill was too old at 71, during the Battle of Britain.

Corbyn plans to ‘replace army with ballerina hippos in tutus,’ claims drunk sword-swallower.

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Astonishing. 62,000 people have joined Labour since Corbyn won the leadership … that’s more members than Lib Dems/ UKI



And lovely, lovely General:

Seven paedophiles who preyed on a baby and young children jailed for acts of "terrifying depravity"

Seven paedophiles" not "white paedo grooming gang." No #notallwhites, no CofE apology.

20 Things That Women Should Stop Wearing After The Age of 30

1-20: The weight of other people’s expectations & judgments

The 1949 Delahaye Type 175 Roadster.

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(so wow!)

What rhymes with words?…………………………….. A poet.

"Whats that Lassie? Little Timmy fell down the old well and you’re too fabulous to care?!"


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I’ve come to the conclusion that at least 1 in 5 people on social media are the reason silica gel packets need to have ‘Do Not Eat’ on them.

Just opened the family door and Corbyn and his cronies ran in, barging past me and pepper-sprayed everyone. WHY didn’t I listen to David?

The Mail and Torygraph owners were so angry at Jeremy Corbyn’s insult to their patriotism they very nearly gave up their Non-Dom tax status.

Just farted so long and hard that my voice recognition software wrote a Daily Mail column.

Breaking. @Daily_Express to publish evidence showing that Jeremy Corbyn was responsible for death of Princess Diana.

How does an atheist republican sing "God Save the Queen"? Asking for a friend…

Let’s play ‘guess tomorrow’s Sun headline’. I’ll go for ‘Cor Bin Laden will force your pets to join ISIS’.

Aladdin, taking up two parking spots. Asshole. 😉

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Cafe cream!

OM and indeed, G! How goddamn beautiful is that?

This is one of the best asides that I’ve ever read.

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Meanwhile, things start to heat up at the Lib Dem conference…

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Jean Bugatti with the Bugatti Royale ‘Esders’ Roadster, 1932.

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[Vulcanology conference] VULCANOLOGIST: What do you like about volcanoes? ME: [sheepishly removing Spock ears] Fire. The thick runny fire

Young UKIPer getting hysterical "He wanted the IRA to kill Thatcher!" Come on, *everybody* wanted the IRA to kill Maggie.

In Scotland. Services have a baby changing room. Cold blooded and short sighted of the Scots. The one you get back is prob as bad

PRETEND to be a skilled pharmacist by taking half an hour to put some tablets in a fucking bag

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As much as I love Missy there are times when I look at her and can’t help but think Mary Poppins on crack #DoctorWho

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‘The Queen’s record is extraordinary. 63 years on benefits with no back-to-work interview or sanctions. Impressive!’

1) set a goal 2) make a plan 3) start working towards it 4) get distracted by social media and waste your life away

Hedge fund manager bought rights to life-saving AIDS drug, then hiked up prices by 5,000%

Pope flies into US

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When I feel like a failure I list my achievements: I never missed an episode of Babylon 5 and I’ve not yet been eaten by a tiger.

Naming it Daddy long legs represents both the misogynistic cis oppression of the patriarchy upon gender fluidity, and body shaming.

Yay! Best thing about autumn, a mouthful of juicy cox. This tweet was brought to you by the Julian Clary Apple Marketing Board.

When will this awful trend be stopped? Vegetarians posing with their fresh kills. Disgusting.

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I’ve been stood here an hour & this guinea pig hasn’t written anything. What a con.

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"This doesn’t look right to me" – Translation: We seem to be driving across a field

Ways to say "I won’t be coming" 1. I might pop down 2. I’ll give you a text 3. I’ll see how I feel 4. Sounds interesting

Son: What are caterpillars afraid of? Me: It’s unlikely that they experience fear. They’re not self-aware, so… Son: [sadly] Dogerpillars.

"How do you speak such good English?" "I dunno 200 years of colonialism and eurocentric education, how do you know so little history?"

(Modern) Triumph Thruxton. Quite bloody nice.

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#PigGate (David Cameron alleged to have shoved his dick in a dead pigs head as an initiation rite)

I know people say politicians have their noses in the trough but frankly David Cameron is taking it to the extreme #pigfucker

"Little pig, little pig, let me in."

Couple next to me on the train. One looks at her phone. Tells her bloke, "Oh my God! Apparently David Cameron fucked a dead pig!" Blissful.

"Can the Prime Minister tell us, in a time when unemploment is rising and people are relying on food banks, why he shagged a dead pig"

"I got you, Babe"

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Conservatives in my timeline have gone quiet. Corbyn didn’t sing the anthem. CAMERON PUT HIS COCK IN A PIG. It’s over people, it’s over

Twitter fails on many levels but it is definitely the social media platform of choice when news breaks that the PM once fucked a dead pig

Just when you hate twitter and everyone on it, the Prime Minister fucks a pig and it’s just like starting over. The magic is back.

And the pig that you shag with a smile is MURDER. #hameron

Also the book on how Jeremy Corbyn surged to victory in 2020 is clearly going to be a weird read.

Around now Jeremy Corbyn is reflecting on the importance of being a lifelong vegetarian

Cecil the Lion had it easy, all things considered… #Hameron #PigGate

Jeremy Corbyn at this week’s PMQs: "I have a question from Mr O McDonald…"

"And it was then that David Cameron’s controversial production of Lord Of The Flies took a grotesque and terrifying turn."

"If you’ve got a history book at home, take it out, throw it in the bin – it’s worthless"

Who’s going to break the news to Pooh bear? #Piggate

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Right Wing Twitter, last week: "That man had sex with Diane Abbott! Resign! Disgusting!" Today: "Well who hasn’t mouth-fucked a dead pig?"

"So I ask the Prime Minister, are the allegations true?" "No." "So the media is… telling porkies?" *Corbyn high-fives entire front bench*

Tories before #piggate: "If we have gay marriage, what stops men marrying dogs?" Tories after #piggate: "Who hasn’t fucked a pig before?"

Last week I was so pleased that Corbyn had managed to raise the tone on PMQs. This week all I want is oinking from Labour benches.

Best part of #Snoutrage is watching Tory commentators argue that shagging a dead pig is perfectly normal behaviour

Self-Censorship on #r4today as for the first tome in history The Daily Mail is not mentioned during the morning papers review…wonder why?

Today’s one of those days when you learn *exactly* what time your friends check twitter in the morning

I mean no, the Mail’s not a reliable source of accurate info. We should take it with a pinch of salt. And sage. At 170C for 3hrs. #piggate

Yeah, but just imagine what he would have done to the pig with no Lib Dems to restrain him. #baeofpigs #piggate

NEWS! ‘At least our guy didn’t face-fuck a dead pig’ insists Labour

‘Well, that’s the Muslim vote gone. Nice one Dave.‘ #piggate

The Tories have been caught with their toffs in the snout.

"That Jeremy Corbyn is such a weirdo, with his beard & belief in social justice", if you say so David, but can I just say "OINK!" #PigGate

My timeline has been a stream of gold for 12 hours. Gawd bless Dave and his porcine porking predilection. #baeofpigs #piggate #pigsociety

And that ‘Piggate’ day, kids, was the last time anyone tried to mess with the Almighty Emperor Corbyn.

Good day to bury bad news. Dave could murder the royal family today and no-one would notice. #baeofpigs #piggate

Oh god, Cameron is meeting the Danish PM today. Thank you for all of this, Jesus.

To all the Tories bleating about unverified, single source, sensationalistic gutter ‘journalism’, welcome to our world the other 364 days.

For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘if you fuck a pig, we will leave you alone’.

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Possibly the best Mirror poll I have ever seen. #piggate

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David Cameron is now taking food from the mouths of babes to distract from sticking his cock in the mouth of Babe

Toby Young: "If anything, it reflects quite well on the Prime Minister". Ladies and gentlemen, spin is dead

Some pigs are born great, some pigs achieve greatness, and some pigs have greatness thrust into them. #piggate

I predict Cameron will resign within six months for another reason that isn’t #piggate but it totally will be #piggate

The BBC can continue to refer to ‘left winger Jeremy Corbyn’ as long as they also now refer to ‘the notorious pig fucker David Cameron’.


"Corbyn’s an economic disaster"

"You penetrated a pig"

"He didn’t sing the anthem.."

"Penetrated a pig"

"But…the unions"

"Penetrated. Pig"


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a woman on a crowded train just asked if she could have a seat because she "just found out David Cameron fucked a pig and needed a sit down"

I just had to explain #Piggate to my Indian mother in law, in case you’re wondering how awkward a Monday night can get.

More victims come forward in #PigGate scandal.

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"Sorry David, I can’t hear you very well… is there some crackling on your end?"

No pigs are harmed in the making of our Smoky Bacon or Sausage & Tomato crisps

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"Perhaps the tory membership is so low because people are scared there’d be an initiation ceremony"

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David Cameron there, trying to look all Prime Ministerial at the UN, whilst also knowing that everyone knows about the pig.

And finally, you must watch this. A few seconds of pure hilarity. (with the sound on.)



A series of unfortunate events.

I decided to buy my gorgeous bike after debating retro Triumph Bonneville, Harley Davidson Sportster and Kawasaki W650.

The Bonny: (referred to as a Hinckley Bonneville)


Plus: has the general look of the bike. You get the ‘authentic’ badge.

Negative: look at those not-very-convincing engine fins, ugly. No kickstart.


Then the Sporty:


Plus: pretty, nice sound, authentic.

Negative: mag wheels (not spoked), no kickstart, not very weather resistant, thief magnet.


And the W650:


Plus: looks great, kickstart, Japanese build quality and reliability, same pull and sound as Brit.

Negative: Not authentic, handling (shocks) underwhelming.


What swung me, you’ll recall, is seeing how simply someone had cafe racer-ed one.


Hump seat, acer handlebars, smaller indicators and a slip on exhaust end can.


So that was why I bought it. Looks great, sounds great, gets you home at night, and has the potential to make a beautiful cafe racer. I have ironed out the flat spot on the revs (simple fix), put on acer bars after I pranged it, and upgraded the shocks front and back. Now I have a sweet handling, pretty bike. I have been looking for the last 14 months for a decent cafe racer seat. The trouble is, the frame under the seat is sort of diamond shaped so you either have to find a seat made for this exact model of bike, (few, and mostly crap) make one yourself (tried and failed) or have someone cut out the rear frame and weld in a U shaped arse end (a bit extreme).

Then last week I stumbled across this site in Thailand. (I thought it was the States as they take US dollars for payment.) Omega Racer.

Amazing kit, made from scratch, to order.

I saw this seat and new that it was *the* seat!


Then it was just a matter of saving up for it. I looked at it all night.

And all the next day. By the night time I broke and ordered it.


Not cheap but a one-time purchase and basically perfect.

Then I took to looking at the rest of the site. The only tank to go with the standard seat size (the one I’d ordered) was this:

Standard tank

Note the lugs on the side of the tank for knee pads.

Or smooth like this:

Standard smooth

Nice, but not soul stirringly beautiful.

Then I saw the Norton style tank.



Just look at it! The contours are on both sides, can’t see that from these pictures.

I realised this was the tank I wanted. But it was longer than standard, therefore requiring a shorter seat to be made. In a panic last night I emailed the guy, asked him if he’d not started making my seat could I change it.

I literally lost sleep over it last night. I was worried sick I’d bought the wrong seat and would have to make do with second best. It would have ruined my chi, resenting my bike every time I saw it.

He got back to me this morning and said it was OK, I could change my order. So now I have to pay another £390 for a tank. The seat won’t fit without the longer tank, so I have to get both at once. But it is the right tank and right seat. And the guy is giving me 12% discount on the tank!  I’m leaving it bare, polished aluminium.

Then I will have the proper 60’s cafe racer chic going on.

Cafe racer


Note the long tank and the rear set seat. Also notice the dents in the tank. At the front that is so those clip-on handlebars can turn (the back is so you can get your knees tucked in, I expect) . The ‘Norton’ style tank already had the narrow rear end, and the site states that (on other tanks) if you want clip-on dents they’ll provide the tank pre-shaped. I’ve asked him if the Norton needs dents for clip-ons, if so I’ll ask to have them formed in.

So, that was a bloody expensive couple of days. In the couple of days between ordering the seat and realising I needed a shorter seat and tank combo I also ordered a new, short rear mudguard from Australia (oddly, half the price of buying one in Germany, even with P&P) and a rear light/ number plate holder from Germany. Combined, that’s another £100. The mudguard on mine is a bit knackered and rusty.


In the same vein, money as in, work has been surprisingly constant. The agency told me 4 weeks ago that Bookers (for whom I work) had lost a big contract so work was going to be scarce. They tried to bully me into working for other companies but I stayed firm. I’m after becoming such a fixture that when the next jobs come up I’ll be the automatic choice. The agency were getting a bit snotty. In the end I said that I just wanted to work for Bookers, was it workable? My next text would have been saying ‘screw you then, I’m off to Elite  – I think it is, the main agency supplier for Bookers-) They must have realised I was miffed because they suddenly backed down “That’s workable mate, no worries, just don’t want you losing work”

Anyway that was 4 weeks ago. Since then I’ve worked 6 days, 4, 6, 5. So, I’ve missed one shift off the legally permissible maximum.

Bloody good job, the way I’ve gone through money like water this last week.

Wendy’s news is not so good. They had a big meeting, it seems due to the tory scum cutting council’s funding, they have lost shitloads of funding for the Citizen’s Advice. They were going to sack two paid advisors, but as it is, they’ve sacked one and cut two people’s hours. Wendy, who was only on a 3½ day week (she works 4) has lost a day.

She was worried about telling me. Like I worry about money. See all of above. Obviously not.

I’ve told her she can always get a supplementary job. Like lollipop lady. Or hit-woman.



I forgot, in my bike obsession, to mention my trainers saga.

I had a really good pair of trainers, 2E (wide fitting) supportive to stop me overpronating. The online store only had 2 pairs left but they were cheap and really good so I got another pair.

These sat around for months until the first pair was truly knackered. Then I swopped. But they hurt my feet so after a few runs I went back to the old pair. Which prompted immediate injuries. I recovered then went back to the new pair. They still killed my feet, specifically my left, where the bones grind.

I unlaced the first 4 holes to try to make them more comfortable but they were still painful, so I ordered a new pair of a different model, but the same brand, Asics (US 7.5/ UK 6.5) 2E. I emailed 3 separate occasions to make sure it was US 7.5.

They arrived.

UK 7.5.

I sent them back and did lots of research, during which I found out if they are 2E it marked next to the model number on the tongue. I checked my painful trainers. Not 2E. Bastards!

Finally got the right size and width yesterday, but then I was laid low by an all day sinus headache. So today after karate, (with a surprise grading, which I passed. YAY!) I went for a run. These are full-on corrective trainers. They have an instep arch of barbed wire on concrete. Or something. To stop you rolling your foot inwards (overpronating). Bloody painful. I got blisters, which popped, on both insteps. And for some reason, the correctiveness was pushing all my weight on my left foot onto the bones that grind. So that was super.

I have the Warrington half marathon in 3 weeks, and I’ve only done 1 run in the last month, so I was testing my fitness today. I did 12 miles. On trainers straight out of the box. And those, brutal corrective ones. So much pain. On the bright side my fitness was fine, or if it was miserable I was in too much foot pain to notice.

I’ve adapted to them before, I’ll just have to do smaller, (smooth) road runs until I find a comfortable gait.

Even in sinus pain headache misery yesterday I went through the shed and washed and photographed everything (pushbike, shocks, mirrors, indicators, soprano sax,.. everything not nailed down) and stuck it on ebay.

I’ve picked up a bunch of people watching most stuff. I think there’s going to be some upping of bids on the bike and the sax, but if I sell everything at listed price (that currently has watchers) I’ll make £410. That pays for the tank at least.

Hopefully get a bit more.

I’m not selling my Tenor sax. I don’t play it, but when I do I love it to bits.

Also, when the tank and seat get here I can sell my current ones, hopefully that will get another £150.

Right, got to get off. Being pestered by ebay numpties. Just give me your money and leave me in peace, goddammit!



Keep on keeping on.

Still not dead. Although I keep coming close.

Just thought I’d confirm I’m still here.


The source of my ongoing near death experiences, my bike, is a joy, as ever.

I’ve replaced the front brake pads, clutch cable, upgraded the front shock absorber springs, upgraded the rear shocks, and, as it was rusty, took the swinging arm off, de-rusted it and resprayed it.

Worrying when it’s at this stage:



And the before and after of the new shocks:



Now, although I think they look prettier, that isn’t the main thing. The thing is now I have stiffer suspension, front and back. I can ride over, say, the white lines and cats eyes between lane 2 and 3 without setting up a speed wobble. And throw it into fast corners without weaving. Neither phenomena being conducive to bowel control.


Also I’ve had the cunning idea of waking car drivers up. On a course I recently attended the guy was saying we are conditioned to look for cars, we don’t even notice we aren’t noticing bikes, and that one biker dies every single day.

Yesterday, dead biker.

Today, dead biker.

Tomorrow, dead biker.

So my theory is this: no one notices bikes, but we are all conditioned to notice blues lights. The more dangerous your driving the more you are looking out for them.



As you can see that was daylight and the tiny little spots were outshining my headlight.

The idea is not to fool people into thinking I’m a bike copper, just so that they notice I’m there.

Still on my shopping list are louder pipes, a short rear mudguard and ‘plate holder, still want a seat hump if I can see one that I like, and possibly clip on handlebars. The clip ons are cheap enough, but then you have to buy mounting brackets for your headlight and a new (£200+) bit for on top of the forks, or you are left with the handlebar clamps with nothing in them, looking ugly. Possibly all new cables as well.

Oh and new air filter to get rid of that big black bit of plastic under the seat.

So, plenty to go at.

And if you’re not into bikes, well shame on you.


Work is still groovy. I really want to hang in at this one and get taken on full time. It’s long and unpredictable hours, but it’s so easy and you are under no stress whatsoever. Here’s your job, see you whenever.


I’m having to ditch that 50 miler. I just don’t get the time to train. I’ve entered the Warrington half marathon again, which is on the same day, instead. Starting just outside my sister’s cafe this year.


Karate is progressing in fits and starts. The last two weeks I’ve been twice a week, but for a few weeks before that I only made it once a week.

They have caught on to my Tae Kwon Do tricks now. Sparring today I did a double kick, tuning kick first with the left then using the rebound force of the left leg, pivot straight into a right turning kick. I was landing that all the time as it’s obviously not something they do here. Today did it and he (black belt) must have read me, managed to catch my foot on the left kick but I was already committed to right kick, so slammed down hard, flat on my back. I’m going to have to learn to be more acrobatic. I totally wasn’t expecting that, but thinking about it, I could have pivoted the second kick whilst twisting around to put my hands down in a sort of sideways cartwheel. The golden moment where I had tricks they couldn’t anticipate is over though. Boo and hiss.


I’ve started German again. And I’ve found an award winning educational kids programme in German.


Sendung mit der Maus

Die Sendung mit der Maus  (The Programme with the Mouse.)

It’s good because it had educational bits (geezer talking about lighthouses) cartoons with the Mouse, then a short, repetitive, cartoon (about the lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper, which actually made me laugh).

Got to be worth a go.

I’ve also found a different tack to learning, an online tutorial site. The method I’m using (Michele Thomas) teaches you *how* to use the language, how to conjugate the verb, sentence structure etc. As he says, if you can work the verb the rest is just building vocabulary. The online thing though is an interactive learning thing where you listen to stuff then type in the answers. That is teaching you comprehension and spelling skills.

I always say this, but let’s see if I can stick to it. I’ve kept the karate up longer than my usual flash in the pan enthusiasm. I fully intend to grind that out to black belt. Let’s see if I can maintain the German. I’m not stupid (except for at maths, hands up, thick as a brick) it’s just I lose interest. If I’d have committed and stuck to my enthusiasms I’d be so talented by now. *sigh*


What else? Well, there’s the saviour of Socialism, Jeremy Corbyn. Not a lot to say except *SQUEEEEEEEEE!*

All my life things have been getting shitter, losing rights, services, benefits, this could be the turning point. The 1% had it nicely buttoned down, you had two flavours of tory to choose from. As someone recently tweeted me, “Two cheeks of the same arse.” The left was fragmenting into  TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition- old red Labour) Greens, and tory-lite Blairite New Labour.

Suddenly we have a mainstream Labour politician who was against the benefit cuts, wants to cut Trident (saving £100 billion) and states what we all know, that Austerity is a lie. (If they can afford to cut the tax bill of millionaires by £100k P/A they don’t need to introduce rape tests to see if you qualify for benefits for a third child.) He wants to renationalise the NHS, reintroduce student grants not loans, and renationalise the railways (which won’t cost the country a penny, they are issued on 5 year leases, let them run out, don’t renew, bingo, nationalised.)

Labour membership has hit a 64 year high with people signing up to vote for him.  It was, a week or so ago, 140,000 people that had joined. Every where he goes the halls are packed out. Leeds yesterday, 1,500 seater gig, standing room only. A few days ago he was supposed to be speaking in one room, it filled, as did the overflow room, so he ended up doing the speech again, on top of a fire engine with a loud hailer, to the hundreds outside who couldn’t get in. This is the shot that says it all for me, kids who couldn’t get in listening in at a window. Kids. Listening to politics.


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I tweeted, “Save us Obe Wan Corbyn, you are our only hope!”

Then we had this:

Strike him down & he will become more powerful than you could ever imagine

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In case you weren’t sure of what the MSM (MainStream Media) mean by ‘Far Left’

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Of course, Blair and his crew were seen to be supportive

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Which has brought me into the realm of Twitter. To carry on then;

DMreporter had:

DISGRACE: Fury as architect builds affordable housing for the HOMELESS instead of YOU who probably deserves it more.

REVEALED: How using an iPad for even a couple of minutes could make your toddler dependent on cocaine when they’re in their forties.

POLITICS:‘Labour risks being seen as left wing with a long history of trade union support if Jeremy Corbyn wins’ warns all other candidates.


TwopTwips noted:

CONVINCE people you’re Tony Blair by going back to where you used to work and telling everyone they are shit.

try shouting "don’t push your religion onto me barbara" when someone says "bless you" after you sneeze.


VeryBritishProblems had

Awful things to hear: 1. "Let’s order a bit of everything and share" 2. "Someone’s put a wet spoon in here" 3. "Ooh, late night?"

"Not to worry!" – Translation: You’ve ruined everything

"You know, I might just do that" – Translation: Nope

"I’ll see what I can do" – Translation: I’ve already forgotten your request


HolidayComplaints had:

"I went swimming in the sea and a fish touched my foot. Nobody warned me about the fish in the sea."

"The journey to Florida was far too long for our children and they didn’t enjoy the flight at all."

"Our London hotel didn’t have an ocean view."

"I fell asleep on the plane and missed the in-flight film which I was rather looking forward to."

"The beach didn’t have wifi."




To be fair to Tony Blair….ah no, sorry, there is no way I can fill that out to 140 characters

Tony Blair is worth £60m, and owns 10 houses. Remember that when considering his comments on Labour.

I listen to Blair and I feel totally depressed, and I speak as someone who has eaten in a Harvester

Problem with Blair’s advice is, you can only really take it if it’s 1994 and you’re Tony Blair

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Am working on a new version of Star Wars where the Jedi accept dark side reforms in order to appear like a viable alternative to Darth Vader

Call me a commie dreamer but I would prefer to vote for a Labour person who risked not getting in, than a Tory who could.

Jeremy Corbyn thinks it’s better for people to be educated than for billionaires to be richer. Stop this monster!

If Corbyn is so unelectable why don’t the Blairites STFU and let the party not elect him? If we choose to, then respect our decision.

Osborne reportedly ‘met Murdoch’ ahead of BBC cuts announcement




According to police notices, there are thieves "operating in this area". That can’t help the nerves of people awaiting surgery.

When your baby’s feet ruin a picture…

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HOW IS IT SUNDAY. In 5 minutes it will be Monday. In 6 years it will still be Monday. What even is time. This is bullshit.

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Far be it from me to tell u yr job, Mr Balloon man, but YOU MIGHT WANT TO TURN ON YOUR BURNY THINGS "

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Cecil the Lion was killed by a rich American dentist: (black American reaction)

"If that lion hadn’t argued with the hunter, he’d probably still be alive."

I’m personally going to start wearing a lion costume when I leave my house so if I get shot, people will care.

If he did nothing wrong, why is he running? #lionslivesmatter #AllLionsMatter

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black man turns lion to not be shot by police #PawsUpDontShoot #CecilTheLion

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Q. How to make a small fortune out of horse racing. A. Start off with a big fortune!

This boy with cerebral palsy finishing his first triathlon could make grown men weep (Video) …

Napoleon said "England is a nation of shopkeepers", but I’ve just met a woman from Hull who’s an admin assistant. Talking out of his arse.

Every pack of Silica Gel I’ve ever seen says "DO NOT EAT", but this one doesn’t. God, it tastes terrible. Wait, it says it on the back.

Beautiful Triumph chop

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Tomorrow is another day. So was yesterday. This keeps happening.

"When you’re dead you don’t know you’re dead. It’s just hard for those left behind. It’s the same thing when you’re stupid."

Women’s magazines: 20 pages "accept yourself" 40 pages "loose 30kgs in 4 weeks" And Cake recipes..

You know that bit in Watership Down where your dad starts crying & sends you to bed, then the next day he moves to Leeds without saying bye?

I want to go to bed, but my boss is forcing me to tweet about lions. "IT’S TOPICAL," he bellows at me over Skype. "PEOPLE LIKE TOPICS."

my heart goes out to any aspiring dystopian fiction authors who keep having their ideas stolen by the conservative party

Sorry, I can’t get excited about a picture of the queen, unless it’s on a £50 note.

she said yes :

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Is the Large Hadron Collider going to summon the Antichrist next month? …

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That fucking dentist has done it again.

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Someone keeps on putting up awkward anti-police posters outside Scotland Yard



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From today’s Daily Mail comments: ‘Tony Blair SACRIFICED his good looks GOD bless him to the STRESS of making Britain GREAT Britain again!’.

when you can’t choose between jihad or tweeting.

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"Abortion is a men’s issue…" Hahahahahahahahahaha (breathes) hahahahahahahahaha (falls on floor) hahahahahahahahaha (reads it again) ha!

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Eating the last pickled onion from a jar with a fork gives me an insight into just how shit I would have been at being a caveman.

#InternationalCatDay, from the people who brought you White History Month, Sun Rising in the East Week, and Air-Breathing Festival.

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‘Chewbacca’ and ‘Luke Skywalker’ (Mark Hamill) on the set of Star Wars in 1977.

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And on that note,