Now then Now then, Hows you?
Its been a cracking few days lately hasn’t it? Glorious sunshine, double figures in heat, lots of clear blue skies and no winds. Millions of lambs are out and about in the fields too.The frogs have visited and shagged themselves silly in my pond leaving a sea of frogspawn and new life. Vibrant loud colours are sprouting from tight green buds, yellow,white red, blue! The Daffs are out and my early six inchTulips have shown themselves, buds on the Hawthorne and Blackthorne are opening, the Cherry Blossom has started too. All the snowdrops have been and gone already, the sun is reminding us whats coming, although today its dropped back to fooking cold and wet with some snow here and there. Its nothing but good in my personal home front to be honest. Im busy giving thought to the truck and doing practice sound runs and loading and unloading of my camping stuff, yes the red truck has come in for some serious brainstorming this week.
On advice from a pal I covered the inside rear with sticky sound proofing, I didn’t think it was that noisy being a TD5 and was surprised that it did make a huge difference. I went for a few test runs down some quiet un-surfaced track, I looked back and saw a huge dust cloud, my chunky tyres were scrubbing at the dry soil and scattering pebbles all over the place. I also for fast runs on the tarmac, it was amazing how much quieter it is. Didn you know that when a stone whacks into the underside it sounds like someone is shooting at you! The first time it happened I jumped a mile and stopped the truck getting out to look for some twat with an air rifle, it really is that loud! The hum drum background noise has all-but disappeared and the white noise has left the room too.
Sound-proofing the bottom of the rear area of the truck, its called ” the tub”
The first of the camping equipment, that’s the fridge on the left..
Much advice is coming my way about overlanding from Dave and Rob, both have been about a bit and would be foolish not to listen to them, though keeping ears wise to piss taking is necessary! The purchases of a couple of long-handled sand shovels by way of the German Wehrmacht and of “Tiger Seal” came through him and just like him I got the black stuff all over the piggin place..thumbs, fingers, nose, more fingers, AND IT WONT COME OFF! Its taking ages because fitting out the Landi is new to me and I need to think about what I might take with me and what I might do. Using motorbikes over the past thirty years made packing for a trip second nature and I think it was much easier believe it or not! Now I have so much room to play with I feel I’m forgetting something! I’ve bought a variety of specialized boxes to put everything in, which is my ultimate aim, to put everything in boxes and secure them inside whilst on the top will go tent, fuel tins…and whatever else I might chuck up there, the key is to keep the weight as low to the ground as possible! I’ve done a field trip to Scotland last summer already, the thing I learned there was how the fooking Midges get everywhere! Ive done lots of research and ask people who know, Ive seen hours of home-made film clips on U-Tube most of it entertaining some of it useful, but like everything on U-Tube its like Pandoras Box and you can end up looking at unrelated stuff until dawn!
Our last long camping adventure was a 3 week tour of the interior of Spain and we did just fine so I have no worries, it’s just that I have so much room to play with.
On the road with the crew from the custom magazine “Back Street Heroes” on our adventure to Faro in southern Portugal I earned the nickname “El Pakko” my packing of the bike was becoming legendary! The official loading for the back rack was pitiful, less than a couple of bags of sugar FFS! I re-inforced the bikes back-end and loaded the whole kitchen including table and two chairs
Eventually the yellow Honda was traded in for a bigger bike and I bought another cruiser style motorbike Yamaha Wild Star 1600cc, I liked these bikes as they were very low to the ground and you could bungy stuff on the back middle and front! Table chairs and camping stuff on the back rack, clothes in the side panniers over the rear wheel. The tent is over the front fender, the further we travelled south the hotter it got so gloves jumpers and jacket got strapped over the tank. The sheepskin over the seat was something I picked up from a German biker friend it kept your ass cool and comfy in hot climates. My leather pants on the leather seat became very uncomfortable quickly. So we will be having exactly the same adventures this year, first to Corsica then Morroc but in a big roomy Land Rover 90!
I had a surprise text today from a friend from the Ukraine to say she had moved to Italy and was doing OK. This was Viktoria, she was our barmaid on the river cruise last year. I spent a long time in her company and her boss Ludmilla in the evenings in the bar for the holiday so we talked a lot about this and that. With recent events unfurling in Ukraine I’ve thought about the girls infrequently, Viktoria speaks several languages so will do alright I’m sure, I think maybe its a question of visa’s as to where she goes?
Our last day on the cruise at Odessa..flanked by Julie and Viktoria
Our girls on the cruise
Above are a couple of photos of some of the girls from the resteraunt, they tended to our every need morning noon and night. Needless to say they got a huge tip at the end of the tour, they were tireless in their work walking back and forth constantly from the galley to the bar and to our tables and always had a big smile for us, I loved them all. All the time on Sky TV a particular chanel is sponsored by Viking Cruises and so we are reminded of them and I wonder whats become of them?
Facebook is showing its good side recently with a Ladies Only event and the bare-faced “selfies” in aid of Cancer Research. Show a photos of yourself minus make-up and donate £3 Yesterday I heard on the radio tha tin fact 1 million pounds had been raised, it wasnt organised by any organisation, it was totally random by one or couple of girls who posted and nominated. I think it was just here in the UK so for you readers not from the UK here’s what happens… ladies of all age post a photo of yourself without any makeup and donate ( I think the amount is £3) to Cancer Research. I see lots of them because I am fortunate in having lots of girls as friends on both my FB and our horse site “Just four legs” I have to say everyone looks just as beautiful without makeup, granted some looked so different I wouldn’t have known it was them! especially my pal Sarah whom I worked closely with on the landings for a whole year! One sultry blonde spooked me by her look, her Sharon Stone/ Ice Pick/ bunny boiler/ face made me sit up and notice I dont mind saying! Its both refreshing and a laugh and great that they put themselves on show and open for some rib-taking. I suspect it was quite brave for some girls too. A lot of people have lost someone close and almost everyone knows of someone who has succumbed to it. Personally I lost my brother Bob a couple of years ago, it was well before his time and quite sudden. Meanwhile I sit and wait for the blokes reply to this event, I’ve seen the start of a “Cock in a Sock” selfies??? well that’s no good to me as I don’t have any of my old rugby socks kicking around and th result would be just so rude. The days of me cavorting naked on the stage are over…Yes I did it once many moons ago at a wild stag party, things got a bit out of hand and….well Ill leave it to your imagination as to how the night progressed. I’ve seen the start of a “men with makeup” selfies too. I think I shall just wait and see, maybe I’ll go with the flow….or not.
My bare-faced “Selfie”…. Pretty damn frightening!
Or will it save lives and prevent little kids from falling into the fire?
My AOL went up the spout the other day and I was left high and dry. Reload the AOL disc it kept saying, “What fooking disc??” I kept shouting back! I took a quick drive down to the experts at PC world as my usual PC guru friend is busy with family matters at the moment to bother him with my little problem. The chap in PC world also said “What disc”? It seems they don’t do discs anymore and its all downloaded from the internet instead. So I got in to it via Google and downloaded a new version ofAOL It version 9. My version was is that old that it’s in Roman numerals so small wonder it’s finally given up the ghost. It took just a few minutes to do and I lost quite a few from “My Favorites” I’ve put the recent ones back on and didn’t require my hammer after all so 24 hrs later I’m a happy bunny again! It dawned on me later depressingly how dependant on ‘putors, I-phones and the like have we become, thats progress I guess.