Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Good LIfe

Prompted by the glut of fruit this autumn the Diplo 'shop has turned to biofuel production - time to dust off the apple press. October 1/2 term is the perfect time for family involvement and Diplo Jnr has been producing apple juice - 20 gallons of the stuff. My friend Rupert Paul, holder of the world land speed record in the home-made fuel class, advised we need a juice of around 10% sugar content to be sure of a reasonably alcoholic cider as a start. He also advises much patience in the distilation process. We are proposing to build our own still and if we can produce a litre or two of 85% apple-ethanol we just need to re-jet the XT and we're away.In keeping with the environmentally conscious approach to motorcycling the Diplo 'shop has always been a responsible recycler. It was decided that once the muntjac had finished with their skins they should be be put to good use. As a winter riding seat cover these are unsurpassed for comfort and durability - available to order. MORE ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN !

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Field Trials

Following the XT's encounter with a five series BMW station waggon it was deemed wise to strip out the front end for a thorough check and re-alignment, the bars had shifted over an inch in the clamps and the forks twisted considerably in the yoke. Plenty of work with straight edge, laser, plumb line and measuring stick has confirmed that we have the machine back pretty good. Much of the work was around checking cable runs and ensuring nothing was pinched, trapped or compromised. Sunday saw the XT loaded in the hauler for a trip to my brother's place for some shake-down tests and handling checks following the rebuild. Diplo Jnr was keen to get his leg over the machine to see if Dad had fixed it up well. Half an hour of ripping up and down the field, practicing his drifting skills and generally scaring the wildlife met with a thumbs up. All's well that's done properly. MORE HAULING !

Monday, 11 October 2010

Death of a Queen

Shocking news indeed, I'm so grief stricken and incensed that these few lines may well appear rambling and distracted - I make no apology for this. My local, and possibly one of the finest public houses in the country, has bitten the dust. What makes me so angry is that this disaster was avoidable (and yet inevitable - somewhat like a train crash viewed in slow motion). Unfortunately the sentiments expressed here are coming from the same "less is more" mantra that my regular readers will recognise. I have reviewed the pub in question many times on these pages - a slightly grumpy landlord who was passionate about beer, he provided his own game for the table, butchered his own meat - as evidenced by the sprinkling of sawdust often found to be soaking up blood outside the kitchen door. All this was going on in an atmosphere of dimly lit, relaxed gastronomic indulgence. Look - I could go on about how good the pub was for ages but poor Geoff was exhausted after seven or eight years and ended up having to pass the baton to a new runner - what an effing disaster. I am siting the pub in question (some of you will know where I mean) as the most spectacular example of how to completely ruin a good thing. My gut feeling is the new leaseholder has seen an opportunity and thought he could do with a bit of the action. Instead of leaving well alone he's tried something new !!! I was taken for dinner a few weeks ago by some friends from The States - breathtakingly embarrassing experience - it actually makes me want to cry to think of it - the bloody fire wasn't even lit and we had to take the "energy saving" light bulbs out of their fittings to reduce the glare. I'll tell you just how bad this is - on Saturday some blind, stupid and uncaring car driver pulled out in front of me whilst out on the XT, I hit him pretty hard and took a trip over the roof, smacking the tarmac on all fours on the other side. Removing my helmet, calmly clutching a fast swelling wrist whilst dripping blood all over the place I told him how it really is: " that's nothing - you should see what they've done to my bloody local !". Actually I'm incapable of writing any more just now and will continue in a calmer frame of mind another day. Sorry. MORE DISASTER !

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Cold Shoulder

Bottle of cheap Californian Shiraz, left-over Saddleback shoulder from Friday night, loaf of sour dough bread, home-made butter and a sprinkling of Maldon salt from Essex. That's pretty much all I have to say about that. MORE SUNDAYS !