Wales Bike Tour

There was only one thing we were focused on for July. Our Biking Holiday. We were going to give the new GS a real workout.

Last year except for a few days out we had not been on a bike tour so it was time to make up for that. Our favourite destinations always involve sea and mountains. Previously we had been on biking tours to Wales, Scotland, France and Spain.

With the bike being new and us very much out of practice of touring we decided to not go to far from home. That left only one destination. Wales!

You may find this hard to believe if you have been in the UK this year but the weather was wonderful all week, not a drop of rain, just hot and sunny, to be honest a little too hot for being in biker leathers!

Farkels for the Bike, School Visit, and Father’s Day

June started with us buying presents for the new bike, first a radiator grill to pretty her up. Then some cylinder head protectors. We also treated ourselves to a new bluetooth intercom system. Its always nice to chat to each other when your on a long journey.

This month was also father’s day, the day before saw us all at Alison and Declan’s house. A family get together and also a trip to Ethan’s school for the school fate. Hannah even got to horse ride. It was so much fun she got to do it twice!

Father’s day saw us all back at Caroline farther’s. Richard had to work Sunday morning looking after one of our works data centres as the power company was shutting down the power for the morning but he joined us in the afternoon for the family get together.

New Motorcycle – BMW R1200GS

Lots of hard work this month, major projects keeping us busy at work. At home we had our first family Barbeque of the year, the weather was much improved. With the nice weather Richard managed to book his QXC test. This was his flying cross country test. Which he passed well.

We also bought a new motorcycle a BMW R1200GS. Selling our 5 year old BMW R1100S, we were both sad to see it go but the R1200GS is really an excellent all rounder,

We had the good luck to take delivery just before the Bank Holiday at the end of the month. It was all the excuse we needed to take the new bike on a North Yorkshire blast around the wolds and moors.

Typically the month ended with heavy rain in the last week, the week Mum Brown had chosen to spend on holiday in Paignton. Friday she came back so of course the weather improved. The last day, Saturday was lovely sunshine, so we had a trip on the new bike to the Lincolnshire Coast for a coffee, minor B roads all the way there, great fun.

Birthdays, Photo Duties, New Motorcycle and a Wedding

April started warm and sunny, Richard finally managed to get his Solo flight to Full Sutton done. Caroline was another year older, it seems to have been none stop birthdays so far this year!

It being the new financial year it was time for the big work celebration. Each year work throws a party, three course meal, prize giving and a band. Its all free and a good evenings entertainment. Its not a completely free evening as Richard was again called upon to be the official photographer so until he got the key pictures wrapped up we could not completely relax.

We had also ordered our new motorcycle this month. Unfortunately they had been unable to find the model with the spec we wanted in the UK, so it would have to be built to order. Then in the middle of the month we got a phone call, our new bike was being built and would be ready and shipped to us by June!

The big event of this month was actually the event of the year, Rob and Anita’s Wedding.

We were worried about the weather but on the day it was perfect. Rob and Anita looked wonderful, and the brides maids were beautiful.

The two best men were very handsome in their suits, a welcome change to the normal jeans and tee shirts.

All together a most wonderful day for all.

PDA Play, Women Bikers, Pilot Exams and Birthdays

Another typical March.  Lots of work because of year end.

People spending there budgets, projects to be finished.  Hard work but satisfying.

One of our major customers was reviewing its phone and PDA (Personnel Digital Assistant) strategy.  So as I am an expert in that field I got to play with the very latest mobile phones and PDA’s again!  Must admit while many have more functions then my iPhone or Caroline’s iTouch, they are still the best email and web platform we have ever used.

The first weekend started with a bit of DIY, after the Earth Quake on the previous Wednesday (see February’s report), we started the weekend with gale force winds.  Unlike last year where we lost the whole of the back fence, we only lost one panel at the side of the house.  Sunday I had planned to attend a lighting seminar at a local photography studio but unfortunately it got cancelled.  It did mean we got to spend the day with Mum Brown, it being Mother’s Day.  We had a big chilly feast, with lots of fresh bread and salad, chips and dips!  It all went rather well.

Surfing the net we found a new blog to read, if your into blogs and motorcycles its a great read.  Its always good to read about women enjoying motorcycling.  Find it at http://www.bluepoof.com/ Nice to know Caroline is not the only female motorbike rider in the world.


I also had to find time for some in house training and a couple of days in London.  Having to work in London has many disadvantages but at least I got the chance to photograph a few of London’s more famous sites.  Shame that those two days coincided with the worst storm England and Wales has had so far this winter.

We also had another week off work, that finished all our leave for 2007-2008 that had to be used before year end.  We spent the week down in Bournemouth, Caroline sowing and shopping, while I was at Bournemonth Airport attending Ground School taking more flying exams.  Air Law, Human Performance and Meteorology had already been passed, but Law and Human Performance were out of date, so in a very busy week, I had lots of study and as well as the new exams.

  • Air Law – Passed
  • Radio Telephony – Passed
  • Flight Performance and Planning – Passed
  • Navigation – Passed
  • Human Performance
  • Aircraft Technical – Passed
  • Thats now all the theory work passed just practical left!  Thanks to all the ground instructors at Bournemouth for the great teaching.

    We finished the month celebrating another birthday.  The Caroline’s farther, Alan was another year older so we all had a big family get together to celebrate.

    Horse Riding and Earth Quakes

    Back to work and things back to normal, IT Support, visiting sites. Then flying, horse riding and taking Hannah and Ethan swimming. Basically a normal and very busy month. Oh and don’t forget going to the Gym and running!

    We also had a week off to use up our leave before we lost it. Richard took the opportunity to have look at the 2008 BMW R1200GS, nice bike, now how much is a low seat for Caroline to ride it!

    As I am sure everyone in England is aware we also had an Earth Quake this month. It woke us up and was certainly the strongest we have felt. Luckly this was caused no damage unlike the last one that caused us to loose a few roof tiles.

    Updated 01/03/2008 or 03/01/2008 for our American friends 😉

    DATE : 27 February 2008
    ORIGIN TIME : 00:56 47.8s UTC
    LAT/LONG : 53.404 ° North / 0.331 ° West
    GRID REF : 509.9 kmE / 389.0 kmN
    DEPTH : 18.6 km
    MAGNITUDE : 5.2 Richter Scale (ML)
    LOCALITY : Market Rasen, Lincolnshire
    INTENSITY: 6 EMS

    Thanks to British Geological Survey for the data.

    Lets also not forget Ethan’s Birthday: Happy Birthday Ethan

    January Holiday at the Seaside

    A New Year. First off we got back into the gym, we had not been much due to the colds we had been getting. We also had our first holiday of the year. Whitby and Southwold are always are top choices for breaks away.

    We decided on Southwold and also so a day trip down to Quilters Haven in Wickham Market, and Sew-Sew’s quilt shop in Bungay to buy lots of new material for Caroline’s quilting projects.

    After we got back we also had a family get together for Sofia’s First Birthday.

    Colds and more colds, oh and the video Long Way Down

    December was the month of colds. First Richard had one and had to have a couple of days of work, then Caroline got one and also had to have a few days off.

    It was Alison’s Birthday this month so we had a family get together. It was also Richard’s birthday and he got the DVD ‘The Long Way Round’ so he is all enthusiastic about getting the new bike soon and doing a long trip. We managed to go as far as Spain on the Honda, so how much further will we try on a GS!

    We ended the month with colds again and both having to have a few days off again. Lets hope the new year brings good weather and good health.

    iPhone Launched in UK and a Trip to see the Seals

    Caroline worked hard to finish another quilt this month which see is calling ‘Minerva Spools’.

    The Bike GP season finished. Poor Rossi came third in the championship. If not for engine failure in the last race he would have come second. You cannot fault Ducati and Casey Stoner they had a great package. The Ducati has always been fast but now it handles too!

    Richard is starting to think about his next bike. Maybe next year. We took a BMW R1200GS out for the day a few months ago and really liked it.

    This month was also gadget month. Richard is very lucky in that he gets to play with all the latest gadgets, Smart Phones, Windows/Palm PDA’s. He has always liked Psions but as there not available any more switched he switched to Palm, occasionally replaced with Windows Mobile.  Richard has a Windows and a Symbian 9 mobile phone and is testing a new Blackberry for work. The Windows device makes a great GPS as we have the TomTom software on it but as a phone its not so good. The Symbian device is good and stable but is slow. The blackberry for companies is certainly the best mobile email device and from a IT perspective its very supportable.

    The big event in smart phones for the UK is that the Apple iPhone was released this month. We had both managed to test one at work for a week many months ago and was very impressed. It may not have all the features of a Windows smart phone or say a Symbian device, eg Nokia N95, but the key point is, it actually works as a great phone, has the best browser in the business and the OS is very good. All it needs for us, to make it perfect, is the ability to edit MSOffice documents, support Microsofts push email standard and run a Citrix client. So lets hope third party developers meet our needs. Lets see what happens in February when the Software Developers Kit is released.

    So yes Richard bought the Apple hype and got himself an iPhone. Yes it was expensive. Not how you think, but that Caroline insisted on getting an iPod Touch. Only fair don’t you think. At least now we don’t have to worry about Christmas presents for each other!

    We also made a quick visit to the coast. At Donna Nook the seals were giving birth. Lots of photographs were taken.

    Sofia’s Christening

    Caroline was one of the God parents, along with Robert, Vincent and Claire. Farther Michael officiated at the local Catholic Church. Then we all popped next door to enjoy the cake and buffet. It all quite fun, especially as we also had a power cut so the buffet was by candle light.

    With all the power issues we have had recently, we have had to do a lot of extra work to do in the server room.  Caroline has continued with her horse riding, and now seems to have mastered the canter. Richard has still not done any further flying, but has started to concentrate on his exams again with the hope to have them all finished by the end of March