BL # 14 Build up

Hey peoples of the interwebs, you might have just accidentally stumbled onto my blog, or you might be a friend that got forced to read what I rant and rave about…

Anyways, I am a little less active on my blog these days – have had rediculous couple of weeks behind me – work related mostly unfortunately. The company that employs me, that I work for, that gives me moneys to do exciting things at times and severely mind numbing things at other times have had a bit of an internal shift and thus I am now the NBD designer – New Business development.  Sounds rad doesn’t it?!  It does?! Why yes – it sounds great.  But it does come with butt loads of work and I’ve been clocking in from between 5 and 6am most days.  I’m a morning person, so where as most people would dread this, this early I sparkle like a new age vampire – without the bad acting and metro hair do.

The point of this post though, I had a mind grenade the other day considering what to do for a Dec holiday.  I was so looking forward to heading overseas again, and just having a great trip traveling, seeing the world, backpack and camera in hand.  For these kind of adventures though, I have learnt that there is only a handful of people that you can ask or call on to join in, if you don’t want to go travelling alone.  And now you are putting up your hand saying: ‘I will come with!’ But you probably won’t.  Be realistic.  Most people are tyre kickers – they go and view a car just to kick the tyres, looking for any excuse not to buy it. In fact, go there hesitant, with very little intention to buy.

Anyways, I have a couple of friends, that when I come up with a mad plan, will be right there with me, busy with the draft and even if they can’t join for some or other reason will be with me every step of the way, cheering, sharing and enjoying.

When I was living in London,  I stayed with a couple of friends, one  of which was always amped for anything and everything, be it trying to hit up every skatepark we can find, or eat pizza and fries for breakfast every day for a week.  We became good friends, moving around, exploring London, partying it up crazy style, working weird hours, loving british comedy and drinking cheap beer partly because we could not afford better beer, and partly because you don’t get engine cleaner masked as a beverage in cans back home.

Sheesh, missing the point so bad here… OK, so I started formulating a plan for December, and came to the conclusion that I have not yet explored South Africa enough and that it is about time to take to the B-roads and have an adventure. With a small engined motorbike. With a friend or friends. Over new years.

I love that I mentioned this in conversations and I get 4 different replies (or type of replies):

1. The ‘WOW I love the idea and wish I could do it, (with some variations that ends in) “but alas” ‘ reply.

2. The ‘I AM doing it –  there like bear’ reply.

3. The I aknowledge that you have an idea and even though I am doing what I do every year and going where I go every year – I know better, and will tell you what to do and not to do or that you should rather be doing something completely different with your time reply.

4.1. You are crazy – and I like that.

4.2 You are crazy – and will die at least once a day every day, until you die to death or get home or run out of petrol, or end in a town like that U-turn movie.

I suppose all replies are valid and I am just as opinionated as the next guy so even 3 has some place for existence on the earth; same place they were last year, and will be for the next few…unluckies.

Reply number 2 was Erwin, always keen for adventure.  He commited without having ever ridden a motorcycle of any kind, no licence and no motorcycle.  Brave well spirited man.  Also above mentioned co engine cleaner drinking friend – just to tie up that massively loose hanging end of a side track.

OK, so that brings us to number 14 on my Bucket List – Travel an extensive amount of km’s, exploring SA on a small engined bike with a friend or friends.

Erwin and myself started chatting the thing through and after numerous desitinations we decided to let go of the Mdumbi in Transkei (3000-3500km return trip) idea and rather head somewhere we know we can get to and from in the limited amount of time a Dec holiday when employed allows you.  We then settled on somewhere far uo the East coast (Port Alfred to link up with some friends, or J-bay – just a tad closer on the return journey) – but that’s still to be decided. We will do our best to avoid highways (at least long stints on them).

Erwin got a slot for writing his motorcycle learner’s permit/licence and so that was set in stone.  If he passed the trip was a GO, if not, we would have to make other plans.  Slots for writing learner’s licences sometimes are only available from around 3 -4 months and so the fact that he got a spot was already rad!  He bought the book that you need for the test and came over to my place so that we could go over the stuff and check out controls on a real life motorbike and not the dodgy drawings in the book.  Around 15 minutes into the monkey puzzles it was apparent that I should not be anywhere near a road, not in car, on motorbike or on foot – in fact not even on Heely’s!  Trains and other forms of public transport should be OK.  Luckily I passed it years and years ago and so I can ride without worrying about what is legal – in regards to riding abreast in a one way, in two different lanes, in the right direction…

Erwin went and wrote the test, passed and the trip is officially underway in the planning stages.

We started planning with cheap-ish chinese bikes and scooters in mind – reliability a little, but more so re-sale value,  has changed all that, to either Japanese or Taiwanese bikes or scooters.  Erwin got a good bite first and bought a black Yamaha BWS 100cc scoot – well looked after and for a good price – incidentally from a guy that stays around 1km from me.

I am still looking for a scooter to do the trip with and so in the meantime we have gone for an 80km setup ride – where Erwin got to terms with his scoot – winding it up to over 100km/h and cornering like a true racer.  I was on the Husaberg – not really great riding partners the two bikes, but we had a good ride and good fun in hectic cross winds.

Erwin on collection of his scooter (pardon the Blackberry quality ohoto)

This is the route we will most probably be doing.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=215396340923428767017.0004b316fb22f0c61e821

Around a 2000km return journey on 2 scooters - Epic FTW!

Let us know what you guys are thinking, and if we should be doing regular updates on the trip.

Anyways, that’s it for now.

I will keep adding as we go along.

Cheers

F

New update:  Here’s what I will be riding – A Yamaha Nitro 101cc 2007 model.

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Husaberg FS650s Force Edition

Just a quick photobomb – will do a write up laters.

I saw one advertised, went to have a look at it, quick testride and were completely blown away. An internet search however into the ‘S’ version seemed unable to deliver any idea as to the existence of the machine – until I stumbled onto this nugget of awesomeness!

” Its a 2005 Husaberg 650 force edition FS650S, very limited edition they only made 511 force editions over 5 models, 450,501,550 enduro and 450,650 sm and only 102 650’s sm’s were made in total worldwide and of that only a handfull came to the uk and most of those are currently race bikes due to the fact the equipment that came on this model was so much better than the standard 650.”

So only 102 of the 650s’ ever made…I had major luck in buying one of these last week – 2500km on the ODO, Titanium Akro (even the standard exhaust on it was apparently full ti), well priced and spotless. It has a couple of trick bits on it straight out of the factory.

My favourite buddy

My brother’s little boy is now around the 20 months old…(guesstimating – severely bad with dates).

He is my favourite little person ever.

I don’t see him all that often, but when I do I just love playing with him.  He is fond of his sand pit and shovel and spent a lot of time moving heaps of sand – mostly from the pit to the lawn.  I know what you are thinking, and yes I am thinking the same thing; soon he will be building dirt jumps!  So proud!

Here’s a photo of Daneil – little bit distracted with my photo taking.

Everyday - shoveling

What am I up to…

Hey guys,

My bucket list is still going strong, I am just doing a couple of background things, that you wont see for now, but hopefully they all accumulate and add up to something fairly noteworthy.

I am doing smallish things on the side that gets ticked off as I do them, but they are not really ‘full postworthy’ – shotgun! and phrase claimed!

I wrote off my car a couple of months ago on the way to Namrock 2011 – taking care of two donkeys in the process – well; they were the process and the end of my car.  So I think it was just fair that the process also ended their lives.  And please don’t jump on your animal anti-cruelty league horsey now (or donkey, or fairy little pixie horse); it was 6am (dark, winter morning) on the N7, 12km from the Vioolsdrif Namibian border and the donkeys ran from the police and right in front of my car.  This sounds immensely unrealistic I know, but true story – the police were chasing the donkeys (I think they were evading road tax or something), trying to move them out of the road, in stead; they chased them across the road like dumbasses (and the donkeys were also stupid asses) when I proceeded to hit them doing roughly 80km/h.  Catinka and myself were in the car; we got out unharmed only to be frustrated by incompetent policing.

You can see the extent of the damage - the bonnet was folded onto the window from the impact - and that kept the donkeys from being lap donkeys.

The Blue Typhoon being towed to Springbok

So as a testimony of awesome friendship and love – our friends following 2 hours behind us squeezed us into their (already full) cars along with all of our belongings and we continued onto Namrock.

Namrock was a lot more intimate this year than last as the group was considerably smaller – a combination of factors kept the numbers fairly low, but this did not stop a lot of awesome things happening.

After Ford met Donkeys I was car less for a couple of weeks and in that time I was commuting on good deeds – driving my dad’s club cab or my brother’s 4.2l monster Land Cruiser…  Nothing shows you how much 10c difference in the fuel price makes, than when you only get 6km/l off 110km/h to start off with… I can tell you that much!

Once my insurance company paid out – not nearly enough to buy another typhoon, I had to make a plan, and being a severely pedantic person when doing car shopping, I drove anything and everything, even if it does not make sense for my lifestyle or if I could not afford it by a longshot (cue Alfa enthusiasts – Silver 3.2l GT and cue Audi guys – Blue 4.2l V8 RS4 with all the extras).  I made the logical choice – buy something 4×4 (must be mondo-capable otherwise I might as well not), small-ish (or at least semi-fuel efficient), deffo secondhand – if it can it WILL go off road and I don’t want to be the first guy to scratch my car; I must feel manly and look good-ish in it (no fiat panda then thank you very much) and it must pass the AA test with flying colours and I want to feel good driving away in it.  I had the other ticklist on the side obviously – you know the standard one – leather seats, aircon, power steering, tow bar, CD/mp3/USB player, good interior, rust free, good condition gearknob, elec windows, not scratched instrument panel cover, manly colour (no red/light blue/green/beige/purple on a 4×4 please), decent looking steering wheel, good tyres, good looking rims/mags, no accidents etc etc etc….as I said..pedantic.

I found a couple of vehicles that made the shortlist and settled on a Blue 1800 Pajero IO 5 door – henceforth known as ThirtyThirty (like Bravestar’s robo horse buddy).  It is fairly light on fuel – considering it is a 4×4, super capable on crazy terrain, not fast…at all, comfy for longer journeys (good thing as they take a it longer than the late 100Kw Blue Typhoon) and passed the AA technical with flying colours.

So now I try my luck on any terrain that looks difficult.

ThirtyThirty

Helderberg 4x4 trail

Dewald is visiting from DRC and he is a massive car enthusiast,  so we went to the Franschoek Motor Museum.  Most of the cars have not changed since I went there previously, except the Alfa exhibit made way for a Ferrari exhibit. We went for great cream cuppacinos in Franschoek after the museum.  I was super snap happy with the fish eye lens and took some awesome photos. Here’s a couple:

Driving there in Dewald's rocket ship.

a Rare McLaren race car - what a beaut!

Chevron racer in Gunston Colours

Ferrari Exhibit pano

We have been having braais on Bothmaskop with summer on the way.  Beautiful scenic views, amazing sunsets, good conversation and lekker food…excellent!

Enough wood to keep the fire going deep into the night

Magic

Good conversation, great wine and fire.

The view towards Helshoogte Pass

Wacky Wine was fairly eventful this year, but if you were not there, unfortunately you might never know. Blush by the kl’s.

Great day, good people, tasty food and wines.  Big headaches.

Stiaan and myself on the way to Wacky Wine

Marika, Debbi and Chris

On the way to Bon Courage (that's not a glass of wine...)

Chris at Bon Courage

Quick inset:

I almost forgot – I played a mixed Netball tournament on Saturday.  I know what you are thinking…and yes; I do look the bit in a skirt!  No seriously, I did ‘nt rock a skirt, but I had to actually buy another pair of PT shorts (previously I have been seen in a pair – 2 sizes too small at my birthday a year ago – some people are still undergoing therapy – scarred for life) so I could not wear those.

My options was trailrunning shoes with soft soles on Tartan court or old school Adidas sneakers… yes, you guessed it, I’m pretty sure those sneaks were designed for basketballers back in the day, so in my mind at least it was a great choice.

I played in 3 of the four games, WD, then WA, and the Center – the best one, my favorite!  Sheesh, what a fun game – I would totally play it all time if there was a club in Paarl.

I don’t have photos so all I can tell you is it was awesome.  Our team was nicknamed the Tappits – and most of us sported tattoos that looked like they were drawn on by a half blind drunk person and yelled obscenities about spinning and doughnuts in the car park (albeit a bumpy field).

Rad sunny day, excercise, lots of laughing and banter, and even the tiniest battle scar in the world to show for it.

 

So, no big ticks on the bucketlist at this moment, but keep your eyes peeled!

when a song is like a friend…

Today I had a particularly difficult thing that I had to do.  I know this sounds like most days for most… but without giving it away, it is something that in the interest of self preservation had to be done, even though it goes against whom I want to be, who I believe I am, who I am…

I had to do it… breaking my heart…feeling like I am betraying myself.

This song in the midst of this rough day feels like my friend, with an ear to listen, understanding what I am feeling, thinking, understanding me:

Like an Avalanche – Hillsong United

Beautiful God
Laying Your majesty aside
You reached out in love to show me life
Lifted from darkness into light
Oh

King for a slave
Trading Your righteousness for shame
Despite all my pride and foolish ways
Caught in Your infinite embrace
Oh

And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compares to this love love love
Burning in my heart

Saviour and Friend
Breathing Your life into my heart
Your word is the lamp unto my path
Forever I’m humbled by Your love
Oh

Take my life
Take all that I am
With all that I am I will love You
Take my heart
Take all that I have
Jesus how I adore You

And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compare to this love love love

Not dead…yet!

I’m still around, just not so actively writing at the moment – hold on to your hats though, soon something awesome will once again be blurted out in the only way I know – chaotically random…

Everything But The Girl…

I have always really enjoyed this song, it is one of those songs that makes you long for someone you have never met, or someone you lost, miss home when you are laying in your own bed, just feel like something is missing…I’m sure you know the feeling.

Well yesterday I was in my car and this came on the radio and I was back in that place, sitting there deep in nomansland.

Everything But the Girl – Missing:

I thought I’d share the lyrics – the song can be found on youface or some of the other sites if you don’t have it in your archives or here:

I step off the train
I’m walkin’ down your street again
And pass your door
But you don’t live there anymore
It’s years since you’ve been there
And now you’ve disappeared somewhere
Like outer space
You’ve found some better place

And I miss you
(Like the deserts miss the rain)
And I miss you
Oh
(Like the deserts miss the rain)

Could you be dead?
You always were two steps ahead
Of ev’ryone
We’d walk behind while you would run
I look up at your house
And I can almost hear you shout, down to me
Where I always used to be

And I miss you
(Like the deserts miss the rain)
And I miss you
(Like the deserts miss the rain)

Back on the train
I ask why did I come again
Can I confess?
I’ve been hangin’ ’round your old address
And the years have proved
To offer nothin’ since you moved
You’re long gone
But I can’t move on

And I miss you
Oh-oh (Like the deserts miss the rain)
And I miss you, yeah
(Like the deserts miss the rain) And I miss you

I step off the train
I’m walkin’ down your street again
Pass your door
I guess you don’t live there anymore
It’s years since you’ve been there
And now you’ve disappeared somewhere
Like outer space
You’ve found some better place

And I miss you
(Like the deserts miss the rain)
And I miss you, yeah
(Like the deserts miss the rain)
And I miss you, and I miss you
(Like the deserts miss the rain)
And I miss you, yeah
(Like the deserts miss the rain)

Deserts miss the rain
(Like the deserts miss the rain) Like the deserts miss the rain
(Like the deserts miss the rain)

heavy stuffs.