Friday, July 31, 2009

Somewhere (I would rather be)

There's a place for us
Peace and quiet and open air

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Day Out at Kew Gardens

Mrs Nikos' hand, a yellow flower and a leaf with resident ladybird

A lonesome olive tree about 2000 miles from home

A fruit (name forgotten) hanging from a Silkwormlunch tree (native of Peleponissos - S. Greece)

A pair of counterfeit Ray Bans nestling in a convenient hollow of a pinus

A Kenco coffee bush in full fruit - a rare find at Northern latitudes

The Palm House - a rusting example of Victorian Mecano

Kew Gardens is a typical example of what is fine and worthy in England - an expensive car park, followed by an expensive entrance fee followed by a walk around excellent gardens and glass houses. During the walk one will encounter many screaming kids and confused geriatrics. Of paramount importance is the regularity of tea rooms serving cake of the highest calorific order.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Los Angeles

How not to park an airship

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hawks over Athens

Not the Turkish Airforce on a final attempt to finish off the Parthenon after the abject failure of their Ottoman forbears, but the RAF's Red Arrows during a friendly flypast in 2005.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

And for the Second Lesson it Rained (More)

I started with a soggy bum and I finished with colonic irrigation.

The theme of my second IAM observed ride was positioning & cornering both of which I achieved at various times but not necesarrily in the correct sequence. The theme of my ride home from Broxton cafe stop past Oulton Park and salty Northwich was extreme positioning around impromptu tidal flows caused by deluge rain conditions. Non UK readers should realise that this is no ordinary English summer - the UK Meteorological Office with the help of two Cray supercomputers the size of Mars had previously advised that we were due to have a "barbeque summer".

Monday, July 13, 2009

An Acquired Art

Mrs Nikos' new motorcycle - a 1982 BMW R65

A kick starter unique to BMW provided on the premise that one would never need to use it in anger.

The battery was not up to the job - A small crowd of onlookers had gathered and were taking in the spectacle that despite much effort and vective, I had not acquired within ten minutes the necessary art of kick starting a BMW 650 engine to life. The bump starting along the pavement proved more successful and the crowd dispersed rapidly as I discovered that the space where my foot should have rightfully been to operate the back brake lever was occupied by a Bing carburettor.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Here Endeth the First Lesson

After 34 years or so I have decided to become an advanced motorcyclist, or rather, it may be better put to say that I have decided to start the IAM Advanced Motorcycling course (again). The first lesson (known as an "observed run") took place between the Aldi car park in Crewe and the biker stop cafe at Broxton (somewhere off the A49) passing on the way signposts to Northwich, Leftwich and Nantwich not to mention Middlewich. There was only one deluge during the three hour session.
The intoductory IAM briefing on Friday night promised that practising the "system" at corners and roundabouts (some call them "islands") would not be "laboured".
On a more positive note, I learnt from chatting to a fellow student the handy tip on how a pillion passenger with short legs should properly mount a BMW motorcycle (hitherto the system employed by Mrs Nikos has been a running hop skip and jump coupled with a timely whole body hurling action with the hope that I could steady the machine against the not inconsiderable impulsive side force).

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Large bomb strikes branch of McDonald’s

Recent report from a Greek newspaper:

A time bomb that exploded outside a branch of McDonald’s in the central Athens district of Ambelokipi early yesterday, causing extensive damage to the premises of the fast-food outlet and to a tax office located above but no injuries, was yesterday attributed by police to the terrorist group Revolutionary Struggle.

I did not see this partisan group on my recent ballot paper for the EU elections - what a pity for 2 obvious reasons.
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