Saturday, May 19, 2012

In Brazil

The NW editorial team + Mrs N are currently living it up in Rio staying as guests in an exclusive pent house setup between Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.

One of these is parked up in the garage area where we are staying - I am rather enthused by this machine and wonder why it is not possible to buy anything like this now - A SIMPLE AND VERSATILE CHEAP TO RUN MOTORCYCLE WITHOUT VTEC THIS AND CBRXX THAT??

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thundersprint Exclusive

Today at Thundersprint, Northwich's premier motorcycle race around a car park event, the lovely Chesca Miles, Britain's premier female motorcycle stunt rider, explains to me that her idle speed is set to 3000rpm.

P.S.  If you click on the first picture and scroll through these pictures fast enough and ignore that balding git who pushed in front of me rudely you can almost imagine Checa's lips moving.

In other news, a secret prototype Ducati is caught on camera by our premier roving sleuth (that's me by the way).   This secret Ducati utilises a crude mecano like copy of the BMW telelever front suspension as used  on the superlative R series of bikes thus not mixing up braking and cornering forces.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Carry on up the Bosphorus

I'm informed by that old queen Lord Kinross that Bosphorus translates to Oxford but you can't wear a fez up  the Cowley Road without being arrested these days (err what? Ed.).

Family duty over, Miss N and I explore Constantinople.

Aghia Sophia - complete with post 1453 Ottoman adornments.

Turkish nutty stuff serves as seismic roller bearings.

Sultanahmet area with the Bosphorus and Blue Mosque in view .

Anyone for a Double decker  bus tour?

The Golden Horn - note to Miss N - we are not about to cross into Asia

The traditional scooter crush manouvre developed by the Ottoman's over centuries of conquest

Turkish made FIAT taksis.

Foreground - piles.  Background - Mosque

Byzantine city wall

In search of my childhood memories I discover that the ferries to Buyukada have moved to the other end of town since my last visit to the island some 35 years ago

On Buyukada no cars are permitted - the odour of dung prevails but the roses grow well there.

My Grandparent's former house revisited after 35 years.

Food at one of the many Buyukada promenade restaurants - these are starters and fish is cooked to order (€€€€)

That's where the cat went!

View to the Asian shore from Buyukada promenade

In former days these ferries were steam powered and were built in Scotland.  Now diesel and Turkish made.

Our Hotel in the old city

Fast food and even "upstairs"!

In the Grand Bazzar - Miss N is negotiating in that shop...hours and hours

On the left Constantinople or for us modernists Byzantium - Europe.  On the right Uskudar - Asia.

No need for paper here.

Coming up:  A jaunt around the Peak District and the first bug splat of the year

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Family Duty

"The sea surrounds Constantinople like a garland even more so now than in Procopius' time as the Greater Istanbul Authority installed a working sewage system last week although tap water remains undrinkable." I briefed Miss Nikos carefully as we circled the Sea of Marmara for 2 hours awaiting our landing clearance at Ataturk International.

I wanted to show Miss Nikos where her παππούς had been born, and is now resting in peace:  11 years has now passed since, strictly against Orthodox convention, I dropped his casquet of ashes into the family tomb. I have not been struck down by lightning in the intervening decade so I reckoned I have got away with it especially as he had been checked in as hand luggage.  No ossary here.

First stop at the monastery office to be admitted to the locked Christian cemetery - of late there has been desecration of the graves . My grasp of the Greek language was sufficient enough to inadvertantly agree to let the priest  perform a tomb side blessing.
Somewhere in there is my family's sole remaining real estate in Turkey
My great Grandparents - before the fez ban.
...speeding away in the taxi before I am asked to contribute to the Patriarch's retirement fund.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Och Aye Up the 'Noo

Five tips on how to survive a BMW motorcycle owners club AGM in Scotland.

Go for a walk along the Moffat riverside to clear the hangover from the malt whiskey tasting session.
Get a £4 pre meeting haircut to use up some of the Scottish bank notes that the cash dispenser dished out.
Make a decision not to purchase a 6 cylinder motorcycle on the basis of limited leg room and not on the fact that it costs more than a medium sized family car.
Eat biscuits.
Discuss the merits of carburettors with a friendly local Ural owner who happened to be passing.
Coming up this month on Nikos World:

How to rewire a BMW R1200GS panel for a power socket, GPS and Teasmade
30 years on - my Ottoman Greek family remembered

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