July 21, 2013 GMT

It seems, the older the bike, the greater the excuse to celebrate when it passes an MOT.
My little Yamaha of Cape Town fame still waits hopefully - for when I can get body and soul together for the messy job of changing the front brake hose. Soon, soon.

But the Aprilia, I hoped, needed nothing done. And its MOT time of the year had come round again.

So I thought I'd take some photos during the test last week. Just for posterity, and because there might be something to take a photo of - like the tester finding a wobbly wheel or no lights.
The suspense can be unbearable while he's doing his stuff.


Here's the Aprilia being tested - well, about a hundred yards down the road behind me, at the East Grinstead Aprilia shop. The suspense is unbearable.


The 3:30 from Sheffield comes to a halt, brakes working fine. My Aprilia is still in the testing garage down the road. Hope the brakes are OK.

And it passed - amazing what a bit of steam can do. Time for a celebration.

*Timetable correction* That was the 3:30 from Sheffield Park not the 3:30 from Sheffield, which would have had a spot of bother reaching East Grinstead along the Bluebell Line.

The everlasting sunshine on offer lately reminded me that it's been a while since I had breakfast at the Ace Cafe. So with 52 weeks of MOT left I fixed that, and got a shot of the Aprilia at last.



In 1965 I used to ride past here on my little Zundapp scooter. I once stopped outside and felt a hundred black-leather-clad eyes swivel in my direction. The Zundapp, uniquely in 1965, had an electric start. So I pressed it, felt the leather-clad eyes narrow, and sped off at the incredibly slow speed that the 1950s engine could muster.
There's a whimsical saying that's become associated with nostalgia at the Ace Cafe (and there's a lot of it!) "For the want of Speed and a Cup of Tea." Back in '65 I had no speed so the tea had to wait.

I don't usually take photos of bikes at these sorts of places - once you start you'll never stop. But I thought this might be an exception.


One day, all tyres will be this size....

Back to smaller tyres, I heard the other week that someone up at Donington Park had taken a photo of me at the HUBB camping weekend. Here it is.

And it doesn't need an MOT. Bliss!

As well as the Aprilia receiving a good looking over, I did as well, at the hospital. All looking good, the main thing being the lack of serious side-effects, allowing the hormone treatment to continue for the final year.
I've tried to find bits of humour in the last two years of treatment, and found an ideal novelty last week, for use on Friday.
A friend and I visited the Glassblowing Centre near London Bridge. We go now and again to see the latest incredible artworks in glass.


While in the area my friend wanted to pop into the medical bookshop in Guy's Hospital, to buy a skeleton, (like you do). She's a teacher-trainer of Alexander Technique and needed a new one. It's a vital part of class-work, becomes worn-out through constant handling by students, and they sell them in the bookshop. Amongst lots of other stuff.
Like biros that look exactly like syringes. In fact, they look exactly like the implant catheters, complete with return spring inside, that the nurse will stick into me on Friday for my 12-weekly hormone dose.
So I've this idea. I'll ask the nurse if she's already got a loaded catheter from the chemists next door, whip out my biro and nonchalantly suggest she returns her's as I've got my own special one direct from Guy's Hospital, no less!

We'll see....

Right - looks like a Brit is about to win Le Tour, again. Must go check.
Specially as he was born in Kenya. And trained years ago with his mentor David Kinjah in Kikuyu, outside Nairobi on the road to Kisumu, Eldoret and Uganda.
That should be quite a Celebration in Paris! And Kikuyu.

Posted by Ken Thomas at 08:14 PM GMT

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