Tuesday, July 31, 2012

One week to go

Ah the life of a rock star!
Presentation from Janet Davidson,
 Deputy Lord  Mayor of Perth
I've been meeting some important people. I even have in my possession a wee present from the Mayor of Perth for the Lord Provost (Scottish Mayor) of Perth. You'd have worked out by now who is who. I was made to feel very welcome by the deputy Lord Mayor Janet Davidson yesterday in Perth City Council Offices.
Janet, like myself originated in UK and has been in Sunny WA for more than 30 years. We both agreed on our preference for where the best weather is. Thanks Janet for your warm hospitality! Much appreciated!

Keith Williams and the "On 2 Wheels" Crew
P2P Party
It's been a busy week!
On Sunday we had the P2P official (Aussie version) going away party which was a blast.

Keith and the crew from "On 2 Wheels" motorcycle show popped down for an interview.
Thanks for all those that came along. I now need to go and retrieve my bike from the bar in Dear Friends Restaurant.

The Advocate 31/7/12
And so to another wee headline, this time in the local paper.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2 Weeks to go ...

Media update

Some media people have shown an interest in my wee adventure. Someone asked for a recent photograph and having had ruffled through piles of bike shots I found nothing decent. So, we appointed our official photographer (my son)  to take some publicity type, wind swept and interesting images. I thought this one turned out pretty good.

Incidentally, this bike is being shipped to Darwin in a few weeks so that I can use it later in the year for the final leg down to Perth Australia.

UK Bike Stuff

I knew there was something I forgot. The annual MOT inspection. So I've asked the guys at the Manchester Triumph dealers, Youles on Bury road to arrange for me. So in theory then, I should be able to step off the plane, into a taxi, out the taxi, onto the bike and drive off, over the horizon with a smile. Thankfully  there really isn't much else to arrange with the bike for now. I have to say, that's a good feeling after months of  indecision. I've simply stopped worrying about minor things now.

Work Stuff
That's enough about work.

Health Stuff again.
Today I get some bits cut out. My eyes water at the thought so I'll spare me the details.

-- update 6:50pm -- bits have been removed to a jar and submitted to Pathology. Looks like a small Melanoma but wont know for sure till next week when I get results -- Happy its removed. The poor medical student who got the prize to sew me up didn't know where to look when I asked him where would I send him the flowers for such a wonderful job done :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Three weeks to go

It's funny sometimes, we all plod along quite happy with our lot, never thinking about our mortality, well you wouldn't would you? It's all sort of far far away in old age. Like old people and grey hair and bits falling off. "I'll worry about that later, when I'm old I reckon"

That can change when you hear about someone close by who has been diagnosed with something nasty, terminal perhaps, life threatening, dangerous and something to spoil the best plans of mice and men as they say Its sometimes brought home even more so when you don't believe you're old enough for such nasty things and yet you hear of someone younger than yourself with cancer or an old mate who had a heart attack and is now gone. I'm not even the age of Ernie the milkman but yet people younger than Ernie and me are falling off the perch.

With this thought I was not too pleased to find some strange lumps (not saying where,  but rhymes with Davina McCall)  and black marks on the skin nearby which itch and look like one of those sun screen adverts on Australian TV where the coffin gets an airing as well. I can't ever remember sunbathing naked, let alone sunbathing naked standing on my head with legs apart. Well, not when I was sober anyway.

Davina McCall
Anyway the long and short of it all, is that after putting my bits in a machine which reminded me sandwich press, the operator gave me the thumbs up and confirmed the the lumps are safe. The black mark is still unknown at the moment. I'm still awaiting a doctors appointment for the above mentioned skin lesion . Would you believe, several  mole clinic places here in West Australia are booked out till September!  I'd be dead by then if I wasn't heading off to the other side of the world with more important things on my mind. So just to be sure I'm having it cut out, just to be on the safe side. Cross your legs and think of England as they say.

In recent weeks, Liquorland hate me but American Express love me. I've been spending my alcohol savings on lots of other bits, mostly spares and necessary weight additions to the bike. No doubt, some of this weight I'll shed in a few months when I realise this appliance or that widget is bloody useless and what the hell was I thinking? Then again, you never can be too prepared so I'm thoroughly enjoying my consumer spending spree. I must also add that UK prices are very much lower than Australian. All deliveries are being sent to my sisters in Scotland but from what I gather, the rolled out bed is taking over the kids room, the top box in a box is still at the front door and the little packages of spare parts resemble a Halfords display case. This means that the lack of Long Way Round type sponsorship is testing my family's dedication to their long lost brother and his silly adventures.
Tank Panniers
Oh, mustn't forget, I ordered a set of tank panniers. Yes, probably useless but at least I'll have somewhere to put everything now. These little babies throw across the tank and have enough storage for a couple of bottles of nicely chilled wine and a glass, perhaps some cheese and biscuits, maybe a beer or two.

Seriously, if I can put more weight up front, less on the rear, I will have less chance of popping an unexpected wheelie at the traffic lights. These, types of sudden wheelies don't convince anyone, despite all my attempts to pretend it was intentional. .Even the baseball cap clad, acne infested commodore wielding youth that I was escaping saw through that one.

TV Stuff
I was wondering if anyone was interested in sending me off from Perth in Scotland. It was becoming  a Billy no friends party and I was starting to pretend I didn't care but in recent days I've been inundated with a letter. Well, an email all the way from the Provosts P.A. in Perth letting me know that they'd like to see me leave. I think they mean that in the nice way. Also, I'm getting to nosey around Glamis castle, just up the road from Perth with my bike, just a few hours before the Summer Prom concert. and ... there's a highland Games in the very same place I set off from on the glorious twelfth. So, plenty of TV opportunities there then.

Better take my cameraman, sound guy and someone to get the tea. (me, me and me at the moment)

Work Stuff
That's enough about work.

Party Time
In addition to the send off in Perth, my darling wife has planned a going away do  in England. There's a serious knees up in Huddersfield on the 17th of next month. We've sent out invites and everything. So if your not on the list, complain bitterly, send me some sponsorship money or wine and I'll send you the address. Then there's a send off from Ace Cafe the week after on the 22nd.  Maybe its just me but have you noticed there's a lot of leaving events booked for this trip?

I've been asked several times if I'm getting excited. It sounds a bit strange although I am, I think I'm probably more frustrated waiting, waiting waiting. I just want to get on my bike and go. I want all the gear fixed, the bike working perfectly, the stuff all packed, the paperwork sorted and all loose ends tied up. When Ewan  McGregor said "get me out of fu##in London, I know just what he meant.
I'm sure all around me are fed up hearing about it. I find myself editing my enthusiasm, curbing the need to bombard everyone with where I'm heading, what I'm doing, whats the bike like, do I have visa's?

Seized piston
And what if it all fell on it's arse. I'ts going to be pretty sad if it all falls in a heap.

What if the bike isn't right. It has been sitting doing nothing in a Manchester garage for months now. I never put oil in places I should have. Will the engine still turn over? Have the rear suspension seals seized  as well? Will I be able to get another bike prepared at short notice?

Maybe it's time to call the garage and ask then to check it over for me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Four weeks to go.

Bike preparation and Health checks.

On this trip I will be driving two bikes. On from UK to Singapore. The other from Darwin to Perth. One is in UK waiting for me to fly over and pick it up, the other sits outside here waiting to be sent to Darwin whilst I'm away.

I will be putting this bike in a crate prior to leaving for Europe. My tour manager (wife) will then arrange transport to Darwin. Some guys I work with have been kind enough to allow me to store the bike in their Darwin warehouse for a couple of weeks until I arrive in November/December. Thanks to Devin of ATP Solutions Perth for helping me out with this one. Much appreciated.

On health focus, I've had the Typhoid & Cholera booster done last week and I'm getting final health checks this week. I have discovered a small black spot which looks like a melanoma so better to be safe than sorry, I'm seeing surgeon to get that cut out. I was also alarmed by doctor recently when he found a lump in a strange place I won't mention but it's being scanned tomorrow and blood taken. If the blood tests turn out okay,  it will be all systems go. If not then I'm screwed and P2P will have to wait for a bit!

Here's hoping it's all good news .... I'll tell you more next week.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Back in Australia, but not back on the booze.

I'm back in Australia, back in the gym, back to work, but not back on the booze. I'm on the "Dry July" which is the charity for Cancer research in Australia. No drinking for a month. Also, any money i raise will be given to Royal Perth hospital. Even if I don't raise much, i reckon handing over the same amount as I would normally to the bottle shop owner would provide a lot of assistance.
I have a donation page here just in case anyone wants to provide me with support. Even $1 will do. Its not part of my trip really but I reckon since most people have been touched with Cancer in one way or another, it is worthwhile.

On another note. I didn't start out to get sponsorship or freebies. That wasn't the point, but when some kind people offer some things to make things easier, I can hardly refuse. I now have several people helping. This has really bucked up my spirits. I'll put some credits up on a supporters page next week.

So, just over four weeks till I fly ..... getting excited. Its like being 10 years old waiting for Christmas.