Off the train on Tuesday before I started. Time Zones are wonderful. Folkstone is one hour behind Calais. And the Chunnel trip time is around half an hour 🙂
Rode up the M20, across the M26 and to Fritz’ place. Though I did have to call, so Fritz could stand on the roadside and direct me 🙂 Shades of last year.
Cup of tea and a chat with Fritz and Karen.
Then off to the pub I was staying at.
Back for supper.
Karen took ill late last year. Fritz does the cooking. Apple chicken. And none of it out of a ration pack 🙂
Their girls were away, as they had scored a bursary/scolarship, and are boarding in Christ’s Hospital school. Check it out.
After the supper, rode back to my pub.
Found they had excellent real beer. A proper, well kept cellar. And no sparklers 🙂
The landlord (Lauren Beales) used to be in ‘soaps’ and do panto! We agreed that the world would be a better place if people focused on the important things in life: real beer, real food, and Panto 😉
Up on Wednesday morning.
Rode back to Fritz’. Because somewhere last evening I had volunteered to help. And blow me down. Fritz had a job for me.
TLC for the bike.
Cuppa and chat with Fritz and Karen.
Then to work.
Fritz had brambles growing between his out-buildings and fence. Head-height or more.
Good work had already been done, so we could get in, and start hacking the remaining “hedge”.
Being a good boy scout, Fritz immediately started a fire. After that, it was just a matter of cutting the brambles, piling them on the fire, and putting out the flames on the fence. Nah. The flaming fence happened only the once.
By the end of the day all of the hedge was gone……
Supper was a really good curry, from a nearby restaurant.
A bit more chat, then I bid my farewell.
Rode off into the night.
Managed to get the bike into 4th gear at times. ‘Tis a dark and twistie road back to the pub. The previous night I only managed 3rd. Must be getting my night vision back. It’s been ages since I’d done ANY riding at night.
A swift pint and an early night.
Thursday morning up at 6am to sunshine. Yippee! Rain had been forecast for this morning.
It came as I was checking the tire pressures.
Luckily it stopped as I was packing. And the sun came out.
Rode off to Fareham, where I was to meet Lynn&Ian.
Arrived early, so picked up some cash and did some shopping.
Then a cup of tea at the pub.
Lynn&Ian arrived. We had excellent chat and a nice lunch.
Then we all went to Fareham Crematorium where we said goodbye to Chris.
Part of the family for Robert, Eilene and Barry. Passed away unexpectedly 6 weeks ago.
I’d known Chris since, well, let’s just say, since before Robert and I joined the Royal Signals (part-time). Chris had been in the real army. Mainly in the Orkney Islands, and Germany. With the Royal Signals. So both Robert and I took some gentle ribbing, from him.
As Robert, Eilene and Barry were his extended family, they took care of Chris after he was diagnosed with cancer some years ago. When I last saw Chris in July, he was looking good, and his last checkup was good. Will be another 3mths before the autopsy results are announced 🙁
Remembering Chris: a good guy. Always a smile. A gentle dry humour. Sports encyclopedia. And always the first to offer a round, or help.
Here he is, a rose between two thorns…..
NOTE: Thanks to Mark for supplying this photo
Pete (oldest brother to Chris) did the eulogy. We all learnt bits about Chris we didn’t know 🙂
Robert recited a poem, and did an excellent job.
Then we all went to the Northcote. Drat! An open bar and me riding tonight!!!
At the pub, caught up with the Milton Keynes crew that I haven’t seen since……..Ben (Robert’s nephew) had a Jag.
Plus Mandy and Boris. Mandy, Barry and I, worked together back in my petro-chemical days at CJB. Boris is a proper biker, who is only just recovering from a broken leg (not from biking).
Headed out to the ferry. With a warning triangle that Robert kindly lent.
Filled up the bike outside the ferry port.
Quickest boarding ever.
Document check. Then followed the last artic’ onto the boat.
Parked the bike next to another. Seems only two riders on this trip.
Into my cabin. Unpacked.
Look around the boat. Posh cabins look reallly nice.
Roast beef supper…..
And to bed.
Was an hour later than it seemed.
France here I come.
Was a busy time in England.
Could have been a sad time. But was quite uplifting.
“Illegitimi non carborundum ”