Time to say goodbye

Hopefully its not just me that gets emotional at funerals and memorial services, I like to think of myself as an old tough sod (nice description from Doug……..Thanks bro) but when it comes to family I find it hard to keep my emotions in check. Yesterday (Saturday) was Tania, Ryan’s and Nicole’s moms memorial service and while it was a celebration of her life, the tears still flowed. Tania’s letter to her dad in particular was very touching and I was unable to stay dry eyed. After the service we all went to Schoonies and dad scattered moms ashes in an area that was one of her favourites.

I suppose one good thing to come out of mom leaving us and that has been that we get to see Nicky, Doug and Amber for a week or so, Must say Amber is very cute and I have been speaking to her to tell her mom and dad that they need to move back to SA so we can see her more often, “hopefully that will work”. This occasion has also given Doug and I the opportunity to make the peace after a few months of not talking to each other. Why you ask, well if truth be told it was 80% my fault so we have buried the hatchet, “Surgery was a huge success and Doug should be out of intensive care in a month or so” and hopefully they wont stay to much longer on the Island before they decide to come back home.

This week was also Gabby’s Birthday and she turned 14, hard to believe that my little baby is now a young woman and a beautiful one at that. Friday night we went out to dinner and on Saturday we had a cake at Ryans house, as always gabby always blows out a single candle that reminds Gabby of her birth mom and Tania and I how lucky we are to have Gabriella in our lives……its always an emotional moment for me.

Next weekend Tania, Gabby and I are in Gauteng for my Nieces wedding, I cannot wait to see the family and celebrate this day with Christine and Craig. Will be taking lots of photos and from what I can gather be having a great time.

Talking about flying I flew to East London on Wednesday to do some lockout training (no that’s not when you cant get into the house after your wife has locked you out) at the harbour. Was a twin prop 30 seater plane that was about as comfortable as getting crammed into a mini and going on a long trip. Training was good and as always I enjoyed presenting the workshop.

A couple of weekends ago we went to a Penguin sanctuary at Cape Recife and saw how they look after penguins and seals that get injured or caught in oil slicks. They had a whole bunch of youngsters in and we saw how much chaos they can cause. What is not nice to hear is that they estimate within 5 years the penguin population in SA could be extinct due to weather pattern changes as well as over fishing of areas that penguins feed. Again man making his contribution to the world ……….NOT

The Boks did it against the POMS, what a change and while there is still much to do before the World Cup it was good to see there is still life In the Bok, Victor Matfield played most of the match with a broken rib. For once the refereeing was not bad and its always good to beat England at Twitenham. What made this win even sweeter is the fact that they had a Hensopper playing for them, one Hendre Fourie from Burgersdorp who said during the week “Blood will flow at Twikenham” he was right just it was the Poms and not South Africa’s. “Must feel like a real chop now hey Hendre” Must say it really makes a difference where you are watching the game , last week Ryan and I watched the Bok/Scotland game at the Supersport pub at the casino and I think there is more atmosphere on the moon, apart from some coloured dude that was shouting for the Scots and pissing me off it was like watching paint dry, those who know me will know that I can get pretty animated at a rugby match.

Ryan, Doug and I joined the Port Elizabeth toy run on Sunday and it was really great to experience this with them as well as be able to contribute a little too so many children who do not have the privilege of spending Xmas with family and friends or even a Xmas lunch. The Staff at NOSA raised R1400 to give to the Toy run with our Head Office contributing R1300 as well. A great effort I think

Sent into me by a friend

Did you know that, the words "race car" spelled backwards still spells "race
car"? And that "eat" is the only word that, if you take the first letter and move
it to the last, spells its own past tense, "ate"?

And if you rearrange the letters in "African National Congress," and add
just a few more letters, it spells: "Shut up you free-loading, progress-blocking, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking, greedy and hypocritical idiots, and deal with the fact that you are wrecking the country with your corruption and nepotism and lack of accountability and that you cannot run a piss-up in a brewery never mind a country or even a municipality."

Now isn't that interesting?

Tania’s vegetable garden is doing great and her spinach in particular is growing fast and big, will soon look like Popeye with all the spinach I am eating

Well that’s it for this week only 26 shopping days left before Xmas and I have 13 more working days before Xmas holidays……….Yipee

Have just returned from the pub to watch the Scots beat the Boks 21-17 and I do not know what or who I am more angry about

1) Lack of game plan
2) Crap decision making by supposedly good players
3) Crap captaincy
4) Crap coaching
5) Crap refereeing
6) Crap fans

Crap fans win hands down, I now believe that I have found someone else to hate more than the “Proud to be a South African but not enough to actually live in SA” and that is the “I am South African but shout for any other team that players South Africa, especially the Springboks”. Had a guy at the pub shouting for the Scots, clearly South African …………………………….

Sorry ladies and gents but I cant finish the Blog this week, this due to Tania’s mom unexpectedly passing away in the early hours of this morning (Sunday 21st). It was/is a great shock to all of her family and friends and I have always been fortunate to have two moms and dads as I have always considered Lois and Keith to be parents as well (we got of to a rocky start but my charm prevailed).

Due to pressures of the job, laziness or tomorrow is another day syndrome, I have not seen Lois for a few weeks and for this I am sorry, it has however made me even more conscious of the fact that we need to tell those close to us on a regular basis that we love them and that they mean something in our lives.

So Mom, sorry that you are gone, I never got to say thank you for allowing me to Marry the best woman in the world, thank you for bringing her up the way you did and for the love that you have always shown us over the years. I am happy that for the last year Tania and yourself had the opportunity to see each other on a regular basis and that you got to see Gabriella grow up for a year of her life. Your Grandchildren will surely miss you, but you will forever hold a special place in their hearts.

Rest in peace mom and know that when the time is right you will see the loved ones you have left behind again.


Springboks vs the Jones's

I bet a few of you thought no Diaries of a village idiot this week.....no such luck ladies and gents. The Retard is back

Seems that a few people in Clarens think I am a retard, “do I care? Not really”...........Why you ask, well I believe (as the poster says) everyone knows a retard or two in fact I am sure if I asked me mates (of which I have many in Clarens, many more than those calling me a retard in fact) we could name a number of people in Clarens that we as well as a number of other people would consider retards and besides I have been insulted by better “slow down” people than those that live in Deliverance part 2, always said that all Clarens really needed was a banjo player sitting on the Welcome to Clarens wall. I would have done it but can’t play the banjo. I am so happy to be out of the politics in Clarens having to be careful what you say and to who you say it because you will piss someone off along the way, a talent it seems that I am very good at. So let’s see what I can write about this week to upset someone in the “drinking village with a sense of humour problem”

The word retard by the way is a North American term, that deliberately insults someone with a learning disability or someone regarded as unintelligent, in the Queens English which I “spokes” it means I am a hold back, slow down, delay or a hinder. Used Thesaurus for the info)……..Retard is pronounced Reeeeeeeeeeeeee tard and not Ra tard (like Allen in the Hangover)

Well news from Clarens is that Steelwings went well, first year in a number of years that I have not run the pub which despite what I hear that some bitter and twisted residents of Clarens have said (I together with Meatbomb with assistance from Natalie Kathleen, Jeanelle, Liza, Lawrence and Sherri ) really did a good job. It would seem Meatbomb has carried on this tradition. I am sure there will be those in the village that will not agree, “but hey jealousy gets you nowhere”

Just in case anyone is/are/was wondering I do copy/paste articles that are sent to me or I see on news 24 that I think will interest people onto the Blog, I do not believe that I have ever tried to lead anyone to believe that those words where in fact my own, but so as not to confuse anyone in the future, I from now on will advise if I in fact have copy pasted any information.

So with without further ado or much about nothing or gelding your lily lets get on with the Blog (sorry just trying to sound litery, skollarly, intellingunt, cleffer laaik) yeah know its not working as I am no letter mechanic.

Boks pulled another one out of the fire this weekend with a 29 – 25 win against a spirited Welsh and Walsh performance (Steve Walsh was the New Zealand Ref). I thought I was watching a re- run of Zulu with all the Jones’s, William and even a Hook on the team. However despite the refs assistance the Bok’s held to make it 2 out of 2. Must say the first try by debutant North was definitely obstruction and if it had of been a Bok player it would have been blown as such and I want to see North’s second try again from an angle where we can see where he was when the ball was kicked ahead, because I do think he was a tad offside, no ways he could not have been ahead of the ball when it was kicked. Must say Chilliboy nearly cost us the game, with his 2 throw ins at the lineout, As far as I am concerned he should not be on tour never mind the bench. Next week is the Scots and hopefully the Boks start getting all the aspects of their game together before the England game because with them beating 35 – 18 this weekend they will fancy themselves against the Boks and of all the teams i don’t want them to lose against the Poms, they are still going on about the try that wasn’t in the 2007 final. Wales will fancy themselves against the All blacks after good games against both the Aussies and the Boks but here is a trivia question. (When was the last time that the Welsh did in fact beat the All blacks? The answer is Rorkes Drift.)

Here is another question for you, what’s the difference between a tub of yoghurt and Australia? Eventually you will get some culture in the yoghurt

The GP F1 champion was decided this Sunday with Vettel becoming the second German and youngest to win the Championship, Alonso a mere 4 points behind and if his pitting strategy had of been better then perhaps he would have won his 3rd World championship. However that was not meant to be and Vettel perhaps the most consistent this season won his first title, his team Red Bull also won the constructors title (this they achieved last week at the Brazilian GP). So the top 5 were.

1) Vettel
2) Alonso
3) Webber
4) Hamilton
5) Button

Very happy that Hamilton or Button did not win again, this will probably upset a few pseudo Poms that I know.

Probably going to sell the Triumph, there is a black guy down the road that wants to buy it has offered me a good price. Seen a nice BMW in local dealer that I may consider buying if he does buy the Triumph or may buy another scooter.

I see that upset students in London went on the rampage attacking the Conservative party HQ as well as set fires near houses of parliament and clashing with the police who with their intensive training probably said “now listen, don’t be a naughty child” apparently the fees for colleges varsity etc are being tripled, about time they paid for something over there, no wonder the country is actually bankrupt. And to think there are people from SA that still aspire to be Poms. What’s a Pom you may ask, well here is a CUT AND PASTE piece of info from GOOGLE that explains what a POM is and there are a number of interesting theories, here are a few AS CUT AND PASTED FROM THE ARTICLE THAT I FOUND BY USING GOOGLE. (please also be advised that spelling mistakes, tenses, punctuation or lack thereof are from the article writers themselves, and this Blog word mechanic or would be word mechanic cannot be held responsible)

1) There are a wealth of inventive and equally unsubstantiated stories of the origin of the word pom (you will no doubt get lots of answers about 'prisoner of her majesty' etc) but the only really likely answer I have ever come across was that it's an abbreviation of pomegranate, referring to the colour that the pasty Englishmen turned in the antipodean sun when they spilled out of the ships for the first time.
2) It's an abbreviation of Prisoners Of Her Majesty. The first Englanders in Australia were convicts.
3) Prisoners of Millbank. A prison in London used as a holding tank before the people were transported.
4) It actually originates from the hundred years war, when the French called the British "pommes" (as in pommes de terre) because they were always eating potatos.
5) Growing up in Australia, I surmised that POM stood for Poor on Manners, because they were always winging (that's pronounced with a soft "g", Fred) meaning that they were always complaining about how awful Australia was and how wonderful good old England was superior in every way. Other immigrants were grateful for a new life except the Brits!

Well that’s about it from this Retard this week other than to say “I don’t know who told him but Hee Hee”


Brighten up the sky.....................

Friday was Guy Fawkes night (5th November) did any one you know celebrate it?? as a kid in the UK it was a big thing bonfires, roasting “tatties” potatoes for those posh readers and lighting roman candles, jumping jacks, spinning wheels rockets fired from milk bottles and making mayhem. In the UK the adverts would be on for fireworks and one in particular sticks in my mind “Do you remember the 5th of November, brighten up the skies with Standard fireworks”…NO problems about traumatising cats or upsetting the neighbours because they as well as their pets where at the bonfire celebrating as well.

Guy Fawkes Night may be associated with merry making and nice and alluring fireworks but the truth is this event is commemorating a very sad event in UK history. This particular event only highlighted the embittered relationship between Catholics and Anglicans. It was the night when a small group of Catholics (fanatics) tried and almost succeeded in murdering all the high ranking officials of the Land during that time. Luckily the attempt did not succeed and the plotters were then hunted. Gay Fawkes last days were very bad. He died shortly after being captured. This event is just one classic example of irony and religions.

Must be Xmas season as the celebrity books are coming out.

One from a person who was supposed to be a role model to kids, but is in fact a dope smoking, wife beating, whore chasing cheat………….Surprise surprise. Herschel Gibbs book “To the Point “ already caused a stir before it was even released this week as it alleges that

Gibbs (36) shook the cricketing world on Sunday with allegations in his autobiography, To The Point, about sexual orgies, alcohol and drug abuse during some of the team’s tours. He also alleges that a “clique” made up of Smith, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and AB de Villiers causes division in the Proteas dressing room and makes it “impossible to develop positive team spirit”.

The other book is from ex Proteas coach Mickey Arthur
Johannesburg - The South African cricket team faces further controversy next week when former coach Mickey Arthur's autobiography is released, according to daily newspapers on Saturday. Arthur reportedly blames former international fast bowler Makhaya Ntini, who retired from international cricket this week, of accusing him of racism while he was in charge of the South African team. Also this week, the Proteas were rocked when batsman Herschelle Gibbs released his autobiography, entitle To the Point, which reveals sexual orgies involving other players and details his problems with alcohol and marijuana. Arthur's book, Taking the Mickey, is set for release on Monday

So Mr Gibbs and Mr Arthur I am sure your books will sell out (just in time for Christmas….shrewd move), not because people want to read about your thoughts on cricket or ??? but to read about your peccadillo’s or dirt slinging ……Really a pity especially for you Mr. Gibbs as you where a great batsman, awesome fielder (ok apart from the time you dropped the ball and basically lost us the World Cup, but then again Allen Donald forgot to run, so who to blame, who to blame)

It was not just H.G that has had a bad week it would seem that the President that was moulded in the image of JFK a one Barack Obama also has had a crap week.

Washington - US President Barack Obama faced a bleak political landscape on Wednesday after voters punished Democrats over high unemployment and a sluggish economic recovery, delivering a divided Congress in Tuesday's mid-term elections. Republicans pushed Democrats decisively from power in the House of Representatives and strengthened their ranks in the Senate, a result that could herald legislative gridlock when the new Congress takes power in January. Republican control of the House will weaken Obama in fights over the extension of income tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year and over efforts to pass comprehensive energy or immigration bills. "The ability of this administration to get major new programmes done was already limited. This just seals the deal," said Jaret Seiberg, policy analyst with the investment advisory firm Washington Research Group.Television networks projected Republicans would pick up at least 60 House seats, more than the 39 they needed for a majority that would elevate conservative John Boehner to House speaker, put Republicans in charge of House committees and slam the brakes on Obama's agenda. Charges levelled at Democrats. The Republican wins surpassed their sweep in 1994, when President Bill Clinton's Democrats lost 54 House seats, and was the biggest shift in power since Democrats lost 75 House seats in 1948. Republicans have portrayed Obama and his Democrats as big spenders who have recklessly run up massive deficits. The charge seemed to resonate with voters. "Our new majority will be prepared to do things differently," Boehner told supporters late on Tuesday.
I see that Julius “Baas ted” MALema and the ANCYL are looking to close down Twitter because there are “reactionaries” using Jm;s name to make him look like a fool……”Got news for you Julius, you managed that all by yourself” here is an article I copied from news 245

Johannesburg - Twitter users were in stitches on the social networking site on Thursday morning following the news that ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema wanted to close it down. Tweets kept rolling in by the minute, with international news websites such as BBC, also picking up on the story."Julius Malema wants to shut down Twitter?" Hahahahahahahahahaha, best joke4 2day," several users commented in reply to a post by 5fm radio jock Gareth Cliff. "Today is create a juju malema account day... do it... you know your red sockes (sic) want to.... lol!" user EarleneBSmith said. Garethdv added: "ANCYL to close down Twitter... They truly are a bunch of gifted individuals!"ImpersonatorsAnother, kerryannerogers, pointed out grammar mistakes in the African National Congress Youth League statement: "In fact ANCYL statement called for 'closer of Twitter' following 'cretation' of fake accounts. Was that so we'd know it was the real Malema?" The ANCYL said on Wednesday it would call for the closure of Twitter if the social network administrators did nothing to stop Malema impersonators. "We will look at ways of stopping this... Even if it means going to the police," spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said. A search of Malema on Twitter reveals 12 users including Julius_Malema, JMalema, Julius_S_Malema and jujumalema. Of the 12 users six bear the picture of the firebrand youth leader. The impersonators continued their work on Thursday morning. One user, named JujuMalemaOZ, offered black empowerment "tips".'Terrified'"Julius Malema empowerment tips#10 Friends = comrades, badguys = Agents, opposition = cockroach and Jonny walker = yebo yes! "Julius Malema empowering tips#9 Agents are everywhere, use a helmet to block brain scanners, no need for me, no brain to scan," the post read. Another impersonator, called julius_m_jnr, wrote: "Trying to help Daddy find the Pedi word for 'satire'... Any help plz, how do I explain it to him? #malema." "Funny We may just have found the ANCYL's weak spot. They're terrified of Twitter. Let's ALL start fake Julius Malema accounts!" Someone else suggested

News from Europe is that Greek terrorists are sending their Xmas presents early to avoid the seasonal rush.
European counter-terrorism officials were on high alert this evening after suspected Greek terrorists unleashed an unprecedented two-day wave of parcel bombs targeting embassies in Athens, international organizations and foreign leaders both in Greece and abroad. By tonight, at least 11 letter bombs had been detected in the Greek capital, one addressed to Nicolas Sarkozy and eight to the embassies of Bulgaria, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Chile, the Netherlands and Belgium. Greek police said international postal and parcel services would be suspended for two days. In Berlin, German authorities destroyed a bomb addressed to Chancellor Angela Merkel. The package was sent from Greece two days earlier by UPS delivery and resembled the Athens parcel bombs, according to German interior minister Thomas de Maizière
Sport this week/weekend was interesting

New Zealand Beat England (as expected) 26 – 16. Australia beat Wales 25 – 16

Proteas lost the 4th one day test against the Paki’s and this now leaves the game on Monday as the decide, “A final if you will” and we all know how well the Proteas do at winning finals. Sri lanka beat Ricky Ponting’s men again going 2-0 up in the 3 game series, the first game Sri Lanka where down and out but a huge record 9th wicket partnership saw them win. Ricky Ponting as pointed out to me by Ryan has taken the Aussies from number 1 to number 4 in the world rankings. The Warriors lost big time on Friday, not doing to well without their Protea players

The Game however that everyone was worried about was the Boks vs the Irish and what a game, but before I get into that I need to make a observation, Yesterday Ryan and I where at the Golden Duck Sports bar and as the SA national anthem came on Ryan and I stood to sing (as we are proud South Africans) most people sat. What hit me though is that after 16 years of Nkosi Sikelele Africa not many white folk know the words and generally hum the tune until the Afrikaans and English verses come on and then sing with Gusto. But the younger generation don’t even sing the anthem that I find disheartening, but anyway onto the game

Many, me included expected two things to happen in the game

1) We would lose
2) Bakkies would be sent off

Neither happened, in fact Bakkies was very low key and just did his job, Ruan Pienaar also did a pretty good job, I think the refereeing (as in the NZ/Eng game) was atrocious with no consistency, we where in control for most of the match except the last 10 minutes where we nearly managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory as Ireland went from 23-9 to 23-21(and it was only the upright that kept the draw at bay) The Boks controlled the last few minutes and wound down the clock for a hard fought but well deserved victory, I unlike Helium do not believe that now we have beaten the Irish we can win the World cup, it’s a platform for us to build on and with 13 A team Boks on the injured list a good effort.

The penultimate GP of the season the Brazilian GP has not started as yet but the pole position was taken by Rookie Nico Hulkenburg of Williams who have their first pole position since 2005, 2nd on the grid is Vettel, followed by Webber, Hamilton and Alonso.

Well that’s about it for this week next week I am training and wil l be going to Mossel bay with Ryan and the Boss to attend a client function and to present the environmental play to those clients. Office is busy this week with 3 classrooms full so will be a lekker week.

Have a great week


The days of disco and motorbikes

The roar of Harley Davidson Motorbike engines is audible even though I can just see the first outline of the pack on the near horizon. Heavy metal, leather and chrome. As they come into town – the distinct “potato potato” sound of the exhausts sends parents looking for their children, dogs barking and windows vibrating in their frames. The ACDC song TNT pops into mind ‘Lock up your daughter, lock up your wife, lock up your back door and run for your life…………………”

These are people you don’t want to mess with. A gang of leather clad outlaws that remind me of movies I watch of the old West. Just near me they park their metal steeds and one after the other switch off their engines (the silence is almost disconcerting) and prepare to dismount, scuffed and road worn leather boots kick out side stands like flick knives and as the desperado’s shake off the dust from the long trip. I am in awe and speechless as I wait on my Chopper bycicle, not sure if i should sat or pedal like hell to get away.

This is the first memory that I have of motorbikes and the reason that I ride bikes today, but let me take you back…………………If you where the average standard eight schoolboy perhaps the one thing that played on your mind the most in those years was “will I be getting a motorbike” and what would it be. Why was this so important some of you may ask, well a “fifty” was more than just a mode of transport it was my passport to “coolness” it was a teenagers equivalent of a Ferrari 308GTB for some fifty something “poser”. It represented many a teenagers first uncertain steps to manhood and freedom; visions of fast bike and loose girls clouded the mind.

My first bike was not a brand new “out of the box” Suzuki RG 50 or a green Kawasaki AR 50 (the green one was cool) but a second hand “in the box” Honda SS 50, seriously it cost a princely R50 00 and comprised a frame, three checkers packets as well as a box full of parts, the money having been earned working in a local steakhouse, (but that is a story for another time).

To say I was disappointed when my dad took me to collect the bike is an understatement, his words “it’s a project that will not only bring us closer together but will let you understand the engineering of the bike” had no meaning as my immediate dream of donning a open face helmet and a pair of goggles seemed to disappear faster than you could say “Freddy Spencer” (who was the eighties version of Valentino Rossi) the two nights I spent polishing wheel spokes was almost enough to put me of motorbikes forever, but I am proud to say that my dad persevered and while I watched TV he not only got the bike running but it looked almost new, it was not quite as fast or cool looking as the other bikes mentioned, but it was the most beautiful piece of machinery that I had ever set my eyes on. Not that I knew how to ride it and if you had a dad like mine, “everything had to be done properly or not at all”, so it was of to the local field and after a few hours of shouting, swearing and crying, (yes I am not ashamed to admit that my dad cried) I was able to keep the bike in a straight line and change in to second without falling off, or crunching the gearbox in to oblivion.

Roadworthy was a breeze, but then it was the big test of getting a learners licence, now in those days the traffic cops looks were menacing and I am not sure if it was because of the uniform (big black boots, black jolper pants tucked in to the boots, khaki shirt and an a official/amptelike cap) or the fact that none of them could speak the queens English very well, or in some cases at all. I remember one particular officer telling my mom after she had parked the wrong way in a one way street (in her defence we had only been in SA for about a month) “ R lady you’s R not in England now hey”, my mom re-payed his kindness of not giving her a fine, by riding over his feet about a month later, while he was performing traffic duties on a road near our house, it was the first time I had seen a traffic cop break dance, but with my mom driving a large Ford Taunus, it would not be the last.

As luck would have it my moms favourite cop was the gent giving and marking the learners test and I have to say even in the early 80’s Rooineks where still not the flavour of the month in Vanderbijlpark, in fact I think we where still being blamed for the camps that Kitchener had set up in the early 1900s that saw so many innocent women and children (black and white) die unnecessarily. It was therefore with great trepidation that I paid my five rand, had my eyes tested and was ushered in to a room with about thirty other pimple faced short haired 16 year old hormones on legs. If I remember correctly the exams where a tad easier than the current K53 and one question that sticks in mind was. “You are allowed to stop at the side of a national highway if”

a) You want to take your dog for a walk
b) You have an emergency breakdown
c) You want to have a picnic

As you can see the questions where tricky and that was probably the reason that twenty-four of the thirty failed the test, “really hard those multiple-choice exams”. I arrived the traffic department on a bicycle, but with a motorbike at home that could do 80kms an hour “with a tailwind down a mine shaft” and now some brain dead government official had given me a licence to ride it on public roads. I was now officially one of “the Manne”. 80kms an hour is fast especially if you have been riding a bicycle most of your life, but once you get used to that heady speed you start looking at ways to get more speed out of the machine, the easiest and cheapest method was to find the longest downhill stretch that you could, open the throttle and lie as flat on the bike as possible, with this method it was possible to get it an extra five to seven kms per hour on the clock, “I know I also used to wonder, why did they put 100 kms per hour on the speedometer if it could not get anywhere near that”.

Most of my friends looked at ways of permanently “souping” up there steeds, ideas included adding additives to the petrol, like cooking oil and methanol to converting the engine with cylinder heads being ground, sprocket ratios being changed, and fairings being added. None of this really helped, but we did it anyway.

One thing for sure is that during those years the different manufacturers where able to create a bond and a loyalty between themselves and there customers many an argument was had about which bike was the best, I was a Honda man and took a keen interest in Super bikes (the CBR1100R was doing well) and the Grand Prix series, with Freddy Spencer being the man. I must say that the Disco era was a lot kinder to bikes than cars as to me the Bikes from the late 70s and early 80’s are almost iconic.

The Honda lasted (if you can call it that) until matric and Tania can still remember me visiting her at home on the bike, that at times would not start and I would have to run up and down the road to try and jump start it and pray on the way home that it would not stall, not exactly “Leader of the pack stuff”

In those days after school the cheapest mode of transport if you had started work was a motorbike with many people going from a 50cc to a 650, 750, 1100 or even the huge 1300 with many a friend hurting themselves and writing the bikes off due to them being ridden like a 50cc (something that you could not do). I went from riding a Honda SS 50 to a Suzuki GT 185 and after I had been knocked off by a truck near Kyalami Ranch that necessitated a number of stitches and a new bike I bought my pride and joy, the Shaft drive Honda CX 500C , I loved that Bike and looked after it like a new born baby. Tania and I went everywhere on that bike and although I had a couple of accidents on it, (side swiped by a car, me hitting back of a car and a taxi hitting the back of me) it was a awesome bike…………..Then bought a car and I sold the bike, not to own another for a number of years and then I bought a 1981 Honda CB750F That I managed to wreck on Robbers pass during a Redline Motorcycle Rally, I had it fixed, chopped and changed but again did not ride it as much as I should have and sold it.

It was not until a good number of years later while living in Clarens that I bought a Chinese scrambler to use around the village (called it the LEGO bike as everything snapped off it, “not on it”, but it did the job) I was then lucky enough to acquire a BMW 650 Dakar and loved that bike as it allowed me to explore the area on as well as off road. I then swapped it for my 1996 1200 Triumph Trophy (the Exocet missile on wheels).

I often wonder how many of my friends and teenagers of the early 80’s still ride today, hopefully all that left the biking scene when they got married and had children are riding again today. Today I alternate riding a 150cc big boy retro scooter for the traffic in Port Elizabeth or the 1200 Triumph Trophy that when I need to clear the head I take out of the garage and head down a coastal road and as I ride I often think back to the day I first set eyes on those men and women, the impression they made and the gift they gave me. My mother always used to tell me “never judge a book by its cover” so when you see a leather clad biker don’t turn and look for the nearest exit, walk up say hi and you will be surprised at who that person really is and how friendly they actually are.
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