Saturday, July 19, 2014

Back on the Bike

I know that I bang on a bit about bikes but its a lifestyle thing since I was a toddler. My folks told me I rode a bike before I could walk. I had this little circuit in the house where I would sprint up the hallway and around into the dining room via the sitting room and back up the hallway. The woodwork was chipped on the edges from my constant falls. Things don't change!!!!!! I still fall off.

How true is this statement.
After four weeks since my fall when I fractured two ribs, I had my first real training ride. It's the depths of winter here in Bayside Melbourne. I donned the thermals (7 degrees) for a 6.00 am start at the corner to meet the guys for the Saturday ride. We actually start before the main 7.30 am group for the extra kms but enjoy a stop along the way at a dedicated cyclists cafe - strangely called Cafe Racer.

Many of the cycling fraternity begin and finish their rides rides from Cafe Racer in St Kilda. Its about 20 odd kms from our starting point and a great place for a coffee and croissant. The walls have photos on the walls, all of a cycling theme - Eddy Merckx of Belgium is a favorite of all. There's the old time photos of the early Tour de France riders having a ciggie or a swig of French wine from the bottle.

Even our local Melbourne newspaper ran stories on the TdF and cycling generally while the Tour is in progress.
OK, now back to me - I can't tell you how good it was to be back out there on the bike with like minded friends - cold it was but the friendships within the sport are warm. PS: 70 kms for the today, a good start.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Winter at Mentone Beach

The wind was gusting - there was a chill in the air.
Snow fell on the higher altitudes in the rural areas of Victoria.
It is winter at Mentone Beach,
our home by the bay.

It was Friday 8.30 am when I stopped to take these photos on my iPhone.
We are now in the depths of Melbourne's winter and its hard to be motivated with outdoor activities.
But then again, its not Canada or Britain in winter.
Our weekend is looking better - not raining for a change.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday with apologies to Walt in the Loire

A friend of Sue and I, a fellow Blogger does a thing called Throwback Thursday. Walt has a quirky sense of humor that appeals to us - I just thought I might do a Throwback  Thursday myself. Some may think that I may border on plagiarism but I prefer to call it a sign of admiration.

They called me young Winston as a child - maybe it was the cigars I smoked at the time!!!
Pop into Walt's Blog and enjoy his quirky humor.

And here's one of Walt when we presented him with a T-shirt from a photo he posted on his blog.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A New Home for Our Club

In 1982, Sue and I bought a red MGB. I'd had an indigo blue one in the mid-70s and so early in our relationship when I was the one who should be obeyed, I talked her into having this red MGB for her everyday car. Not long after buying the car we joined the MG Car Club of Victoria. The Club formed in 1958 and with a modest membership of over 100 members back then and now has become one of,  if not the largest Car Clubs in Victoria, with over 1500 members.

Although not as active in recent years, we were invited to the opening of the new Club rooms Wednesday night. In those early years Sue and I held committee positions and in recent times I'd completed a book on the 50 year history of the club that had been published and released for sale this year, so we were quite chuffed to be invited with other long standing, but not so active members to witness the opening of the rooms.

This our third "NEW" home in the 30 plus years we have been members, each time having to move due to expanding membership. The Club has been financial enough to retain our second home and purchase the next door warehouse and transform it into a true MG home. The carpet has a pattern of MG octagon logos, the suspended ceiling is a formation of multiple octagon shapes and our lectern is the grill, fenders and headlights of an MG TC. There's all the computer electronics to work the lights and projectors that really are quite dazzling. It was a fantastic night of frivolity with old friends renewing memories of the past. One person was asked what they thought made this Club special - who answer was, "It's just like a family". So very true.

The President stands behind a very special lectern with the image of our club logo projected on a permanent screen.
This special occasion attracted 240 members for the grand opening.
Lots of grey hair and in some cases none at all.
Our 50th anniversary took on the title, "From Larrikins to Old Snoozers"
There was a small presentation of the early pre-war twin overhead cam MGs on the screen.
And the real thing sat in the club room along side the 240 members so you can get an idea how large the main room is.
I suspect we will now become a little more active within the Club after enjoying the company of the many friends we've made over our 30 plus years of membership.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Wednesdays in France

OK - I know I've been a bit spasmodic with our Wednesdays in France posts but life when working gets a bit busy. I can tell you that our excitement thermometer is rising with now only 10 weeks before we spend 10 weeks in Italy and France. We start with flying into Rome and pick up our lease Citroen C4 and then  driving to Gaiole in Tuscany for our retro bike ride. We have about 28 Aussie friends joining us. What a hoot that will be.

After about 15 days or more in Italy we meander across Italy and France to see our friends C & M in the Loire. They are off to travel and catch up with friends elsewhere while we feed their pets, mow lawns, vacuum and dust. (my jobs Sue tells me).
Here's a few photos of our wonderful times in what Sue calls her spiritual home - the Loire.
Enjoying a river scene in Chinon
Chinon - a favorite of ours. Hello to Helen and Jean Michel

A cottage in Thenay near Pontlevoy and up the road from Montrichard - it holds special memories for us. We didn't realise at the time but the cottage came with friends. Hello to Carol and Mikee
We will then get some idea what it is to live the life in the Loire - will we survive, only time will tell.