Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Love Books - do you?

I love books, the feel, the smell of new and/or musty pages as you turn each one. Books become friends, point of interest, and they bring back memories.

Lot's of bed-time reading in this book.
Not just bicycles but all forms of memorabilia are displayed at this private warehouse museum.
Many of you may not be surprised that I have a passion for the human powered two wheeled transport. The bicycle has given me much enjoyment from years before my early memories - Jack my father tells me stories of me riding my little tricycle converted to a two wheeler in the house and bouncing from wall to wall.
From the age of two, cycling has been the one constant in my life. I'm not surprised that I'm not alone in this world with this passion (Sue describes it as an obsession).
Only last week I met a couple that dwarf my passion as a mere insignificant whim.

Paul's workshop
Much of the collection is to do with bicycle engineering evolution.
There are some elements of the racing history as well.
It's not possible for me to explain the engineering of this drive chain within this post.
Let me say that 
Paul collects rare lamps as well.
Paul and Charlie Farren combined their passion for bikes and books into one with their recently published book. Titled "Bicycling through Time" it echo's their collection of bikes in their inner city warehouse.
Along with some fellow members from the History and Heritage Committee of Cycling Victoria, we were invited to a private showing of the Farren Museum. I can't describe the collection within this post other than to say that the collection has to be the most comprehensive collection of bicycle engineering evolution in Australia if not the world I'm told.

Paul has many projects ahead of him.
Naturally I couldn't help myself and I bought the book illustrating this wonderful collection - I think I may just have to return to absorb more of the collection after having a greater understanding through the book.

PS: I mentioned to Paul that I was drawing to an end of a restoration of a rare pre-war Stayer bike which was used to pace behind motorbikes on huge saucer velodromes. I mentioned that I was still looking for a few missing parts and quick as a flask, Paul said. "Bring it around and I'll see what I might have to help finish it for you".
Above is my restoration of a pre-war stayer bicycle and below is the great Australian cyclist of the same period, Hubert Opperman.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What Does the Future Hold?

Sue and I have been considering the path of our future over the next two to three years. Next week I turn 64, my father turns 93 and my daughter turns 41. Our boys are 26 and 28. Andrew expects to be in Germany for a year in 2015. We don't know where our intrepid adventurer Mitchell will be.

Having said this, where we live seems a little incidental when it comes to family. We've just bought some cheap air fares for a long weekend back to Launceston, Tasmania. It gives some time to look at some real estate with some serious contemplation of relocation. Melbourne - Our Home by the Bay could become "Being a Devil in Tasmania".

It seems that Launceston offers some lovely heritage homes and also very modern new homes at prices that allow for us to infuse further funds towards our retirement. It has a slower more peaceful lifestyle that will suit  our pace. Tassie offers a landscape similar to parts of the UK, a great foodie culture and very little traffic compared to Melbourne.

From the west view
From the east view
OLd Launceston
The Tamar river meanders through Launceston giving it a restful feeling and the buildings are no higher than a fewer levels as you can see. It is after all Australia's third settlement after Sydney and Hobart.

All the properties below sell at a price that allows for a reasonable profit from our "Home on the Bay". We like old world but we will probably lean towards modern. Who knows what the future holds.

This house is in Evandale about 20 kms from Launceston

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Noah - Where is your Ark?

I've been very slack - well not really, I've been busy and just slack with the blog. I really enjoy connecting with you through the blog but I've just been incredibly busy with work, family and home. Life is good lately if not all the time.

I started a face book page on cycling history that's gone viral (1500 members after 3 weeks) and I have met up with so many old mates that I raced with and against over many years. So good to renew old friendships.
That's kept me incredibly involved.

Remember we were do house renovations for our impending selling of our home of 30 years (Jean - you are going thru the same thing)
Well, our toilet in the en-suite was leaking and generally being cantankerous. So, I installed a new toilet today.
OLD in cream and very leaky
NEW in white and no leaks.
Champagne Friday involved having friends for dinner and next morning with a half hangover my son Mitchell and I took a fast 60 kms ride with my usual cycling group but I was feeling a little guilty that Sue had to put up with my work and sport during the week so we went out to dinner Saturday night. As you might well be aware that Melbourne has been having heat waves, bush fires and little if no rain. Well let me say that Saturday night when we were out for dinner, the heavens opened with a vengeance.
I really did ask myself - Noah, where is your Ark. In true Aussie vernacular, It was pissing down.

The rains came and I thought, Noah - where is your ark?
A mosaic Joe.
I just love Sue's smile - don't you?
The restaurant was a local that has been on Beach Rd since the 60s called Joe's. Both Joe and his wife which we call Mrs Joe have just passed the establishment to his son. It's a family concern and actually not that great and we ask ourselves each time why we are back but the owners are so nice. The food is fine, the prices are OK but again, the people are nice.

Joe absolutely loves Elvis, James Dean and America.
Sue went for the calamari
I had the paste with lots of mushies - that's because I'm a Fungi
Here we are on Sunday night while I type this post, and I'm looking forward to sitting in front of the tellie with family, having dinner (Sue what are you cooking) and later making coffee, pouring a Muscat before washing up and then going to bed after a fruitful weekend.

Tell me please - how was your weekend?

Friday, March 07, 2014

Funky Friday

It's a big weekend this weekend - It's one of the those 3 day ones.
It's labour day where we celebrate the 8 hour working day.
Now that's a lot of BUNKUM!!!
Since Smart Phones, Lap Tops and iPads, there's no way of leaving work at the office.
Although I have to admit that flexibility of work time is a bonus.

I wonder what the long weekend will bring while I sit here tapping away with my Friday glass of Champagne.
I expect it I will be joining friends on the bike, eating Sue's beautiful meals and sipping on a red or three.
There's some gardening to be done and I really do need to get motivated again on another room spruce up.
Let you know how it all pans out in a couple of days.
What about you out there - how will you spend the weekend.

PS - The Aussies did OK at the Oscars.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Wednesdays in France

This morning was just a little chilly on our 5.30 am ride.
The Bay looked calm but I couldn't help noticing that the days are getting shorter.
It's a sign that Autumn (Fall) is saying, "Hello, I'm coming back again".
You'll note that we've changed the look of our Blog masthead and background to suit the season.

I'm sure we will have some more warmish days in March but the heat waves have left us.
The bush fires have gone although the coal mines in Gippsland are still smouldering and will be some time before they stop burning.

Spring in Saint Etienne - France

Sunday, March 02, 2014

A Pictorial Weekend

I'd had my morning fix of a bike ride with mates but the afternoon was booked by Sue to visit the local Mordialloc by the Bay - Food, Wine and Music Festival.

In through the entrance we went after depositing one gold coin for the experience.

People eating, drinking and listening to Jazz, Blues and Pop.

Food, wine and beer stalls there for the tasting.
Crepes at this one.

Turkish pastries.

Japanese dumplings

Mordialloc is one of our Melbourne by the Bay suburbs. What a great setting on a perfect weekend for a festival

Photographic Exhibition at the Mordialloc food, wine and  music festival

Possibly Mordialloc Beach

Mordialloc Pier at night - about 3 kms from our home

Dolphins in our Bay.
Even though our plans for the future in our retirement drift from place to place, we have to admit that Melbourne by the Bay is a nice place to be.
Tell us - what delights did your weekend hold - do tell.