The economic downturn continues, with fresh news of redundancies and closures. It appears no business is immune. MY friend who works on a butty van has reported that the sites she delivers to are closing and the takings are going down daily. She says it is not hard to see that her own job will be in jeopardy quite soon along with those of her colleagues. Our government has decided not to go ahead with the dreaded 2p tax on fuel duty and thinks we should be grateful for this apparent small mercy. House prices are falling through the floor and most have dropped by 18-20% in 12 months. The banks have stopped all mortgages under 75% so even if a house that was worth 100,000 pound last year is now only worth 82,k the buyers would still have to find 22,500 pounds before a mortgage lender will look at them.
Enough of this doom and gloom; surely there must be some good news somewhere? Well the weather, another subject close to my heart, is set to be the wettest summer on record since records began here in the UK. I thought last year was bad enough; indeed I only managed three of four barbecues last year. This year I have had one, which is why there have not been any posts in my Barbie section. The grass on my lawn is around 18” high because the weather has been so bad. It has not rained continuously, it seems to wait until I get to work or am engaged in some activity that stops me from mowing the grass for the sun to come out and then as soon as I am able to get in to the garden with some gusto, the heavens open. The proof of the amount of rain and the lack of sunshine has meant I have a green house full of green tomatoes that I have no idea what to do with. No honestly I hate green tomato chutney.
I did take Rhonda out last weekend and Bean Counter managed to clamber on board and we set off burning rubber on the highways and byways of the borough. The bike is going to take some getting used to. My last machine actually felt like a part of me and together we became one unit. This TA does not fill me with so much confidence. It may be that because I have been out of biking for so long that I am just very wary, however going around corners the wheels feel like 20 pence pieces. I suspect this is due to the knobbly tyres. The riding position is very high and great for visibility but any speed over 60MPH makes your head feel as though it is about to be blown off. Another aspect of the high riding position is that the centre of gravity is also quite high. In my book this is not a good thing on a bike. Its also a lot heavier than anything I have been used to before although this could just be because I am now well into middle age and not as fit as I used to be. I do know if I drop the damn thing it will be a hell of a job to get it off the ground. I have decided to add another section to my blog about travel and I will write in detail about the bike and the ongoing attempt to make it and myself ready and fit to go long distances.
I suspect that amongst all the doom and gloom about weather and the continuing slide of property prices and the announcements of job losses, there will be a silver lining I just don’t know where.