Welcome to my blog, these are the ramblings and musings of an (upper) middle aged biker and if you enjoy braais, (barbeques) beers and motorbikes then hopefully you will enjoy what Janet and I do; we do lots of braais, we drink lots of beer and we tour South Africa on our motorbike, which at the moment is a BMW R1200RT. Join us, read about what we do and please leave us your comments.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wine and Oysters

Let me explain what happened here, we had some friends around for a braai and what a good braai it was; I did rump steak which I marinated in some red wine and garlic as tasties, followed by pork rashers and then after that we had chicken and boerewors with vegetables. So far so good, but the problem was that it developed into quite a late evening and sometime during the day I decided that I had had enough beer and changed over to wine.
Guess which wine glass is mine! It had a fault in it, this was evident by the way the base broke off on the one occasion that I sort of slammed it down too hard. This is not a major problem as long as you have a handy hole in one of your pieces of furniture, if not you can always drill a hole, this same thing happened with a bar counter that my brother in law Mike is still using. I went and fetched my drill and made a place for my wine glass to stand. This is also quite a clever option and it's really quite amazing how clever I get late at night under trying circumstances. Enough of this, it was a very good evening though - ask Linda.
It has been a busy week on the mussel farm and quite stressful, I don't often have stress in my work but the ropes are covered with "seed", small newly settled mussels that clog up the machinery and slow the process down so that it becomes very difficult to produce enough to meet the daily orders.
Today I bought a small bottle of tabasco sauce and a small bottle of lemon juice, I eat fresh oysters almost every single day out on the farm, at least three a day and I thought why not have the condiments to really enjoy them? So I will carry my sauces with me and really enjoy my oysters. Hey it's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it! I am not going to be able to take the wine to work with me, I think that would be pushing things a little bit too far!
Talking about wine, our bath this morning actually went by without any arguments over the level of bubbly in the glasses! Janet was talking about something and I took the opportunity to fill the glasses and then picked mine up, "Cheers!" I almost shouted, trying to distract her, she clinked her glass against mine and then frowned as she looked at them but by then it was too late. She did watch the next one though.
We went for a short ride this morning, our intention was to go to lunch on the bike but the wind came up quite strong and made it rather unpleasant so we did a local ride about and then went back for the bakkie.
We had lunch at "Beira Mar" again, I had the calamari tentacles and a lovely piece of "Cape Salmon" which is actually quite a common fish called "Geelbek" - Yellow Mouth, but really delicious and both my starter and main course were drenched in fresh garlic butter! The people who have to talk to me tomorrow are going to suffer, but I see that as their problem, not mine.
Janet passed up on the starter and had a lovely big "Eisbein" which is also going to make sandwiches for me for the next two days. It was a very relaxed lunch over three hours and two bottles of wine at a lovely venue.
It's hell in Africa Man!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Romantic Valentine's weekend

Now I know you guys are all thinking that I'm a seriously ruff and tuff biker scum so what the hell am I doing taking my goose on a merantic weekend away? Well I believe that you have to do things like this so that the next time you say "I'm going on a rally with the okes this weekend." she still has that warm and fuzzy feeling and she will say "Ok my darling, what can I pack for you?"
Or something!
Anyway we both finished work early on Friday and got our packing done, I again managed to get all of my stuff into one pannier so that Janet could use the other one and the topcase, she didn't know where we were going but I did tell her that she would need to wear something nice for going out on two nights, that of course means the hair dryer and high heel shoes!
We left home at 14h20 and already the bloody wind was pumping out of the south, we had the choice of using the bakkie but to me that was no choice really and we pressed on hoping that by the time we got futher away from the coast it would calm down.
No such bloody luck, the R45 is always a fast ride for me but the wind kept the bike at an angle all the way to the R311 heading through Mooreesburg. It buffetted us unmercifully and I was rather disappointed having been eagerly anticipating the trip for a week. We stopped in Mooreesburg and had a beer at "Gutto's Pub and Restaurant" but soon got tired of the music and the stink of cigarette smoke, back out on the road and we powered along the R311 which carries on through to Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel.
Still the wind hammered us and it wasn't until we turned left onto the R44 at Hermon that the wind was behind us and we had a brief 17km respite until the "Nuwekloof Pass", however the big red machine doesn't take long to cover 17kms and on the other side of the pass the wind picked us up again.
It started getting very hot in that area and there was a lot of traffic held up behind heavy vehicles but as I have told you they do not hold us up and I love sweeping past them, it is about 80kms to Worcester from there and I really enjoyed that part of the ride and was happy that we had not travelled in the bakkie, in spite of the wind I was enjoying myself.
We arrived in Worcester just after 16h00 and I found the Cumberland Protea Hotel without any trouble, we booked in to our very comfortable room and after a really good dinner and a quiet whisky or two we had an early night.
On Saturday morning we had a typically excellent Protea hotel buffet breakfast and then went for a short walk around the town, it was starting to get hot as it does in that area so we took a short ride to the casino to try our luck. Janet is normally very good on the machines but not that day, she lost R200 and I very quickly lost R120 so we decided to call it quits and go for a ride.
We drove out along the R60 and then did some exploring, we have travelled that road often but always with an agenda and no time to ride down the inviting side roads, this time we turned down into the Nuy Valley and what a lovely colourful area it is, the narrow winding road is lined on both sides with bougainvillea in various vibrant colours and the "Keeromberge" make a very dramatic background.
We cruised the area for about 18 very enjoyable kilometres before the tar road changed into dirt, did a U turn and headed back to the R60. From there we rode into Robertson for a cold beer and then had a relaxed cruise back to the hotel, there we found that our bed was covered with rose petals and there was a box of Belgian chocolates on the pillow, those went down very well with a couple of glasses of whisky later that night!
Janet decided she wanted to visit the "Slots bar" and there her talent came to the fore, she quickly changed R20 back into R281 before cashing in and heading for a nap, relieved that she hadn't lost her touch.
The meal that evening was really good, well presented and quite delicious and we spent a pleasant evening relaxing with a couple of bottles of wine.
Another excellent buffet breakfast on Sunday morning and we were on the road by about 0830, the weather didn't appear too bad and I was eagerly anticipating a pleasant morning on the bike.
The route home was the same as the ride out and one that we have done many times before, it is good riding country but unfortunately it wasn't long before the wind was pounding us again! On that same 17km stretch of the R44 from the Nuwekloof Pass to Hermon we were riding at a steep left angle and on a couple of occasions I thought I was going to be pushed across the road, however it wasn't long after that when the wind seemed to ease off and were able to enjoy the rest of the ride.This amazing scenery is on the R46 near Riebeek Kasteel, we just had to stop for a couple of photos, from there it is an hour to Saldanha and what a pleasant hour that was! As previously arranged we pulled into "Juffroeshoogte" and were happy to find a good crowd of bikers in the pub, we had a couple of cold ones and then headed home after a very good weekend.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cool evening ride

Well folks this blog has been going since June last year and it appears to be going pretty well so far, I have enjoyed writing it and it appears that most of you enjoy reading it, that is those who haven't stopped reading it for various reasons like boredom or something like that. Anyway in support of my claim that it has been going well I submit this picture of me with my biggest fan;Last Saturday turned out to be one of those extremely hot days with virtually no wind, the temperature was in the high 30s so we decided not to do much at all, but that evening was fantastic! A beautiful calm and warm evening with a glorious sunset so we decided to go for a quiet cruise and pay a visit to a couple of pubs.
Because it was so warm we decided to forgo the whole heavy safety gear in favour of a tee shirt and the biker colours jacket, I know that this is not so safe but we were only doing a local cruise. We headed off through Vredenburg and out towards Velddrif and it was just so great to be out in the countryside on such a lovely evening.
On the R27 heading from Velddrif I suddenly got that old familiar feeling, I have mentioned it before; that feeling of being seriously macho and stunning so we just had to stop and take some photos of me.
I pulled off the road and gave Janet the camera; "Now darling, what you see in the viewfinder is what the picture will look like, so compose it nicely." This is an instruction that I have given to her often but she seems to ignore it.
Janet started clicking away, I told her to take a few from different angles in the hope that one or two would come out alright. For some reason she hasn't quite got the "thing" about taking photos.
"Get down low." I said to her, meaning that she should lie down on the ground and take one from a nice low angle, she frowned at me and bent her legs slightly and I thought better of pushing the point. Anyway, here's one of the photos;I must admit that I do look rather splendid - don't you think so?
After the photoshoot was over we pressed on and had a beer at "Juffroeshoogte", this place is under new management and they have spent quite a bit of money revamping the place, they have made it look quite smart but it has never been a very busy place.
Back on the bike and a nice quick ride through the cooling evening to the "Drop Anchor", a biker bar close to home where we had another two cold ones in the unfortunately very smoky atmosphere, they haven't made any separate area for non smokers. I think the message is if you don't like it you can go somewhere else.
The weekend is coming up and it looks like the weather is going to be good so hopefully we will be going on the bike, I will let you know how it goes.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Getting older!

It's 10am and already the temperature is in the high 30s! We're not going to be doing much today, it's going to be a slow day. We started the day well though, the usual early morning spa bath with a bottle of JC Leroux sparkling wine and again I had to be very careful when pouring, Janet watches like a hawk to see that the levels are exactly equal. I was thinking that maybe I must start a voting panel on the blog so that you guys can decide if it's fair or not or who gets the most!
Yesterday we had round two of the F.A. cup for 2009 and I managed to win 6-4, last week I won 6-5 and they have all been close games, last week for instance Frank won the first 5 games in a row and I was thinking that I was in for a hiding but I managed to dig deep, pull myself together and I won the next six games. Sometimes you wouldn't think they were friendly games with the amount of swearing that goes on between the two of us! It's a good afternoon though.
In a couple of months time I will be 60!
Let me just try and get my head around that for a moment!
As far as I can remember it was always my Dad and his friends that were turning 60, that didn't seem so long ago now it's me and my friends!
Janet recently bought me a nose hair trimmer that makes my eyes water, and that's not with gratitude either.
The last time I went to the hairdresser I asked the young lady to show me the back of my head when she had finished and when she held up the mirror I asked loudly; "Did you thin my hair out at the back like that?" at first she thought I was serious and started saying things like "NO, no I didn't, it was like..........no it wasn't me.." by then I was laughing as were the other people in the salon and she relaxed and laughed as well, I don't know what she was thinking though.
One of the worst things is the number of young people (girls) who call me "Oom" (Uncle).
I pretty much don't care, I'm comfortable with myself and as long as I can still get my leg over I'm going to keep riding my motorbike, that keeps me feeling young. But why does hair stop growing where you need it and grow where you don't need it? Who needs nose hair? Who needs hair on your back? It's not fair!
Anyway enough of that, I think I'm going to go out and eat sushi today and then tomorrow we will have a couple of people around for a braai.
My last three mussel samples that I took down on Wednesday proved clear so the red tide is gone and we can get back into production on Monday, it will be good to get some income flowing back into the business and now the ropes have gained a month so all should be well.
Next weekend it is Valentine's day and I am taking Janet away for a surprise merantic weekend, this something that I have never done before, ever since I have known her, so we'll see how it goes. Sure, I have taken her out for dinner on those nights in the past but this is the first time that I have ever taken her somewhere, she doesn't know where we are going so I will let you know how it goes. She will have to pack some smart casual gear and high heel shoes into the bike panniers but it's only for two nights so that shouldn't be a problem.
I have booked and paid for the two rallies; the Freedom Road at the end of this month and the Buffalo on 21st March and I have organised my two Fridays off so I'm all set, you will hear about both of those in later posts, I'm looking forward to both of those weekends.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ogling pretty girls

I have just got back from a very nice day in Capetown; I left home at 0740 after cooking a fresh batch of mussels to take to the research institute along with those from Monday and Tuesday, I thought that I was leaving a bit late because I also had to get the big red machine to the BMW agency for its 40,000km service.
I had previously contacted Frank and talked him into spending a day at the Waterfront, he didn't need much persuasion and he agreed to meet me there.
It was a bit windy today, especially on the way home, but it turned out that leaving just that 40 minutes later than the last two times made a huge difference; the traffic was much better! Although I still had to do a lot of lane splitting the traffic was nowhere near as chaotic and I dropped the sample off at 0905. From Wynberg to the Waterfront was quite congested but I was at the bike shop by 0920.
The young mechanic's name was Andrew and as he wheeled my baby into the clinically white painted workshop I stifled a sob and said to him; "Remember, that's the most important motorbike that you have ever worked on!"
He looked at me compassionately (at least that was how I read it) and said "Don't worry, she's in good hands."
Frank parked his bike at the workshop and we wandered off to explore the Waterfront and ogle the pretty young women, of which there were happily quite a few.
We sat in the sun and drank a couple of cold beers, did quite a bit of ogling and then had a really good seafood platter for lunch, it was a really nice way to spend a working day and by 1430 my bike was ready.
We had a good fast cruise back out along the R27, as we arrived at the pub "Juffroeshoogte" Frank said to me "You're a bloody hooligan!"
"What are you talking about?" I asked, somewhat taken aback.
"Speeding like that!" he said, I must admit I had been going pretty fast but the wind was behind us and pushing pretty hard.
We stood around in the pub and had a couple of cold ones, a good ending to a very enjoyable day and now the big red machine is good for another 10,000kms.
Now we wait for the mussel samples to be tested to see if can resume production, this is the fourth week and the market is crying out for fresh mussels. All of my customers have been phoning to find out when they can get them again.
I think it's good for them to wait, it will make them appreciate us more.
I'm not sure where the next ride will be, there is a breakfast run on Sunday to the Hermon Hotel which is about 120kms from here but Janet is not too keen on those runs, mostly because of unfriendly people and the language difference (he said tactfully). Maybe we'll just do our own breakfast run somewhere, I'll let you know.