Desperately seeking bikers (with boobs)

My husband has got a new helmet and pair of bike trousers. He didn’t have to change the size of his trousers, but his helmet did need to go up a size. I didn’t know that your head continues to expand into your thirties, but clearly this is the case  with my husband.

As part of his order, he was given car window stickers that read ‘Born to ride, forced to drive’. I first rode a motorbike when i was 14 and took to it like a duck to water, i wonder what could have happened if i had got into biking earlier. It certainly would have saved me a lot in fuel costs on the daily commute. I would have built up so much experience that would have helped me to ride the bigger bikes, i find them now rather intimidating because i worry if they get dropped thats it, im stuck.

Months have passed and i am stuck driving my estate, commuting on a bike now is impossible with the tiddlywinks in tow. I could go out for a ‘ride’ at the weekend but it feels wrong to be on my own when i could be with the family. Although i would enjoy it i would also feel a bit lonely riding out on my own.

I would love to have a girl friend who also rode a bike but it seems most of the female riders are lesbians, so have absolutely nothing in common with me.

Is there a biking Mum out there who is also in the same quandary. Female petrolheads keep their passion secret, particularly amongst other women. I used to stay up the small hours to watch an F1 GP live and last night was up past my bedtime watching highlights from the Isle of Man TT.

So it would be great to hear from any female bikers out there to exchange experiences and enjoy pep talks.

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When only chocolate will do…

Approaching Mother’s Day, I am so anxious to ensure my mother receives something for the day, even though she is in Spain that I don’t give my new found role as a mother a second thought. I don’t want to put my kids under pressure to do something amazing for me on Mothers Day, after all it was me (and my husband) who decided to have them in the first place. It is a tough world and not always the most inviting environment to inspire confidence in future happiness for our kids. When things start to get tough for them, we will begin retirement and spoil the grand-kids. So I think the person who should be really under pressure to deliver on Mothers Day is my husband, because technically he made me a Mother in the first place.

But, back to my Mother, one year I forgot Mother’s Day. Well, I didn’t forget, because I gave her present to her in advance before she returned to Spain but she was obviously looking for something else too. I got a call at 11.30 at night from Spain when she said ‘what happened to my special call on mother’s day?’ At home it had been just like any other Sunday, so I had forgotten and my mother took offence. When I tried to argue my case she said, ‘Mother’s Day is more important than birthdays.’ (groan) I wasn’t going to attempt to battle with that viewpoint.

So Mothers day, like Christmas, has just become a day that creates lots of to do lists and pressure. On behalf of my husband I chose some flowers and card for my mother-in-law and for my Mum I already bought a gift and gave it to her a while ago and for the day I will send her a gooey interactive card.

I’m going to say something really naff now and say every day is good to be a mother, particularly when my daughter makes me a cup of tea and my baby boy does something in the potty.

As for my husband, I am trying not to be jealous of the new motorbike he has got, although he says I can ride it. I am going through a phase where my husband is immensely irritating and I find life more complicated when he is around. I am assuming this has something to do with the fact that it is our 10th year of marriage and partly to do with my slightly hostile hormones. Either way he is driving me nuts and no amount of tea, wine or home-baked scones is going to get me out of this mood.

He got me flowers but I really wanted chocolate….

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Riding in Harmony

This week the mega, insane, awesome, mind-boggling, motorbike hill-climb race of the season has been buzzing round the Isle of Man. The biggest news is the success of King of the Mountain John McGuinness after a week of knocks he claimed his 20th victory in the race everyone wants to win – the seniors on his Honda Legends bike. It was stuff of fairy-tales.

I enjoy watching horses and riders perform in harmony, it is a pleasure to watch. Seeing John and other riders in the TT effortlessly weave their charges from one bend to another, rolling off the throttle if required and leaning in to the bike when it starts to rear is more than just enjoying the thrill of insane speeds. It is also the enjoyment of watching such skill at work.The lightest of touches undertaken in milliseconds makes all the difference between success on the road and complete disaster.

Riders of horses in eventing, show-jumping or dressage have a similar set of skills, which you can observe in display at top level competitions. The lightest of ‘half-halts’ on the reins of a horse in order to hit the right stride to a ridiculously high fence. The smallest of leg aids, to tell a horse of a change of movement in a dressage test, the subtle shift of weight in the saddle across country to communicate a greater collection in anticipation of a bounce fence across country. Both rider and horse and rider and bike combinations are a partnership. In equestrianism it is understanding the psychology of the horse and how to work together to get the best results and in bikes it is understanding the engineering and how to get the most out of it. That is why I enjoy both past-times so much.

One day I look forward to visiting the TT.

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Today I will be mostly….

Trying not to eat and put on weight while pretending to be a baking goddess. Mary Berry I am not, so have invested in a couple of Betty Crocker kits in the vain hope that something may look both appetising and edible. It is my son’s 1st birthday party next weekend (in more ways than one as he is having 2 birthday parties – one for the wrinklies and one for his baby chums). I will have to bake my little head off this week for both parties, plus his nursery have dropped several hints about sending him in with some cupcakes so he can have a mini party there too. I do try to make good cake but it just doesn’t happen (as you will have noted in earlier posts when I improvise with ingredients). I am risky by nature and that doesn’t combine well with precision cooking.

I have also delved into the Tana Ramsay family cooking bible to make a few party snacks. however plan B is a back-up supply of Tescos frozen party food. I marvel at how women coped during the wars. Everything is so pre-packaged nowadays that I (and many others no doubt) have lost the plot as to how to cook anything from scratch. So, when we do, it is almost on the scale of a scientific experiment, using ingredients we didn’t know existed, making concoctions that look and sound as if they shouldn’t work (but somehow they do – or don’t).

Prior to the party we are all having a swim at a private swimming pool that is so warm its like stepping into a bath – perfect for babies and old people. My dad didn’t fancy taking a dip so he has said that he will do the filming. I didn’t expect him to do any filming, in fact it didnt even occur to me to arrange for a film crew to attend our swim session, but if it gives him something to do that keeps him happy then all well and good. I just dont know what the owners will think! Its just gonna have to be a case if ‘it will be alright on the night’.

Have just put the grocery order online to cater for this party and all the baking – I still marvel at the cost of food. In an effort to get the total price down the dogs have less food and I have sacrificed my yoghurts – as Tescos strapline goes ‘Every little helps’.

This afternoon I jumped on the bike and enjoyed it although I am always slightly anxious as I first hit the road – mainly because I don’t get out that often. It was a beautiful sunny day but, being November, it was fucking freezing. I had 4 layers on plus neck scarf and helmet and my teeth were still chattering. Its strange that when you feel cold you want to go faster but this made the wind chill even worse. A little shit thought it would be entertaining to overtake me in his polo despite the fact that there were at least 5 cars in front of us so his gain was tiny. His manoveur was risky and pointless so wasted no time in overtaking both him and the rest of the traffic in one squirt of the throttle with a ‘fuck you’ little wiggle as I rode past. ‘Bye Bye Baby’ – said the Bandit to the Texas County Mounty.

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Freefalling on a Sunday

Experienced a little rock and roll lifestyle today. No I didn’t trash any rooms or snort cocaine etc etc, but I did take the bike for a good old run along a beautiful stretch of road on a glorious Autumnal afternoon and then had a glass of wine in an idyllic village pub listening to a tribute band play ‘Freefalling’ by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ – one of my husband’s favourite bands!

It was one of those Sundays that are best summed up by one word – ‘bliss’.

My hubby kindly offered to look after the kiddywinks while I had a blast on the bike to Chichester. My destination? Goodwood for a well earned pampering session with my girlyfriend from good old skooldayz. We were at a strict all girls convent school (but didn’t conform to the stereotype – unless the stereotype is heterosexual tomboys with a love of all things on wheels and gee gees). I lost my virginity at sixteen so was legal – I think my friend was a little later. OK it did take me a little while to get used to testosterone in the class once I graduated to a co-ed sixth form college but I didn’t go mad.

Despite the fact my birthday happened at the beginning of the year, my friend bought me a professional back massage at the Goodwood Health club and then we gossiped our little hearts out in-between sauna (too hot) ..take a shower….turkish bath (too suffocating) …take another shower…and then a gentle swim like a pair of old grannies trying not to get our hair wet. I only had a small back-pack on the bike to fit everything in so didn’t bring a change of shoes. Hence the raised eyebrows when I stomped into the restaurant for afternoon tea in my biker boots but …they were comfy.

When we had said all that could be said between two girls after every topic of conversation had been covered and lots of tea drunk…we departed. She in her FMBs (fuck me boots) stepping into her MX5 and me (after grabbing my lid and jacket from her boot) astride my beloved little Honda CBF500. I then enjoyed winding my way through the Sussex countryside and enjoying the view (which you just don’t appreciate as much in a car) and practised my lines round bends (a little out of practice as don’t get out much).

The only problem is my six and a half year old daughter sees her mummy and daddy on bikes and is now starting to think about bike riding herself . I even caught her eyeing up the mini bikes in the Honda dealership the other day. My husband and I both have the same opinion when it comes to our daughter (and son for that matter on bikes) – NO WAY. Yet I roll my eyes when my Mum says to me to be careful when I go out. Its one rule for us and an entirely different rule for our children. Yes that is unfair but when is a good time to say “Okay give bike riding a go?” As any bike rider will tell you its the other fuckers you’ve got to worry about. I wear hi-vis yet I read a policeman on a bike (about as hi vis as you could get) was t-boned because the car driver ‘just didn’t see him’. Since learning to ride I have become a much, much better car driver. I think all car drivers should do a CBT to get a better appreciation of road awareness. Young drivers particularly would benefit from this. Even if my children don’t pursue bikes when they are older I think I will still encourage them to do their CBT. So that dumbos like my Step-dad get the message that ‘only a fool ignores the 2 second rule’.

Hope your Sunday was a good one too.

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Awkward siblings

It was my hubby’s birthday today and we celebrated by jumping on our motorbikes and cruising to one of our favourite pubs for dinner and drinks. It was bliss. The day was slightly marred, however, by the arrival of our nephew. Don’t get us wrong the arrival of a baby is always fabulous news. But the inconsiderate little bugger decided to share his birthday with his Uncle. My hubby doesn’t do sharing. What are the chances? 365 days of the year and he chooses the 18th September.

This situation is further exacerbated because sister-in-law is the type of Mum that falls into the category of ‘oh shit I am over 40 and haven’t had kids yet’. Her first child is only 14 months old and no sooner had she been born then it was ‘oh shit I am still over 40 and have an only child’ hence the arrival of child number two. Maternal she is not, but thankfully a nanny is on standby to sort out all the stupid routines she has got herself caught up in (afternoon milk, giving sweet alternatives because child won’t eat etc etc). They have recently moved into the most child unfriendly place imaginable (short of being in a lighthouse  – stairs and water aren’t a good combination). This house has three storeys and sash windows on the upper floors that open at your feet – it gave me nightmares just looking at it.

Anyway she is just a bit irritating, likes everyone to dance to her tune (first born syndrome) and very endearingly announced her second pregnancy on the day we were celebrating my other sister-in-laws 40th birthday (didn’t occur to her or my mother in law in fact that the news might rain on my sister in law’s parade?). Now the birthday clash. Right griping over – that feels a lot better.

Its just all a bit awkward because no-one has ever addressed the issue. To put it bluntly my hubby and his middle sister don’t feel as ‘special’ as the eldest. I think that is a hard issue to address and one that is a common problem. Awkward is a great way to describe it as it is awkward even to talk about it but therein lies the problem – everyone dodging the fact that they need to tell their parents how they feel. I did it recently with my Mum and it felt like a humongous load had been lifted off my shoulders. I hope that my kids tell me when they think something is unfair – sure they will do it in their younger years over a toy or a game but its much, much harder to do in adulthood. If everyone was straight with each other there would be nowhere near as many family feuds – do you agree?

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What to do with a quarter of a million?

I fantasised last night.

No, not because I am reading Fifty Shades Darker (that requires no imagination at all) but because I was looking at my Lotto ticket with baited breath. I thought I had won, but it was my eyesight playing tricks on me, or my brain. So having not won the big lottery, I considered the next option still available on the ticket which is Plus 5 – the chance to win £250,000 all week. Some people would argue whether that is a life-changing amount or not. Well they are just damned ungrateful because I sure as hell wouldn’t  mind £250,000 (I nearly said dollars then for some reason the voice in my head that….says….each…..word……as……I………am………typing it switched in to a Texan Drawl – I have only watched one episode of the new Dallas and already it has taken effect.)

What would you do with that amount. My instant and very exciting reaction was “to pay off the mortage” the voice in my head said that in a David Walliams style “computer says noo” tone. My second reaction was “how dull can you get”? No, I would pick up the phone to Unicef (the reason why I blog) and ask them if there is a particular project that I could fund – one in the UK and one abroad. Now my husband is not as charitable as me and would have kittens if I turned round and said I wanted to donate some of it to charity. So, I would have to placate him with something that has wheels and goes very fast…….on the shopping list would be this……

 (Oh yes that’s me sat on the bike making it look even better         …I wish)

and then maybe something with a few more wheels………..

  (I wasn’t available for this shoot)

and then maybe something with really big wheels…..

After doing the necessay with the Kids (Disney etc) oh and i spose we better save some just in case they want to get massively in debt for 3 years, test the resilience of their liver and survive eating nothing but fish-finger sandwiches (university) ….My thoughts would then turn to my shopping list……

a horse that LIKES jumping, like this……

Not this….

And if I have any money left over a dinner date with someone like this…….

  But maybe not when he is like this…. (bruised eyes during filming)

Paul Walker can drive me to the restaurant, but this fella…..

can drive me home (very handy if you are remotely bulimic as it would be a challenge to keep your meal down).

My reaction might be a little like this…. mamma mia!

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