Friday, February 29, 2008

A very busy week this week, one that has been touched by tragedy...

Last weekend, I spent riding the Duke to Armidale. As part of my trip there, I had been challenged on a forum to take a photo of the bike in front of a local landmark which is big! I chose the big golden guitar at Tamworth.

Actually, come to think of it, I think I became the tourist attraction at the golden guitar as when I was saddling up to leave, a group of people had gathered to watch! So, you can believe me when I say that I was extremely careful and cautious as I was going as I didn't want to do anything stupid like fall over or leave my stand down!

As there was a function on at the school for my son's boarding house, I made the effort to get there. Thankfully the weather was great and so I had a terrific ride up the hill! Once there, I was to meet another parent who had lost her husband last year to a heart attack. Her son is in the same dorm room as mine and it seems that they've hit it off.

One thing about going to boarding school functions is the awkwardness of being a single parent and especially a single female parent. Even the married women tend to hang around with their own husbands and so the couples tend to stick together. So, it's times like these that you definitely don't want to have any name tag and all you really want to do is be somewhere else!

However, I think that really, all my son wants is for me to be there and that being the case, I will do my best to do so!

On Tuesday, 26th of February, the town was rocked by the news of yet another aircraft tragedy in the district. This time, unbelievably, two aircraft were involved. One pilot managed to miraculously survive the impact with the ground and got away from his aircraft which had caught on fire. The second pilot unfortunately did not survive his crash.

It seems inconceivable that seemingly so soon after Mark's accident, here we are facing another one. It is more inconceivable that this one involves not only our bosses plane but his brother in law is the pilot who has survived. Once again, our boss is going through investigation from ATSB and insurance people. We haven't even had Mark's accident finalised yet. It is hard to say at this stage if this will make it all harder or easier.

On Thursday, I travelled to Melbourne. This was a trip planned months ago, way back in December last year. I would not hesitate to say that it was part of God's plan to have me away from home at this time. As the trip plans had fallen so easily in place when I had made them a couple of months ago, it can only have been His influence. I seriously don't know how I would have coped being at home this weekend, as there is another memorial service being held out at the same hangar that Mark's was held in. Either way, I don't think I would have gone to that service this weekend.

I know that this tragedy has affected me, as on the flight down, I spent quite some time quietly weeping. There was no point holding it back, it actually felt like a great relief to be able to do so.

So, I'm now in Melbourne. Today I had a great day with my girlfriend, we took her husband's M series BMW for a blat down to the Peninsula to check out their newly purchased holiday house. It was a fun day of two friends having a laugh, remembering some good times, talking about some bad and wondering why the blokes were having a look at them in the car! (We remembered that what we were driving was bright blue and stood out like a sore thumb!)

But good times and a great way to try and put the tragedy of the week behind me.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Scooter Photo Blog

Thought I'd just do a photo blog today. On Aussie Scooters, we've been challenged to take local photos with our scooters in them. These are what I've started to snap around town...

Monday, February 11, 2008

My Other Ride is a...

Scooter! A 125cc Aprilia Habana to be precise.

I thought it time to talk about my daily driver. He should get an honourable mention at least as he's nearly as famous as me around town!

At least, most people here in my town know who rides the little blue scoot! Its always funny to see people do a double take when you go zipping past as they certainly don't expect to see a scooter, which is more of an icon of the city, being ridden around a small country town.

Kids love the scooter the most, they stare at it in fascination, stopping whatever they're doing to watch or wave at me as I ride past. I don't know what it is about it. Is it its sexy looks, its bright blue colour or just its smallness? I'm not sure, they could just think I'm weird for riding one!

Its pretty quiet being a four stroke and I'd be the envy of most people who have to currently fork out nearly a hundred bucks to fill up their fuel tanks. It only costs me nine dollars! And of course, with just using the scooter around town, it lasts forever on one tank of fuel!

I've ridden the scooter long distance. A few years ago there was a National Scooter Rally in a larger country town about three and a half hours from here, known as Dubbo to Australians. I rode from here to another town where I met up with some other riders who had come from Brisbane and we rode on together to Dubbo. Yes! They had ridden all the way from Brisbane and some were on scooters no bigger than mine. The rally was a fun few days of riding around with like minded people. And seeing as I only ever see other scooters when I'm in the city, it was a real novelty for me to see so many scooters buzzing around the big town of Dubbo and to be riding one myself!

Most people used to get a real laugh when they saw Mark riding the scooter. He used to take it out to work if I wasn't needing it. Mark seriously had no shame, riding out with his bright yellow helmet on, that everyone knew was for the big yellow bike! He didn't care that people thought he was funny zipping around on the scooter. I mean, we're talking about big country boys who drive utes and four wheel drives! None of them would even dream about riding a scooter! But Mark rode it because he loved how zippy it was and thought it was fun. He'd brag to me how low he could get it into corners!

This month actually heralds Scoots fourth year in the family. I've managed to clock up over 13 thousand kilometres on the scooter over the past four years. Not a whole lot compared to city commuters, some would clock that up in six months. But for me, that is 13 thousand kilometres that are not on my car. Plus all the savings in fuel!

Ah, I love my scooter!