The Life and Times of this Old Git

Location: Teignmouth, Devon, United Kingdom

I'm married with two grown up children and four grandchildren, My wife of 47 years is Sue and we are the same age. My two children are Pamela (blogging occasionly under and Roy,who was recently Paralysed from the waist down due to an Absys on his Spine. My 4 grandchildren are (oldest first) Gavin, Hayley, Thomas,and Zoe. Sue and I are both retired and we're disabled too, her with a badly Arthritic back and spine, me with lung (COPD) and Heart problems.I have always loved Fishing (all sorts) Sue started fishing with me about 8 years ago, now she really enjoys it too. We both love m'cycles and m'cycling, Sue owns and rides her own bike which is a Custom 1981 250 Honda.I own a 1979 Honda CX500. We are both members of this motorcycle club ( view or join our club on or see my blog post Dec 2007 blog "Getting old, never", of course we're badly resticted now due to our illness, only riding in really good weather.Just over three years ago we lost our best friend and Baby Mojo the border Collie, Gone but never forgotten. Please feel free to use any of our photo's but do let me know you have used them, thank you.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I have just had to come back and edit this post because non of the links i posted are working (a blogger thing?) If you want to hear a song you dont recognise you can cut/copy and insert it in your search bar, Sorry.
I have just so varied a taste in Music. I like Rock, Ballads, Harmonies, Pop, Classical (a little), and Folk.
The only music i really HATE (gonna upset a few here), is ......................................OPERA, it makes me bad tempered.
So..... probably the music i listen to most are 60s and 70s but thats not to say i dont like any 80-90-2000s.
Songs include My favourite Rock track "Ike Tina Turner- "Nutbush City Limits"
Songs from, Tommy Roe, The Yardbirds, The Animals, Small Faces, Eddie Grant, Status Quo, ELO, Dr Hook, Ottis Redding, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Muse, The Proclaimers and loads of others.
Top of the groups are of course the one and only "Beatles". The way their music changed and developed over the years, the fact that today over 40 of there songs have been recorded by others is a testament to their song writing skills. There tally of 17 UK no 1 singles, also 27 in the USA+ unknown hits world wide. All these plus 60 top 100 entries and at least 20 Album hits. What you also have to take into account are the records by each individual member ie John Lennon, Paul McCartney etc, then also groups they were in Wings,Traveling Wilberry's, Band Aid etc etc. A record that no group OR individual has or can get any where near, ever.
The boys music is so varied which makes it impossible for me to pick my all time favourite. So what i will do is mention a few of my favourite tracks.
Easy listening favourites include
"I'm looking through you",
"Something" (cant find it on you tube).
"In my life"
"This Boy" and f course loads more.
Faster or Rock tracks i like include
"She's a woman"
"Get Back"
I'm a loser"
"Got to get you into my life".
I have 30 Beatles Single records. 7 EPs, 16 LP records. 17 CDs. + Wings, Traveling Wilberry's, etc. I also have all there films, Magical Mystery tour was the worst.

This next favourite group of mine i have been to see live 3 times , once in 1970, at a Birmingham (UK) Club, Once in the Birmingham Hippodrome (1969) and once in 2007 as part of the "Solid Silver 60s show"at Barnstaple Theatre, N Devon. Each and every time they sounded as good live on stage as they did on record, this certainly wasn't the case with a lot of other performers we have seen.They had 9 UK top 20 hits including the NoI hit "Silence is golden" in 1967. Others include my own favourite "Here comes my baby"(1967), "Call me Nunber one" (1969) and "Me and my life"(1970). I have two single records (45 rpm) and two CD's. I have just taken a link from the last last you tube watch video i posted of the "Troggs" for it to come up "Not found",,, i hope that is not the case with all the other links !!!!!!!!!!!.

Not quite such a well known medium heavy rock band were "The Troggs". They were originally from Andover (Wilts) UK. I first got into them with the hit "Wild thing" back in 1966. They had a total of 7 UK top 20 hits which included "With a girl like you" (1966) No1."Love is all around" 1967 and "Any way that you want me" 1966. A lot of music pundits cite the fact that they did not tour America until late 1968 as a reason they were not a massive hit in the States.

This next Rock band was one i loved back in the 60's and still play regularly today. It is the "The Kinks". They came from Britain's capital city London and really came to fame in 1964 with "You really got me". The main and only members to stay right through their long run of successes were the Davies brothers, playing lead and rhythm guitars and main Vocals. During their careers "The Kinks" had 18 UK top 20 hits, including their 3 No Is. They were (1964) "You really got me" (1965) "Tired of waiting for you" and (1966) "Sunny afternoon".Finally disbanding through internal disagreements in the late 90s.
The "Everly Brothers" below. There is quite a story to my love of this fantastically harmonising set of brothers Don (Eldest) and Phil. In around 1969-70 i bought (From a school friend) a "Chrystal Radio" (for 10/0d) 50p. These tiny little sets were about the only thing a schoolboy could, A Afford and B, get small enough to put in a bedroom (without mother knowing).The reception to say was poor, was an understatement!!!. Poor or not that was all that was available.Music in the UK was starting to really arrive to the younger generation and most teenagers were comparatively poor, by to days standards, "Jukeboxes were just appearing in Cafes. I bought this Radio for one reason only to try to listen to the UK's "Musical express" top 20. This was broadcast every Sunday night on "Radio Luxemburg"at i think 10pm until midnight.Reception was awful with fading in and out every few seconds. At the time i managed to actually get the small wire Aerial in a position to be able to hear anything i listened right through the hit parade ending with the No 1 song which was...."Cathy's Clown" by the Everly Brothers. I borrowed the money the very next day and went out and bought the 45rpm record. This was the second record i ever bought, just a fortnight before i bought "Jimmy Jones, Good Timmin". For the next few weeks i drove my family mad by playing these two records over and over again. From then on i bought the next few Everly's singles as they came out.
So my top track has to be "Cathy's Clown" followed by "Lucille","Wake up little Susie","Walk right back","Ebony Eyes" etc .In 1984 Don & Phil got back together and recorded "On the Wings of a nightingale"which i really love.
This Paul Mcartny song (written for them) is from their 1983 reunion Concert, just think in this LIVE song they had hardly played together for over 20 years.

The lovely tones and harmony's of "Simon & Garfunkel" (below) are another of my easy listening favourite artists. They, as quite a few Duo's and groups were, influenced early in their careers by none other than the Everley's. The duo had quite an eventful career being at odds with each other most of the time and breaking up at least twice before their final parting in 1970 (i think), although i did say final parting they actually lined up together on stage at least 4 more times but no more recording studio work came about. A few of my favourite tracks include "Scarborough Fair", "Mrs Robinson", "Homeward Bound" and of course "Bridge over troubled Waters".I own 3 of there best CDs.
This you tube version of "Scarborough Fair" brings back happy memories of the film "The Graduate".
I must admit to liking a bit of Reggae occasionally.starting many years ago in 1960 with "Jimmy Jones" and the song "Good timmin". Although of course Reggae just wasn't big way back then. The biggest and my all time favourite Reggae artist is "Bob Marley" (below). This artist was yet another that's career ended very early, Bob fought Cancer (starting in the foot) for several years and eventually succumbed at the age of 36 in 1981. I bought a couple of his singles (in the days of 45rpm records) and now own 3 CDs of his. My favourite few tracks are probably "Jammin", "One love", Buffalo Soldier" and "No Woman no Cry".
Listen here.
Here we have late 1950s, early 1960s Crooner Michael Holliday (Below) a soft, mellow voiced singer who i rank as my top easy listening solo singer. Mike's career and life were very short, he committed suicide in 1963 aged just 39. Mike had a string of hits which included 2 UK no I's, "The Story of my life" and "Starry Eyed". He at one time had his own TV series which ran 2 seasons.
Besides his NoI's i also really like these tracks. "The fool on the Hill","Stairway of love"and "Hot Diggity". A record of Mikes that still gets regular airing on children's programmes is "The runaway train".I'm afraid that even though he was popular with every one including the Ladies Mike suffered badly with "Stage Fright" and lack of self confidence which is believed to have played a large part in his depression and eventual tragic suicide.
Listen here, LIVE.

Joke of the day.

Shortly after a British Airways flight had reached its cruising altitude, the captain announced:
'Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain.

Welcome to Flight 293, non-stop from London Heathrow to Toronto . The weather ahead is good, so we should have a smooth, uneventful flight. So sit back,relax and..... OH, MY GOD !'

Silence followed!

Some moments later the captain came back on the intercom.
'Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry if I scared you
. While I was talking to you, a flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!' An Irishman at the back shouted

'bye jezis you should see the back of mine"

Friday, January 15, 2010

Snowy Dartmoor.

So todays blog is one that most of us in the UK have had more than enough of. This of course is this years snow, particularly the snow on Dartmoor. As i have a fair few readers (i hope still) from other countries like America, Canada and Australia, that its probably best to give them an idea of Devons Dartmoor. I often get my readers leaving comments like, its such a small country, yet you seem to have so much open space!!. Well Dartmoor is just one of these wide open spaces.The Moor itself is actually a raised Plateau of Granite. This covers an area of around 368 miles (1,400 Hectares) and in 1951 was designated Britains first "National Park". Around 1/2 (50%) is open Moorland, around 12% forest or Woodland. The Moor is probably known to a lot of People for either its very old Prison, which is situated in Princetown the highest town on the Moor at 1,300ft above sea level. Or the famous book "The Hound of the Baskervilles" written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which is all about the high moor. Human activity has been recorded on Dartmoor for around 4,000 years. The Tors or mounds of Granite were probably formed around
280 million years ago by molten Granite, (i wont go deeply into this as it is easily Googled).
The highest mountain peak on Dartmoor is "High Willhayes"which is around 620 metres (2,050 ft) high and is the highest mountain (loose term) south of the "Peak District".
On Tuesday last week Sue and i decided to see just how bad (or good) the snow was up there. It is around 15 miles (as the Crow flies) from us. We got a weather forecast of little or no snow so although some roads were still impassable some it said where open.
Here we go then, as we start off the larger roads were quite good. (This is a very long blog)
Do click on any picture to enlage it.
One of the first glimpses of the higher moor.
Below, lovely views down through the Valley.
This picture (below) is of a car park where we often stop for a cuppa, not today though the entrance was sheer Ice!!!.
Starting to climb, with a couple of Tors ahead.(below)All of Dartmoor has a speed limit of 40 MPH.
As we get higher, drifts of around 12" to 15" are evertwhere.
Below, As you can see some of the smaller roads to more remote villages were virtually impassable.
This couple were supposed to be visiting relatives about 3 miles down this road but after examining the road they decided not to bother.
The roads from here on up had a fresh snow fall of about 1"an hour before we got here.
Below, on reaching this point we managed to get a little off the road to have a Sandwhich and a brew, We did seriously wonder whether to carry on from here as it snowed a little and the temperature was -1F.
Just to add insult to injury, after deciding to carry on the Fog started to come down.
Another Fog picture. The other thing that also worried us was lack of traffic, around a car every 5 to 10 mins (minus 3F now and usually a 4x4 type vehicle.
Two Tors in the distance, bathed in the Snow below.
I cant find the other picture i have of this bridge but it has Sue standing in the middle to show its narrowness, now impassable, with several residents cars abandoned on the verge behind us.
Below, Bellever Forest with Virgin snow.
This pond was a real head scratcher (below) as it was high on the Moor where night time Temperatures had dropped to minus 8F yet it was still not frozen???
It had just stopped snowing again here.
This is one of the most photographed places on the Moor. Probably because its on one of the few larger roads that cross the Moor. Its the "Clapper"Bridge at Postbridge. "Clapper" bridges are ones consisting of rows of large Granite rocks made into columns with large Granite slabs laid on top to make the bridge.
Not many will have seen it like this though.
Here again (below), from a different angle though.

We were going to try to get across to Widecombe from here but on seeing this road decided not too.
This picture (below) is my favourite, its of the "Powdermills" Pottery a few miles from postbridge.
Finally this picture (below) shows people by the hundreds flocking to "Haytor" where the access roads were good and clear. They brought, Sledges, Ski's, Boards, anything including Tin trays to enjoy the slopes.
Please enlarge this to see them.

At my age you ask these questions.

Will I Live to see 80?
Here's something to think about.
I recently picked a new primary care doctor..
After two visits and exhaustive Lab tests, he said I was doing 'fairly well' for my age.
(I just turned 64.)
A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist asking him,
'Do you think I'll live to be 80?'
He asked, 'Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer or wine?'
'Oh no not a lot,' I replied.. 'I'm not doing drugs, either!'
Then he asked, 'Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?
'I said, 'Not much...
My former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!'
'Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?'
'No, I don't,' I said.
He asked, 'Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?'
'No,' I said.

He looked at me and said,... 'Then, why do you even give a shit?'

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Boxing Day at Exmouth, Devon

Todays blog will again be boring for a few of you I'm afraid. Every year on Boxing day the Exeter Classic motor cycle club hold a meet at a cafe on Exmouth seafront. Also there is a local charity family run on the same day.We in the Honda CX-GL MCC also use this as a meet for our local SW members.
This picture below shows all our local club members.
Please do click on any picture to enlarge it and examine bike details.
Here below is the first of our members bikes, its a Honda Silver Wing 650cc and is one of the rarer 80s models.
Below an 80s Cx500 cc V Twin, belonging to another member.
This belongs to another local member, its an CX500C or Custom model.
This is the Bike of Pete who is the son of the bike owner in the last picture. He also owns a Hack CX which is his pride and joy.
This is an absolutely brilliantly prepared BSA twin, complete with lovely old style Panniers.
This beautiful Vincent HRD was here last year I'm sure.
This AJS twin with a sidecar arrived and the rider got off and came round opened up the chair, out got his missus with two Yorkshire Terriers in her arms. they had come around 10 miles from Pinhoe, Exeter.

A nice old BSA 650 Twin with a Watsonian sidecar fitted.
This is one of Sue's favorite bikes the Honda 750cc Nighthawk.
This is a Francis Barnett two stroke, another marque that uses the Villiers engine.
This is aBSA Barracuda i think, quite a tidy one too.
This was a lovely example of one of the only two strokes bikes i ever fancied. This is the Suzuki 750 three cylinder water cooled two stroke. I think they look and sound great.

This nice old Greeves was one of many British marques that used the Villiers two Stroke engines.
This BMW Rider along with a Triumph rider braved very cold conditions over a long distance to be here today.
The owner of this Triumph had come over 120 miles along with one other rider, rather them than me in Temperatures of around 2 - 3 f.

Joke of the day.
Spanish singer Julio Iglesias was on television with British
TV host Anne Diamond when he used the Spanish word "manana"
(manyana). Diamond asked him to explain what it meant. He
said that the term means, "Maybe the job will be done tomor-
row, maybe the next day, maybe the day after that. Perhaps
next week, next month, next year who cares?"

The host turned to Irishman Shay Brennan who was also on the
show and asked him if there was an equivalent term in Irish.
"No. In Ireland we don't have a word to describe that degree
of urgency."