- using my phone as my sat-nav while out on the Spectre – decided a little rain couldn’t hurt it too much, while trying to figure out where to go. Turns out… yeah, it can.
- visited the ‘Maori house’ at Clandon Park… some rich guy decided his souvenir of New Zealand would be a house. To be fair – his original house wasn’t much to look at.
- got my first flat tyre on the Spectre… came out from lunch, and yeah… noticeably flat. Took it to the local garage, tried to get some air in there. Bloody valve at just the wrong angle to get the nozzle on… (and I had to pay for the air, WTF?) – eventually managed to get some air in there… continued on my way. Then, on the M25 – 60 or 70 mph… could feel it become flat again. I’d always wondered how one could really tell by feel if a tyre goes flat. Well… I know now that it is unmistakable. Unmistakably scary, on a bike. Found another garage… again struggled to get any air into the valve… eventually breaking the valve off. And then a sad sad journey home, with the Spectre riding piggy-back on a recovery truck. Ne’er a sadder sight. Sent her to the garage, to get fixed up.
- Friday 3rd, left work early – went and picked up the Spectre… good as new. Dropped her off home, picked up my suitcase, off to Heathrow, and onwards to NZ.
- Landing in Auckland, to a miserable raining Autumn day. Which was still warmer than the London Spring I’d left behind.
- A couple of days in Auckland, doing chores (renewing NZ licence, replacing NZ bank card, buying CDs, replacing pounamu cord), and hanging with Pen – letting her deal with the sharp-end of my jet-lag, so that I might be recovered when visiting family.
- Didn’t quite work… two weeks of driving around the North Island, visiting family, and each time leaving, feeling guilty about being such miserable company, and the short time I had available for each destination.
- Worst jet-lag ever (possibly compounded by very long/boozy night in the middle)… the night before I flew out – I was still feeling half-asleep by 8pm.. with zero ability to be sociable/chatty. Or that’s my excuse, anyway.
- 1 wedding – successful
- 2 niblings’ birthdays – also successful
- Far too many questions about “coming home” – for christmas and/or for good
- Hugs and tearful goodbyes… how come it gets harder every time?
- Back to England, shocked again by the cold Spring… and jet-lag
- Flaming Lips – good, not the best Lips gig I’ve see, but an average Lips gig is still pretty bloody good
Lots of boring stuff to be done…
- Investigate UK indefinite leave to remain… I was never planning on doing that, but recently I was nearly sent to Germany to do some work. I thought I could do that, no issues… but looking into it, maybe not. In fact, the work I did in Spain/France a little while back… maybe not so legal.
- Hypothetically, if I was to set up a company… need to choose a name. And an accountancy firm. And go through all of that. But first… a name.
- Need a new mobile phone, and probably a new phone number. With all the choice regarding mobile plans, deals, etc, etc. Too much choice, not enough variety.
- Should probably get the Spectre given a once-over before I try taking her across Europe. I asked the garage to do it when they fixed the tyre, but apparently forgot/misheard. Have bought a 90-degree tyre valve adaptor… flat tyres will hopefully no longer be as disastrous.