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Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Newton's Third Law, plus the AGM trip.

"Every action has a reaction equal in magnitude and opposite in direction". Or in plain English, that means that if you have a good day, you sure need to look out 'cos you're gonna have one heck of a bad day to follow it up. Farm life is a bit like that. For a couple of weeks Hilda the Herdwick and her daughter Henryetta were poorly. Some times they reacted to the treatment we gave and some times they didn't. Henry seemed to be in a coma for a number of days, finally coming around last Saturday morning. She sat up, had a drink and ate some hay, plus two dishes of freshly picked grass and greens. Then while I was away, having a really rather good weekend at the Vintage Motorcycle Club AGM, she suddenly got worse and was barely alive by the time I got home on Monday. Hilda slipped away to Herdwick Heaven peacefully but the vet had to come and help Henry on her way. While he was here, he treated one of the little Shetland ewes too. She was off her food and not keen to do much. He gave her a few jabs and a drench, but said one of the jabs might make her abort her lambs - we would know within three days.....

....First thing Tuesday morning, there she is, with two healthy little white lambs at her feet, but still a bit wobbly and unenthusiastic about life. We popped one of the lambs in a box in the bathroom with the heater on full as the poor wee chap was a bit on the cold side, and after getting some colostrum into him, he came round and is doing fine. His sister had a warm up too, plus some colostrum and they're all back together in the steading, although they'll have to be bottle fed as the ewe isn't up to that job.

On the same morning, Squirrel popped out two healthy and strong white lambs - a boy and girl, swiftly followed by Shirraf the Jacob rolling around and looking like something was going on. Sure enough, a couple of hours later she produced a whopping big black girl, as strong as you like and up on her feet instantly. Unbeknown to us, during this time, Flora McD had started popping them out like there was no tomorrow. Well, she'd had one black one that didn't survive, another teeny black girl that was huddled in the middle of the windswept field while Flora carried on grazing, and by the time we'd made her a pen in the building, she'd produced a white girl too. Shirraf then had another lamb, a white girl, just as big as the first one, but sadly it didn't survive. So by the end of the day we were run a bit ragged trying to get all the ewes and lambs in pens, fed and watered, and Flora's girls had to be thawed out in the bathroom as the poor little mites were frozen, and make sure the lambs who needed bottle feeding were properly sustained to get them through the night.

So I suppose Newton was right. We lost two ewes and two lambs, but gained 7 more little 'uns.

If you're fed up hearing about on to hear about the AGM trip.......
This April AGM marked the first year of my Area Rep'ship. With all the bad weather and run of bad luck with vehicles, I really didn't think I was going to make it, but with a little help from a friend, the car was up and running and ready for the long drive down south on Saturday morning. Well, it should have been morning, but after the Henryetta moment, and a visit from the farrier, it must have been gone two by the time I was away.

I arrived at Kawa McKwak's place a little after five, and he joined me for the rest of the journey. I get the impression he thought I'd get lost, well, why else would he have taken his sat nav with him? Mind you, when we arrived in Preston, the little gadget did come in handy for finding the hotel, after I'd got used to Paddy talking in terms of 'turn right in 200meters', well come on, what does 200meters look like??? As mentioned in a previous post, there was no accommodation anywhere nearer to the National Motorcycle Museum, so that left us with a couple of hours to drive on Sunday morning. I like to squeeze as much into life as possible, and that goes for trips south too, so it was at this late stage that I arranged a visit to my friend Willium on the way, to see his recently restored 1966 Triumph 6T. Oh yes, you know where this is going, don't you?

We got to Will and April's abode in Coventry, but only had about half an hour to spare before we had to meet Andrew the Guzzi man, at the Museum for lunch, prior to the AGM. So Will finished setting the ignition timing, and Kawa admired the Kawasaki in the shed (but I also saw him casting a sneaky glance at the Triumph), and April and young son Nate patiently looked on. Will fired the bike up and reversed it into the daylight. He seemed pleased with it and it certainly sounded 'sweet'. April produced a helmet, jacket and gloves for me to wear, and the rest, as they say, is history. Put GBC on a Triumph and away she goes. More about the ride later, as I think it deserves a post all to itself.

After bidding farewell to Will, April, Nate and the Triumph, which Will wouldn't let me keep, it was off at a right old pace to the museum, which is only about 15mins down the road. Andrew the Guzzi man formed the reception party - or I think 'waiting outside anxiously' would be another way of describing the scene. We got there at 1.15, raced into the cafe, grabbed some lunch, I finished mine and made it to the AGM for the 1.30 start, leaving the boys to eat at a somewhat slower pace. The meeting passed quickly, with various positions being voted in and handshakes given, then it was time for a Management Committee Meeting afterwards.

So what about my first year as Area Rep? I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I've been up and down the country to shows, riding events, winter meetings and AGMs, doing the miles on a bike, in the car and even on a ferry. Every couple of months I've popped down to Burton on Trent, either by train or plane (neither of which are particularly pleasant journeys, it has to be said) for the Management Committee meetings - I can't believe I'm actually on the Management Committee! I get to meet the Chief Executive Officer, James Hewing, the Financial Controller, Helen Bensley, and Kim Allen the Chairman - plus all of the other Area Reps, Directors and Presidents Past, Present and Future. More than that, I get to pick these peoples brains, find answers to peoples queries or glean information. The next meeting is in June and I'm looking forward to discussing ideas and suggestions about how to get younger people to join the VMCC - or even just to ride old bikes - so if you have any thoughts on the subject, drop me an email or leave a comment, the more the merrier as they say.

Talking of meeting people, thought you might like a few pictures so you know who I'm talking've got the new President, Bill Phelps, whom you can meet personally, face to face, at the Plus1 this year, the Immediate Past President Colin Seaton, whom you can meet personally, face to face, at the first Scottish Vintage Training Day at Alford this year, and the President Elect, Colin Bell, whom you can meet personally (picking up a theme here?) at the Scottish Double Plus1 this year. If you ever thought that meeting the President of the Vintage Motorcycle Club was out of your league, or it only happens to other people, or in other parts of the country, then think again, these guys are all approachable and willing to come to events around the country, all you have to do is ask, and if you ask in time, you stand a good chance of having one of these guys at your events.

With Andrew on his merry way back to Guzzi land, Kawa and I set off north. A pit stop at Westmorland services in the middle of Herdwick country (Cumbria) provided some grub, albeit a bit manky grub, but then it was quite late. By the time we hit Kawa-town and I'd dropped himself off, tiredness, accompanied by a general feeling of malaise kicked in. An overnight stay with a friend seemed the sensible option, meaning I finally got home around midday on Monday, rather then 3 or 4am.

Sorry if you're reading this and thinking that a) it's all back to front, and b) it's not really about bikes. That's the life of GBC I'm afraid!

Thanks to Kawa for some of the above shots, and for your company on the long drive. Sorry I wouldn't let you drive, they call me Miss Independent ya know. Thanks also to Andrew the Guzzi Man for lunch, be seeing you in August for more lunch!
**Sad addendum. It's taken all week to get this written up, and while everyone seems to be doing well now, I'm sad to say we lost one of the little white Shetland girls yesterday. I've decided to call her Poppet, 'cos she was a little Poppet.


George J. said...

Wherrrr was u in da Committee fotie? - you naughty girl!

The Chief Bodger said...

Soundslike an eventful past few days GBC what with a load of new lambikins,chaufuerring Kawa around down Souff, meeting up with Bill and attending the AGM meeting.

kawa said...

Was great not having to drive for a change and take in the scenery, and shes a no bad driver but don't tell her.
Had a good look round the museum
while 'they' were in the AGM, lots of fantastic bikes in there, well worth a visit Tim


Anonymous said...

A young family I know recently moved to several acres in the foothills above Sacramento. They have chickens, and she wants sheep. He wants goats. Told them to visit your blog to see how much work raising critters is about. Some friends of mine stumbled into the NMM by accident last year while driving around and taking the wrong exit. He was really impressed by a rig I've forgotten the name of...but you sat in the side car and controlled the rig from there. Sounds interesting. Hairy Larry

Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

Geordie! I'm no on that fotie cos I was holding the camera! But the Editor took a few shots for the Journal so I guess muggins will appear in there next month.

It certainly has been a busy few weeks, nothing like being busy though.

Larry, I hope your friends look in, although we've had a bit of a bad spell recently, keeping sheep isn't all baaaad, there are the good times too, the times when the sheep are happy and well fed and content and the likkle lambies are skipping around chasing bumble bees.

Don't tell Mrs BC you can get sidecars that you can control the whole rig from or she'll want one of those and I'm going to have enough trouble with an ordinary sidecar!!

Anonymous said...

The rig in the NMM was an old one, not produced anymore. When I first started playing with sidehacks, I got a lot of information from a magazine called "Hack'd". I just did a search and found out they just stopped publishing it in 2009. If you can't find any copies over fellow sidecarist Bruce and I probably still have some around. Good articles on setting up and riding sidecar rigs. Bruce's first bike was a Honda Trail 90 with matching orange sidecar. He still has it.Bodger was talking about the dangers of riding in the rain...on my rigs , I always felt safer in bad weather. It seems the other drivers "see" a sidecar rig when they seem to be blind when it comes to bikes. Just remember to put your foot down at stops when you switch back to a bike without a sidecar! Hairy Larry

The Chief Bodger said...

Just tried to post and looks like the return of the disappearing posts.

Looks like you had a good time there Kawa while The Gorgeous One was working.

Had a look at the piccies....brilliant.

Trip home, the NMM and Haggis Run are still on. Will keep y'all up-to-date.

Darrell said...

Who is that suit trying to pick up the Gorgeous One? Doesn't he know Cubbie will be mad?
Still, the bikes looked good.


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