Poor Blog, Thou Art Soooo Neglected :-(

October 12, 2012

I know, I’ve been sooooooo bad and totally neglected my blog… BUT with good reason (well I think it’s a good reason!!)

About 18 months ago I decided it would be a good idea to try and find some purple glass candle holders for my house and after not being able to find any I thought I’d have a go and make them myself, figuring that it couldn’t be too difficult.

Famous last words……  well sort of!  One candle holder led to another, led to a suncatcher, led to a suncatcher being sold and then another  and another and before you know it…….

18 months on I now run a business from home called Raven’s Stained Glass in my spare time making stained glass suncatchers, Christmas decorations, candle holders and the like and sell on the internet via my own website, Etsy, Folksy, Wow Thank You, MISI and Facebook!  I also accidentally strayed into Jewellery making as well under the business name of Nevar… Sigh, I must be BONKERS!!!

To say the last 18 months have been busy is an understatement especially as I work full time now and with Christmas not far away things have gone slightly mad again.

I do still have my Fireblade and my Thundercat and still ride most days but I just don’t seem to have the time to write about it so much now I’m afraid :(

Hopefully it won’t be so long before I pop back again and I’ll try and be a good little blogger and pop back more often from now on :-)
MWAHHHH to you all :-)

 


The Photoshoot Is A Done Deal :-)

February 21, 2011

Typically it rained, not heavily most of the time, but it was still wet and pretty damn chilly too :( The photographer arrived just after one and we tried waiting for a bit to see if the rain would let up, but it wasn’t to be and we had to press on and take the photos.

The bikes, both my Blade and my OH’s BladeFighter, looked stunning! Mine more so of course, not that I’m biased or anything but she is MY baby.  My OH was tasked with moving the bikes round to the required positions for the photographer, a task he accomplished beautifully (please note: NOT being sarcastic or nuffin!!!) while I made tea, and did other general helpful stuff ;)

I was seriously impressed with how good the photos looked on the camera, my Fireblade looked like she was taking part in a Honda promotional photoshoot, and once that issue of Practical Sportsbikes comes out I’m gonna see if I can get copies of the photos.  It would be great to have one of them to frame and put up on the wall somewhere at home..

Needless to say I’m also going to invest in a few copies of the magazine as well for posterity :-)


It’s Been A Good Day :-)

February 20, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I saw an ad on a motorbike forum asking for photos of pre ’99 Fireblades, either restored or modified.  Mine is neither really, but is pretty much original, in good nick and I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try.  So I sent in a couple of photos just on the off chance.  Well, just over a week ago I had a phone call and they are sending a photographer down and take some shots tomorrow :)

It’s been a busy week for my OH as his bike was apart having some upgrades done on it and he’s had to rebuild it so it’s ready, whereas I’ve just had to give mine a bloody good clean and polish.  Yesterday was spent washing, cleaning and waxing and today I rode her down to where the shoot is taking place.  A quick going over to get rid of the little bit of dirt she picked up on the way down and she’s good to go :-)

My baby sure does scrub up well :)

1995 Urban Tiger

I really can’t wait for tomorrow to come now :-)


(sigh) MORE Snow!

December 16, 2010

Yep, the little white fluffy things are falling out of the sky as I type! :(

Hopefully it’s too wet out there for them to settle at the moment but, and it’s a big BUT, we are supposed to be having below zero temperatures tonight which means not only will we have icy conditions to deal with first thing, the snow shower which is forecast for 6am will probably settle on top of ice :(

We’ve been VERY lucky here in Oxfordshire as far as snow goes up until now, but things look like they could be taking a definate turn for the worse on Saturday!  This could make the Christmas shopping I’ve got planned a bit interesting ;)

No doubt people will all be affected by the snow again, work days will be lost, roads will be blocked, cars will be abandoned, and we will once again descend into chaos.  People will start to complain about roads not being cleared and will point fingers at those who’s job it is, the councils and the Government, just like they did a few weeks ago.. Which I’ll readily admit, makes me laugh :)

I probably shouldn’t say this (but it’s my blog and I can say what I want!!) but how dumb are some of the people who complain?  I get the part about how councils should try to keep the roads clear but for goodness sake, the snow ploughs and gritters are driven by people!!! They’re not automated machines!! What the hell are the councils supposed to do if the gritter and snow plough drivers themselves can’t get to work?  Magic some out of thin air? It’s not like you can just get ‘anyone’ to drive one of the lorries, they need an HGV licence which the majority people don’t have.  Also it’s been so cold in parts of Scotland that the road salt isn’t melting the ice as the temperature is too low, and the snow plough blades are being broken by the ice.  I’d love to know how people think this should be dealt with, maybe the complainers should get their thinking caps on and come up with a solution for the benefit of us all instead of sitting there whinging.

My other gripe with people and the snow is that, inspite of the severe weather warnings saying “Don’t drive unless it’s an emergency”, people will still try and then complain like hell that it takes them 6 hours to get anywhere.  The dumbest example of this in the recent snow were the drivers, in some parts of the country, who tried to drive even though they had been told THE ROADS WERE CLOSED!!! Come on, how dumb can you be?  Talk about asking for trouble!

No doubt we will see more of this over the coming days on the news reports and I, for one, will sit and wonder about the intelligence of some people!


Heated Glove Liners

December 13, 2010

As it’s chuffin cold (kinda obvious really when you consider it’s winter ;)) and, according to the weather ‘experts’, going to get worse again :( I thought I’d do a few posts highlighting heated bike gear.. So armed with Google I set about searching for a few bits and pieces and came across heated glove liners.

These on the face of it seem to be  a damn good idea!  They’re heated liners (obviously) which go inside your existing gloves and according to the bumf will keep your pinkys lovely and warm, while the world around you freezes it’s bits off.

Here’s a bit more info from Heated Motorcycle Clothing, a site which appears to be dedicated to keeping freezing riders warm :)

Heats 4 fingers directly. Ambient heat surrounds the Gloveliner, warms the thumb, fills the glove.

Main Features:

* Wear your own SKI, BIKE, RIDING etc. gloves on top*.
* Washable – because heat-element is separate from fabric.
* 3.7V Rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries – choice of two types: with and without on/off switch.
* Flexible heat-element slides in and out of finger-pockets.
* Super-elasticated fabric – three sizes available (M,L,XL).
* Batteries last 3 to 4 hours used continuously.
* Safe to use.
* Modular design so you can replace all the bits separately (see further below).
* One colour: black.
* Initial charging time around 4-8 hrs, then 5 hours.

So far so good, you can wear them inside your existing gloves, you can recharge them overnight and they should last 3-4 hours when used continually.  Perfect for most commutes in to work for most people :)

Here’s a bit more information about whats included in the price..

Your Order will include:

* 1 pair of black Gloveliners.
* 2 rechargeable batteries.
* One pair of windproof, waterproof General Purpose Gloves.
* 2 flexible heat elements, cable, jacks.
* 1 battery charger with 2 jacks.

This next bit is kinda important, unless you don’t mind having smelly hands ;)

Wash Easily – It is important to be able to wash fabric properly without fear of damaging electrical circuitry – let’s face it – textiles get smelly next to the skin and most gloveliners we’ve seen (and previously sold) have elements contained within the fabric. Not now. Ours are completely separate. (cool wash by hand recommended and leave to dry).

And some extra information about accessories you can also buy to go with them.

At time of purchase you can add accessories as back-up. For example you may wish to buy extra batteries to charge up and carry with you on a long journey. Or a couple of spare heating elements in case the dog chews one. How about 2 extra pairs of liners so you always have a clean pair available? Or simply return to the site later and buy any bit separately (see next products).

And they post all over the place :-)

Delivery to: UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark. France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

and the price for these….. £98.99!

Not that bad really, not when you consider how much a pair of heated gloves costs or how cold your hands and fingers can get without any way to warm your hands over the winter.  There’s nothing worse than hands so cold that they feel like they’re burning, and hands so cold that you’re incapable of doing anything for almost half an hour when you get to work while you ‘defrost’ them.  Been there, got the t-shirt and don’t want to do it again :(

 

 

 


Hein Gericke, Oxford – Update

December 11, 2010

As promised in this post, here is a update on the new Hein Gericke store opening near Oxford on the A40 at the Eynsham roundabout.. It’s open :D

Here are their contact details,

 

Hein Gericke Oxford, Eynsham Roundabout, Eynsham, Oxford. OX29 4EN

TEL. 01865 883307

E.mail oxford@hg-shop.com

 

Being located where it is, it has brilliant access and apparently has excellent parking facilities.  I shall have to pop down there sometime soon and have a nose round :D

Here’s an online copy of their latest catalogue, just in case you fancy a nose.. (well, Christmas is just round the corner!!!)

Oh and talking of Christmas, they even do a Christmas Wish List you can print off and give to those closest to you :D


Motorcycle Test Reported To Be In Crisis

December 9, 2010

Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are fewer people taking their bike test since the new one was bought out but I do have issues with the way this is being reported.  Here is the article as it’s being reported online on the Motorcycle News website.

A crisis hitting the number of people taking the motorcycle test is even deeper than previously feared, latest figures show.

Eighteen months after a new Europe-wide test was introduced, the number of people taking it was still barely half the former level.

When bookings dropped drastically following the changeover last year, the Driving Standards Agency said it was temporary and demand would “settle at usual levels again in 2010/11”.

But new DSA figures point to a long-term decline.

In the 16 months leading up to the introduction of the new exam in April 2009, 130,498 people took the old test, a rate of 8156 a month.

But in the 18 months following the changeover, only 73,508 people completed the new test, 4083 a month and almost half the earlier rate.

The Government is conducting a review of the test, which was originally intended to reach conclusions by autumn.

Roads minister Mike Penning said: “The review of the motorcycle test is a top priority for me because I want to make sure that we have a test which prepares bikers properly for the road.

“We have been working with the motorcycle training industry and others to make sure that we are taking all views into account and we will report on findings as soon as possible.”

My problem is in the way these figures are being presented (sorry MCN).

As a lot of you know, the new test was originally scheduled to start in September 2008 but, because of bungling incompetance, so few of the new test centres were ready for use, the implementation of the test was put back about 6 months.  In the lead up to September 2008 thousands upon thousands of people decided to get their bike licence under the old test regime and so booked lessons and their test.  I should know,  I was one of them!!!  I took one look at the new test and thought “S*d that!!!”

During 2008, riding schools all over the country were inundated with trainees learning to ride, which definately skews the figures somewhat, as in a normal riding year fewer people would be taking their test.  Then the test was put back 6 months so that more of the new test centres could be made ready, and those who thought they had missed the original deadline were given a life line and once again the riding schools were booked solid, even though it was winter

According to the DSA  some 130,498 people took their test in the 18 months leading up to the change of test.  I’m pretty damn certain a sizeable number of those were riders who wanted to take the old style test and not the new one.

Now, since the new test started 18 months ago the DSA say that just 73,508 people have taken it, a drop of almost 50% on the previous figures.

BUT…… Seeing as the figures from September 2007 until April 2009 are hardly indicative of the number of people taking their bike test during a ‘normal’ 16 month period, I don’t see how they can be reliably compared with those from May 2009 up until late 2010.

Unless of course you’re attempting to make things look worse than they are ;-)


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