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 🙂

 


(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!


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 😉


Bike Girl – THE Site For Girls!

December 3, 2010

I just have to pass on the news.. BIKE GIRL has recently undergone a revamp and is now sporting a fresh, vibrant new look 😀

Bike Girl

I’ve been a member since I started riding almost 4 years ago and in that time the girls have been supportive and helpful during both the good times, and those when things didn’t go quite to plan!

The new site is chock full of articles covering things from choosing the right bike, reviews on riding gear and circuit guides for those who want to go to a track.

The growing gallery shows many of us with our bikes ;-), the news and events section will cover all things important in the biking calender.

The forum itself is where we girls discuss all things biking – falling off (yep it’s happened to me), learning to ride, where to go for lessons, riding gear, and anything else you can think of..

So if you’re a girl and either ride already or are thinking of ‘going for it’ then why don’t you drop by and join us 😀  Just click on the image above and you will be taken straight there.


Update – May 2010.. Re-Selling My BabyBlade And Buying Her Replacement

September 11, 2010

Well, even after my Ebay selling experience in April I was still determined to sell my BabyBlade and buy a bigger bike, so with no small amount of trepidation back on Ebay she went. The watchers soon mounted up again and bidding was swift, especially towards the end of the auction. She once again made reserve so I was happy with the price.

This time though the buyer actually wanted her and promptly paid the deposit I wanted and plans were soon made for her to come and collect her. I actually breathed a sigh of relief at this point and on the 22nd May my 400 went home with her new owner.  I must admit to being quite cut up about seeing her go, but I felt it was for the best and she was going to a lady rider who had just passed her test and, like me when I bought her, fell in love with her in her photos and decided that this was the bike she wanted…

Once she was gone the hunt for a replacement bike was promptly restarted. I’d kinda given up looking for a new bike after the last sale fell through as I was getting annoyed about the whole thing.

As I previously said I was looking for a 600cc – 750cc bike with fairings to take me to and from work all year round.. While I love my Fireblade, the last part of my journey to work is round some very small country lanes and to be honest the Blade isn’t really the best bike for this kind of road, she like to have her legs stretched on bigger ones. I had a hunt round and kinda decided I wanted a ZZR600. It ticked the boxes, well most of them and seeing as it was going to be my daily ride that was good enough for me.   So the hunt started in ernest to find one.

1997 ZZR600

The only thing with them was I wasn’t particularly keen on the tail section, it just looks wrong in my opinion but as it was to be a daily bad weather bike I thought I could put up with it.. If the worst came to the worst I could always do a few mods and change it.

Then one evening while I was trawling Ebay and Bike Trader (To me there is nothing better than bike shopping 😀 ) I came across one of these…….. And promptly fell in love!

Yamaha YZF600R Thundercat

I swiftly changed all my search parameters on the interweb and the hunt was on..  I reckoned I had up to about £1500 to buy one with, what with the proceeds of the BabyBlade sale and the cash I would be able to add to the pot and this meant I should be able to buy summat pretty good with my money 😀

On the same evening I sold my BabyBlade this popped up on Ebay 😀  manufactured in 1997, imported to the UK in 2002, less than 20,000 on the clock and had a whole shed load of money spent in the last year or so on things like a complete new stainless exhaust system, new tyres, new pads, chain and sprockets, etc.

1997 Yamaha YZF600R Thundercat

I immediately sent a message to the owner asking about a buy it now price, we talked on the phone and one was agreed, with the proviso that if the bike wasn’t as it was described I would not be buying it.. The following weekend saw us driving to Portsmouth with the cash and after seeing the bike said money was handed over and she was mine 🙂

Right from the first ride I knew I had picked the right bike for me 😀 While she is a little higher than my Blade with her tweaked seat, and a little heavier, I very soon got used to her.  The higher bars make her so much better to ride into work and she’s seriously comfortable and as for how well she goes.. Lets just say she is more than capable of making the run to and from work an absolute pleasure 😉

Here she is, still on the truck after getting home in the rain.

'Cat On A Truck

And here she is once she’d been scrubbed and polished 😀

1997 Thundercat

1997 Thundercat

1997 Thundercat


Update – April 2010.. Selling My Baby Blade

September 11, 2010

Time for a few updates I think..  What with working pretty much full time now and being busy with things at home I’ve been very lax with my posting on here..  Sorry, so here are a few updates to fill you in on what has been happening..

April saw me riding my Fireblade into work whenever the weather was good enough to take her out and on rubbish days I rode the BabyBlade in. This was all good apart from the fact that I found it really difficult to ride the BabyBlade after having ridden the Blade for a few days. The difference in seat height was off putting to say the least and when sitting on the BabyBlade I used to wonder when the heck my bum was gonna stop going down and actually find the seat. Another problem was the difference in engine size. Dropping down to a 400cc engine from a 900 was just too much! I was finding myself trying to ride the 400 as I was the 900 and while she was a great bike she wasn’t the same! One further niggle was the small physical size of the 400, my knee has never been right since my accident in December and aches quite a bit and the more cramped riding position of the 400 really didn’t help matters.

Sooooo.. I decided it was time to sell my 400 and buy something bigger, both in engine size and physical size. I thought a bike with an engine size of between 600cc and 750cc would be good for a start, it had to be faired as I ride all year round in all weathers and started looking round for bikes which tickled my fancy 🙂

One Saturday about halfway through the month I scrubbed and polished her to within an inch of her life and took some nice piccys and wrote what I thought was a really good advert and popped her on Ebay and waited 😀

Soon the watchers were over a hundred and I kinda figured I wouldn’t have any problem selling her, plus I was sure I would meet the reserve I’d set on her. Sure enough she sold for the kind of figure I wanted and I sat an waited for the buyer to make contact after I sent the invoice. A few days later I was getting concerned and after sending a payment request also sent several emails. I’d tracked down his phone number via Ebay and even phoned him and he promised he would be there in a few days to pay for her and take her away. The few days came and went and still nothing, no contact of any kind so I started a non-payment dispute with Ebay..

What happened? You guessed it, he completely ignored it! I wasn’t a happy bunny I can tell you!

Because of Ebay rules you can’t leave negative feedback for non-performing bidders anymore so I did what I could! I left a positive with my negative comment in capital letters so it stood out! I was more hacked off though because I was missing out on bikes I was really interested in as a replacement!

I know that people do this with alarming regularity on Ebay, you quite often see ads with “relisted due to timewaster” and it’s a risk you take but it’s so damn annoying when it happens to you! I did everything I could and short of taking my bike to his house and demanding he gave me the money for it, I couldn’t do more..

Oh well, sh!t happens!


Hacked Off Today!!!

May 7, 2010

I came out of work this afternoon to find that some #@*&%$ had tried to break into my bikes trunk today and had broken part of the fairing part the lock mechanism sits it..

It’s not like I keep anything valuable in there ( tool kit, emergency puncture repair and my visor cleaning stuff) but some sod still decided to try and have a look and managed to bust one of the tabs holding the fairing part on!! 😦

Seriously not impressed 😦