Saturday, 16 October 2010

Snippets of dross

I thought I'd do a bit of a `round up` of what's been going on at Chez Hog these past few weeks. It seems to me as if time is standing still, but perhaps that's just because we've been trying to sell the `Hog Pen`. This is the first time, in over 14 years together, that we've not sold a property within a week of it going onto the market and it has been something of a trial. From gettting an offer to buy over a year ago, through waiting for our `buyer` to sell her place with various promises, agreements, drop-outs and time-wasters, to her final tearful message that she'd been let down, again, by her latest buyers who read a speculative news headline on the economic forecast, panicked and withdrew from buying, it's been a pretty dire situation. Well we think we've sold again, but this time we may have to haul arse and be out in 4 weeks - talk about `wait and hurry up`, but I ain't breaking a sweat until the first bit of furniture is loaded onto the van. House conveyancing in this country is a shite system in good times, as well as the dire present.

4 weeks ago me and a mate joined thousands of other bikers at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire to take part in a charity fund raising ride-out to raise money for  "The Black Rats".  It was a grey, damp day on Sept 19th, but thousands of us turned out, rode in groups around the Garrison and through Richmond and raised over £17,600 for the post deployment support of the servicemen and  families of the 4th Mechanised Brigade.

The folks of the Garrison and town turned out to wave us through and the North Yorks Police Traffic Division provided support, which was nice of them. People were cheering, waving flags and was a little weird as we were there for them. Lots of folks in cars were tooting and flashing their lights (mainly in support, but I suspect some were doing it because, for once, they were outnumbered by bikers or they saw we had the cops as outriders and assumed we'd been arrested).                     
                                         OK, here's another biker/military story from America, which I read in the latest edition of "The Road", the magazine of The Motorcycle Action Group, to which I belong:

An 18 year US Marine Corps veteran and his female passenger were thrown from a motorcycle when they veered off the road near Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. According to newspaper reports, both sustained painful injuries due to total lack of safety gear; no helmets, no gloves, no fact no clothes at all.   
The naked riders landed in a ditch and the marine was knocked unconscious and awoke to charges of `driving without a licence, licence revoked, no roadworthiness certificate, no insurance, and no helmet. His passenger walked nearly a mile for help despite a broken arm and leg, but was only ticketed for failing to wear a helmet. Apparently, riding in the buff is not a traffic offence in Onslow County as neither were charged with exhibitionism or failure to exhibit common sense.

This morning I was in town doing a bit of shopping. As I was getting on my bike, an old guy sporting a USMC cap came up for a chat. He was an 85 yr old US Marine Veteran, over visiting his family who are posted to a military base nearby. He'd fought in the Pacific in WW2, so I was incredibly lucky, and honoured, to meet him. It was a friendly greeting and mutual exchange, which is more than I normally get from the locals in posh northerntown, who usually look down their snooties at the leather clad Hogday and his ilk. I wonder what it is about the military and bikers that prompts such a close bond?


JuliaM said...

" I wonder what it is about the military and bikers that prompts such a close bond?"

The prospect of imminent death? ;)

Hogday said...

JuliaM: Judging by the tosser that overtook me and 4 others, over double white lines, on his Jap deathstar not 20 minutes ago, you could be right. Even as I type this he is probably in a ditch or part of a tree,somewhere between here and Doncaster.

Blue Eyes said...

Good luck with the house sale. I often wonder how anyone ever manages to move house in this country with our stupid system.

Hogday said...

Thanks Blue. Its a lottery with no winners.

JuliaM said...

No, the estate agents and conveyancing staff are the winners, every time...