One of my photos

Scooter dilemma

March 7th, 2018 · Posted by Skuds in Life

Last week I came home from work to find my scooter on its side in the front garden. With all the bad weather I thought it might have blown over, with the wind getting under the cover and treating it like a giant sail. Jayne thought that someone might have tried to nick it, and I am starting to think she may have been right. Perhaps the cover meant that it was not apparent that there was a sodding great padlocked chain through the front wheel and some scoundrel pushed it forward off the stand then realised it couldn’t be wheeled away and just let it drop?

Whatever the cause, it leaves me with a problem, because the key will not unlock the seat. I could live without the under-seat storage if I really had to, but the petrol tank access is inside the seat. Before this happened I was well into the red and had intended to fill up but now I have to take it back to the shop to get looked at and I can’t absolutely guarantee that there is enough fuel to get me there, although there probably is. It is only 5 miles or so away.

Still, it is going to be a stressful 5 mile ride. I can’t believe I have broken the thing with less than 150km on the clock and I wasn’t even anywhere near it at the time.

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Worth the weight

March 7th, 2018 · Posted by Skuds in Life

Last week at the hospital, my doctor was very, very upset with me for putting on 8kg since the last time I saw him, and I have been feeling bad about that. I even avoided chocolate all weekend out of guilt.

Tonight I weighed myself at home on our hi-tech scales and they had me at about 8kg less than what the hospital said. I may have to binge on Mars bars tomorrow.  I knew I shouldn’t trust scales built into a chair. At the time it felt like they were tricking me into being weighed.

Of course, it may be that the hospital scales were not so bad, but it was cold so I was wearing lots of heavy clothes and wearing big steel toecap boots and that may have contributed.

It does not change the fact that I am overweight and I know I am, but its good to know that I may not be quite as bad as I thought. To think that only two weeks ago I was celebrating because I got some jeans that were 2 inches smaller than usual and they fitted perfectly.

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The invisible man

February 21st, 2018 · Posted by Skuds in Life

One thing that nobody warned me about when I decided to become a scooterist was that you become a non-person as far as traffic lights are concerned.  A couple of times I have been sitting at a red light that just never changes because the bike does not get detected by the induction loop under the road. You just have to sit there like an idiot until a car comes along behind you and then the lights will change. This is a real issue if you are going through Manor Royal at night when you can sit for 10 minutes or more without a car coming along, and even 5 minutes feels like an hour when you are at a red light on an empty road. [Read more →]

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All you can eat statistics

February 21st, 2018 · Posted by Skuds in Life

One of the good things that the UK government does is to make piles of its datasets available on the internet. I find it quite easy to get lost in piles of data, making odd connections or discovering unexpected things. This evening I have been looking at vehicle statistics, which are here. [Read more →]

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Obligatory summary of 2017

January 22nd, 2018 · Posted by Skuds in Life, Music

Come the end of the year I believe it is customary to post a round up of the previous 12 months, or they take your blogging licence away or something, but I never really got round to it and now that 2018 is three weeks old already it is probably too late. [Read more →]

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Broom Broom

January 22nd, 2018 · Posted by Skuds in Life

The nippy little Peugeot Kisbee

This weekend I added to my list of travel options for getting around town, by buying a scooter. I intend to keep the mighty Vulcan for cycling, and and intend to walk into the town centre some of the time, but its nice to have a bit more choice, especially when I am in a hurry.

Yes it probably is a bit midlife crisis, but in a sensible sort of way. [Read more →]

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And pigs might fly

December 16th, 2017 · Posted by Skuds in Life

I was watching the news today and they had a royal expert on there. Incidentally, that must surely be one of the most pointless jobs in the world, along with royal corresponant. Anyway, they were talking about wedding of whichever prince it is that is getting married next year – I am being vague because I keep getting them mixed up – and how it clashed with the FA Cup final.

The issue being that the prince who isn’t getting married is the chair of the FA. The news anchor asked the royal expert how the prince would feel if ‘his beloved Aston Villa’ was playing in the final and he had to miss it. At first I thought the expert was doing a good job of keeping a straight face and then realised that he actually didn’t realise what a ridiculous question it was and that Aston Villa getting to the FA Cup final is about as likely as me beating Michael Van Gerwen in the PDC World Championship.

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Songs of 2017

December 15th, 2017 · Posted by Skuds in Music

Another new feature on Spotify is a play list called “Your top songs 2017” which I assume is tracks I have lisened to the most during the year. If that is the case then I am quite surprised by some of the items on it. [Read more →]

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I am not a nerd, but…

December 4th, 2017 · Posted by Skuds in Life

After a full day (0930 to 1930) doing interviewing for the local Labour party, and after getting a late dinner and going out for a walk with the dogs, it was time to unwind, reading a bit of the book I just started. I turned the page and the top of the next page started with the line “Libertarian paternalism, we think, is a promising foundation for bipartisanship“.

I think that may be the point I had a few nagging doubts about my ability to enjoy myself properly. I’m sure I used to be a bit more exciting than this.


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Golden arches over London

November 23rd, 2017 · Posted by Skuds in Life

I have spent the last couple of days visiting London for some meetings. On Tuesday I was in Stratford, practically in the shadow of West Ham’s stadium and on Wednesday I was at St Katherine’ Dock. So much has changed since I was last in London and compared to when I used to live there a lot of it is almost unrecognisable, especially London Bridge station, which I used to pass through a couple of times a day.

I have to admit that the travelling just tired me out because I am not used to it any more. I seemed natural and normal when I was doing it every day for years, but seven years of having a 5-minute commute give me a different perspective and I can’t imagine going back to all that hassle – and paying five grand a year for it, or whatever it is now.

But it was good to be able to stroll around and see all the landmarks like the Tower of London, the Shard, HMS Belfast, the London stadium and the ArcelorMittal Orbit, City Hall, Tower Bridge and all the rest.

Coming home today I had a long wait for the next train so I got a coffee and pastry at one of the many snack kiosks in the station. I think it was a Delice de France and it came to nearly a fiver. Yesterday I was a bit early and had breakfast in McDonalds in Stratford: it cost less than £2.50 for pancakes and sausage with coffee which is less than just coffee in any of the coffee shops. It is easy to be snobbish about McDonalds, but give me choice of pain au raisin or a pancackes for half the price I know which one I would go for every time.

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