Sunday 23 July Wessons & Seaford

First time out on the bike since my trip to France and subsequent back problems, so I am a little apprehensive, but all turns out ok.

The roads are still damp in places from last nights downpour, and more rain is forecast for later, but I aim to be home before the rain.

I head over to Wessons in Horam- one of my favourite shorter rides.

The big decision to be made as I ride over, is what will I order to eat?!

The thought of a Cheese and Ham toastie jumps into my head…Mmm, havent had one of those in ages so thats that sorted!

The cafe isnt as busy as I expected, and I manage to grab a seat outside at the front.

The guy who was behind me in the queue joins me on the table,and we are soon chatting. His big fat breakfast comes out before my order, Work that one out!

Two other bikers join us, Stewart and Tyrone and we continue the chat. One of the great things about a biker cafe- you get to talk to strangers who soon become friends!

Turns out they are both members of the local Top of Town facebook group too.

They are planning on going to Pyranees in September. I suggest they visit the Picos too. Check out my blog post of my trip there and you will see why I recommend it.

They ask where I’m headed and if I’d mind if they tagged on. Not a problem for me, although I explain Im only heading down to Seaford to visit Steve’s Dad, John.

Its a good ride down- My pace may have been a little slow for them, (a couple of times we are overtaken by other sportsbikes) but I’ve learnt to ride my own ride.

We say goodbye at Seaford as I head off to see John.

After a cuppa and a chat with John, who I think is looking really well (must be all those meals on wheels he’s having) it’s time to head home if I want to miss the rain.

A good blast back, stopping briefly at Chelwood Gate to buy some freesias from the nursery there.

I get home just as it starts raining…result!

Put my flowers in a vase

Crack open a beer, put TV on to watch BSB from Brands

And read the two freebie biking mags I’d picked up at Wessons.

And to finish the day off a little later I’ll be off to Beer Club down at The Old Mill to catch up with friends.

My favourite kind of a Sunday

Friday 26 May: Day 4: Stripping( of the DIY type

I’m awake early this morning, but after a coffee in bed I fall back asleep till gone 9am. 

What a lazybones!

Especially when Sara was up and out to go and find a pitch at a market about 40 minutes away.

Once I’m up, I throw on some old clothes and start my chores: firstly putting up the new washing line and secondly stripping the paint from the patio doors.

Here’s a couple of Before pictures.

As you can see in some places the paint has already peeled off, but in others it’s solid.

I hadn’t realised it was going to be such hardwork!

Here’s my stripper outfit!

Hair tied back and glasses to stop the paint chips.

After a whole morning of scraping, it doesn’t feel like I’ve achieved much.

After lunch I take half an hour rest in the shade on my lounger. 
Here’s the view, three ways:

Late afternoon Sara and I head for the beach.

We stop off on the way to pick up some Gel Paint stripper.

We go to Plage Sainte Barbe, The write up says it is off the beaten track and family friendly It’s high tide and when we get there it is packed, and is more of a surfing than swimming beach.

So we decide to try another beach, further down the coast.

Theres quite a few to choose from, but the problem, even at this time of the day is parking.

It’s a lovely little sandy beach,  with just a hint of surf.

I will definitely be coming back here.

A reminder for future visits. Take the road to Quiberon but turn off at this sign 

We stay at the beach for a couple of hours, then drive home, stopping on the way to pick up a Burger King!  

Thursday 25 May: Day 3: Erdeven

It’s a lazy lie-in sort of a morning, with a bit of pottering about thrown in for good measure. 

Our lunch is my standard #littlehouseinfrance fare: cheese, ham, curly lettuce, crisps, more cheese, rillette, spring onions, baguette with lashings of scrummy breton butter, oh and did I mention the cheese!

We head out for the beach about 3pm. We stop at the supermarket on the way as Sara needs sun cream and I’m able to buy a few bits I need for the house. 

The beach we are headed for is near Erdeven

The car park is very full and amazingly free- in UK you would be charged probably a tenner to park this close to the beach.

I spot these signs as we walk across the path to the dunes…

…but don’t really register what they are saying, until we actually get onto the beach.

Yes it’s a fully grown nudist beach!

OMG!

Sara has been down this way before, but now quickly backtracks that the beach she thought we were on must be further down the coast.

Well, there’s no going back now,  so we head towards a spot between some others who are in their cossies! 

The pair of us are giggling like schoolgirls, wherever you look there are willies dangling about! And I feel SO overdressed!

As we sit there a stream of thoughts run through my head:

-I wonder what sun factor they use?

– Where the f*ck do I look?

– Why do I keep looking THERE?

– Wish I could stop giggling like a school girl

-Is it a coincidence that we watched Naked Attraction on Channel 4 last  night?

-Who knew there were SO many variations? 

Should I just go with the flow and join in?
In the end the only thing to do is to get in the sea and swim!

The sea has a small swell as the waves break onto the beach, but unlike yesterday it is a sandy underfoot as we go into the water. It is also colder, but once in just as nice.

How blue is that sky?

In the end we spend about 3 hours at the beach.

I contemplate joining in with the nudity, but just can’t bring myself to do it.

But as a compromise,  and another first, once safely in the water I take off my cossie and swim naked. ( I do put it back on before getting out)

We hadn’t planned to eat out, but the blackboard outside this restaurant Galileo, advertising  “Sardines Grille” tempts us in.

And I’m so glad it did. The place is like the Tardis, a front room area, spreads out to a light and airy terrace room and outdoor terrace.

The sardines are delicious,  and Sara’s goats cheese salad is huge.

We finish up with a Cafe Gourmand, ordered in honour of our friend Helen, and a firm favourite when eating out. Why wouldn’t it be? 3 little puds and an expresso… perfect.

It finishes off our day nicely. 

And what a day…we will be laughing about this for days to come! 

And two more firsts:

~first nudist beach, ever! 

~first naked swim in the sea

I wonder if this holiday has any more suprises left.

Wednesday 24 May: Day 2 : Junk finds and the beach

I spend the morning pottering round the house- trying to sort out the patio door nets so the blasted French flies don’t get in the house; sorting out my clothes that are left here, getting rid of the items that I really won’t ever wear again; and editing the book collection getting it down to those that I want to read.

Sara eventually returns from her market scouting trip – her gps led her a merry dance. We have some lunch and then, having emptied her van of all her pottery and stall equipment we head off on a shopping expedition.

It seems rude not to make use of her van whilst she is here ;0),  so we are going to Emmaus, to try and find a vintage wardrobe for my bedroom.

Emmaus is like a charity shop but on a warehouse scale. They have almost everything, excluding clothes.

Here are some of the more unusual items I spot as we wander round.

Unfortunately all the wardrobes are too large, typical when I have the means to transport one home.

On our way out we spot a couple of gorgeous upholstered chairs and I can’t resist buying one, at 40 euros it’s a bargain, and once covered in a material more to my taste it will look stunning.

Sara seems to have other plans in her head as we pack it in her van…Fifty Shades springs to mind! 

Next stop, the supermarket, to buy picnic food to have on the beach. And another opportunity for me to utilise Sara’s van by stocking up on heavy essentials such a wine and water!

Fully stocked, we drive South past Séné, to Pointe du Bill…What a great little spot.

I imagine in the height if summer it is a nightmare to get to, as the road is narrow, winding it’s way through a village, but this evening it’s not a problem.

Tomorrow is a holiday in France, Ascension, so I’m guessing there’s more than the usual number of people on the beach for a Wednesday evening in May, although it’s not in anyway crowded. 

The sea is as calm as anything and so inviting… 

…and surprisingly once we are fully in the water it isnt too chilly either.

We swim and float, and float and swim.

It is a little bit of heaven.

I can’t believe that in 13 years of owning my #littlehouseinfrance this is my first trip to the beach! It certainly isn’t going to be the last- we are already planning where to go tomorrow! 

The worst bit is getting  out and having to navigate our way over the underwater pebbles – I think some beach shoes need to be purchased!

It’s now gone 8pm and the temperature is still 25c. 

We happily sit and eat our picnic whilst drying out.

The one thing missing is some chilled white wine…next time

But we make up for that when we get home, enjoying a nice bottle of red, whilst chatting and watching trash TV  until the early hours!

As I go to bed I admire my new chair, sitting proudly in the corner of my bedroom.

#lifeisgood

Tuesday 24 May 2016 To Caro

Last night, with a little help from my neighbour John I reverse my bike into my little green shed for an easy exit in the morning.

My new Held bag is packed and attached to the bike sent with Rok straps. I’m really hoping this might be THE bag! Over the years I have spent a small fortune on bike luggage and it’s never been quiet right. This bag could do with an outside pocket but other than that I think it’s pretty good: waterproof, roll-top along the length, handles and shoulder straps, good ring fittings and at 30l the right size…in the past I’ve had a tendency go for larger bags, but not needed now I have top box for waterproofs.

I wake up about 4 times in the night, my brain is obviously worried I’m going to sleep through the 5.45am alarm… But I don’t and I leave bang on time at 6.30am.

Those of you who know me will know what an achievement that is!

It’s a lovely ride down. Traffic gets heavy around Chichester, but not a problem on a bike.

I get to check in a 8.04. which is perfect timing as within 5 minutes I am waved straight on board- there’s none of that waiting around in a second queue like you get in the St Malo overnight crossing 

I’m the first on board, I hope that doesn’t mean I’ll be the last off!

What it does mean is that I have my choice of seats :0) so nab one at the front,giving me leg room and a view, but even more importantly it’s next to a plug,  so no need to worry about my phone charge…sorted!

The boat leaves Portsmouth at 9am, it’s a 3 hour crossing to Cherbourg, so with the hour time difference we will arrive at 1pm.

I tuck into the ham and cheese rolls, that I’d prepared earlier,  with just the small thought in the back of my head that I am turning into my Mum! I’m not even going to try and justify them, OK well maybe a little, I’d hate for you to get the wrong impression – the food on this ship consists of overpriced pain au chocolat and expensive sandwiches in flavours I just don’t like…so there!  But don’t worry, I plan to make up for it in overindulging in french lunches over the next two weeks!

The crossing is over in a relatively quick time. 

When I head downstairs this beautiful car is parked next to my bike. 

As I thought the ride to Caro was fairly boring- motorway all the way to Avalanches, including a long stretch with only one lane and a 70km speed limit.

From Dinad onward I picked up the normal route I’d take when I’m coming from St Malo.

My petrol light comes on, but the clock says I have 50 miles left in the tank so decide to push onto Ploermel – it’s the first 200 miles on one tank I’ve ever ridden!

I get to the house just before 5pm, and after scurrying around: opening shutters, getting garden furniture out and unpacking my bags and head back out on the bike back up to Ploermel to get the groceries. 

I’m determined not to go as mad as I usually do with food shopping when I first get here and I do manage to restrain myself.

Back at the house and my Tiger is happy to be in the French garage.

We are lucky enough that our neighbour mows our lawn for us. Its not a small job! And I don’t know how he does it, but it always seems to have been cut when I arrive. Can’t wait to crash out on the loungers!

Fresh Prawns for tea…Yummy!

A little later and I get a lovely suprise text from my friend Sara who lives in Le Mans, asking if I’ve arrived and could she stay the night,  as she is heading to sell her ceramics at market tomorrow.  The answer is a big Yes!

So after a little more scurrying – I wasn’t expecting visitors and had dumped most if my stuff- those of you who have toured with me will know what this means :0), Sara arrives and wr enjoy a pleasant evening chatting and drinking wine.

Sunday 26 March: Newhaven & back

As it’s Mothers Day and I’ve been invited to lunch at Vickis, I only have time for a short blast out today to enjoy the spring sunshine, so decide to go to Newhaven and back.

What a beautiful day for a ride. There is a light breeze but it is quite warm.

The tide is high when I get to Newhaven.

I walk round to the beach to pick up a souvenir stone. 

At the end of the harbour wall some lads are doing a photoshoot.  They are a local band,  Igloo.

My souvenir stone!

What do you think of my new lid? 

I was given it by biking friends Nigel and Jane, when I mentioned I had been trying on open face helmets. 

 Nigel hadn’t got on with it, so it was sat up in their loft, almost new and they’ve generously given it to me.

It is noisier than I’m used to, but I do like being able to flip up the front.

Thank you so much xx

Time to head home, taking the back roads out of Newhaven, past Piddinghoe up to Lewes.

I take a short detour to Colmans Hatch church to put some flowers on Steve’s grave and lay one on his Mums grave too.

Then onto a lovely Mothers Day lunch at Vickis, with Dan, doing the honours with the cooking.

As the sun is out I finally get a chance to get do my Pink Stiletto photoshoot! 

On the left is a cover photo for BMW magazine in USA. This caused a furore amongst many lady riders – many of them who ride Bmws. Why show a blonde in high heels and leopard skin trousers when there are so many real lady riders out there, which I do agree with but…

 on the other hand.. 

one of my lady biking friends posted on Facebook that  saying that although she would never look anything like it, that the photo was what she felt like riding a bike. 

I challenged her and said all she needed was bright lippy, leopardskin leggings and high heels and thus The Pink Stiletto challenge was born; a private Fb page set up and a deadline of Easter to try and recreate the photo as best you could- a bit of fun for some of my lady biker friends all over the World.

Can you spot the difference?😉

It was nice to sit on my beautiful Nuclear Red Speed Triple again, but don’t worry Vicki, I’m not going to ask for it back…yet!

And to finish off the day, what better than the first MotoGP of the season from Quatar. A slightly delayed start, but a great race.

All in all a pretty good Mothers’ Day

Saturday 11 March Chichester 

I’m looking for a new lid and just found out that Helmet City has a shop and clearance centre in Chichester, so decide to kill two birds with one stone and head down there today for my ride out.

It is quite dull as I get my bike out but then the sun comes out and if The Sun Has Got His Hat On then you definitely need to go out and play! ( link is for any of my American friends reading this who have no idea about this classic tune!)

A nice ride down to  the outskirts of Chichester-City of roundabouts!

Helmet City is just off the second roundabout!

The shop is a bit of a Tardis- looks tiny on the outside but holds loads of stock.

I get chatting to this couple who have just bought this tiger 800 from Destination Triumph and are trying to fit a top box,

I’ve come down to try out the Schubert Pro C3 Women as online it is shown at a great price (which unfortunately is only for the XS).

This ” ladies” helmet catches my eye with its funky lining.

The Schuberth is too expensive, but the salesmen recommends the Shark Evo-One-still quite a lot of money at £380, but it fits nicely and with its flip front that stays locked when open, it might be the one for me. They dont stock the white one here so I have some time to think it over, before I need to order it into their Tatsfield shop.

Meanwhile I head across the car park to the clearance centre. This is definately worth a visit if you are not bothered about having the latest gear.

The only item i really need other than a new lid is a pair of summer gloves. so I’m pleased to see they have a whole load of them at £25- only trouble is they are not necessarily in pairs-so its into jumble sale mode to search through 3 tiers of gloves.

I start chatting to another lady biker who is doing the same-we quickly check that we are not both searching for the same ‘other’ glove! Luckily we aren’t.

We get talking about Kevlar leggings as I’m wearing my GoGos and it turns out Linda             ( Hello Linda if you are reading this) is also a member of the Facebook group Motorbike women.

I eventually find the matching glove to the ones I like and a purchase is made.

I then ride up back to Arundel, for some more retail therapy in one of my favourite clothes shops Fanny Adams.

The town is really busy, but I manage to just sneak in on the end of a parking space!

The Victoria Institute has seen better days…with one of the castles’s towers in the background.

After my shopping I pop into enjoy a cuppa and crumpet with my friends’ Jane and Gareth who live in Arundel.

They are currently dog sitting Rufus, who likes a crumpet too, or would if he had a chance!

Isn’t he a handsome boy?

I get home just as it is turning dark- that was an enjoyable day’s riding.

A couple of hours later and I’m meeting up with some old biking friends for a curry in Lingfield.

I’m really looking forward to end of May when i will be biking with them again over in France.