Focussing on the positive - the kitchen is warm thanks to the Rayburn.
Briefly mentioning the negative - the lounge is still not finished.
Realising the important - We have our health, a warm home, a great family and wonderful friends, many reading this!

Happy New Year!

KTM 200 Duke

200 Duke: Lightness rediscovered. Maximum riding fun, powerful propulsion and optimum user value thanks to thoroughbred motorcycle technology. Featherweight chassis with high-quality components and first-class brakes. Precisely what you'd expect from a genuine KTM.

19 kW (25 hp) Power and an unladen weight of only 126 kg guarantee tremendous, fleet-footed riding fun with the 200 Duke. The 200 Duke's high-quality upside-down fork from WP Suspension has the same 43 mm outer tube diameter as the RC8 R – in other words, real racing equipment that guarantees highest levels of stability and precision.

The new 200 Duke's lightweight, high-quality, die-cast swingarm is designed and produced according to the same principle as the 690 Duke. With the powerful, outstandingly controllable brake system developed by KTM in collaboration with Brembo® and the perfect grip of the wide tyres, the rider always has the lightweight motorcycle under control. At the front, a radial four-piston brake caliper bites onto a 280 mm brake disc.

No minor development: Based on the state-of-the-art, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke engine of the 125 Duke, the 200 Duke's power unit has been changed substantially to generate 60 % more displacement and correspondingly fully developed power. Large contact surfaces ensure optimum control and perfect feedback.

The shapely 11 l fuel tank on the 200 Duke not only provides the rider with perfect knee contact, but also with a range of many kilometres, even when ridden hard, thanks to the economical engine.

At the front, a radial four-piston brake caliper bites onto a 280 mm brake disc.
The intricate engine design, state-of-the-art injection electronics and the close-ratio, six-speed transmission not only help the 200 Duke to achieve impressive performance, but also moderate fuel consumption. Thanks to the regulated catalytic converter, it produces only minimal emissions

KTM 200 Duke Specs
  • Price (Estimated)    (US$2443 to US$2819)
  • L/W/H     2002/873/1274 mm (78.8/34.3/50.1 in.)
  • Wheelbase     1367mm (53.8 in.)
  • Curb Weight     136 kg (300 lbs)
  • Engine Layout     Single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke
  • Displacement     199.5cc
  • Power     25 bhp at 10,000 rpm
  • Torque     1.94 kgm (14 ft. lbs) at 8000 rpm
  • Gearbox     6-speed
  • Fuel Economy (estimated)     30kpl (70.5 mpg)
  • Front Suspension     WP inverted fork
  • Rear Suspension     Monoshock, alloy swingarm
  • Front Brake     280mm disc
  • Rear Brake     230mm disc
  • Tire Size (front/rear)     110/70-17; 150/60-17

X marks the spot!


Ella certainly loved the hamper Jon’s sister bought him for Christmas!


We have had a great Christmas – great family do and yesterday a great afternoon with friends. Today we decided to go out for a drive so we headed over to Scarborough.
The roads seemed fairly quiet though the view of the North Sea didn’t exactly warm us up!



Knowing it was ABC Wednesday I decided to go in search of an X – and I found one as we drove into Scarborough!


The sales were on so we popped in to a few shops – coming away with 12 cans of cat food, some dog food and a greyhound calendar for my MIL – the calendar that is, not the pet food! lol!
We came home over Blakey Ridge and decided to have lunch at the Lion Inn. The fog was thickening by the minute as you can see from the photo I took of the road home.



Once we reached the road home from the Moor Road the weather cleared and the fog lifted.

The next few days will be quiet, New Year’s Eve will be the next event – we are holding an “At Home” for neighbours and friends – our neighbours are doing the same, so we will be popping in and out of each other’s homes during the course of the night.
We have had a delay with the lounge progress, but we should be back on track over the next couple of days. Working with colours of Brassica (purple) and brilliant white means there can be no grey areas (no pun intended) and the margins have to be spot on. As we were not at home on Christmas Day this was not a problem. Having one of your best friends as a carpet fitter is a joy I can tell you. The minute we are ready spud will be over and carpet fitted. I have waited this long – we can wait a few days more.
Watch this space!
For more ABC fun follow the link in my sidebar.

So much to tell you, but right now - have a good one. From moi, Jon, Elsie, Freida, Ella, Ernest, Olwyn, Mabel, Eva, May, Bev & Margy.


A week to go!

Well we seem to have escaped the snow (will I eat these words?) so far at least but as we approach the next few days leading up to Christmas I feel quite in control of matters. I do not like driving in the bad weather - fortunately Jon has a strange enjoyment of off road driving so if we do get snow he will be chomping at the bit to get out there and have some sort of adventure. Friday seemed to be threatening snow but our visit to friends for dinner on the moors went without event  (well travelwise anyway) and my anxiety over driving was soon put to rest as the roads were only wet.
Saturday brought about a rare but treasured meeting up of life long friends - normally scattered over Europe and America, we were all in one place at one time - so a lunch was called for!

Dorothy and Keith are over from France and Steph is spending time here at home away from a hectic time over the pond. It was a great 2 hours spent in Guisborough - brought to a close as Maria had to attend to a washing machine incident at her holiday cottage! Oh how domestic matters bring us all back to earth!
Dorothy gave me a lift home and I will share with you later the wonderful gift she and keith gave us for our lounge!
Talking of the lounge - a bit more tidying here and there required but looking good. A final push will see leaps of progress - watch this space!

Despite being  a lady (well almost) who lunches - I still have a few jobs to do before next Sunday - it is the village Carol Service on Saturday in our church. The organ is not working so it is down to me and my guitar - so a polishing up on my skills is required - yes a good job I have a few days! We are having Christmas Dinner with family, at my MIL's - the other Mrs Nesbitt as our house was in bomb zone moment - however I will still be making a few dishes to take along to share the tasks. All presents are more or less sorted - just some wrapping to do.


V is for Vanilla Slice!

I have been thinking about one of these all day! As many of you know, I am allergic to chocolate and do not really enjoy sweet things but when I do decide to have a treat it has to be one of these. The true name is a Vanilla Slice but in my book it has to be made from proper custard, Birds, the type I had as a child. Many vanilla slices are made of confectioner's cream - not a patch on the traditional custard in my opinion!
I have good days and bad days with the Shingles - and the house progress gets me down - I am helpless, so as a treat I made myself a small bowl of custard and ate the lot! Awesome!
Comfort food favourite.....what's yours?

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Being married to an engineer!

It is a good job I am married to an engineer! After months of smooth operations the Rayburn just was NOT playing ball. Jon dismantled various bits to uncover this.......

An hour later the same part looked like this......

The main chamber did look like this.....

eventually looking like this....

Ofcourse it goes without saying to say that during the whole operation I was cold, very cold but all seems to be working well now. It had been a build up of creosote from the logs - who would have thought it? Towards the end of last week I was not able to  feel warm and i kept putting it down to Shingles - when all along it was the Rayburn. Jon had to practically dismantle it - fortunately this is the type of thing he strangely enjoys!!!! Not so much the dirt and discomfort - but finding out why something is not working to it's expectations. Now it is all sorted we have a warm house.

I must admit things seemed to crash around me on Saturday and I felt everything was getting on top of me - the house was in a state of mess whilst the decorating is in progress - the washing was building up as the weather was dreadful and the house was cold - but I know we are not having everybody round this Christmas Day - which took pressure off. It is amazing the difference a nice warm house makes! Having had a little panic life can now continue as normal!

The 2011 Ducati Diavel

The Diavel is a Ducati, born from a passion for motorcycling and designed to deliver authentic Ducati performance in every respect. ”Ducati has created something truly magic.

It will be called DIAVEL and will arrive at the new Ducati EICMA dreamWhile waiting for the official presentation of Ducati also comes the anticipation of the name of this great news that, inspired by an expression in the dialect of Bologna, will be called DIAVEL, or devil.

As for Monster, the name DIAVEL then becomes the expression of that unique, passionate, further characterized by high technology and a unique design distinguishes every Ducati motorcycle produced.The new Ducati DIAVEL be extremely accurate in every detail, carved in every muscle, comfortable and innovative.

2011 Ducati Diavel Specifications

Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled Displacement
Bore x Stroke
106 x 67.9mm
Compression ratio
162hp (119kW) @ 9500rpm
94lb-ft (127.5Nm) @ 8000rpm
Fuel injection
Mitsubishi electronic fuel injection system, Mikuni elliptical throttle bodies with RbW
Lightweight 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and two lambda probes. Twin aluminium mufflers

6 speed
1=37/15 2=30/17 3=27/20 4=24/22 5=23/24 6=22/25
Primary drive
Straight cut gears, ratio 1.84:1
Final drive
Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 43
Light action, wet, multiplate clutch with hydraulic control. Self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run.

Tubular steel Trellis frame
1590mm (62.6in)
Front suspension
Marzocchi 50mm fully adjustable usd forks
Front wheel travel
120mm (4.7in)
Front wheel
14-spoke in light alloy 3.50 x 17
Front Tyre
120/70 ZR 17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
Rear suspension
Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Sachs monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm
Rear wheel travel
120mm (4.7in)
Rear wheel
14-spoke in light alloy 8.00 x 17
Rear tyre
240/45 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
Front brake
2 x 320mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Monobloc Brembo callipers, 4-piston with ABS
Rear brake
265mm disc, 2-piston floating calliper with ABS
Fuel tank capacity
17l - (5.3 US gal)
Dry weight
210kg (463lb) 

Suzuki Boulevard M109R Limited Edition

Triton Blue

The Suzuki Boulevard M109R Limited Edition combines unique styling and exhilarating performance. The M109R Limited Edition features a sporty racing stripe, custom gauges and tailight, and a uniquely styled seat.

For 2012 the M109R Limited is availabe in new Metallic Triton Blue/Glass Splash White and Glass Sparkle Black/Candy Max Orange. 

2012 Boulevard M109R Limited Edition Specifications:

  • Overall Length 2450 mm (96.5 in) 
  • Overall Width 875 mm (34.4 in) 
  • Wheelbase 1710 mm (67.3 in) 
  • Ground Clearance 130 mm (5.1 in) 
  • Seat Height 705 mm (27.8 in) 
  • Curb Weight 347 kg (764 lbs) 
  • Transmission 5-speed constant mesh 
  • Final Drive Shaft drive
  • Suspension Front Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped 
  • Suspension Rear Link type, coil spring, oil damped 
  • Brakes Front Disc brake, twin 
  • Brakes Rear Disc brake 
  • Tires Front 130/70R18 M/C 63V tubeless 
  • Tires Rear 240/40R18 M/C 79V tubeless 
  • Fuel Tank Capacity CA 18.5 L (4.9 US gallons) 
  • Color Metallic Triton Blue/Glass Splash White 
Glass Splash White

  • Displacement 1783cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 54° V-twin 
  • Fuel System Suzuki fuel injection 
  • Starter Electric
  • Ignition Electronic ignition (transistorized)

Too busy for stuff like this!!!!

Some time ago I detected an irriitation in my back. Put it down to the skirt I was wearing - elastic waistband matters.
Fast forward to Wednesday - Slimming World to be precise ( oh another 2.5lb loss and Slimmer of the week award!) sorry I am as I was bending over my fleece crept up to reveal some flesh! (too much information!) my pal Jill commented on a rash on my back. Well as I can't really see my back I wasn't alarmed - certainly couldn't feel any discomfort! A couple of other people commented too. A worried text later urged me to go to the doctor........turns out I have Shingles! I explained to the doctor I wasn't stressed, worried or such like and was too busy to take things easy.....but there you go!

CB50 caferacer

A bike I built, rode and then sold. Sometimes I miss it, it rode really nice, pretty comfortable, quick and it looked pretty cool.
Very retro 80's caferacer with magnesium wheels that just about everybody in the dutch 4-stroke community hated. I think they were just accustomed to the spoked wheels of the SS50's.

this is pretty much how I bought it and rode it for a while, the only modification by me were the sporty handlebars. It came with the giuliari seat.

Starting the transformation, this is a picture of one of the first complete mock-up's
When I bought the bike, it came with a lot of extra parts, including the tank with Bultaco stickers, I originally planned on riding it like this, just to piss people off with my "bultaco"

And the endresult, I changed the exhaust endcan later on, so the bike could breathe better, but I have no nice pictures of that.

some specs:
-ktm magnesium wheels
-CB750k1/6 front brake caliper and master
-50cc (still a legal moped)
-5speed xr80 gearbox
-CB50F camshaft
-16mm kei-hin carb
-slightly ported head and rounded valves
-adjustable clipons
-Ducati seat
-homebuilt rearsets with 10mm spanner as shifterpedal

U is for Underlay

Nimbus Cloud 9 underlay to be precise!
It is very fortunate having a close friend who is a carpet fitter! Some years ago our friend Spud (Martin) told us about this gem of an underlay. Without a doubt it is like "Walking on air" (cue song!) and really makes any carpet feel luxurious under the feet.
Our underlay arrived today - now awaiting the carpet.
Today (Tuesday) the lounge will have the final tidy up and de-clutter ready for Wednesday's arrival of the decorator, Steve. He will be here Thursday as well..........
then it will be time to call Spud - he is waiting in the wings, Stanley knife poised ready to come in and work his magic.
By the weekend the carpet will be down, the room completed.
Nobody guessed the colour.........not even close!

Any ideas?
Watch this space!

For more ABC fun follow the link in my sidebar.

Meet the Neighbours!

Each month I receive my allocated church magazines which I deliver to the our neighbours. It was lovely to see the wreaths my neighbours had made at my Craft Class last week. I think it was one of the most enjoyable sessions to date.

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Country Living eat your heart out!

Tonight at my workshop we will be making a wreath for our own houses - this is mine. Am quite pleased - everything was from our garden or from round the home. Cost of oasis £3. Now I wonder how much they would cost if featured in Country Living?