Summerholidays 2009

One entire month without a single blog post, tweet or dent. Other people are only announcing their summer-offline-phase but I was really living it. And I must say that I feel somehow very relaxed, no feeling that I missed out on something etc. .

So what on earth did I do during the last 4 weeks?

Moving boxes and a few furniture up from the parents base camp in Germany into the new (gorgeous!) flat

– one day spent in all different kinds of “Baumarkt” that Norrköping has to offer (I have a pretty good knowledge now about prices and ranges at i.e. Bauhaus and K-Rauta)

– another day was spent at Linköping IKEA – resulting in buying one of these small espresso brewers for the oven, knowing which BILLY-combination we want (oak with glass doors so that we do not have to dedust all our books anymore)

– some days spent in (rainy) Grythyttan – on the only sunny day we had, we did not go motorcycling but mowed the lawn (boyfriend) and picked gooseberries and blackcurrant and made jam (me).

Making jam! Funnily enough I gave away all my good empty jam glass collection to my mum and my sister, not knowing at that time that they would have come in handy at my end as well…. Murphy again. Thank goodness there is the mother-in-law’s collection that I was allowed to plunder.
My first jam ever was simple Blackcurrant one. Followed by a slightly more sophisticated Gooseberry jam with 10 year old Whiskey from the Isle of Jura in Scotland. The next jam was with Blackcurrant again, this time with Grappa that ripened in Madeira barrels (in other words: the expensive Grappa, not the one that one can also use to clean motorcycle parts). Comment of the boyfriend when coming into the kitchen after I poured the Grappa into the jam: “It smells quite strong when the berries get cooked”. I told him later that 4cl of his favourite Grappa went in there and caused the smell. Since he loves jam he didn’t seem to mind. Luckily.

The next range was Redcurrant jam with Black Seal Rum from Bermuda, and yesterday was the last shift for this year. Gooseberries again, with Cassis this time. Quite decent as well, if one can judge it by the taste of the fresh and still warm jam.

Making jam is quite job-intensive, especially cleaning the (bloody!!) berries, but also very satisfying when the results are unexpectedly good. So I will do it again. Next year.

Anyway – now it is back to work and normal life again. That means retraining the late-breakfast-stomach to normal eating times, less jam cooking (but maybe sewing curtains instead, yay) – and surely taking part in all the exciting things “cooking” at work 🙂

Motorcyclinglast but not least! As previously said, there is a certain shortcoming in that this summer, though, mainly due to work with the new flat. But – we managed to watch the 44th Classic Race on Sviesta which was great as usual. One can see motorcycles from the 30’s in action – the ones you otherwise only see in Motala’s Motormuseum, which we also visited when my sister and her husband were over for a week.

We also met Kjelle from the Guzzi club on the way from Grythyttan to Norrköping. Together with three other club members (including Il Presidente Nicke) he is now on the way down to Mandello Del Lario, the hometown of all Guzzis. Needless to stress that I envy them???!!! Right now they are in Prague – and a really great diary they have. I just don’t know why on earth they chose over… But never mind.

So – what have you done during summer?

There is by the way a nice saying “A weekend would not be a weekend if it would not be spent doing something totally pointless.” I reckon that applies to a certain degree to holidays as well, doesn’t it?

So far so good!

May I just say….

Enjoy the summer. It is as always far too short!


Update – a picture from a beautiful afternoon in Stegeborg, a place with quite some history.


Starting into the winter season

Finally – Elisa is back home! This post comes a bit late as I got her already back on the 18th of October.

I was lucky with the weather – 10 Celsius plus AND sunshine! That is almost a miracle for this time of the year. Wrapped up in the boyfriend’s Yamaha snow scooter suit (made in Finland!) over the leather suit so that the cold air was kept out and therefore feeling like being on a bear hunt in Siberia (or even being a Grizzly myself) I made my way home, even halfway complying with the speed limits. That one does not necessarily do on a hot summer day – the faster, the cooler, the only way to not overheat in a leather suit in at least 30 degrees Celsius plus sun burning down unmercifully. Oh yes, that exists as well in Sweden. It is not just cold all year round, you know.

The workshop or better saying Sweden’s best Guzzi-mechanic Janne from the Italia Bike Center in Arboga did an excellent job. He even rebuilt the carbs completely as the sealings were too old and sucked in air. They were actually surprised that we made it to Arboga. Well, we refrained from telling them that the bike also made it to Helsingborg in Skåne and to Harjarö west of Stockholm, and to quite a few other places… Obviously with the same defect all way long. It clearly shows that the little lady seemed to be quite up for finally seeing the world instead of pottering around Motala or Linköping only… If we are lucky then she will also see a bit of the rest of Europe next year, but that is still far away yet from being planned too much in detail.

Back home, she got straight away prepared for winter. Emptying the carbs, closing the fuel tabs (my personal all time favourite when it comes to my own forgetfulness – opening or closing these little fellows) and some oil onto the cylinder heads against corrosion. Oh, and not to forget disconnecting the battery of course. Her motor block now sits on a piece of wood in order to keep the tires slightly off the ground, another essential part of getting a bike winter ready. Thanks to the service and judging by the final smooth ride home the rest was all in order and did not need any further attention. Elisa even got cleaned! Covered with her comfort blanket, a Guzzi flag (yes, I am a girl 😉 ) and a brand new bike cover she now sleeps against the wall of the garage till next year May. The season officially starts on the 1st of May. That means I will probably wake her up again some time in April so that we can start into our first proper season together!

Until then there will be some strict fitness training for myself. Why? Well, fitting into the leather suit a bit better than this year is kind of a crucial requirement for the next season – I do not want to swap to a new outfit and a custom bike next spring. Not to mention the lack of financial means for actually being able to afford all that 😉

When will I see you again, Elisa?

Finally, after a lot of work notes a personal one again. What it is about? Well, it has something to do with motorcycling. The season is definitely over now and I even missed the end of it, which is a pity really. The reason? I decided to leave Elisa (yes, a motorcycle can have a name, and this one has) on the 13th of September with a specialist to give her a very good check up. That was much needed as I did not have any record of when she got looked at by professional eyes last time. The two previous owners did not ride her much but fiddled much with her technical set up – and it was the question whether they really got all buttons and wires right.

As I know already, the carbs need to be totally rebuild and also a lot of small seals need to be replaced. So the latest news from last week was, that finally parts from Italy have arrived! So the work hopefully started this week. It would be great to have her back the coming weekend, as given good weather and not immensely low temperatures it would be possible to ride her to the winter quarter – and not carry her home on a trailer…. sigh. So, we shall see! Important is however to get her back and have her fit for next season!

In the meantime it is good to read the books of Lois Pryce – an immensely enjoyable writing style. Also, watching Ewan and Charley doing their trips help feeding the desire to learn about motorcycle trips. Lois’ is an adventure, especially the one down Africa. Ewan and Charley’s trip is a walk in the park in comparison.

Also it is now the time to think how to contribute a bit more to the forum of the Swedish Guzzi Club – winter time is building time.

1st of May 2009 the fun shall start again :-).

….and another significant day….

Today is a solar eclipse, new moon, my dad’s birthday, the funeral of the aunt of my beloved, my brother’s first day at work at a cabinet maker (he does an apprenticeship) and the first day for me to be out and about alone on a longer ride on my newly bought lovely Moto Guzzi v35 Imola up from Linköping up to Grythyttan. Let’s see what else is under offer today, hopefully not me taken too often the wrong turns! Oh – I forgot – water discovered on Mars is the the other big headline today! Anyway, where was I? Yes, motorcycling.

I bought Elisa almost a month ago, she turns 25 this year, by the way but has only 15000 kilometres under her belt, well, that figure already changed within last week to around 15300. She quite seems to enjoy to be out and about again and really doing a bit more excercise. During the past years she did about 500 km per year at the most… Almost a disgrace for such a pretty lady. Picture to follow in one of the next posts, some still have to be made. However, this is her Tech Spec if there is anybody interested. However, Elisa is silver-grey and not red.

So, let’s hope I make it alright and also back on Sunday night – it is supposed to rain on the weekend… not much fun… so let’s have it today!

Trevlig helg!