A Chapter From the Kiwi Adventures

My dear aunt Gisi has been off work on vacation and renovating her apartment, and suggested I pop on over at some point to check out the home improvements. I chose late yesterday afternoon. Good choice, as always 🙁

Gisi lives on the other side of Munich. I had originally planned to leave home at 3.00 in the afternoon, but when I checked the weather maps (prompted by the high winds and dark clouds that were looming over my house) I saw that there was a severe thunderstorm warning stretched throughout central south Bavaria, with Munich in its midst.

At 3.30, the weather service gave the all clear and I decided to leave. I also decided to not drive through the city but around the south of it. This was my first mistake. The roads were thickly covered with wet leaves and all sorts of pieces of trees which the high winds had blown off. I crept through the Isar valley, a lovely stretch of curves, rises and descents, knowing that if my rear tire were to hit the debris on the road I would end up in a horizontal position, Kiwi and all.

It took me two hours to reach Gisi’s house. She opened the door and said “There you are, I was already thinking you’d had an accident”. Thanks for the confidence 😛

We had a nice visit, I invited her to dinner at her local Italian place and we had a nice chat. (The renovations she has carried out are lovely).

When I left Gisi’s house, the sky had changed again to a dark gray. It rained until I reached Munich. The ride through the city was a dry one, but once I hit the last third of my drive home, all hell broke loose. It rained cats and dogs, lightening flashed in the sky, and on my last 4 km stretch, I thought I had driven into a hurricane. The sidewinds were so powerful that I drove 50 kph in third gear. I hugged the gas tank with my knees, hunched down as well as I could and prayed the wind would not shove me off the road. Suddenly, a powerful gust of wind coming from the left brought such large quantities of rain water with it that I thought someone was holding a garden hose into my left boot and into my undies.

Needless to say, I was glad when I got home 🙂

And after researching the issue on the internet today, I have discovered that lightening is a true danger – there is no protection on a Kiwi. A car, yes, but not a motorcycle.
Will keep this in mind in the future, so as not to overwork my guardian angels.

Oh, and don’t tell Mom. She wanted me to promise her I would not drive in the rain.

Life is never boring…

…when you have pets. On Monday evening, we were having dinner on my porch (underneath that lovely rose). Suddenly, Hilde cried out “look!”

I turned around in my chair and was amazed to see Kuni come strolling around the side of the house. Apparently, his aviary door had opened (I had been meaning to fix the latch) and he decided that it was late enough to come into the house and get into his night quarters. Here he is playing on the dining room table, one winter evening:


On another note, Tobi, who is NEVER allowed to dig holes in the garden (and he knows this), dug a hole on Monday. I started to scold him, but then realized that he was trying to find a cool place to lie down (dogs instinctively dig for this purpose in hot weather) and I just didn’t have the heart to scold further. Yesterday afternoon, he expanded the hole and got all comfy.
Looks quite content, doesn’t he?

Go Ahead, Kick Me In The Shins!

At least that is what I would have told you to do if I had wished for rain six weeks ago. It has been soooo continually hot and dry here, that I am actually wishing for a decent gully-washer. Each evening, I hover over the weather maps on the internet, smiling happily when I see that there is a storm watch for our county, only to be disappointed when nothing comes. Same this evening. Sunny and 80 degrees at 7.00 p.m.

My early evenings have been spent with Tobi down by the river, getting him to swim to at least get some exercise in this heat. Trouble is, if I don’t go in with him, he only stands on the edge of the river and stays there. So, yours truly wades back and forth across the river (which today had so little water that Tobi was able to walk across). Refreshing, to say the least.

This afternoon I cleaned the chain on the Kiwi, reoiled it and increased the tension on it slightly as it was a bit loose. Thereafter I decided to remove the packing hooks on the right and left back side. Three bolts were loosened by yours truly without a hitch. The fourth was not to be budged. I knocked on it, soaked both ends in WD40, all to no avail. Slipped from the bolt twice, both times smashing my wrist into the license plate holder. Ouch. The third time I hit it so hard, that a swelling the size of a walnut appeared on my wrist within seconds. Took a break, put ice on it. Am hoping all is well with said wrist tomorrow just in case Kiwi wants to go for a ride 😉

Contemplation

It hasn’t been a lack of things to say which has kept me from blogging, more so a lot of things I want to say but cannot or should not at this point.

At least not until the legal dispute has been settled. Let me just say that I am extremely disappointed. In someone who purported to be my friend for a number of years. With whom I shared many a meal at my table, some festive, some more casual. Whom I let sleep in my bed when too many glasses of wine had been consumed and driving home was not a viable option for her. Whose technical problems I tried to solve – be it the PC or the DVD player. Etc., etc. etc.

But, whatever. In reply to your attorney I have sought my own and we will let them sort things out, shall we?

On a more positive note, we had a lovely outing yesterday to Austria. Took the bikes up through a bit of the Alps just across the border and drove along this lovely lake, at which we stopped for a breather. I could not stop myself from climbing down the rocky embankment, disrobing and jumping in for a quick cool down.

Here’s proof: 😉


Above, dressed again and wonderfully cooled.

It’s That Time of Year Again

when my roses are finally in bloom:

Unfortunately, the red ones on the round trellis only bloom once a year, so the time for enjoying them is now.

Weatherwise, it was incredibly hot here yesterday, and it is supposed to get yet hotter today (33 C = 92 F) – admittedly, not so extreme for some of you out there but for us. I am not complaining though! I am doing what they said to do on the radio this morning – air out the house NOW and then shut it up airtight. Then go shower and move my workplace out to the porch.

Obviously, no one here has air-conditioning – you’d only need to use it two or three days a year 🙂

Carribean Lemon

is one of the supposed ingredients of my current shower gel. I am not quite sure what the difference is between carribean and other lemons, but then again, I don’t have the best nose, I guess.

On the other hand, I don’t remember actually seeing any lemon trees while I was in the Carribean back in ’98, but then again I might have been on the wrong island. The only thing that was in gross abundance on the island I visited were banks. Lots of them. One right next to the other. (Grand Cayman).

Which reminds me somehow (swaying off topic) of those mattress tags in the states – do they still have those? The tags on the mattresses which state all sorts of stuff and then “not to be removed under penalty of law.” I always wondered how “they” might know that you had removed the tag. What happens then? Does the mattress disintegrate? Does the “mattress police” come to take you away or to slap you with a generous fine? If I buy a mattress, and subsequently choose to remove the tag, isn’t that my business? Supposing I later sell said mattress (used) through ebay, without all warranty and such – is it a penalty to not have the tag on it?

Gee, I digress.

But I do have one more question. Who, in their right mind, would think of eating a package of dessicant gel?????? Why do these always have a warning printed on them, “do not eat”?!?
Have there actually been cases where people have mistaken the contents for tapioca?

A Smile Restored

I did get that cap for my tooth on Friday. The dentist greeted me in the waiting room, beaming from ear to ear. At some point while she was hovering over me, her boss came in the room and asked, “Taking some impressions again, are we?” Even I managed to laugh.

Glad to have that behind me.

Summer seems to have come to stay, and though the weather was just scrumptious on Saturday, I did manage to pull myself together and give the house a good cleaning. But only after running errands on the Kiwi; these included, among others, buying some of the season’s last asparagus at a roadside stand and purchasing a torque wrench which was on sale at one of the stores in town.

Saturday evening the three of us headed to this beergarden for a small “brotzeit”. The beergarden is located at Castle Kaltenberg, the residence of Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, who has a brewery with the same name. Each summer, they also have Open Air Knight’s Tournaments (to which I have never been – need to catch up on that).

On the way home, upon approaching a yield sign, I wanted to switch from second into first gear and the Kiwi didn’t want to. I tried again, and noticed that the clutch lever had not sprung back into position. After closer examination, we determined that the clutch cable had torn. 15 km from home, Saturday evening at 9.30 p.m.

After much effort on the part of my father (he somehow managed to get the Kiwi into neutral and discovered that it was possible to force her into first gear without killing the engine) we decided to carefully drive home. So, I drove home, in first gear, at 30 kmh. I couldn’t go any faster because the engine would have overheated.

It was a lovely, albeit slow ride through the darkening summer landscape. There was no need to fear that a deer might spring on the road, at 6000 RPMs, I was making enough noise to wake the dead 😉

Kesselberg

is the name of the mountain that separates this lake from this one. It is a route which makes the heart of every motorcyclist beat faster, and I now know why. (Though I didn’t need to place my knee on the road.)

What a route. Left curve, right curve, etc.etc.etc.

Obviously, we did a tour of the alps near here yesterday, Kochelsee, Walchensee, Garmisch, Ettal, Oberammergau. Taking advantage of the summer weather which has finally returned. What exhilarating fun!

And now I am off to the dentist, to hopefully FINALLY get that tooth capped once and for all (as they have had me back 3!!!! times to take impressions. I am not letting them take any more. If they haven’t gotten it by now, I will leave the temporary cap on. Yo.

A Conversation With My Nephew

A few days ago, I was scrunched on the ground underneath the front of the motorcycle, changing the oil filter when my youngest nephew Michael (7) came walking over with one of his friends.

They both squatted down next to me, watching me intently.

“What are you doing?”
“Changing the oil filter”.
“Is oil going to come out of there?”
“Yes, but not much.”
“Oh.”

After a bit of silence, interrupted only by the grunts I gave forth as I tried to loosen the filter, Michael looked at me and said “Haven’t you ever found anyone that you wanted to marry?”

A bit startled, I smiled and replied “Well, yes. In fact, I have been married twice.”
“Do I know them?”
“No. That was a long time ago and you couldn’t possibly have met them”.
“Didn’t you want any children?”
“Yes, Michael. I really, really did. But somehow, it just didn’t work out”.
“Oh.”

A split second of contemplation on his part, then, without batting an eyelash, he said, “Well, then I could be your substitute child, ok?”
I grinned. “Ok, Michael. From now on, you are my “substitute” child.”

I know I am going to have to stock a bunch of Haribo Gummibears to last this one out.

An Unlikely Passenger

3 years ago, you could not get within 20 feet of her, as she would run away then. Now, she hardly ever leaves the property and has a life like God in France, as the saying goes.

(Yes, that is my bike and my father is allowed to sit on it (but only after asking permission) 😉