Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chasing the pension

It seems our federal government wants to penalise those approaching the current pension age of 65 just because of past mismanagement of past governments . As you can see from this mornings newspaper article in Melbourne's Age, the Liberal government hope to extend the retirement/Pension eligibity age from 65 to  70. There goes 5 years of retirement and besides what about those who need to work because they don't qualify for the pension. Who will employ a 65 year old?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I've been busy

I'm not sure what it is but I see it from time to time with our fellow bloggers, posts get further apart.

It's happening to us. It's not as if there's not much happening - quite the opposite - too much is happening.
We've celebrated four birthdays in the past two weeks, went to a wedding, had the book launch and celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Our life is full and that's what you want - isn't it?

Yes, and there's work that sometimes takes up 12 hours of the day "door to door". 
That certainly fills the day - and the week.

The other exciting thing that happened over the weekend was that we had an auction in our street and the house up the other end of the street sold at over $80,000 above the estimated sale price.
All good for us with the impending sale of our place at the end of this year. We have requested quotes for painting inside, then having the baltic pine floorboards sanded and polished. We'll get the front fence replaced and the back outdoor decking rebuilt. That will all be done before our holiday at the end of September.
This one sold for $865.000 - A Clifornian Bungalow not unlike ours.
Launceston Tasmania - an area that is high on our list of where we would like to live.
At the end of September we fly off to Italy for a cycling event in Tuscany, spend some time in the lakes area of Como before driving to the Loire to meet up with friends. Financially we are not rich but we save hard to enjoy friendships from afar. France has become our spirital home although I don't know if we could ever make that final move so far away as I see some of our favorite bloggers doing. You are all very brave.

Shopping at the Blois Market
Our next move most likely will be to the island below Australia although part of it - Tasmania.
Next month we are spending a long weekend in Launceston, second biggest city of Tassie with just under 100,000 population. It has a good culture of food, coffee and cycling. It seems like our destination after exploring other possibilities in our state of Victoria.

Who knows where life takes us - enjoy the journey we say.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

I have a new book

Bragging rights - yes, I know, it's all about me but if I don't mention it - who will know.

My second book was released last Sunday at Melbourne's Classic Motor Show where my car club, MGCC of Victoria was in attendance. The Club these days is close to 2000 members and Sue and I have been members since almost when we met. BTW we celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary next week.
We joined the MGCC in 82 with a red MGB. An MGA followed with two saloon MG Magnettes, an MG1100 and now the 2005 MGZT190. Its been a long association with many years as active members until   the turn of the millennium where my interests turned to human powered two wheel activities.

The first book was about the historic Rob Roy Hill climb venue that ranks beside some of the great UK hill climbs such as Prescott and Shelsely Walsh. That book took 12 years from start to finish.

This one took maybe 6 years so I'm improving. The book titled "From Larrikins to Old Snoozers" was a project of passion. Its the only way to write in my opinion.

On the day of the launch I attended the launch and was invited to sign each book. As I was signing books I met many old friends that I'd lost contact with since pursuing my old sport of cycling - and as I rekindled old acquaintances, it changed my mind about the main focus of the book. It wasn't about just the history of the Club, but more about the history of friendships.

The humble author being presented with leather bound No1 copy.
So how proud am I?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Love Books - do you?

I love books, the feel, the smell of new and/or musty pages as you turn each one. Books become friends, point of interest, and they bring back memories.

Lot's of bed-time reading in this book.
Not just bicycles but all forms of memorabilia are displayed at this private warehouse museum.
Many of you may not be surprised that I have a passion for the human powered two wheeled transport. The bicycle has given me much enjoyment from years before my early memories - Jack my father tells me stories of me riding my little tricycle converted to a two wheeler in the house and bouncing from wall to wall.
From the age of two, cycling has been the one constant in my life. I'm not surprised that I'm not alone in this world with this passion (Sue describes it as an obsession).
Only last week I met a couple that dwarf my passion as a mere insignificant whim.

Paul's workshop
Much of the collection is to do with bicycle engineering evolution.
There are some elements of the racing history as well.
It's not possible for me to explain the engineering of this drive chain within this post.
Let me say that 
Paul collects rare lamps as well.
Paul and Charlie Farren combined their passion for bikes and books into one with their recently published book. Titled "Bicycling through Time" it echo's their collection of bikes in their inner city warehouse.
Along with some fellow members from the History and Heritage Committee of Cycling Victoria, we were invited to a private showing of the Farren Museum. I can't describe the collection within this post other than to say that the collection has to be the most comprehensive collection of bicycle engineering evolution in Australia if not the world I'm told.

Paul has many projects ahead of him.
Naturally I couldn't help myself and I bought the book illustrating this wonderful collection - I think I may just have to return to absorb more of the collection after having a greater understanding through the book.

PS: I mentioned to Paul that I was drawing to an end of a restoration of a rare pre-war Stayer bike which was used to pace behind motorbikes on huge saucer velodromes. I mentioned that I was still looking for a few missing parts and quick as a flask, Paul said. "Bring it around and I'll see what I might have to help finish it for you".
Above is my restoration of a pre-war stayer bicycle and below is the great Australian cyclist of the same period, Hubert Opperman.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What Does the Future Hold?

Sue and I have been considering the path of our future over the next two to three years. Next week I turn 64, my father turns 93 and my daughter turns 41. Our boys are 26 and 28. Andrew expects to be in Germany for a year in 2015. We don't know where our intrepid adventurer Mitchell will be.

Having said this, where we live seems a little incidental when it comes to family. We've just bought some cheap air fares for a long weekend back to Launceston, Tasmania. It gives some time to look at some real estate with some serious contemplation of relocation. Melbourne - Our Home by the Bay could become "Being a Devil in Tasmania".

It seems that Launceston offers some lovely heritage homes and also very modern new homes at prices that allow for us to infuse further funds towards our retirement. It has a slower more peaceful lifestyle that will suit  our pace. Tassie offers a landscape similar to parts of the UK, a great foodie culture and very little traffic compared to Melbourne.

From the west view
From the east view
OLd Launceston
The Tamar river meanders through Launceston giving it a restful feeling and the buildings are no higher than a fewer levels as you can see. It is after all Australia's third settlement after Sydney and Hobart.

All the properties below sell at a price that allows for a reasonable profit from our "Home on the Bay". We like old world but we will probably lean towards modern. Who knows what the future holds.

This house is in Evandale about 20 kms from Launceston