Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Wandering Waltons 2014 Annual Review

It is with heavy heart that I write this, my last Wandering Walton’s Blog of 2014. You see this year has been, not to put too finer point on it, shocking.

Things got off to there usual well oiled start, as they have done for the past five years. Visiting my Mum’s grave in January followed by the IBA RTE at John and Sonia’s with Ben on the Fireblade. Which turned out to be his one and only ride on the Blade which incidentally, was one more than Jeannie managed. Next up it was the MancRiders RTE at the Moorcock Inn and in a flash that was January gone.

Dad's 'N' Lad's

Love and miss you Mum x x x 

IBA UK 4th January RTE

MancRiders 4th January RTE

The only serious bit of riding I undertook all year was the MancRiders Speedway Challenge Ride which kept me busy for 5 days through March and into April. It was  a great challenge to ride around 40 Speedway Circuits throughout England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of White but was over far too soon. I take my cap off to Bez for all the hard work that went into putting the challenge book together. Your a star Bez, well done that man.

I love a Challenge Ride!

Why on earth I decided to book a course at the Ron Haslam Race School for May  baffles me. At least it got me riding around Donington Race Track on a Honda CBR600. After which I rode home through Derbyshire wishing I’d bought a Honda Goldwing instead of the Fireblade. So the question I was asked later still stand’s “What do you mean you’ve done race training?” Still at least I can say I gave it a go.

Sometimes things just don't fit!

After the mad dash around the Speedway Circuits the only other ride of interest had to be a ‘No-Limits Track Day’ at Oulton Park with Lefty and Lee. Hand on heart I have to say “I had a ball”. After feeling somewhat intimidated at the start of the day by the arrival of all those track bikes, I can look back now and understand why folks buy a track bike. It’s bloody good fun when all said and done. When I wrote “Yee Ha, I’ve found my MoJo” I genuinely felt elated. Being able to finally tick off one of the items on my list of ‘Things to do on a motorbike before I'm too old to enjoy them’ felt great. 

Track Day - DONE!
Thanks for a brilliant day Lefty & Lee

Sadly June is where my riding for the year came to an abrupt halt due to almost losing my daughter to a very unexpected illness. ‘What the hell happened to the summer of 2014?’ documents the start of what is still an ongoing health issue. I don't want to bore anyone with the ins and out but having a fit and health daughter one minute suddenly become ‘nil by mouth’ is soul destroying.

There was however a brief intermission when I decided to take a ride out to look at an alternative bike to get the Walton’s Wandering once again back in August.

Initially returning home on a BMW K1600 GTL to a somewhat frosty reception told me all I needed to know. Being offered what amounted to an insult for my beloved Fireblade was the final nail in that short lived idea.

Nice but just not nice enough!

Continuing on through the back streets of Manchester in an unbelievable deluge I found myself stood soaked to the skin, dripping gallons of water all over Hunts of Manchester Honda dealers floor like a deranged idiot. The fact they allowed me to take the Goldwing out in such a storm for a test ride is testament to their professionalism. John was an absolute gentleman and after a brief call to secure a little extra funding from my dear wife (thank you Jeannie x x x ) a deal was struck. 

One word - Perfect!
(The Wing that is, not me)

As we were heading away for a family holiday the following week I was rather cheeky and asked if I could take the Wing home there and then. “No problem” came the reply which was music to my ears.

Pulling up onto the drive just as Lilie Rose and Ben arrived home was perfect timing. Mind I have to admit Jeannie was a little confused having just loaned me a considerable amount of cash for a BMW which she was non to impressed with after sitting on the back of it. However, the huge smile that the Wing received just made that particularly soggy day, perfect.

Needless to say Jeannie and I headed out and about at every opportunity, which amounted to far too few but at least we got a few rides in. Ben loves the Wing and just as we were about to plan a decent trip after our return from Spain our world fell apart.

This just isn't fair!

Within the space of a week, Lilie Rose was rushed back into hospital, my father-in-law passed away and some scumbag broke into our villa. Lilie Rose underwent a further two operations and is nowhere near full health even now. Sadly this has resulted in Lilie Rose being ‘nil by mouth’ and suffering choking fits throughout the night.

Riding the Wing will just have to wait until family life returns to some sort of normality which unfortunately may well involve further hospitalisation.

So folk’s what can I say. 2014 has been our worst year of married life to date but on a positive note we are all still here under one roof. There’s a flicker of light on the horizon and when we reach it a wonderful Wing awaits to whisk us away.

Finally I would like to thank each and every one of you who took the time to contact Jeannie and I and offer your support, kind words and moral boosting friendship. You know who you are and rest assured we do too. 

Here’s looking forward to a bright, peaceful, healthy and happy 2015 for us all.

Happy New Year from the Wandering Walton’s to all our family and friends.

R.I.P. Sean Brian Cushen - This one’s for you Dad.

No comments:

Post a Comment