P12-080: The Quest for the Perfect Ride–Resolved

Project 2012: Day 80

Today is a very special day.

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First – it’s a Birthday

981226goigoiSome 14 years ago I sat in The Princess Royal Hospital, in Haywards Heath, in the UK, with a newborn clutched tightly to my chest.

At the time, I’d been chronically ill myself for over two years, resulting in 6 months in and out hospital. In fact just 3 days later I would head back to St Marks Specialist Hospital in Harrow for 31 days. But that Friday night, I had delivered my youngest child.

For the entire pregnancy I was convinced that the baby was a boy. We were going to call him Luke. But it turned out that when I finally helped this dark blue baby (Lu overcooks everything Smile) free, it was a beautiful little girl. We called her “Charis,” which means ‘Grace.’ It’s where we get the words ‘charismatic’ and ‘charisma’ from.

And Charis is worthy of her name. For the last 14 years, she has been a delight.

It’s great to see her maturing into a sensitive, funny, talented, and beautiful young lady. Mostly through very little of my interference. I am a very blessed, and grateful father.

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Next – the Ride

I’ve test ridden:

And today, I take delivery of my very own…

….Multistrada.

“Lucia”

I could never afford to buy new. Also it didn’t make sense to me to buy this versatile bike, only to get the model without all of the features that make it so versatile in the first place.

So, I’ve traded my BMW G650GS in on a demo model from Frasers. One that I could afford, that has all of the features.

10,000 km’s on the clock. Traction control, ABS, Throttle-by-Wire, Electronic suspension adjustment, and 150HP to the back wheel.

Also, heated handgrips, centre stand, adjustable windshield, removable lockable panniers, and keyless ignition.

For more videos on the Multi check-out: http://www.ducati.com/bikes/multistrada/1200_s_touring/index.do

This is my dream bike.

Doubly blessed.

Not for Everyone

So far comments have varied from:

Parenting – Nothing prepares you for it…

By now you’ll know that Miss11, our youngest daughter, Charis, had a horrific accident on Thursday. In what was an innocent Sydney Summer Holiday afternoon, she had a friend over to swim. Charis, ever the gymnast, was demonstrating her new backflip into the pool. Only this time, she missed the water.

What followed was 48 hours of crisis management, family co-ordination, global communication, medical learning, even negotiation. All this whilst hoping for the best, but fearing the worst.

You want to fall apart, but you can’t. You want to wind the clock back, but you can’t. You desperately want to substitute yourself for your child, but you can’t.

The next 3 mins is a vignette of just some of the experiences over the last 48 hours.

To be honest, when things are happening, you’ve no time (or place) to be capturing things on video. But there’s also a lot of time when nothing is happening. Very much like in the army, it’s all “Hurry up & wait!”

  • The 1st big fear was that she’d broken her neck – an x-ray ruled that out.
  • The 2nd was that she had suffered neurological damage, through a possible fracture in her forehead (air had leaked from her sinus under the skin) – today a CT Scan ruled that out.

She has broken her nose, & this will have to be reset surgically in the next week or so. Not great for a young lady about to start High School.

But we have been blessed by all of the support from friends & family, near & far. We’re blessed that her injuries by and large are superficial.

But despite the issues we have been dealing with in the first 3 weeks of 2010, like all issues that actually warrant concern, this one blind-sided us on a Thursday afternoon….

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Lest we Forget

Every year we try and camp over the ANZAC week-end. For us it’s the last Public Holiday week-end for some months. Usually the weather is decidedly autumnal, so it marks the end of the waterskiing season as well.

ANZAC Day commemorates the soldiers of the ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) who fell during WWI, and is remembered on 25th April each year. Although beginning with the Gallipoli Invasion, the holiday has come to mean far more to Australians over the years, and expanded to include all Armed Forces personnel who have served over the years in conflicts across the world.

Only, depending on where you are, you could be mistaken for thinking it’s just another day off work. Certainly at the campsite we usually frequent, the partying starts early, and little mention is made of any actual reason for good living. So over the last 4 or so years, we’ve taken a little time out of the week-end to remember. It started with Em, who, as a trumpeter was often asked to play the Last Post at school assemblies. She happened to bring her trumpet with her one ANZAC week-end and played it at Sunrise on ANZAC day itself.

The effect was startling. The usually rowdy campsite grew very still and after a while people began to applaud. For once, Aussies had a little reminder as to why we get this particular day as a holiday.

Now that Em is all grown up and has moved out of home, last year, Charis took over the reigns. This year, we didn’t actually get a holiday as ANZAC day fell on a Saturday. Still we were camping. Charis, however, struggled to wake up early enough for a dawn remembrance, so played it at sunset instead.

 

I love the background sounds of the kookaburras and cicadas. We’ve so much to be thankful for in Australia. Not the least of which includes liberty, freedom, peace.