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A very satisfying number 
Greetings from Heathrow Airport...
Apparently 333 is known as the Angel’s number. Well, it’s yours now.
In amongst the chaos, prep, planning and packing for the trip I managed a few days away with the family. A lovely little Air B&B 30mins walk from the centre of York.
A gallery, a museum, a grave, an amazing Thai meal and lots of laughs. I even got to chat with the late Dick Turpin, sup an ale in Guy Fawkes’ house and assist a fire juggler in a packed street performance.
We were home too soon and I was back into my emails.
Two days before I was to fly I got notified that the bike I had hired was suddenly unavailable. It was broke. Either a pretty serious breakdown or someone crashed it. I was really looking forward to riding the BMW as it was the closest thing I could see myself enjoying. Everything else looked either boring, crazy aggressive, or uncomfortable. But most bikes now were hired and after being told the bad news my options were one of two bikes left. A Ducati and an Aprilia.
The quite ordinary white Ducati Super Sport did not look at all interesting. And a 2020 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100RR Limited Edition Misano looked crazy fast and not the usual bike I’d go for a multi-day trip on.
When I told my friend Phil (who knows about bikes) what the options were he told me it must be a mistake. The Misano is only one of 100 made and commonly thought of the best engine in any motorbike. I must admit I don’t normally go for unlimited power in a country with a speed limit of 55mph most places. I was umming and arring till Phil sent me a very convincing audio message that convinced me to go for it. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and perhaps even the last petrol bike I’ll ever ride. (Because I’d really like electric next, not because it will kill me.) [fingers crossed].
And just imagine how fast I will be able to get to 55mph ;-)
A 30 year old Japanese show titled ‘Old Enough’ debuts on Netflix and features kids as young as two years heading out into the city to run errands for their parents.
Here is a very similar bike to the one I’m picking up.
I just stood in front of twenty two locked toilet doors in Heathrow. As I figured a door could open at any moment I stayed hyper vigilant. But they didn’t. I just stared at the doors as the intensity of smells and sounds increased. I felt like I was in a Coen brothers film.
The urinals had a steady flow of users. Pun intended. But after two mins turned to three I thought something must be up. They were not out of order, you could hear the almost synchronised sniffing of snot, ripping of loo roll, sniffing and coughing and farting.
There were five people now waiting with me. All of us sharing bemused glances and raising eyebrows above masks. The guy behind me whispered, “They have found sanctuary.”
Just as I agreed with him, at least five of the doors flung open as if on a timer. And we all got to find our own sanctuary.
It was indeed peaceful inside. No hoards, herds or queues, just hidden sounds and loos. The only place where you could feel alone.
So I thought I’d steal a few minutes to write this. I’m sure I’m not the first to log a special moment.
Perhaps everyone before me had been doing the same.
Dopamine, Smartphones & You: A battle for your time.
Sadly I’m out of the country on record store day this year. So I popped over to see Ian at Vinyl Revival and picked up an album. (He has the date and details of RSD on his site.)
I thought ‘The river doesn’t like strangers’ from Chelsea Carmichael might make great background music. It might. But as much as you sometimes want to sit on the sofa with a drink and think of nothing, this really pulls you in and makes you listen. So many great musicians and layers on this. An amazing debut album from Chelsea Carmichael. Look her up.
As I’ll also be away for Easter I ate my giant Ferrero Rocher before the big day.
Not bad. Hollow, but thick enough to not be sickly and Pretty good with whisky.
Speaking of which, this whisky barrel end is a gift from my oldest friend, Carl.
He’s the only one allowed to call me Chris as he’s called me that for around 42 years. As well as being an amazing object that’s been around almost as long as me, it’s also commemorating my making it half a century. It’s well made enough to probably outlast me. It also contains some codes. Codes linked to stories I will share with you over a drink. This wonderful gift will hang in my bar and all going to plan also take three removable legs so it can be used as a drinks table round the fire.
Got some great customer service through my Twitter DM’s with QuadLock. I asked questions and a human answered. My main concern was that my phone holder would arrive on time for my trip. It did.
It’s certainly the most expensive phone mount I have ever bought for a vehicle but it is also the most well made. No regrets there. They even sent a variety of laptop friendly stickers. ;-) Here is a QuadLock referral code should you be looking for something for your bike/motorbike. Quad lock have only four customer support staff around the world. They must be doing something right.
This new release from Rode just arrived before I left for the airport. Who’d have thought they’d be dropping some top spec headphones.
I’m travelling as light as possible so had to leave them in the box. But I’m aching to have a play. In the meantime here is a link to them on the Rode site.
Last chance for those of you in California or Austin to drop a pin on the Documentally community map. i might be passing by. I’d also love some links to reasonably priced accommodation in LA or Austin. Please reply to this email if you have any tips.
How Silicon Valley is helping Putin and other tyrants win the information war.
A shoppers heaven.
I’ll be on the plane in the next few minutes. All going to plan the next time you hear from me i’ll be in California. I say all going to plan as everyone who knows me will know that these trips are never as smooth as I’d like.
If you want to see all the stories from this trip please consider becoming a supporting subscriber. I’m looking forward to sharing California with you. Texas as well. That comes next.
Either way, thanks for reading.
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
See you out there.