#9 Six Months Later

It’s been 6 months since my last blog post. I’m failing.

Despite a fairly uneventful year so far, it’s been busy. My 3 jobs have taken up all my time leaving no room in my schedule for riding or writing or doing much except getting home at the end of the day, cooking dinner, trying desperately to keep up with my art and then going to bed. After 10 months of this, I quit my sales job in J&S last week (tough decision), now I’m spending the week in the countryside at my Dads house to catch up with my art and relax. It’s still weird to think that I have an entire weekend to do whatever I want to do once I’m done relaxing…

I really enjoyed working at J&S, learned a lot, met loads of lovely people and hopefully helped them all in some way, tried on a lot of stuff, I spent a LOT of money in the grocery store next door, and I’m going to really miss my staff discount. The plan now is to keep my flexible job in insurance, continue drawing, and put more time and effort into building my art business, while spending more time with my friends, family and bikes.  

The R1 is doing great, we still haven’t been out much but we are slowly gelling as a couple, and every time I ride it I feel more comfortable. I’m still trying to figure out what to do about making it pink, I’m getting impatient and anticipate it being pink in time for Christmas at least. I picked out the wrap that I want and have some quotes but there’s still other options that I want to explore. 

I have two new bikes in my life. 

Husqvarna UK are lending me a Svartpilen 401. I rode this bike last year by chance, and I loved it! We went through Bristol which at the time was full of roadworks and disgustingly hot. The bike made this fun – weirdly – it managed heavy traffic, lots of stopping, starting and tight squeezes while making the whole experience enjoyable. Ever since that day I’ve been desperate to get my hands on one again. I’m grateful to Husqvarna for letting me borrow theirs for the season.

This bike does everything that the R1 can’t and, now that I’ve got my time back, I’m looking forward to lots of adventures with it. It encourages me to take roads that I’d avoid on the R1 or in the car with confidence, and I am excited to try some off roading with it and get nice and lost somewhere, the possibilities are endless. The bike gets a lot of attention, I guess a lot of people don’t recognise it and I’ve only ever seen one other Svartpilen out in the wild. Everyone wants to sit on it and ask about it and I think everyone should try one. It’s like a hipster version of the KTM 390 Duke – its overall appearance is a bit unusual, so far nobody’s hated it but a few people have had to give it a good long look before deciding they like it. It gives me a good excuse to buy new retro gear (yay me). It’s cheap to insure and doesn’t gulp fuel like the R1 does, nor does it need to be left on charge when it’s not being used…like the R1 does. I guess if you have an R1 then there’ll be a Svartpilen shaped hole in your heart. I’ll keep you updated on this…

The second bike isn’t mine but I’m going to talk about it anyway. It’s a Kawasaki ZX10R that Joes parents and I got for Joe for his 30th. The R1 is better, but it’s pretty and Joe’s had it for 5 minutes and already started taking bits off and putting bits on. Joe sold his old bike (aka – Orange Pussycat) last year as he was midway through two surgeries to correct problems he had with his legs that prevented him riding comfortably. He sold it with the promise that he’d keep the money aside for the next bike, but, life (and shiny new car parts…) gets in the way and it didn’t go to plan. The new one was a huge surprise for him and was revealed at a party (that was also a suprise, I would upload the video to YouTube but he’s begged me not to). It’s probably the nicest thing I’ve ever done for anyone and now I need to figure out how to lower the bar again because I’m still waiting for my birthday present and that was 3 months ago.

Both Simon and Keria are fine. I’ve left Keria home with Joe while I visit Dad, Simon’s here and he’s his usual chilled out self. He’s shedding and his white fur is everywhere. Keira is starting to calm down, she’s learned lots of new words and you can talk to her and she’ll pick out the words she knows and react to them. She knows what time of day it is and which meals she’s had already so if you ask her at 7pm if she wants her breakfast she’ll just look at you like you’re stupid, and if you ask her at any point in the day if she’s hungry she’ll go charging into the kitchen and wait by her bowl.

As far as my 2019 goals go, we’re halfway through the year and I haven’t ticked many yet. I did hit my drawing target already – the target was 150 and so far I’m on 160 so I’ll have smashed that by the end of 2019. The drawing business seems to be going well and the plan is to have mercy available by Christmas. I really want to produce an adult colouring book and now I have the time to do this I’m going to start making the drawings for it and get it all set up. This month someone pinched some of my cartoons and started trying to sell them on a t-shirt website promoted through Facebook and Instagram. It’s not the first time my art has been pinched but it’s the first time I’ve caught someone trying to sell it. Thankfully the website took it down pretty quickly, and after a LOT of angry feedback from my social media followers, the person removed the images from Facebook too. The whole experience has shown me that people do want T-shirts so I’ll look into that as soon as I can.

This is all I’ve got unfortunately. The end of a boring blog. To summarise – no longer working 7 days a week, can go out and have fun now, will probably write more regularly. 

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