25th October

It’s hard for me to believe, but as I write this I am downloading 2 accounting programs. In an attempt to figure out why we seem to have lost R$42,000 in the last two months, I have finally had to resort to installing some sort of accounting system. I already downloaded one last week, which bore a depressing similarity to Oracle – I just know there will be those of you out there who will be amused to know that by the time I figured out how they calculated and reported their cost of sales, based on a reporting hierarchy they have managed to keep a closely-guarded secret (which means that setting up a new account involves an hilarious amount of guesswork), I didn`t know whether to laugh or cry – so I ditched it and am after something less challenging.  For a few moments I thought I was back at the ELBs…

Apart from the precarious financial state, I did manage to take delivery of my new bike (photo),

Honda NXR Bros

which I`ve been paying towards for the last 14 months, and am suitably impressed. It`s a Brazil-only model and is an impressive bit of fuel-injected kit. We had arranged to bike down to Porto Velho (700km on dirt roads – right up my street), but the current financial situation and the onset of the wet season has confined us (by “us” I mean me and Naice`s brother Romulo, who has also just taken delivery of a new bike) to quarters for a while. But I did manage to take it to Presidente Figueredo, 100km or so up the BR174, with friend John Chalmers, and was suitably impressed to find I averaged 48km per litre on the (hot, sweaty) journey.  The only problem I found was that the seat is a bit narrow (a euphemism for saying that after 200km it feels like you`ve been riding on a razor-blade). But it`s survivable.

Last night we went to a party for our friends` 2 year-old son, and Aaron enjoyed himself immensely (photo),

It's a load of balls to me...

managing to eat just about everything in sight (eating is not one of his problems) and displaying his militant independency at every opportunity. His vocabulary now extends to “no”, but it seems it`s just because he likes saying it – Do you want some food? “No”, says he, shaking his head decisively before cramming whatever he can get into his mouth.

The biggest news here is – no apologies – the record low river levels.  It`s quite a shock to see levels 56ft below the 2009 high and 15ft below the average for the time of year. No boat trips for the next couple of months (no more water at the marina), so we`ll have find our amusement elsewhere. Also we have the second round of elections for President this weekend.  I can`t decide who the best candidate is (both seem weak), so we`ll just see what happens. It`ll be fun, whatever.

Other news in brief:  another snake downstairs – couldn’t bring myself to kill it; some guy shot dead 400m up the road last night; Aaron now prefers watching Shaun the Sheep to watching Postman Pat; Naice has a cold sore; Ozzie seems to be recovering well from his Chronic Renal Failure; Kelly is up the duff, courtesy of Toto.

Think that`s all for the moment. Oh – and I hate MS Office 2010 – what happened to File>edit>select all??  If it ain’t broke, jumble it all up…


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2 Responses to 25th October

  1. Millar says:

    Maybe it’s not the seat on the bike that is too narrow but just that your rear is too wide lol.


    • tcm says:

      Thanks Millar. I’ll have you know my posterior is as neat and compact as it has always been! Plans for Porto Velho have been abandoned due to rain, so I’ve now got my sights on Boa Vista in December, which at 900km is a bit further, but the road is better. I thought of taking a cushion, but it’s not very, ‘biker’ is it? I think I`ll just have to stop every 200km and give it a good rub to restore circulation – unless you have any other suggestions? Pity old expedition partners like Mark Trigg (1500km in a tin boat) and Colin Sawford (York to Belfast in a microlight) aren’t here to accompany me. Any volunteers..?!


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