Wheel alignment

Monday 4 May 2020

Time for a bit of nostalgia

This post has been kicked into gear by a bit of household tidying.  Although NZ has eased to lockdown level 3, we're still not straying far from home being over 70.  A trip to the village supermarket constitutes an exciting trip out!  Anyway, back to the tidying.

Our efforts to bring some semblance of order to our cupboards prompted a discussion with respect to the boxes of slides, photos and negatives we have stashed around the place.  We've decided to finish digitising the photos we want to keep as the really early ones are beginning to discolour.  We'll also buy a specialist scanner for 35mm slides and the zillion strips of photo negatives that we have but that needs a bit more research, not to mention the international postal service to start operating properly again.

However, I made a start today with scanning a few photos and thought I'd share a few which I can accompany with a bit of a narrative.  Hope that this post isn't too terminally boring!

The first photo was taken in 1967 of my 1955 Tiger 100 engine.  I'd had new cylinder liners fitted as both originals had small cracks propagating from the conrod cutouts.  For obscure reasons, both new liners over a period of several months had rotated slightly in the block, causing the edge of the cutouts to rub against the conrods.  If you look where the conrods emerge from the crankcase, you can see the semicircular scoop out of the nearest rod.  This filled the oil galleries with fine aluminium powder, with the inevitable result.  You can see the damage to the farside piston crown and rings.  The engine wasn't worth rebuilding but fortunately, I managed to buy an engine from a wrecked bike for 10 quid!  That ran reliably for the rest of the time I owned it.

 Thoroughly knackered Tiger 100 motor

This photo was taken in 1972 at Hildenborough in Kent, UK.  Signing the register in church after our wedding.  As well as being the start of a very happy 48 years together this year, the photo brought back a couple of other memories!  I might be smiling but I spent the wedding eve until dawn talking down the big white telephone (chucking up in the toilet).  Not due to alcohol, but a bug that Jennie's sister's family had contracted.  No-one in the entire congregation was spared over the next few days.  The other memory is of the vicar.  He subsequently ran off with a parishioner's wife, thereby demonstrating his flexible interpretation of christianity; at least the coveting bit!

Young and carefree

This photo was taken in 1977, becoming a Dad for the first time.  Lyndon was born the previous year at the time when long(ish) hair and moustaches were considered the height of fashion .  Cotton shirt without a collar and flared sleeves, hippy-style.

Fashion trendsetter and first time dad

Moving onto 1984 (or thereabouts), hair was shorter and I was pretty fit on account of sailing at a national level, competing in a Paper Tiger catamaran (a bit like Hobie cats, only with centreboards).  Those were the days when wearing short shorts was socially acceptable!  Pictured here with daughter Victoria.  In what seems like the blink of an eye, she's now a Senior Psychologist for the Justice Dept in Melbourne, Australia.  Where did the time go????

Down at a local lake

For a number of reasons, not the least because of rediscovering motorcycling, I stopped sailing at a national level in 1987, bought myself a Laser and just competed at club level.  After winning the club champs in three successive seasons, I finally stopped sailing in 1990, when this photo was taken.

The international Laser dinghy

In 1991, Jennie and Victoria flew back to the UK to attend a family wedding - Victoria was a bridesmaid.  Just love this photo with the silk dress and floral hoop.  We still have the hoop although admittedly, the flowers are rather moth-eaten!

Gets her looks and intelligence from her mother

In 1995 or thereabouts, I wanted to teach our eldest son to ride and acquired an unregistered Suzuki TS 100 as is, where is for $50.  This bike's claim to fame was that for a drunken bet, it had been ridden off the wharf at full tilt into Ohiwa Harbour, Evel Knievel style.  It had then been unceremoniously dumped in the corner of the owner's shed for a year.  It was in remarkably good condition considering and after a superficial strip and clean, ran perfectly.  The photo was taken on its first outing along a firebreak of our company forest.  I actually enjoyed riding it more than the Yamaha IT 175 which I bought to accompany him on.

Yours truly on the Suzuki TS 100

Moving on to 1996, Lyndon owned a 1980-something Suzuki X7 road bike so that he could get his full licence.  I bought it off a mate at work and it was an absolute joy to ride.  Another workmate subsequently bought it and although it hasn't been ridden for well over 10 years, I still know where it is.  It would be fun to restore it but time and enthusiasm are the problems.

Lyndon and his Suzuki X7

In 1997 (I think!), Lyndon became the first of our 3 kids to graduate.  Here he is outside the registry building at Otago University with his proud parents the day after the capping ceremony.  He spent his first 2 years at Knox College, which had dining and other traditions similar to Oxford or Cambridge (or Hogwarts, if you prefer!). He then completed his second degree in Auckland and along with his siblings, keeping his parents perennially poor.

Proud parents with Lyndon

The late 90's also saw a visit to NZ by my godmother and her 2 daughters Linda and June.  It was so much fun showing them about and one of my highlights was taking both Linda and June out on my BMW K100 RS and doing "The Ton" (100 mph) as it was something neither had ever done.  Motto?  Never grow up! 

Linda on the K100RS

In 2001, the last of our kids started university.  With no more ferrying of kids to sporting events etc at weekends, Jennie celebrated by buying her first MX5.  British Racing Green of course with unbelievably light Panasport competition mag wheels.  We spent a month touring the south island in it that year and the weather was so good that we only had the soft top raised on 2 half-days!  The trip was also memorable because in a remote camping ground on the west coast, we bumped into one of my old UK school school masters who I last saw in 1964.  Small world!

Hot chick with new toy

The last of the current crop of scans was taken in 2002/3.  Our younger son Kerryn had just graduated from Massey University with honours, Bachelor of Technology.  This was one of the expensive official photos.  Jennie always looks a million dollars but I thought I scrubbed up ok for the occasion too!

Another proud parent photo

Roll on normality!


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Andrew,
      The X7 is sitting in a shed less than 300 metres as the crow flies from us, together with a few boxes of spares! The question is what am I going to give up to rebuild it? Not an easy answer!

  2. Great photo collage Geoff. It is always interesting to look back but a bit disconcerting at how fast the time goes by!

    1. Thanks Dave. More than a bit disconcerting mate. I was thinking the same when I was rummaging through the boxes. Would I have done the big ticket items differently given a second chance? Almost certainly not.

      Hope all is well with you and the family. Maybe see you on a trans-Tasman route in the near future!

  3. A pretty ambitious project. Years ago, we scanned a bunch of pictures for my parents but I’m not even sure what happened to those scans. Must be on a CD somewhere.

  4. Hi Richard,
    We've been scanning photos for a few years now but with technology available domestically, it's time to tackle negatives and 35 mm slides. We can pass them onto our kids. Jennie is a keen family historian and as well as digital data, we have a massive cupboard taken up with paper records!

  5. All good and not boring at all. However, how in the hell could you write that you enjoyed riding a Suzuki TS100 more than your Yamaha IT175? The IT175 is still one of my all-time favorite motorcycles ever made by anyone, anywhere. The TS, not so much. ;-)

    1. There's a good reason Thomas! I didn't have your off-road background. The IT 175 was a lovely bike but because of my incompetence and the relatively narrow power band, it would try and spit me off in the tight stuff. The TS 100 was much more forgiving for an incompetent, middle-aged guy at that time :-)

  6. Lovely trip down memory lane, Geoff. And a good idea, too. I will dig into my old pics as soon as I can get my hands on it (foto albums are stored at my mom's).

    1. Thanks Sonja,

      I scanned them with our Canon Pixma scanner/printer but will order one which will do slides and negatives as soon as mail deliveries get back to normal.


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