A few weeks ago, we woke up to our motorbikes both laying on their sides on the street outside our flat. They had obviously been victims of bored idiots who, during the night, thought that it would be hilarious to tip them over.

motorbikes on their side vandalism

It blows my mind that there are people out there who have no consideration for peoples’ property, and will damage property for the sake of a few laughs. It seemed that they were so intent on having their fun that they had even chosen to do it the hard way when they tipped them over the kickstands rather than the other side.

Thankfully my motorbike didn’t sustain any more damage than I’d already inflicted on it recently (a snapped clutch lever when I dropped it a few days beforehand), however White Russian’s motorbike didn’t fare as well. It sustained cracked fairings, broken indicator lights, a snapped clutch lever, broken mirrors, and damage to the swing arm and the exhaust pipe.

snapped motorcycle clutch lever

The upside was that his motorbike ended up being written off by the insurance company, so now he has some money to buy a shiny new toy!

Welcome to the family, puppy!

Since I moved in with the White Russian, I have been cohabiting with a very cute dog called Chiko. She may technically be a canine, but being a Shiba Inu means that she has the temperament of a cat. Chiko is aloof, independent, is generally disinterested in other dogs and people, and doesn’t reciprocate affection, finding your patting or kissy faces more annoying than a squirt in the face with the garden hose.

Chiko shiba inu dog

I was keen to have a typical loving and affectionate dog, one that would adore me the way that Chiko didn’t. The WR and I talked about getting a second dog for quite a few months before we decided to go to the pound to rescue an unwanted pup. As we shopped the aisles of baking hot, concrete kennels that housed a lot of unhappy, whining and unloved dogs, we fell in love with a Labrador cross that we ended up calling Jaime.

Jaime was affectionate, loving nothing more than snuggling up to us on the couch in front of the TV but unfortunately, she didn’t make it much past the very first night. Perhaps it was the result of former neglect but she constantly wanted attention and was incredibly jealous, to the point of attacking poor, defenceless Chiko several times. Chiko didn’t sleep a wink that night, shaking in fear of being ripped apart by a much larger and aggressive Jaime. In the morning, we sadly had to return Jaime to the pound.

Chiko shiba inu dog and Jaime labrador cross

Not long after, WR suggested getting a Groodle puppy from a breeder about 4 hours drive from Sydney. We took home 8 week old Jackson (named after the King of Pop for his black curly hair!) and began the adventure of toilet training, with a few unpleasant surprises along the way. Thankfully, Chiko and Jackson now seem to be firm friends, and we think that the new puppy has brought out Chiko’s playful side.

Dogs playing Chiko shiba inu Jackson groodle golden doodle puppy

We want him to be well socialised so have been on quite a mission to ensure that he meets lots of new people and dogs. I even took Jackson to work for a few hours where everyone completely fell in love with the bouncing little fluff ball. He’s been one of the best performers at puppy school, never failing to be motivated by treats. The only downsides so far have been the occasional toilet accident and being woken up at 6am almost every morning by a hyperactive little puppy.

It’s amazing how quickly he’s now become part of our family.

Jackson groodle golden doodle puppy

Blast from the past

I recently found myself reliving my musical past.  It seems that some bands will never die or stop touring, even if all of the original members have left the band, except for the charismatic front man.  Last month, Mark saw Guns n Roses in Las Vegas and was pretty sure that, besides Axl Rose, he didn’t recognise any of the other band members from his youth.

The first gig I went to was part of The Living End‘s Retrospective tour, where they play each of their albums in full over consecutive nights.  The band is one of my all time favourites, and I think I’ve probably seen them over 30 times at their gigs and at festivals.

My favourite album of theirs is their first self-titled one, and it was so much fun recalling the memories of my life as they took place back in 1998 and 1999, which mostly entailed drinking at the university bar and driving in my little hatchback around Sydney.

The Living End at the Hi Fi Sydney

Then, in the same week, I saw another of my favourite bands of all time, Reel Big Fish.  I love their music because it always makes me want to get up and dance, even if I’m driving!  They were supported by the very fun Goldfinger.  My feet were definitely sore from the dancing!

Reel Big Fish at UNSW Roundhouse

Goldfinger at UNSW Roundhouse

Hello summer – we missed you!

This weekend finally felt like the start of summer, with glorious blue skies and temperatures rising above 30C.  After a few weeks of chilly nights and the occasional rain, it actually felt as though summer had finally arrived.

Of course, it wouldn’t be summer without music festivals, and my first of the season kicked off in pumping style yesterday at Stereosonic.

And it wouldn’t be a dance festival without the requisite hard-bodied, topless men covered in tattoos, who have no doubt been spending the last few months priming their shoulders and guns for this occasion.

With a headline like Tiesto, and other amazing acts such as Calvin Harris, Martin Solvieg and Avicii, we all had a great time and ended up quite sore from all the dancing!

Today’s sunny weather called for the beach visit, and even when we left at 6pm there was still a big crowd at North Bondi.  Summer is finally here!

Seeing Sydney by motorcycle

About 4 months ago, I bought my first motorcycle.  I say the “first” because I’ve been reliably told by my biker friends that you never stay with your first ever bike. The longer you ride, the more you want to keep buying and riding bigger and better bikes, so you’re always looking for the “next” bike.

I actually obtained my motorcycle licence in late 2009 while I was living in the UK.  It was on a trip to Cornwall with my mate Graham, driving around the windy country roads, that I thought it would be a wonderful experience to ride around Britain.  However, soon after I passed my test I embarked on my Central American backpacking trip and then never ended up buying a bike upon my return to London as I knew I would be soon moving back to Sydney.

With a full riders licence, I was tempted to buy a big bike, but being essentially a rider with no experience I thought I’d just get a little bike and get confident before I upgrade.  This is my sweet ride – my Honda VTR 250.  Looks a bit like a Ducati Monster!

One of the best things about having a bike is taking the time to actually go out riding and checking out parts of Sydney that I would never bother to visit otherwise in a car.  With Mark and my other biker friends, I’ve checked out Wisemans Ferry, the Royal National Park, the Old Pacific Highway north from Sydney, and just last weekend to Ku-rin-gai National Park to West Head to check out the view towards Palm Beach.

Another great thing that I’ve discovered is a fun riding community.  Last month was the annual Pink Ribbon ride, where riders of all descriptions come out and deck their bikes in pink all in the name of charity.  There are even some serious looking biker men with their goatees dyed pink!

It was so much fun riding out in a big group of motorcycles.  I think I’m seeing the appeal of joining a gang!