27 November 2020

The call of Creation

In Romans 1:20 the Apostle Paul explained that glimpses of God’s invisible attributes and divine character are revealed through the things He has made. In other words, the entire created order – including the universe, planet earth and every living creature - tells us something important about the nature of God. These extraordinary revelations are available to anyone with an open heart.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what makes a bike beautiful?


Honda CB1000R+? Ducati 996? Vincent Black Shadow? Suzuki Gladius? (Ok, probably not the Suzuki!)

Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder but it’s not all subjective either. 

FortNine takes a deep dive into motorcycle aesthetics. 

I wouldn't disagree with them either. The Indian FTR1200 was on a shortlist of two - and was just pipped by my lovely CB1000R+ . 

OK, it's obviously not just about looks - a great bike is one that rides fabulously, handles well. But, a wise man once said that if your don't get "that" feeling each time you open the garage - you've bought the wrong bike!

I'm generally not big on custom bikes but feast your mince pies on this Triton & tell me that isn't a thing of beauty!


25 November 2020

Basic bike skills & off road primer - from BMW Off Road Skills

During COVID times we couldn’t visit Motorcycle Live at the NEC Birmingham. Instead we decided to re-enact our traditional Motorcycle Live demonstration at our home ground at Walters Arena on a wet and windy day in November.

Watch on for a tiny taste of some of the lessons you might cover on some of the different courses we run. Whether you’re riding off-road for the first time or wanting to take your skills to the next level, the BMW Off Road Skills team have got you covered!

This is a brilliant 24 minute video. I've been riding since I was 17 (so a long time!) and have learned skills from this short video. You are never too old to learn - gotta keep an open mind...

24 November 2020

Bishop welcomes announcement on resumption of public worship

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, has welcomed the publication of the Government's Covid-19 Winter Plan, detailing that places of worship will be permitted to reopen for public worship from 2nd December.

Bishop Sarah, who Chairs the Church of England's Recovery Group, said: "We are encouraged by the confirmation that places of worship will soon be able to reopen for public worship in all tiers and in all parts of the country.

"Churches and cathedrals can now approach Advent and Christmas with more certainty; a time when we know many people will look forward to attending services celebrating the birth of Jesus.

"We await more detailed guidance and will update our own advice once this is published." 


19 November 2020

Watch the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor - as you've never seen it before! Set to full screen & prepare to be mesmerised!

Here is an EXCLUSIVE production showcasing the United States Air Force F-22 Raptor like you’ve never seen before. Get ready to strap in for the ride of a lifetime. 

The F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team performs precision aerial maneuvers at airshows across the world to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the world's premier 5th generation fighter aircraft. The team also performs with the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation to showcase modern day fighter jets flying in formation with World War II, Korean, and Vietnam era aircraft.

The team is stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia. In March 2007, the team participated in its debut air show at Tyndall Air Force Base. Since then, the team has performed more than 250 demonstrations across the world.


Living Advent Calendar tells Nativity story

AMATEUR writers and actors from across the Havant area have come together to create a Living Advent Calendar. It tells the Nativity story through video, as a way to prepare for Christmas in Covid times.

The story of Jesus’s birth will be told through 26 separate dramatic monologues, each portraying a different character in the Nativity story. Every morning during Advent, a new video will be unveiled on Youtube. Those following the story can simply click on a new clip daily – the virtual equivalent of an Advent calendar, but with real people behind each window.

Some of the two or three-minute videos were recorded ahead of November’s lockdown at St Francis Church, Leigh Park. The remaining videos will be recorded once lockdown restrictions are lifted in December.

Among the characters featured are Mary, Joseph, the angel Gabriel, shepherds and Magi. But the writers have also written scripts for characters who are rarely portrayed, such as Mary’s mother, a Roman official announcing the census, and Herod’s servant.

The first video will be available on Advent Sunday – November 29 – and they will then be unveiled each day until Christmas Eve.

The project has been co-ordinated by the ecumenical Havant Passion Play group, which presented outdoor performances telling the story of Jesus in the summers of 2015, 2017 and 2019. Those performing in this new production come from churches of all denominations across Havant, Waterlooville, Emsworth, Bedhampton, Petersfield, Rowlands Castle and Leigh Park.

The Living Advent Calendar videos will be on their Youtube channel and on their website, as well as on Facebook.


Some people never learn - behold the poopie password top ten


It's that time of year again -- when we see whether or not password security has improved over the past 12 months. Going back to 2015, the worst passwords still commonly used included "123456" and "password." Fast forward five years, and these examples are still very much alive. 

After analyzing 275,699,516 passwords leaked during 2020 data breaches, NordPass and partners found that the most common passwords are incredibly easy to guess -- and it could take less than a second or two for attackers to break into accounts using these credentials. Only 44% of those recorded were considered "unique."

On Wednesday, the password manager solutions provider published its annual report on the state of password security, finding that the most popular options were "123456," "123456789," "picture1," "password," and "12345678."

OK 1-9 are obviously terrible passwords, but what is #10: "senha"? It is a Portuguese word which means, yes you guessed it: "password"!


Armchair Adventure Festival - all-live virtual adventure festival! 27th-29th November 2020


The Armchair Adventure Festival is the world’s first all-live virtual adventure festival!

In April 2020 we screened three days of talks, live Q&A’s and films from some of the world’s most adventurous people and now we’re coming back for a winter edition! 

We’ll be going live once more from the 27th-29th November with a whole host of adventurous guests. 

The festival is completely free to attend but if you would like to you can make a voluntary donation to our chosen charity for the event which is COCO – an international children’s charity.

18 November 2020

Calli at Sandy Point - Hayling Island

Kim & I have taken a week off work. We can't go away sadly (what with COVID), but went for a some blustery walks (socially distanced of course!) on the seaside near to where we live. The above piccie is Calli on the sea defences at Sandy Point - Hayling Island. She loves going to the beach - a true mini adventure for our pup!

17 November 2020

British built BSA motorcycles coming soon?

BSA looks set to make a comeback thanks to Mahindra owner who is reviving the brand and planning to begin building bikes in the UK next year!

Chairman of the Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra is reported to be the main backer of the project and is planning to build a range of electric bikes in the UK. Production is set to begin in the middle of 2021 and the location of the plant is being rumoured to be near to the original Small Heath site in Birmingham. There are plans afoot to begin building a research facility located in Banbury to develop the electric bikes which should be ready within the year.

The move to revive the brand has got the seal of approval from the UK government, who have provided BSA with a £4.6m grant to help put the wheels in motion. The money was provided to assist with the development and construction of the bikes, something that is hoped to bring with it at least 255 jobs.

Speaking to the Guardian, Mr Mahindra said: “The UK was the leader in bikes right from the start, provenance is something that we really want to retain.”

While the firm is going to start off building some electric machines, Mahindra plans for the company to also begin building traditional petrol power bikes in the near future also. While specifics around any of the models are as yet unknown, the Guardian reports that the machines will be priced between £5,000 and £10,000.


What's wrong with motorcycling nowadays & how to fix it...

PowerDrift says: The Honda H'ness CB350, has reached five Honda Big Wing dealerships in India, and bookings are open. The Rs 1.85 lakh (starting price, ex-showroom) motorcycle is unabashedly aimed at the Royal Enfield 350s, whose hegemony in its class has, so far, proven impossible to challenge or upset.

Firstly, I didn't understand the name: why H'ness? Shumi on this excellent video puts it in context. The CB350 H'ness is going up against Royal Enfield in it's home market: India. So we have Royal vs Highness - geddit? :0)

Secondly: what's the problem with the motorcycle market as a whole? Back in the olden days when I was a lad - lots of young guys & gals wanted the freedom of a bike - your own exciting & affordable motorised transport. Nowadays most younglings don't want a bike and seem to go straight to cars.

Also, in motorcycles, the name of the game is: bigger, more powerful, more expensive. Each time there is a revision to a model: take Triumph (Tiger, Bonneville) or Honda (Africa Twin) as examples - we have the manufacturers raising the game. Great if you are of a certain age / experience, not so good if you are young and/or cash strapped.

The problem is that if people don't join the motorcycling fraternity at a younger age, they are less likely to join as they get older. Look at Harley-Davidson at the moment with their  plummeting market share (watch this brilliant explanation by FortNine).

Now look to India at what Royal Enfield & Honda are doing. Great looking, affordable, fun machines. If manufacturers offered these models in the West (including the UK) I confidently predict they would be snapped up. Somehow (& sadly) I can't see it happening. The manufacturers must think: why devalue the brands? They would rather sell a diminishing few at top dollar, than loads at a slim margin... That said, I do hope the CB350 H'ness will be made available in the UK, and a new generation of bikers could be welcomed to our ranks!


09 November 2020

Government crackdown on number plate cloning by lawless criminal gangs


Doubling of cases reported to DVLA prompts surveillance commissioner to introduce certification system for businesses selling number plates. Criminal gangs are exploiting a lawless “wild west” trade in number plates to clone vehicles and evade detection by police cameras, a surveillance tsar has warned, as the Home Office prepares a crackdown on the practice.

Tony Porter, the surveillance camera commissioner, said the growing abuse of number plates meant innocent people were increasingly being wrongly accused of crimes and road traffic offences committed by criminals who had cloned their vehicle registrations.

He has prepared a report for Home Office ministers that will introduce a certification system for businesses selling number plates and increase fines for those found guilty of cloning them.

Mr Porter, a former police chief and counter-terrorism officer, said there were up to 40,000 outlets selling plates with many flagrantly disregarding laws that bar them from issuing new numbers unless they have proof of the car ownership through registration documents.


06 November 2020

Across the world, Covid-19 has brought much sadness to many people. #PrayerfortheNation


‘On the brink of this second lockdown we might understandably feel helpless, anxious and vulnerable.’ says the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, ‘… we do what we can to halt the spread of this virus – but we can still feel powerless. Is there anything else we can do? Really do?  Yes. Yes there is. We can pray. Prayer is my first response when I feel out of my depth, when I need help, when I am worried, when I am concerned for those I love... Prayer changes things.'

Thy Kingdom Come invite you to join us over the next 4 weeks of #PrayerfortheNation

Every day we will pause and pray at 6pm for those impacted by the pandemic. You can set an alarm, light a candle or use a light on your mobile phone as a prompt to pray, or you may even hear a church or cathedral bell ring as a reminder.

Follow us on social media for daily prayers, and you can find an easy to use, printable prayer booklet here, to help you as you pray over the next 4 weeks. You can also explore the Church of England’s website for further resources.

Click here to watch the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, inviting you to join #PrayerfortheNation. 


05 November 2020

Do you need HOPE in your life?


The HOPE Gospel Magazine is an excellent means of sharing the Word of God. Since the launch in March 2020 over 110,000 copies have been distributed. They contain the entire Gospel of John and many extracts from the Psalms and are presented in an attractive easy to read A4 magazine format with many photos of scenes from around the country.

If you would like to receive a free copy of this wonderful introduction to Jesus's Good Newsplease follow this link.


Stay safe while using online banking

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. Stop and think. It could protect you and your money.

Avoid using a search engine to access your online bank account. Instead create a link to your bank's homepage into the address bar of your browser.

Never click on a link in an email that takes you to a log in page.

Never tell anyone your credentials, passwords or verification codes - not even your bank!

If somebody calls you and asks you to download something on to your device and then asks you to log in to your account, stop! It’s a scam!

Remember, neither your Bank nor the Police will ask you to move your money to another account to keep it safe.


04 November 2020

Denmead Act of Remembrance: Sunday 8th November 2020

This year we are unable to gather for a physical Act of Remembrance on the village green on Remembrance Sunday.  

Instead, at 10.45am on Sunday 8th November 2020 we will share a virtual Act of Remembrance. Click on the this link to join in from home.

Support The Royal British Legion by buying your poppies and poppy items online, at the Poppy Shop, this Poppy Appeal.


02 November 2020

Covid-19 and motorbikes: Travel restrictions return to England

With Boris Johnson confirming a return to nationwide ‘lockdown’ from Thursday, November 5, the government has told people they must not travel unless it’s an essential journey. To that effect, recreational motorcycling is on pause for at least the next four weeks.

That doesn’t mean you can’t ride your motorcycle at all – you can still use a bike for essential journeys, such as going for food and medicine or visiting someone in your support bubble, but you can’t head out for a ride with some mates. The government guidance has also said you may make a short journey for exercise, however at the time of writing they have not said how far you may travel other than saying you should stay within your local area.

UPDATE (19/11/20): update from Andrew Dalton’s blog as to whether we can ride our motorbikes during lockdown: In a nutshell, our view is that riding a motorbike is “open air recreation” and you can do it in a “public outdoor place”. This includes a “highway.” If Parliament had intended anything else it would have stated that. However, to be clear, if you go out with 10 of your mates for example, you are in breaking the law.