The city of Nice seen from the surrounding hillside bathed in sunshine

Home Travel StoriesBute And Kintyre 2019

Getting Mentally And Physically Ready

Shortly before departure on 12 May 2019

By Sharon Parker

It is a damn shame my forthcoming trip to Scotland finds me apprehensive.

I adore Scotland and I have been looking forward to going back to what feels like home for some time. Such a pity then that my recent off and slide down the road has left a knot in my stomach. A knot and several bumps and bruises. My knee is still swollen, my leg is black and sore but slowly improving, my shoulder is likewise improving but my elbow is still a problem. 

This elbow has been a problem for some time, even before this knock. I twisted it several months ago while loading up the car with stuff to take to the tip. Since then it has given me some serious trouble. It is painful to touch or move and trying to grip and lift anything, even a empty kettle, is impossible due to the pain it creates. 

My self diagnosis is probable tennis elbow so I've waited for it to heal. It has refused. It takes a lot to make me visit a doctor but after 4 months of struggling with it I went along. She concurred that it probably is tennis elbow and the fact is there is not much to be done other than time to heal. However steroid injections can sometimes help and although I am usually reluctant to agree to this sort of intervention I agree as the pain and lack of use if my arm is getting me down as it is so troublesome. So she's put me on the list and I wait to be seen.

The pain has increased since the knock and I am concerned I will struggle with it in Scotland but hey ho it's not like I'm not used to pain these last few years. I'm not bringing out the violin but more the fact I have to accept pain is a way of life now. As well as my schwannomatosis I have also been recently diagnosed with other conditions that can and do cause pain. If I were to wait around for a pain free day the bike would live in the garage. 

So physically I am hurting but I'm good to go. Mentally, well I fell off, I will be cautious around bends and my confidence will be down. I know confidence rebuilding is a process, I'm nervous but not terrified so again I'm good to go. 

Envy is likewise good to go. The bike has had a new lever and indicator cover at a cost of around £12 each. The faulty indicator is resolved by jiggling and poking. I sand some of the scratches out of the heat shield and repaint the bar end. I consider buying a new fairing panel but it's expensive at over a hundred pounds. I stick on a plaster for now. The plaster being a lizard decal. 

The side panel of the Kwakker is badly scratched but Sharon has put on a lizard sticker
Stick a plaster on it, it'll be right. 

Envy therefore still remains looking like she slid down the road but this doesn't bother me as much as it once would have. I have learned over time that if you want to ride your motorbike for thousands of miles, in all weathers, load it up with luggage and go on great adventures then guess what... the bike tells this story. It does not look like a shiny showroom machine. It looks like a bike that has had adventures and every dent and chip and scratch is the indelible print of its miles of fun. 

This knowledge is somehow freeing. I won't neglect Envy she will still be loved and pampered and polished. But I don't have to lament over every new stone chip. I carry scars on my own body they tell my story as do Envy's now tell hers. Unlike mine hers could be made to disappear so maybe one day I'll choose to remove hers with a shiny new fairing and other new parts. Maybe, maybe not but for now both of us with our bumps and scrapes are ready to ride if not exactly race. All is well. 

I am not ashamed of my scars so why be ashamed of Envy's? As I said every scar has a story behind it. So as a storyteller maybe the scars should be worn with no shame but a reminder of a life lived and a story to be told. Talking of stories the lizard decal on Envy is quite fitting really because next to the scar I have on my own back, due to the removal of my spinal schwannoma tumour, I have a lizard tattoo. Why the lizard, ahh therein lies another story so a story becomes another story and on and on. 

I'm a storyteller and my stories must be told... but for now let's concentrate on Scotland. Right I can't delay any longer, no it simply has to be done, my least favourite part of all journeys... packing. Urghhh.


If you'd like to add your own post to Bikes And Travels click here.

Bute And Kintyre - But Why? Ren is trying to justify why he's not taking Sharon abroad to exotic places. He blames Brexit but we all know the real reason is because he's mean and miserly.
Getting Mentally And Physically Ready Before Sharon leaves for Scotland she's both excited and yet pensive? She's normally a chilled out traveller so what is different this time?
Ayr For The Third time Familiar roads to familiar places, theoretically, if Sharon can work out which way is up.
Air Head To Ayr Sharon is having one of those days. Still, she's keeping positive and her motorcycle upright.
Boating To Bute An easy and leisurely ride up the coast of Ayrshire and an evening on the Isle of Bute.
Breathtaking Bute Sharon would like a lazy, laid back and chilled day. Unfortunately she has brought a Ren with her. He's not so bad when he stops flapping.
The Beauty of Bute Is Bute a Beaut? It's a most peculiar day to find out though. There's no rain and a big yellow thing in the sky.
The Long Way To Machrihanish Using ferries to get from Bute to Machrihanish ought to be a most pleasant and easy ride. So how do Sharon and Ren manage to turn it into an epic exploit?
Exploring The Mull Of Kintyre A little look around The Mull Of Kintyre on two wheels and a short walk that Ren makes a big thing of.
Of Batteries and Glendaruel A bit of an issue this morning. Can Ren pull himself out the poop or will Sharon simply tear him limb from limb? Serves him right for being an idiot.
It's Time To Go Home It's the saddest part of any adventure, the return home. All good things must come to an end. Fear not Ren is more than man enough to cope...?

Reader's Comments

John S said :-
It is refreshing to read these posts because you speak about feelings. Thank you Sharon.
8/6/2019 1:25:01 PM UTC
Sharon said :-
Thanks John S,

It is always hard to know if anyone other than yourself is interested in your own thoughts, feelings and musings. So it is always good to hear that someone likes what you write.

12/6/2019 9:36:55 PM UTC

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