BMW Club Oxford Section Report for January 2017
As you read this in the recovery mode after the hopefully, wonderful excesses of the recent celebrations over Christmas and the New Year, we can try to recollect just what happened in December. All the pub social meeting locations had a special Christmas meal event, which for some of us who tried to get to as many as possible it was a great time for food and to meet old and new friends.
The normal second Sunday winter event at Uffington Memorial Hall on the 11th December had some superb food provided by the catering team led by David and Rosemary Hicks before everyone settled down to a fascinating talk by Mark Powell on his tours of the Balkans. Having travelled to this part of the world on many occasions by bike in his work as a lecturer, he proved extremely knowledgeable. The story of how the relatively new state of Kosovo came into being and how the residents are coping is very interesting. On to, what Mark described as, exotic Albania where many of the men wear skirts along with being heavily armed and his recommendation therefore not to laugh or comment was very advisable. I’m sure many wouldn’t have known that Montenegro is half the size of Wales but travellers do have to watch out. Mark said “there are bears but they are not a problem; they can be chased away with a large enough club”. With the wars only recently finished there are many unexploded mines around but Mark said “these are not a problem as long as you don’t step on them and ‘most’ are marked! According to Mark what you do have to worry about are the sheepdogs as they are vicious! In Montenegro he said that there is a chance that your main meal may explode. His advice being that “if your food is on fire, put it out and eat it”! He even showed a photograph of a restaurant called “Fish on Fire”! He also mentioned another restaurant on the Albanian border with the name “Titanic Restaurant”, which the owners seemed to think was a good name. His final comments concerned King Zog of Albania; which made us think he must be talking about another planet. Apparently King Zog was a Muslim and his wife Geraldine was a Christian as he wished to show how all could live in harmony. Hitler gave them a wedding present of a Mercedes car that is still to be found somewhere in Albania; perhaps an excuse for you to go and look for it.
The section has sent a donation to Mark’s chosen charity of the ‘Ideas Partnership’ in Kosovo helping children. (Photo by permission of Carla McKenzie).
No sooner had the New Year launched in a flurry of fireworks the first event of the year at the Lock, Stock & Barrel at Newbury proved as popular as ever. How the chef managed to break his wrist is not known but the pub managed to find a replacement at very short notice to feed us all very well. The staff did an excellent job of looking after everyone until the stand in chef could get the ovens up to temperature and provide good food for the assembled masses. A whip round by Rob Allin elicited the princely sum of £35.14 that is to be donated towards the Section’s charity for this year of the Blood Bikers.
The section certainly ensures that the riders and pillions are suitably refuelled as well as the bikes with many planned events taking in a restaurant or eating establishment throughout the year. Get your place booked very soon for the Sunday Lunch on the 19th February at the Crendon Indian Cuisine, Long Crendon by contacting Rosemary Hicks.
The 26th February, not the second Sunday note, will be another winter indoor meeting at Uffington Memorial Hall when Kamran Irani will tell us more about our chosen charity of the ‘SERV OBN Blood bikers’.
March the 12th will be the last of the Uffington indoor meetings with a talk by Neville Dalton on his adventures in Norway.
Look out for the visit to the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy on the 15th March as this is an opportunity to see the potential future for electrical generation.
More food on both the 19th March and the 2nd of April, just in case you are getting too thin after the resolution you made on the 1st Jan. Then there are of course all the pub socials where even more food can be downed!
With the 100th anniversary of the 1st World War this year it is very appropriate that the section has a visit to Ypres over the weekend of the 26th to the 29th May although this very full with a reserve listing.
By now you will all have received a copy of the tri-fold Section Calendar of activities along with some 50th anniversary stickers. The calendar will enable you to add the dates and events you wish to attend into your diaries and make sure you add in the special 50th events as well.
Here’s to safe riding and some good weather.