Lost In...
Specialist historic vehicle tours

Route Barrée - 5th March 2014

Many thanks for your deposits for this year's tours. Almost every expression of interest has been followed by a cheque or bank transfer of a deposit to secure a room.

There are spaces available still on all of the tours.  The July German tour to Daun has only a couple of rooms and the September tour 'Up North' has five.  Each of these hotels will then be full and I am unable to get any more rooms. 

I have placed adverts in the VMCC Journal for April and May and in the British Two Stroke Club magazine for the year.  I hope to attract a few more riders for the French tour in May, where I would like to fill three more rooms.  I am really looking forward to going back to the Pays de Bray, with its rolling hills and gentle valleys.  I like the fact that it is abroad but not too far away.  I also enjoy the way the Frenchmen get excited in the Saturday market in Neufchatel when I show an interest in the live birds on sale in the market.  I like the idea of turning up at Calais, on a motorcycle, with a live quail or a goose in my rucksack as I attempt to get through the border controls.

The tours in prospect - repeated from last month

I am still waiting for the days to lengthen and the temperatures to rise a little before setting out to plan new routes.  I shall use some from previous years but aim always to offer you something new.   

Lost in France - Neufchatel en Bray
I missed going to Neufchatel last year so I am looking forward to going back this year.  I have reserved 8 rooms and taken bookings for 7 already.  If you would like to join us for this tour please book soon so that I have time to take extra rooms if needs be.  The hotel is only 45 minutes riding time from the Newhaven Dieppe crossing or about 2 hours from Calais.  Both journeys are very easy  and the region around the hotel is a lovely mix of hilly farmland and forest.  The hotel is in a quiet town, just off the main shopping street.  The dates are 27th to 31st May (Half-term holiday week - Wednesday to Saturday departure)

Lost in the Lap of Luxury (Lost in the Cotswolds)
I have had to add extra rooms to my reservation for 'Lost in the Lap of Luxury' (North Cotswolds).  My initial allocation of twelve rooms was taken up almost immediately.  This is a lovely comfortable hotel and has been very popular each time we have visited previously.  It would be a good one to treat your wife or partner and, perhaps, leave the bike at home and come in the car instead. I now have 20 rooms reserved  and filled but it is still possible to get more rooms if you are quick..  If you would like to join us please book soon so that I have time to take more rooms while they have them. The dates are 20th to 23rd June (Friday to Monday afternoon) If you would like a room for Monday night it can be arranged.  We shall ride Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  We shall depart on Monday afternoon to save the cost of a 4th night's accommodation since most of us live within reasonably easy travelling distance.

Lost in Germany - Daun in the Vulkaan Eifel Region
The Hotel Berghof was very popular last year and we enjoyed lovely weather.  I cannot guarantee the sunshine but I have chosen July dates to give us a good chance at least.  The hotel is not large and I have all the rooms.  If you would like to join us, please contact me as soon as possible.  Unfortunately there are no more single rooms but... have a look at the website and you will see that all the rooms have huge beds that are in fact two, separate mattresses put together with separate duvets - in effect twin beds and last year we found no problem at all sharing.  The food at the hotel is fantastic and you certainly will not go hungry.  They have offered a tariff that enables me to offer the 4 nights at £260 sharing - a bargain.  The dates are 18th - 22nd July.

'Lost Up North' (Northumberland). 
I now have all the available rooms at the Riverdale Hall Hotel for 'Lost Up North'.  This tour was hugely popular last year.  I have never had such positive feedback before.  Everyone loved the hotel, the food, the service and the countryside.  The weather was not perfect but there has been overwhelming support for the idea of doing it all again so I've taken you at your word.  I reserved 12 rooms and promptly took bookings for 14.  I contacted the hotel again and have now reserved the final 8 rooms they had available.  There are no more after this so please book soon if you would like to join this tour. The dates are 5th to 9th September (Friday to Tuesday).

My treatment so far.

Thank you to everyone who has called me up, emailed or come to visit during the last few months.  Your support has been really important to my recovery and to us all as a family.  I completed the course of 6 chemo-therapy sessions five weeks ago.  The specialist has been very pleased with the progress that I made and, in light of the stories that I have heard of the suffering of others, I am very happy to have suffered no onerous side effects.  Following each dose of the chemo drugs (usually on a Wednesday) I feel OK on the Thursday and Friday and then decline a little over the weekend.  By Monday or Tuesday I have bounced back and life goes on.  During these period of 'decline' I do not exactly feel ill.  I just feel very 'flat' and cannot be bothered to do very much.  I stay indoors in the warm and, generally, sleep quite a lot.  Then I wake up on the Monday or Tuesday feeling clear as a bell and I know I'm OK.  During those four or five 'flat days'  the texture of the lining of my mouth changes and goes 'wrinkly'.  My taste buds are affected and most foods taste unpleasant so I tend to have small portions.  Other than that, I'm pretty good and thankful to be so.  I go to bed in the evening, usually just after 8pm so appreciate it if phone calls come before that sort of time.  I'm usually sculling about at home during the day as I still do not venture out very far or very often.

My cake therapy built my weight up to what it had been before I became ill.  I have now called a temporary halt for fear  that I may not be able to control my weight beyond that.  It was explained to me that the effects of the steroids and other drugs that I am on might lead to a tendency to add weight.  For those that are interested in such things I take three tables each morning - Petyme (400mg Tamsulosin Hydrochloride) to relax the prostate gland to enable unrestricted urinary flow.  Zomorph (30mg morphing sulphate) for pain control.  Prednisolone (5mg).  This is an anti-inflammatory steroid.  I take the Zomorph and Prednisolone in the evening too.  Immediately prior to chemo treatment I take Dexamethasone (12 hours, 3 hours and 1 hour prior to treatment 8mg each time).  This is also a steroid and is administered to control feelings of sickness due to the chemo drugs.  For three days following chemo I take Metoclopramide Hydrochloride tablets(10mg three times daily).  This controls feeling of nausea and vomiting caused by the chemo drugs.  I can them continue to take them 'as required' after the three days, but have never felt the need to.

Following the success of the 6 treatments, the specialist at the hospital has suggested we undertake a further four sessions. He was off the opinion that, since the treatment was working well for me we should carry on.  What happens beyond the extra four I do not know.

Last week I had an infection in my left arm.  I have a permanent PICC line into the upper arm, through which blood can be extracted for testing and the chemo drugs or blood infusions are administered.  (The photo above is not of my arm.  I pinched the photo off the internet but it shows the general idea.  I do not have two nozzles on mine - this must be the GT version.)  The skin around the entry point is kept covered with plastic type dressings.  That area has now been covered for about 5 months.  About 4-5 weeks ago I began to experience an allergic reaction.  The dressing was changed to see if an improvement could be made, but it was still of the plastic type.  A swab was taken and infection detected so I had a one week course of ciprofloxacin anti-biotics.  The itching persists but the redness, blotchiness and broken skin have all cleared up well.  They were talking of taking the PICC line out but decided the infection was not in the arm but, rather, simply on the outer skin.  I have very poor veins (apparently) and they were unable to find a suitable alternative vein to take the place of the PICC line.  (They had to make several attempts in both arms when originally fitting the PICC line.)  My chemo treatment was delayed by a week as a result of the infection but I had treatment yesterday (4.3.14) without further incident.

So there you are.  You know as much about my treatment as I do.  I'm sure some of you have no interest in this but, just maybe, some gentlemen of a certain age might be wondering what is involved and might, of course, be in a similar position (or know a friend who is) and might be interested to be able to make comparisons.  In general I feel that information shared is safer than speculation and other forms of guesswork.  It is often difficult to know how or whether to broach the subject - especially when something like cancer is involved.  I'm happy to talk.

There you go...I'm OK and grateful to all of you who check up on me.  It is sincerely appreciated.  

Please keep telling your friends about the tours.  We all like to meet new friends.

Best wishes


To join us, simply email - gettinglost@hotmail.co.uk