Thursday, July 3, 2014

3 July - Happiness and the Dudley Moore Trio.

It's approaching the middle of winter here - not a time to expect great motorcycling weather. For the past few days though the seven day forecast has shown a little sun symbol for today with a rain probability of 0. A good sign but sometimes not enough, as plenty of sunny days have winds of 40 kmh which is less than ideal for a day on the bike.

So a pleasant surprise this morning - a crisp clear day, with not a breath of wind - unbelievable. So on with the thermals and all the other paraphernalia and off on the road to Warburton via the beautiful hills and forests of West Gippsland. As mentioned in previous blogs, I always wear earplugs when riding because regardless of helmet design, wind noise at 100 kph almost always reached a level where hearing damage becomes inevitable over time. When I feel like it (and today I did) I use Earmold earplugs, custom made plugs into which you can feed sound from an iPod, phone or GPS unit. Today I felt like music and so I set my iPhone up to feed me various albums and by the time I had been riding about 30 minutes I hit the jackpot. With the winter sun beating down on my back I was riding at a leisurely pace along one of those tree lined roads that give you glimpses of vineyards, and green fields and the occasional farm house with smoke rising from the chimney. Combined with the muffled roar from the 750 and the V&H pipes I can almost reach a Zen state of consciousness where everything is in sync and all is well with the world. Right at that moment the first album faded away in my earphones and up came..... The Dudley Moore Trio!

I knew what a marvellous pianist Dud was, but hadn't listened to one of his CD's for years. Halfway through the opening track, I realised that while generally 'happiness' is a baffling and elusive state, I had just found it. Everything combined into an experience which was totally sublime and I almost got to listen to both of his CD's before it was time to stop for lunch at the bakery in Warburton. Only halfway and already the day as a great one. For those of you who enjoy great jazz piano but haven't had the pleasure I can thoroughly recommend the DM Trio - it was Dud at his best.

Here's a reminder:

Dudley is of course most famous for his collaboration with Peter Cooke in the marvellous BBC series "Not only but Also". Back in the 60's the BBC did not archive it's tapes and many of Pete and Dud's shows were overwritten but a few survive. Here's one of my favourite sketches:

Anyway, back to the ride. After a very nice lunch in Warburton I was reluctant to turn the bike back towards Traralgon. The ride home was great too with the temperature continuing to rise into the afternoon. Got home at 4 pm for a beer and a cigar in the backyard using up the last of that amazing sunshine. From the kitchen came the aroma of one my favourite meals - chicken curry with a very dry Asahi beer from Japan. And for dessert? Coffee and apple strudel which I picked up at the bakery in Warburton - oh and fresh cream. Everynow and then, the never-ending 'pursuit of happiness' delivers a jackpot (hopefully) and today was one of those days. Never to be forgotten.

Total Distance 300km

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