Sian's blog

Dhaka   28 October, 2014
It felt strange to be driving along in a minibus, instead of under our own motor power! We were able to take more in of the scenery and note the changes in the terrain between India and Bangladesh. Firstly, the road surface is so much better! The roa...


The Border   27 October, 2014
Construction workers clearly start early here – there was constant banging from about 5.30. Everyone was a bit tired and grumpy this morning. The hotel was not set up for breakfast and it was going to take too long, so Tom and Dom proposed heading ...
Rules of the Road   26 October, 2014
When you look at the Indian traffic, it seems chaos. But do not worry, there is a subtle order. Paradoxically, bikes are probably safer here than in the UK. All drivers ride a bike and there are so many of them that everyone is aware of motorcycles. ...
We lose the children   26 October, 2014
Well, this morning found us all in a wilted state, drooping around on the steps with a distinct lack of enthusiasm like plants in need of watering. And just as well, seeing as it was raining pretty heavily and had been for some time. Even Khursid and...
The steelworks   25 October, 2014
In the afternoon, we adults had a tour of the steel plant and the children were left to their own devices, which they probably needed, doing gymnastics on the manicured lawn and playing on their electronic gizmos. The steel work tour was great alt...
The Tatas   25 October, 2014
It was a good night’s sleep in the guest house but I was a bit groggy this morning. I woke at 6 even though there was the opportunity to sleep in a bit. The breakfast was much delighted over by the kids, who had cornflakes and beans on toast! We...
To Jamshedpur   24 October, 2014
Eleanor was up at 6.15 when I went to wake her, ready for meditation, but Owen remained asleep, curled up in his sheet under the mossy net. I let him sleep on and did their packing. The bags were out by the van by 7 pm. – a record for us. The dinin...
Diwali   23 October, 2014
Woke this morning at 6.15 just before the gong went for meditation. Eleanor and Owen were keen to go and Crag decided to come along too. Tom was already there (the other Potokars remained in bed!) and a small group of us sat cross-legged on the cushi...
The meltdown   22 October, 2014
We slept well in the new hotel. It was a night of luxury, with plastic wrappers still on most things, including Owen’s mattress! Because we were the first ever guests in the hotel, the manager gave us a complimentary breakfast; it was an Indian one...
First ever guests   21 October, 2014
When I closed my eyes last night, I could see nothing but potholes and suffered that slightly motion-sickness feeling you get when having been on the move for a long time. We took a quick breakfast of cold omelette and got the car packed. This was a ...
To Janakpur   20 October, 2014
When we went to pay the hotel bill this morning, we found that it had already been kindly paid for by Dr Thapa (of the Nepal Burn Society), which we had not known about  – so that was a lovely surprise. It was a great morning, the sun making all t...
The Rhinos   19 October, 2014
Riding through the hills beyond Kathmandu was wonderful. A little nerve wracking facing the oncoming trucks; they may be wonderfully decorated and multi-coloured but they’re large and heavy and they can move apace downhill! The scenery was idyllic,...
Real Enfielders   19 October, 2014
6.30 for breakfast this morning. I’m sad to say I didn’t really sleep well. Perhaps a bit anxious about the conference talk and waking up in time, perhaps the dogs. The racket from 5 am was incredible, dogs and cockerels competing for who would b...
Oh no you can't (enter Bangladesh)   19 October, 2014
Well, we should have sorted this out already of course, but the Consular website says you can get a visa on arrival and we usually do – at the airport. I felt that we really should get them beforehand as it was a pain even at the airport, but what ...
the Handle Bar   18 October, 2014
It's been a bit frantic since we arrived. Yesterday evening, we got to Kathmandu Guest House, where we have stayed at least 6 times before, and, fairly predictably, there was a problem with the rooms. Luckily, Dominique takes no prisoners and she cha...
Breaking the first rule   18 October, 2014
We went up to collect the bikes at 3 this afternoon. There they were – 5 army-green Desert Storms all lined up, ready to go, one with a specially low seat for Dominique. The reassuring thing was they did look a little smaller than I remembered when...
Leaving the Country   17 October, 2014
We managed it eventually. In true Jones' fashion, we were packing up till the last minute, and just as I thought we were ready to set off, we had to take a detour via the motorcycle shop to hand back in some jeans and for Crag to do some emergency ja...
Sian: Six week countdown   4 September, 2014
When we could say there were 2 months to go, it seemed quite some time off, but six weeks only....that’s scarily close. Eleanor and Owen went back to school yesterd...
Sian: Day of Judgement   7 August, 2014
You always wish you had longer to practise whenever a deadline comes up. So I should be grateful I’ve had all week to monopolise various carparks after work, using ...
Sian: Freudian forgetfulness   31 July, 2014
This morning Crag and I headed to Wolf training. Tim was there to greet us and already set up the course. He is so calming. We had 15 minutes going around the cones, ...
Sian: 10 000 hours   29 July, 2014
That’s what they say you need to be really good at something! Practice, practice and more practice. So, back to Wolf for another day on the bikes, this time under T...
Sian: Guys, give it some welly   28 July, 2014
In order to be able to ride any cc of bike, we need to take our tests on a big bike, not a 125. So this weekend we were booked in at Wolf for two days of practice on ...
Sian: Angst   28 July, 2014
Every time I think about the test, I feel sick! I don’t think I’ve been so nervous since I sat my plastic surgery exams! It's not a thing I can rationalise and I ...
Sian: The Pretenders   13 July, 2014
The Hog Roast was a great success, despite the weather. There were hundreds of people there to support the charity, enjoy the dancing and part with their money for so...
Sian: A first for everything   12 July, 2014
  The first big journey, the first night ride, the first ride in the rain, the first fall.... This weekend, Eleanor and Owen went camping with their grandp...
Sian: The Theory   1 July, 2014
It was very quiet in our house this morning. I was in one room and Crag in another, in a last minute bid to ensure we knew enough for the theory test. Things have cha...
Sian: On Safety   30 June, 2014
Whenever I tell anyone I’m learning to ride, their first response is almost always concern about the dangers of motorbikes followed shortly by a tale of biking woe....
Sian: So the Child May Live   22 June, 2014
I'm also a Trustee for the Liverpool-based charity, So the Child May Live. This is a small charity, supporting health-care in Nepal. We fund a clinic in the rural South, but we also raise funds to help maintain the formal partnership between Alder He...
Sian: Monitoring Workshop in Kathmandu   18 March, 2014
I’ve just returned from 10 days in Kathmandu with Tom and Richard and our partners from Nepal and Bangladesh. This was the next stage in our DFID-funded project, wh...
Sian: The Tuesday ritual   3 March, 2014
I usually don’t work on Tuesdays, so it has become the default motorbiking day (weather permitting). It’ too early to go before work and getting dark when I come ...
Sian: Registered keepers   21 January, 2014
It’s 2014 and in 2014, we’re heading to Asia on motorbikes. Time to get a licence and we can’t get a licence without practice and we can’t practise without...
Sian: Partnership with the Bangladesh Burn Society   16 October, 2013
We have just been to Nepal and Bangladesh to continue with the DFID project. It's fantastic that we have funds for the work but now we have to discuss the details and...
Sian: All the gear but no idea   23 July, 2013
CBT: in my world, this means Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, a thinking approach to changing behaviour. In Bikerland, it’s Compulsory Bike Training, the first, essen...
Sian: Partnerships with the Nepal Burn Society   25 April, 2013
I have just been to Nepal for a week. We had, as usual, a fully-packed programme. There were two teams – one educational team, teaching Essential Burn Care with ...
Sian: At the start   1 March, 2013
When Tom suggested that we undertake a mammoth motorbike journey in order to fundraise for Interburns, I didn’t initially take the idea very seriously! I’m not a ...