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12th September 2005


Opinion: Motivation

"I hear a gem that makes me stop, put down my spanners and walk to the gate." Melbourne Métisse doesn't have to look (or listen) too hard to find reason to finish his Triumph engined Rickman framed special...

Our new home in Melbourne's north-eastern suburbs has seen better days. Built in the 1950's of the weatherboard construction so popular in Victoria, it is our first home and we've bought it with one eye on the future as it sits on a good sized plot suitable for development. However for the time being we are making it as comfortable as possible and I have set about turning the decrepit garage into a Shed fit for the purpose of completing the re-build of my Triumph Métisse. I've bought an hydraulic workbench and installed a sizeable and substantial 'L' shaped workbench using two old 3' x 6' bed frames. I've patched up a few leaks, put up shelving made from recycled timber, got a sparky to put up additional lighting and power points and all-in-all I'm pretty happy with how my Shed has turned out. But it's not just about the fabric and fittings…

Why don't I see a view like this when I look into my shed?

Our home is built on a steeply sloping block and from my Shed I look down the drive past wattle trees resplendent in yellow bloom, to a small nature reserve that is dense with gum trees, iron barks, tea trees and occasional firs. As I quietly potter in the Shed I can smell the wattle, hear the frogs in the creek and the birds that not only thrive in the security of the reserve but also in the trees that surround our home. We have galahs, kookaburras, rosellas, honeyeaters and currawongs plus of course the inevitable possums that crash-land on our corrugated iron roof, raid our dustbins and generally drive our Golden Retriever to distraction. Threading through this idyllic vista is Research-Warrandyte Road. Not only linking the two villages that give it it's name, it also joins roads to a third village, Kangaroo Ground, to form a triangular route of approximately 30kms of smooth tarmac that sinuously winds up and down the bush and tree lined hills of Nillumbik shire and the Yarra Valley.

As I work on my Métisse I hear the bikes that are drawn to the delights of the road - from the east they eagerly power up the rise to the challenges of the sweeping bends that stretch ahead of them, from the west I hear them throttling back to negotiate the 50kph speed limit and the final corners leading back to Research, Eltham and the suburbs of Melbourne that lay beyond.

I hear the familiar heavy throb of the ubiquitous Harley cruisers, the more urgent beat of Ducati vee twins, the whistling four cylinder rustle of Japanese sports bikes and regularly the 14,000 rpm scream of a Honda 250/4 belonging to a local lad still carrying his learner plates. Then just occasionally I hear a gem that makes me stop, put down my spanners and walk to the gate - the distinctive cam chain clatter of a CB750, the gorgeous mellow thud of an immaculate Norton Inter and the visceral roar of a beautiful late 60's, US-spec, wide barred 650 Triumph with young son on the pillion proudly clinging to Dad.

Random Métisse Stuff on eBay.co.uk

As I lean on the gate and watch the burgundy and white Triumph disappear towards Research, my wonderful, long suffering wife brings me a cup on tea that I telepathically ordered. Do I need more motivation to complete my Métisse? I think not…

Why don't I see a view like this when I look out of my shed?

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