Jan 28

When I was a boy

When I was a boy my entire bedroom was covered in pages from the MCN (Motor Cycle News) and posters of the latest motor bikes. I went to my aunts every year, in the August School Holidays, to watch the Isle of Man GP races. The GP is the lesser known series for amateur boys, those looking to become qualified for the world famous TT races, reserved for the professionals and seriously insane, that takes place every June. I had to bunk school to get to those races, but don’t tell my Mum she thought I was at school camp!

The smell of high octane fuel, especially from TZ Yamaha racing bikes was my drug and as Yamaha built off the peg racers, from 50cc up to 750 cc, my own goal and dream was to own one of those yellow and black babies, of any size.

But times change and although I went through a bike phase again, between 17 and 20, I lost that bug once it become clear, that in England at least, the girls much preferred a heater, a radio and if naughty a back seat to snuggle in!

I mention all this because it’s rather like our Investments, in fashion one year then out the next. At times we ware obsessively convinced of how right our choices are, only to find ourselves moving on to different pastures without really realizing half the time, that we are changing.

Right now we are in a very strange place, property is still in the doldrums, cash gives us nothing against inflation and bonds are always an option, but perhaps tricky given the potential direction of interest rates. Stocks and shares have run really hard for the last twelve months and they may be a little frothy right now, with many talking about a pull back or cooling off period.

Equities (stocks and shares) are a strange beast and demonstrate how investment is really all about timing and or patience. The Dow Jones broke through 10,000 around ten years ago and has only recently regained that position. That’s not to say though that during that period many have not made money, because they have.

So as I sit here, at 6.45 am next to a swimming pool watching Kilbride Junior learn waterpolo, it occurs to me that all things have a cycle. Although I never played water polo, my pony drowned in our first game, I can still see myself swimming in Warrington’s Gala Pool during those early morning training sessions. That was many decades ago, but the smell of public baths, the steaming hot OXO drinks, the dank wet towels and the yellow hair of the over committed chlorine stained swimmers, will never leave me.

But today it’s all different, it’s a beautiful balmy morning in Cape Town, not a cloud in the sky and a great day ahead.  So why then is my brain drifting off and thinking about sexy Ducati Street Fighte bikes, matching Ducati leathers and space age helmets, attire more appropriate on a 25 year old? I don’t know, but I suppose we all need goals and dreams, perhaps in 2010 I might just get to smell that racing fuel all over again. Then again, it may just be an old man’s  Mid to Late Life Crisis!

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