The Vespa was due for a service and it's MOT and I had booked her in to an non-franchised but Specialist Workshop over in Cheltenham to get the work done. As this is very near Golfy's centre of operations we had planned to meet up to drink coffee and shoot the breeze until the bike was ready for collection. Unfortunately our HR colleagues and one of our Bosses had different ideas and so it was with trepidation that I entered the secret underground lair from which Golfy runs his diverse and nefarious operations.
I cannot say too much about the location other than it is in Gloucestershire and is a 50,000 square feet underground bunker constructed in one of County's many extinct volcanoes*. Actually I can't say much about the location as one of Golfy's stunning, athletic but lethal Henchwomen covered my eyes for the last 10 miles of the journey to the HQ. This lair is cunningly disguised as a roundabout and, this is a very nice touch, has perfect robot rabbits that maintain perimeter patrols and feed information back to the centralised Security console. I did manage to have a look at one of these on the workbench and they pack a surprising amount of armaments for such small and mobile devices.
Once inside, and after I had been given the tour of the laboratories, weapon silos and data centre, we sat down to develop a "last minute" spreadsheet for our Boss and a Presentation for the lazy sods in HR. Once we had finished Golfy gave me a brief guided tour of the Gloucester Docks developments and a stop was made for a panini and coffee.
It was then time to pick up the Vespa and head back to my favourite branch. All had gone well with the Service and MOT and the Workshop Owner commented on her good condition and the fact that she was now starting to appreciate in value. The Vespa is an absolute biking icon and mine is very low mileage example in an unusual colour. She is now reaching the point, at 11 years of age, where I need to think carefully about what I do with her. She is in far too good condition to just let her slowly deteriorate and end up scrapped so it looks like I will now need to spend a few quid on her to ensure that her loveliness is preserved.
Back home it was a quick and early dinner and then back out on the other bike for a run out with Chippy Ian, Mick and another chap who's name I didn't catch. God knows where we went but the roads were fantastic; smooth and flowing and we had a fast run over to Bibury where we settled in to a posh but very welcoming hotel sat alongside the river that runs along the main street of the village. After coffee it was a run back towards the Vale taking in Cirencester and Tewkesbury along the way. I got back at half past ten only to find that my HR colleagues require us to develop a further fucking slide for their sodding presentation. Talk about half arsed and last minute!
------------* Surprising in view of the fact that all of Gloucestershire is oolitic limestone. There is not an igneous or metamorphic rock in site.