Happy Bunny in Da House!!

So gutted about Octopussy, but there are still plenty of bikes available. Am now searching on Craigslist and Cycletrader, but which bike to go for? I really fell in love with Octo so am looking for something similar. I’m not in the market for a Harley of course, I just don’t have the funds; the only Harleys within my budget are Sportsters, not a bike to ride on a 10,000+ mile tour I can tell you.

I find a few bikes but almost all are in the San Diego area, which is over 100 miles away from my guy in LA. He is happy to travel there, it’s my dime after all, but he does warn me of the pitfalls; the bike isn’t as described ie the seller is a liar, the bike has been sold to someone else while he is on the way, (apparently this has happened before), on top of which there is the world famous LA traffic to contend with and his long suffering wife fuming as she has to drive the car back through it all. In fact he now trailers the bikes so another cost to consider.

I am looking everyday and on top of this I have contracted a severe kidney infection, which, due to covid, means I have to wait a few days for a doctor appointment, who orders urine and blood tests that then have to be processed before she can give me some medication. All this takes over a week while the pain in my back gets increasingly worse. I am not sleeping and am on the computer incessantly. This leads to me sending links to bikes for potential purchase, different bikes in different locations.

The Octopussy is a Honda VT1300 Stateline, I really love the shape of that bike so I am looking for the same. However, they are not many for sale in the LA area, in fact I can only find one in my budget, at a dealers in San Diego. I send the link

Then there is a couple of Honda VTX1300c’s that I also like, one in Fontana and one in San Diego. James sends me links to another VTX1300c very near to him at an excellent price, but the mileage is 22,000 the other two are around 10,000. He also sends a link to a Yamaha 950 with all the luggage etc. so now this is all getting very confusing.

Of the VTX’s the one in Fontana is my favourite, but there may be a problem with the registration. In the photos the registration seems to be 2016 which means it’s expired. In the US you have to re-register your ownership every 1-2 years, if you don’t you are liable for the back taxes plus potential penalties. These taxes and fines pass on to the new owner so if I buy this one I might have to stump up over $500, not an option unless the seller will reduce the price by that much.

The Stateline is out of the frame, no way can we buy via a dealer, not only is it more money but the paperwork needs to be signed by me!

The VTX in San Diego is ok, don’t know why but am not that keen. I then find a VTX1800c, a beautiful silver bike with blue flames, quite a looker. This is also in San Diego, it’s at the top of my budget and a bit on the heavy side at 705lbs dry… however I send it to James anyway.

Ultimately James says I need to stop and rethink! What are my parameters, decide and then stick to them. I agree, this is really stressing me out so I need to take a breath. I decide that I want a Honda VTX1300c not r or s, (c for custom, r for retro and s for standard), it also comes in the 1800cc version which I don’t mind either. Forget the Stateline, no to the Yamaha. Age, no older than 2005. Mileage needs to be up to 20,000 considering I am going to add some 10,000 to that, with luggage if possible. Budget max $5000 and not black although most of the bikes I found are.

Next morning, after another sleepless night, I ask James to investigate the Flame bike in San Diego, can he call and get a ‘feel’ for the bike and seller? Soon after this I receive an email from the Fontana owner saying the bike registration is bang up to date and it’s still for sale; I pass this on to James.

Now things are starting to hot up… James can go to Fontana today or do I want him to investigate Flamey? I decide that the bike in Fontana is first choice, if it is all it’s cracked up to be then go for it, if not then pursue the Flame bike in San Diego.

Fontana meets most of my criteria, it’s a little older at 2004 but just 6,500 miles on the clock. Lots of chromey extras, which I am not adverse to, but no luggage or sissybar so I’d have to add those. It’s also black, oi vay… oh well it’s not really important is it, I can have it wrapped when I get home.

Now I am on tenterhooks, the 8 hour time difference means I am in bed, awake of course, when I receive a photo from LA.

After much searching and some disappointments here at last is the North America Tour steed… I think….

No text, just this and a couple of other photos… ok so I guess I’ve bought it then.

The same afternoon I receive this:

‘You are the proud owner of Fontana. You cannot tell the bike from new. It looks basically brand new…. It really looks BRAND NEW….ready for some airbrush on the bodywork!’

So there you have it… boom! Time for some serious shopping hahaha

So what about a name? Now all my black bikes are usually called Mórrigán, the Irish goddess of war and death, but they were Harleys and somehow it just doesn’t seem to fit this bike. Doing a little more research and I find this:

Clíodhna

Clíodhna, also known as Clionadh or Kleena, is Queen of the Banshees and rules over the sidheog, the fairy women of the hills, of South Munster, one of Ireland’s four provinces. 

(See the full story below).

So there you have it, I thought she just ruled the waves, but this is even better… welcome to the stable Clíodhna

Clíodhna was the mythical Queen of the Banshees, the female spirits of the Tuatha Dé Danannan, and forever will be associated with the southern part of Ireland and Cork in particular. 

She was a Goddess of love and beauty and is surrounded by three birds whose fabulous songs could cure all ills. Those who heard the songs were lulled into a deep sleep and when they awoke found that their sickness had been cured. 

She was a fabulous beauty, perhaps the most beautiful woman in the world. 

Other tales of Clíodhna are not quite so benign. She is said to have lured sailors to the sea-shore where they would drown, unconcerned as she was with the fate of mere mortals. 

But it was one such mortal who was to cause her downfall. She left the ‘land of promise’ in the Otherworld, known as ‘Tir Tairngire’, to be with her mortal lover Ciabhán (Keevan of the Curling Locks). It was an amazing sacrifice for a Goddess from the Otherworld to remain in the mortal realm but that is what she chose. 

When one day Ciabhán went off to hunt, Cliodhna remained at the seashore but was swept away by a wave incanted by Manannán MacLir, the sea Deity. Ever since that time the tide in Glandore in Cork is known as ‘Tonn Chlíodhna’ meaning ‘Clíodhna’s Wave’, especially when a fiercely loud braking wave thunders out from the sea. 

And since that time Irish legend has it that every ninth wave in a sequence is the strongest, and is known as ‘Clíodhna’s wave’. 

Clíodhna was revered by many of the strongest Gaelic families of old. In the ‘Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland’, Donal III O’Donovan, one of the great ancestors of the O’Donovan families, is referred to as the ‘Dragon of Clíodhna’: 

Domhnall’s son, dragon of Cliodhna, is guardian of the ancestral name,
he will remit his authority to none other – he has accepted the law of his dynasty

O’Donovan, Four Masters, vol. V, p. 1548

She is also associated with the McCarthys of Desmond, who adopted Clíodhna as their fairy woman. One member of the O’Leary sept was named Conor Clíodhna, again showing how well known and respected Clíodhna was among these ancient southern families. 

Perhaps one of the most enduring stories of Clíodhna relates to the famous Blarney Stone. 

While building his castle in Cork, Cormac McCarthy became involved in legal difficulties and appealed to Clíodhna for her help. In a dream she instructed him to kiss the first stone he found the following morning, and if he did so his problems would be resolved. 

McCarthy did as instructed and when he argued his cause in the courts found that he was possessed of such eloquence and convincing language that he easily won his case. He honored Clíodhna by having the stone he had kissed set into a wall, where today it is visited and kissed by countless thousands of visitors from all parts of this world. 

The legend of Blarney was enhanced even more when Queen Elizabeth I found that she could not successfully persuade Cormac McCarthy to surrender his castle to her. Such was his delaying tactics and now superior negotiating skills and turn of phrase that the frustrated Monarch of England described his communications as ‘Blarney, as what he says he does not mean’. 

And so it is that Clíodhna is well remembered in Ireland. Her Palace was near Mallow in Cork at a place that is still called ‘Carrig-Cleena’, meaning ‘Cliodhna’s rock’. 

And every time a massive thunderous wave breaks on the seashore her memory rises from the history of Ireland, echoing from the mythic era that, although now at an end, is never forgotten. 

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