An endowment thingy recently matured (I think that's the right expression but I'm not sure - I know nothing about finances) and I suddenly discovered eighteen grand had been deposited in my bank account. Peanuts to some people but not to me. Years ago I'd have invested the dosh in some savings account but not nowadays. The return for one's investment is a joke. So, what to do with the money? An obvious answer is to throw it at the house. Maybe a new kitchen and lounge. Or, resurface the lane to the barn down Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne way so builders can gain access to the ruined cottage and perhaps begin renovations. But, unfortunately, we still haven't decided what we're gonna do house-wise. Which means that if we chuck the loot at the house then sell, we'd be unlikely to get that loot back again. Similarly, if we chuck the dosh at the lane then sell, no way would it add eighteen grand to the selling price. Meanwhile, the money's just sitting in my bank account, in effect, losing value.
So..., without consulting my better half, and thereby risking an almost certain bollocking, I decided to invest about 25% of the dosh in an appreciating asset. Namely, a 1957 350 Ariel HT3. Arrived last week. But it's no ordinary HT3. This one has (and here's where I get technical) a hand-built Bartram frame, BSA fork yokes, Ariel sliders, Marzocchi fork internals, rebuilt motor (not yet run-in) with sports cam, Serco alloy barrel (re-bored with a new, low compression piston), new valve guides and springs, new big and little ends, new genuine roller mains, Lucas competition magneto, AMC competition gearbox (wide ratio high top gear) with all-new bushes and bearings, Norton clutch with new cush drive, new chains (front and back), new brake shoes, new wheel bearings, re-chromed front pipe, various beautifully hand crafted items by the highly revered Steve Gagg (such as airbox, oil tank, sump guard, primary cases and rear mudguard stays), new tyres and mudguards, special rear hub (BSA q.d. hub, alloy brake drum with steel liner, alloy back plate), Rickman front hub, and is road registered. It's already worth far more than I paid for it. A wise investment indeed. And a far prettier thing to look at than a load of diminishing numbers on a stupid savings account monthly return sheet. Financial advisers be damned.