Time to get a little organised…

Well, there’s a lot got going on and while busy, there really won’t be much to show for my efforts. However, I can’t think of a better time to drop off twitter and scale back some of my internet indulgence and before anyone asks – no,
I’m not running off into the wilderness!
This week has certainly opened up into an interesting one of sorts with the opening news that even Fenny has found a whole new world with the absence of a TV.

So, the summer driving thing is in full swing, but lets not excuse the everyday person who thinks they can just pull in front of a 44 ton truck and stop…
Believe it or not, people do and last night while travelling northbound on the M5 just as I was passing the jnc 21 slip road which was congested so much, the traffic was queuing down the hard shoulder. I always slow down when passing this kind of thing because impatient people often do strange things. I prefer to change lane, but the traffic on the M5 was busy and wouldn’t let me out.
So then a car comes from the 2nd lane, straight across the front of me and slams his brakes on to try and exit on the slip road coming to dead stop as it was blocked with traffic. Slamming my brakes on and indicating to pull out, the 2nd and 3rd lanes still wouldn’t allow me to do so. That was until they saw the rubber and blue smoke coming from the rear axles..
Just as I was about to swing around this guy and miss him by and inch – HE PULLS OUT!!
Then tries to dive into the congested slip road again…
I’m sure this guy was totally oblivious not only to have come so close to losing his and the lives of others, but then there were now 14 pallets of soon to be rejected ceramic tiles now on the back of my truck! The other 20 pallets were fine.
Total cost to his stupidity – about £11,000!!
But then I did happen to notice that poor parking on the opposite verge can cause 12 miles of tail backs anyway, so all in all – another day at the office dear…

Other news in the form of The Mini…
Apparently the BMW Mini is to make a comeback in to the FIA world rally championship!!
Now, I know two people who drive modern mini’s – my mother and none other than WKD!! Having seen both drive these vehicles, one could readily argue that the Mini had made this return some time ago, just the FIA doesn’t know it yet!
In fact it could be argued that the remake of the Italian Job pales in comparison. Nevertheless, I’m sure the world rally championship will become a whole lot more interesting because of it.

Published in: on 27 July, 2010 at 21:18  Leave a Comment  

Modern Art or Physics in Action

This is a great pic isn’t it?

When we deliver cream to Westbury Dairy, they place a steam pipe on the tank to help ease the process of pumping the cream out.
Infact the last time I did it, they effectively cooked the last 500 ltr of the stuff to a solid mass and carried on steaming. The tank reached 145C before I told them to take the steam off. And I set about the dubious and somewhat terrifying task of letting the pressure off.
After the tank cooled down I CIP’d it (CIP is the process of cleaning a tank with Caustic Soda).
However, many of the tanks we use are designed for high pressure use as we transport fermenting products like Cider etc.
But even a designed pressure vessel can have serious issues handling the laws of physics.
At the cost of around £60,000 each, tanks don’t come cheap! But in order to minimise weight the tank itself is the chassis of the trailer. It’s weakest point is where there is no secondary metalwork. But they are incredibly robust and can be refurbished time and time again, lasting for a great many years.
This is the sight that awaited me at Westbury last night… after steaming off the tank they put it straight onto the wash – the first part of that process?? A cold water rinse… Ouch!!

Published in: on 26 July, 2010 at 16:22  Comments (2)  


I fess-up, I have been indeed somewhat absent of late for a thousand reasons yet this hasn’t stopped things catching either my eyes or ears… Well at least one eye, seeing as the other one has gone into a fixed focus!

So now, in the greater scheme of things, I like my American friends, just not always convinced about who runs there country, but in all things that are fair with the world – you can easily say that about the leadership of any country you can name… Even if Mr Obama spent the last few months cutting BP to shreds is suddenly happy to say “We’ve” stopped the leak – ?!
Anyway, this didn’t stop our Prime Minister going along and negating various historical facts and therefore undermining Britain’s finest hours by stating that in 1940 the UK was the USA’s junior partner!!
Now, I don’t know Mr Cameron and while I do believe he is a good chap, I must add that I found this particular slip of the tongue, well not hard to swallow exactly, but when I can find the right term I’ll be sure to pop back and say it.

Work has been busy and extremely varied, from shunting to driving double-deckers to more fun things like hauling tankers. Indeed, only yesterday I went back to Oakthorpe which is a place I hardly get to now, as such I considered the run a bit of a treat. I even popped into the notorious bay 2 in a single go…

However while on my way into London, I think it was near Windsor, I saw the Airbus A380 for the first time while coming out of Heathrow. At first I just thought it was a 747 quite close, but then realised what it was, how far away it was, the sheer angle and furthermore the turn it was doing.
What followed is a use of terminology I rarely use. Infact I haven’t used it since the beginning of the year – and this my friends was a genuine ‘Crikey’ moment (followed by a multitude of other expletives).
I’ll say one thing for Airbus – it’s not quite an Antonov AN225 but, that is one huge bloody thing.

Other stuff, and I have to say that since the other day I have been sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for news and hopefully a photo of an all new edition to the human race. I can’t say or add anything more until the folks are ready to impart info, but I most certainly pray that mother and baby are doing very well indeed.

As this week and following weeks progress, some of my time may well be taken up with more pressing family issues. It is reasonable to assume both work and blog will suffer because of this, but that’s ok.

Other than that, Gabby still runs, JK still winds me up, WKD is STILL jolly, Fenny is ever elusive, Dave still a property mogul and DhDave still shooting stuff around the world – all is well :

Published in: on 25 July, 2010 at 17:52  Comments (9)  

Al Murray – The World Cup

Published in: on 25 July, 2010 at 15:49  Leave a Comment  

So much going on I guess…

Yep, while I’m off to London again tonight and tomorrow night on a run that’s becoming seriously boring, so a quick look around the world of tech produces a smile on the face of The Wondering Brit,

First up, my tech headed educational buddy Dr Sue Black, who amongst other things does a vast amount of work helping to raise money and awareness for Bletchley Park due to it’s historical significance, is interviewed about how and when she realised she was a total Geek.

Other stuff;

Well,  as many of you know I had been following the development and run up to First Flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Due to be in service by the end of this year, the rigorous testing and in some cases – testing to destruction, has been going on for the past year at a rate that is frankly staggering! Indeed, some tests are aviation firsts and like with the Boeing 777, this plane is not only designed around building the crash equation out of it, but to make like one hell of a lot easier for the wider industry as a whole, the cockpit systems are very much similar as the 777, thus making pilot training only 5 days long on type.
As such, Boeing’s order book is running in excess of 800 of these things, and if that does not scream confidence, I don’t know what does.
Indeed, you can hardly go wrong building something based of the safest aircraft ever to hit service – the Boeing 777.

Also, as a spot of light humour and with h/t to WKD, I must show Mitchell & Webb’s take on Farming, and why you too should be a farmerist

Finally, to anyone and everyone in the NYC area – Big Apple Brits are holding a huge roof top BBQ to celebrate the Notting Hill Carnival – here’s the info:
For our end of summer BBQ we will be hosting a Notting Hill Carnival Style afternoon to celebrate the bank holiday in the UK and the traditional carnival that takes place over that weekend.

More theme details to be added, but we can confirm the following, so please purchase your tickets as soon as possible.

Join us for an afternoon on the rooftop…for only $20, this includes:

Our own BBQ chef, cooking up a storm
Private Roofdeck with loungers & plants (best kept secret in Manhattan)
Burgers (meat & veggie), hotdogs, potato salad and crisps (we will purchase some myers of keswick sausages too)
Free glass of Pimms on arrival (until stocks last)
10 raffle tickets for your chance to win great raffle prizes
Carnival music (to be announced)

Published in: on 15 July, 2010 at 11:43  Comments (1)  

Out and about again

It’s been a funny couple of weeks here really with a lot happening.
Typically, I have touched the world of tech again but with a great deal more caution of late. With work being some what weird, I cancelled a trip to London Monday where I was going to participate in a photo shoot for The Times newspaper with Dr Sue Black and others and the odd family issue, not to mention reigning myself in from the easy purchase of a Motion J3500 via the Dell website, I decided today to go and clear my head with a walk on the beach.

Just a few miles outside where I live is quaint and very old fishing village called ‘Beer’…?
Yep, you’re frickin right! There’s a town named Beer!! And just what a great concept that is :)
I haven’t really been to the coast while living here and while the weather was a dull and overcast, I thought I’d take the opportunity as while the sun was hiding there would be a fair chance tourists would be too.

The trouble with the south coast of the UK is most of the beaches are pebble, where as the north coast of Devon they all sandy and I’ll pop up there at some point and take a few snaps to show you what I mean.

One thing I do love about the south coast though is there is never a shortage of Union flags flying – just so those pesky wayward Fr**ch know they got it wrong if they pull a little close! lol

But like everywhere in the UK, there is always remnants of Fortress Britain and even in the smallest of villages like this one, the bunkers remain to this day.
That said, If you were going to assault a beach, there are better ones to do it on – furthermore if I could draw an arc of a mile around the coast here, beneath the surface you’ld find more than one sunken U-boat.
A good stroll around, watching the tide creep in and even eating an ice cream, cleared my head sufficiently for me to return, get two hours sleep, post this, get a shower and go to work…

Published in: on 13 July, 2010 at 21:41  Comments (1)  

It didn’t fall from heaven…

Last night after a long hot and very sweaty night shunting trucks and trailers around the yard I frequently work, I decided to go over to the milk office and grab a mug of tea and have a chin-wag before heading home to bed.
As I strolled over, the sight that greeted me was this….

Now at first glance and with humour, comments like ‘Who won, I think you need a new wiper blade, I think you have something on your windscreen’, dissipated when the true cause of this came to bare.
While travelling back to base on the M5, just south of Taunton – someone threw a sandbag off a bridge at the truck… Destroying the interior and showering the whole cab in glass and sand, not to mention the damaged to the cab windscreen frame.

Strangely , the driver didn’t stop – he carried on straight back to base. Now recently I have started to become aware of the reaction of people after accidents – they simply don’t follow logical courses of action.
I don’t know what it is, the shock, fear of possibly losing life, terrified, and physical shock almost like being punch drunk  – fight or flight etc.
As the driver, a normally nervous guy anyway, reversed back to take the truck away and fuel up I noticed he wasn’t quite right. I went over, stopped him and noticed he was visibly shaking and had tears in his eyes. I asked if he was ok and he said he just wanted to go home. I then said Ok, get your kit and get out, you shouldn’t be driving this, you need to get away from it.
He then said something that really blew me away: “do you think I’ll get fired for this?” ! ! !
He had carried on out of pure fear of losing his job!!
Now, I cannot begin to even start with this – but for a guy to have driven 20 miles showered in glass and debris while hardly being able to see through his windshield begs the level of belief that makes a normal person consider the use of a bat as a training methodolgy.
However, the issue of things being thrown from bridges isn’t anything new and certainly for my friends and work colleagues, there have been several instances this year alone.

Published in: on 10 July, 2010 at 16:04  Comments (3)  

A quick post (I’ll come back later to clean it up etc)

So, after having a skinful from the night before, I race off to London last night to collect a truck load of bottles of milk…
Now, on here and on twitter I often use dark humour in regards to such things as Road-Kill etc, but last night while coming out of a village call Chicklade on the A303 I had to serve to miss a deer…
The A303 is only single lanes at that point and why I swerved was simple, A very large deer with antlers was laid up to the kerb but was still fully alive, almost half sitting up even.
As you know deer’s startle easily and as it came into my headlights, the fear was all to present in it’s eyes.
Immediately, I wished I had put it out of it’s misery and yes, I must admit to feeling some concern for it’s suffering. Not only this but the sheer size of the beast – big enough to flip a car over if it hit it!

A few minutes later 112 was called (the euro-wide version of 999 or 911) and I informed the police. Less than five minutes later and several blue flashing lights had raced passed me either for a chance of good venison or to humanly put the beast out of it’s misery.

This then was the greeting of a new knowledge – a knowledge that states “Unto you oh trucker – the road ahead is clear and most definitely clear of the police”… an opportunity certainly not missed ;)

On my way back I slowed to a stop where the deer had been and there weren’t pools of blood, no drag marks, empty shell casings and apart from the odd tyre mark – nothing…
For once I might have actually done an animal a favour.

Right, off to work again just now as it transpires that I don’t actually have any money :(

Published in: on 8 July, 2010 at 16:27  Leave a Comment  


It’s fair to say I’m not the greatest driver in the world – far from it. I do have fun from time to time, but no one is immune from the dangers of this activity… Infact, nearly 3000 people die on the roads of the UK each year and as I driver, I see a lot of it. So when that figure is put against instances of gun crime etc, most things fail to come even close to just how dangerous driving is – a 911 every year on the British road network.

I’ve only had one ‘real’ accident, infact a recent video shown on the BBC of a truck pushing a car down a highway was the exact kind of incident I had, in the dark on the M42. And I can tell you, I couldn’t even see the car, I thought I’d had a blow-out.

So, without further ado, if you drive – watch this

Published in: on 6 July, 2010 at 06:27  Comments (4)  

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