Just stuff

I’ve been meaning to write about a dozen posts over the last two weeks… but sadly I just haven’t had my head in the game.
I have though, brought back twbrit twitter which has helped me get back to sniping fun at people and winding them up appropriately – or not as the case may be.
This, while I grumbled, was down to ‘emilyp’ of Twitter and her power to flex a little muscle here and there. I also offered her chocolate too :)

,The work front has turned into a complete and utter joke, no surprise really and I seem to be fixing everyone’s laptops at the moment.
I am of course doing this for free with friends etc and have no plans to turn it into an income, but was surprised to find what people charge for the simplest of work.
I’m presently awaiting a new power socket for a friends laptop, he was quoted in excess of £150 for this work. I bought the power socket the huge amount of £1.99… yes, that One Pound 99 pence.

A trip up to Oakthorpe on last Saturday night was welcome, albeit once I go there and tried to get an hour shut-eye, I happened to miss a group of vital text messages and then the place erupted in police sirens, 12 police vehicles and a helicopter!!
No rest for the wicked then….

Oh, the week before last was the Honiton Carnival…. yeah, this sleepy little market has it’s own festival and it aint quiet… nope, it’s damn right loud and the kids love it, hell every one loves it.
SO in between talking to Hammy in New Zealand, The US and Dean in Australia, I managed to nip out and take some snaps and a spot of video.

Other than that, I meet with lawyers this next week, I’m in the process of legging it out of the door for a 12hr shift running around north Devon.
If anything these days, there is a deep feeling of frustration and melancholy.
But hey, the sun will be up tomorrow, and that my friends means a new day where anything can happen :)

Published in: on 6 November, 2010 at 16:58  Comments (1)  
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Of Ice and Snow getting a job Done!!

I have been holding back this post somewhat, basically to gather more information from other sources.

During this last week, the South West of the UK has been gripped in a ‘freeze’. Even when the air temps reach 11C (51F) the ground temperature rarely got above -5C (23F). As such from what started as a bit of snow 7 days ago, the overall situation just got worse.

I have already mentioned in an earlier post about it raining on ice creating an oiling effect. Every single operating base we use has now written off trucks and nearly every single Ex-Farm Bulker has been off the road and stuck in ditches, fields and in some cases water – not once, but several times.

The cost in vehicles alone and not to mention recovery costs will have by now exceeded around half a million £!

Then came Christmas Day morning… the air temp had finally risen and at 4am, what looked like normal safe ground became something I have never witnesses – it was ALL Ice, you simply could not stand up on any surface that you’d normally assume to be safe!!!

I found this out at 56mpg on the south bound M5 just south of Wellington, while moving to the 2nd lane to give more room to the emergency services to recover several cars from the hard shoulder – as I passed I lost control of my truck, the trailer went one way and the tractor unit went another. I do have a lot of Ice and Snow experience, but not that much on black ice in an articulated vehicle! While I have experienced black ice, I’d never experienced this total loss of control – and this video was pretty much watch saved me!

I regained control and continued – experiencing a further 5 instances of coming close to not only losing the truck, but also putting others at serious risk for their lives…

Now, I’m not gonna sit here and whinge, nor am I gonna claim to be any kind of a good driver. But it was fairly obvious to everyone that the conditions were totally unsuitable for the safe movement of just about everything!!

Yet, work continued, people were expected to carry on. Whether it is a Bull S*it pride thing with drivers of the complete and utter stupidity of managers (probably both) the work continued.

On my way home I wrote a text to WKD to tell her NOT to come in, but the thing was that I knew her phone would be off and even if it wasn’t – she had a house full of Christmas guests.

For whatever reason it was I did not send the text – and I should have done!!

You see, I have this very weird skill, at gut instinct you could say. But whatever it is – it IS 100% accurate and some of you reading this will already know what I’m talking about. So If I ever call any of you and say something like you need down time now! Or in this case – don’t go to work because it’s too treacherous – Don’t f’k about, do what I tell you, because what ever it is you do – it isn’t worth dying for!!

How accurate am I? Accurate enough for it to have earned me money!!

When I woke up later on Christmas day, I got a couple of phone calls giving me what could only be described as nothing short of an encyclopaedia of disaster before returning myself to work for 4:30pm – based in the knowledge that much of the main ice had thawed…

At this point and when talking to WKD, I had no knowledge of what had happened to her during the day (I mentioned this interaction in the hohoho post below).

Anyway, WKD IS probably the best driver we have, she can do things so naturally with a truck it begs belief – I don’t think she realises how good she is, but she is very well respected.

So when she loses traction and goes sailing backwards at speed straight through what would ordinarily be a very busy road junction and not coming to a halt for quite some distance (saved by the fact there was little traffic due to it being Christmas Day) then you know that we should no longer be on the road AT ALL!!!

Airing this incident to managers on her return to base – she went out again…

Now, this is not just about WKD, but this is where I draw a line, and this line has consequences the likes of which I don’t wish to put into writing and you really don’t want to read – But, here goes…

I have listened to, too many stories this week of people being told to go out in trucks onto roads and lanes you wouldn’t even try to crawl down on your hands and knees! Yes, they say “If you’re not sure then don’t do it” but in reality they say “well someone’s got to go” or the best one is “well give it a try”… (These drivers spend years hauling these trucks around some shockingly tight roads and lanes, they have skills behind the wheel I can’t even conceive of, so when they say it’s a no go – then you can bank on it!!)

This is tantamount to asking someone to run at armed police with a loaded gun. It is outside of and does not even come close to a Duty of Care and I will not have it.

If you are pressured in any way and especially by insinuation to go out or try to get into a place where you have expressed any doubt or fear of doing so, the person or persons are putting your your life and putting members of the general public lives at risk.

If they put you in fear of your life – then welcome to my world!!  Because I have no qualms in returning this favour – no matter what the cost. If anyone puts a colleague or team member in fear of their personal safety outside of a combat zone, in doing so breaking just about every law you can imagine… there is no law in this land that will protect you from what I most certainly will do and have a high level of proven proficiency in – to you.

Now there used to be a adverse weather system in place whereby a farmer would put his milk in a tank and tow it down to a good road with his tractor and meet the Bulker – but apparently this is now against EU regulations.

Well stuff the EU regs if it puts people at risk of injury or death!!

Now just to back up a little here, we’re not talking snow, heck it we were – a set of 8 chains would solve this problem straight away!! Ice on the other hand needs studded tires – isn’t quite true. You see studded tire technology is a 1960’s system and since then tire compounds have changed greatly. Infact they called them ‘Stud-less Ice Tires’ now and are basically a standard tyre made of a very special compound.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES ARE THESE:

Your personal safety – you go to work to make your life better, not lose it for trying to earn money to put food on your table!!

Managers etc – your FIRST job is the care, safety and wellbeing of your staff, team and employees!!  The job comes last!! It is a CRIMINAL offence not to do so and it will invoke a guaranteed insurmountable and slow destruction of every aspect of your life by me if you do the contrary to people I deem my colleagues and possibly friends.

Make sure you have the right PPE (personal protective equipment) this includes ice grips for your boots!!

However…

There is something we can ALL do in the UK and this to simply call RIDDOR… It’s part of the HSE and a place you can report anything and everything. While they will take your details, they will not give these details to your employer. What they will do is investigate and basically make employers get their respective asses together.

There contact info is below and while there is a legal requirement for you to report stuff to them as of the 1st January I’ll be making a lot of inroads in their direction.

You can contact RIDDOR on 0845 300 99 23

Or visit their website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/riddor.htm

Almost there

It’s actually turning into a quiet week here. I’ve been waiting for a new laptop screen to turn up, running around sorting out a few things and filling londonup my itinerary for meeting people on Friday in London.  It’s probably a good job that I’m returning on the same day as I think I might have needed a week to get over the possible hangover if I’d stayed over.
The biggest hassle was oddly deciding on how to get there… But at the moment looks like the TWBrit Car of Character might indeed be making the journey (shock horror)
sonic1One person I am looking forward to seeing is the Bickmore – or as I call him, Sonic! Bain of Network Rail and backbone of keeping the entire Southern Rail network up, running and healthy – and believe me, that’s hard work.
I hope also to meet up with Dr Sue Black and have a good tinpan alleyold chin with her and others at Tuttle.
Then it’s off to Denmark St aka ‘Tin pan Alley’ –  second London home!
If all that is not enough, then I’ll be heading back to Devon for a night of serious drinking with Dave across the road – I say serious because while I don’t drink much,  one I start drinking a googly beer, well – yer know… gotta drink it all… Waist not, want not!

Any way, no more excursions looking for jackets today. I thought back to yesterday walking around Exeter and apart from a couple of people, I really didn’t enjoy tramping around the shopping areas. I say a couple of people because while strolling down South St. around 4:30 pm a mother and her ver young son were coming the other way, and for the life of this poor little fella, he could not work out whether past me on the left or right – until he froze with indecision. I couldn’t help but laugh. The was the lady cutting my hair in the barber shop who took it upon her to try to work out my problem finding a jacket – I did, try middle aged and fat! LOL

Published in: on 14 October, 2009 at 12:48  Comments (3)  
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Old Devon, a modern past

A couple of miles or so north east of Honiton is a little village called Smeatharpe. There’s little of anything interesting about this typical quaint Devon village, unless you look over the odd hedge.
upottery runwayIf you did, you’ll recognize the vast slabs of concrete that are beginning to melt in to the green of the fields, because this was RAF Upottery.
The life of this place was incredibly short, a year of operational use, that became the UK home and starting point for a story that became a household name.Image(183)
Today, I had a stroll around the old airfield, I walked all of the runways, and one now has a cow shed on it. I walked further, climbed fences and saw the remains of the bomb dump. And even checked out the sad state of this ancient Air Traffic Control ToweImage(184)r.
To me, airbases hold something special. These are the places where men and women came to live, fight and die. These people sometimes travelled great distances, may be they might have been orphaned by their then fallen home nation, or might have just lived around the corner.
But the gates on these places were for many, the last gates they walked upotterythrough, as so many thousands past through them never to return, to never know a world without war, or indeed – to feel freedom once again.
The pressures were high, so the social scene was often intense, but more to the point in this case, these slabs of concrete and one building was the last friendly home and embarkation point to E Company, 506th Regiment, attached to 101st Airborne Division. I’ll translate: Home and embarkation point to Easy Company – the Band of Brothers…upotrunway

airfieldupotteryWell Hanks and Spielberg certainly didn’t film the show here, but as the sun fell on Upottery today, I thought about this place and it’s other roles in that one year, its anti-submarine warfare and air logistics.
For a moment, I stood in the center of where one runway intersects another. watching the sun go down, feeling the breeze of a dying summer and listening to the field of silence around me.
Sometimes, I don’t ever want to be anywhere else than where I am at a moment like that.

To me, these places mean something, to others – they’re just another field with a slab of decaying concrete.

Image(189)

Chris 3 makes the next level

Chris 3

Here in Honiton there is a guy called Chris. Chris is well-known in Honiton and surrounding areas – and to none more so than truckers.
Chris is a middle aged spastic who rides around Honiton on a tricycle with a ‘Chris 3’ licence plate which has mysteriously changed to Chris 4.

Chris loves trucks, he talks to every trucker he can and where possible – he lives to help them.
The company I mainly work for have what we call a ‘Reload Site’ just outside Honiton on the showground and everyday, twice a day – Chris comes along to help the Ex-Farm and Transhipment drivers reverse in and do all the little jobs they have to do.

Chris is a star in my view, while he may be a incapacitated by this form of muscular spasms, he really is clued up on what is what. He certainly does not want or need pity. As such, I’ll not post a picture of Chris without his permission, but if you are travelling through this area, please look out for him and give him space and time.

Well done Chris, for making it to level 4

chris 4

From

TWBRIT number plate

Published in: on 8 September, 2009 at 14:12  Comments (2)  
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Honiton Hippy Fest

Hippy Fest

As I call it anyway… although it’s in the next town of Ottery St Mary.
Beautiful Days is the annual music festival that takes place down here in sunny Devon, UK. It turns out to be very popular indeed with tickets selling almost as quickly as the Glastonbury Festival.
HERE is the link to the official site.
In honour of this and that WKD is (as she puts it) ‘Revelling with the Levellers’ today, here are the Levellers and ‘The Boatman’.

Published in: on 23 August, 2009 at 15:19  Comments (2)  
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And the Sun goes down…

It’s funny, no really – it is. You see, I’m not really a fan of living in Devon. Maybe if I had come to this area under different circumstances, I’d feel differently, but I don’t.
However, rural life, no matter where it is – is awesome!
It’s pretty much dark here now in Bishops Nympton and the farmer and his son’s have just about got all the hay bails in, in a race against a fading sun.
Sometimes, if you could just hold a vision, a moment in time, forever – this very moment would be a good one.

SUnset

The sad part of this is – I’m finding it hard to be grumpy… and that is just wrong! lol

Just met the Farmer/owner, thoroughly nice chap.

Published in: on 7 August, 2009 at 21:42  Leave a Comment  
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Darn it….

Just after I updated the previous post – the phone rang…(04:30 in the morning)

They need me ‘urgently’ apparently at N.Tawton to rush about north Devon, the thing is – I haven’t been to sleep yet!

At present I’m fine and have now spoken to them and found out what the job is, so all is well as the will be plenty of time to sleep through out the day – result!!! (oh, and I am legal by the way).

Update:

It’s now 6:20pm and I walked through the door 20 minutes ago.
As you can tell, it wasn’t all that plain sailing. The first part of the job was to shoot down to a ftruck-milkarm at the village of Rattery –  who on earth would want to name a village ‘Rattery’?!

I Dropped an empty tank and picked up a loaded tank of milk and head straight back to where I came from to the cheese factory next door.
I get 20 minutes sleep.
Then out of there and head up to the north coast of Devon on hellishly tight roads to pick up another load, this time bound for Okehampton.
But it’s summer holiday time and the roads are busy as hell with tourists crawling along at 20 – 30 mphNarrow roads!
I pick up the Milk and decide (due to my tired state) that I’ll go the long way around as the road are much better and I didn’t fancy some of those roads at full weight with a liquid cargo. I would say, if I wasn’t tired and did that, it would be an issue off not having enough ‘bottle’. This I could not ever admit to, but under the circumstances of being so tired – I’d have to say it was both :-(
I hit the north Devon link road and went for it, stopping the otherside of Tiverton for a break.
Oddly, I was ahead of schedule the whole time, even after going the long way around.

On the way back to the depot, the biggest fkoff wasp got in the cab, actually (as it wamonster wasps pointed out later) it was a hornet! And boy, it was not a happy bunny at all. However, I managed to keep the old nerve and eventually it found it’s own way out, but the size of the thing shocked the life out of me! I mean, all joking aside, if an insect asked you to open the window, while doing up his boot laces and drinking Bud – I think you would oblige

I think the thing that kept me going today, is the fact I’ve had something on my mind for the past two days that I can’t seem to shake. If I knew why, or what, if it’s a good thing or even bad – I’d tell you, but sadly I’m just a little ‘foggy’ on the whole thing – but I WILL find an answer. And now I’m sounding like Little Trucker ;-)

I think sleep might be in order now.

Published in: on 12 July, 2009 at 04:40  Leave a Comment  
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An interesting run to London.

A little background;

Down here in the South West of the UK it’s very hilly, some of the roads are, in many cases nothing more than 8 ft wide lanes connecting remote villages and towns that were born of ancient settlements well before medieval times.
As such, it is little wonder that the wear and tear to goods vehicles can be quite harsh. Indeed, clutch wear, suspension and body work all suffer. It’s not the next generation of Ice Road truckers, but some roads take a little caution to say the least.
Most of the Milk Tanker trailers suffer horrific levels of wear during normal use and with vents and valves operated by air, it’s not a surprise that we suffer some air loss on a regular basis. Infact, you learn quite quickly what exactly an acceptable air loss is and what is not.
So, yesterday I get told I’m going to Oakthorpe in London again. No problem, I enjoy the run.
I get to work, hook up, check the vehicle over, check tyres and lights etc. There was mild hissing under the trailer, but in was minimal. I set off.
M5Straight up the M5 motorway to Bristol and turned right on to the M4 motorway to London.M4
Now like any major road in any country, there are hills etc. Well, weighing in at a full 44ton, I was descending one such hill and noticed I had to use un-due extra braking to keep the vehicle at a legal, or moreover – a safe speed. In most of the UK you get 10% leeway on speed limits and on a motorway the speed limit for a truck is 60mph. For the most part, I kept within 10% of that figure. After stopping for a break at Reading services/rest area, I had real trouble building the air back up, not that this is too unusual, but it registered in the old mindset.
WindsorCastleFinally setting off, passing Windsor and its castle and beyond the M25, I came to traffic tail backs from Heathrow onwards; this was due to an unfortunate car crash. During this ‘stop/start’ period, I noticed a low grinding noise from the rear of the trailer – even over the noise of the radio. With this came a shudder I could feel in the actual cab at the front – I rang the office! In turn I get a phone call from our garage who then warned me that extreme caution should be used until such time as I had been unloaded and the weight taken off.
speedcamerasShortly after, I started to get the suspicion that I had lost all rear breaking and was using the gearbox and exhaust brake to retard excess speed – keeping the cab brakes as cool as possible for when they would be needed most. However, doing so might have put me through a speed camera at slightly too higher speed, but it was simply the safest way to continue. You see, the problem was this, from where I was and all the way to the dairy, it’s a Red route meaning I could not stop and added to this – it was rush hour!
At Gunnersbury Park I turned left for Hanger Lane and the North Circular. Having now adapted my driving style and middle_fingerpre-emption, all was good with due care. That was until Ealing…. At Ealing Common, I came to a stop inside a pedestrian crossing area where I started to get abuse from a member of the public. This got worse and the person became exceptionally agitated, using various hand gestures. His shouting was becoming a crescendo and finally, after he put all the wrong words in order – I had dismounted to give the gentleman a correction to his attitude that he required through peaceful means. Though, other road users seemed to find the whole thing very riveting. I on the other hand, remained calm, while the chap seemed to get very nervous. I left while he was still apologising.
Finally I reached the dairy and off loaded the milk. However, as soon as I set off, or should I say, used my brakes – I realised the Unit/Cab was the only tAir_brakehing stopping the whole vehicle. I got back to Devon with care and thankful that is was late at night with a  lack of traffic.
After several hundred miles, myself, the Garage and others were shocked to find the rear three axles as cold as ice! Neither the tires rim nor centre of the hubs were warm at all….

Next time – I will not leave with any kind of air leak!!

twb-button

Published in: on 1 July, 2009 at 12:31  Comments (1)  
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Fun, hassle… and nice people

Today I was asked to go and do some more pallet deliveries. It was a late call, getting me to work for 10am.  As such, the only thing left in the yard was a Puddle Jumper. This is what we call a little 7.5 ton truck which wellingtontownis basically the next size up fromwellington monument2 a van – they’re quick and nippy hence they skip over puddles (not to be confused with a Stargate Atlantis one).
So the first drop was up in the town of Wellington in Somerset, the place where Arthur Wellesley became the Duke of… (the name sake of my former regiment).  Then it was to high tail it down the motorway to Exeter where I ran into trouble. You see, we use the puddle jumper to get into places we simply can’t get a full sized truck into.  But, could I get anywhere near where I wanted be? not a chance! Eventually I got out and walked to the address to see if there was anyone willing to help me haul the pallet down by hand – only to find that no one was actually there anyway – go figure. LOL

 
After a couple more deliveries I ended up in a miniscule village on the coast called Topsham. I livetopsham003 quite close to the place but had never been.
I had a very large pallet of wine to deliver to a place called Vino so I phoned to get some direction on how to get there.
The phone was answered by an American guy who has apparently been living in Topsham for the past 30 years! He was concerned that I might have some trouble getting to where I needed to be because of the size of my truck (this worried me a little). But when I got there, it was tight, window boxes overhung the street and care was need to get to where I indeed needed to be.
I arrived Wine Gift- much to his astonishment, and while blocking the road we made the delivery.
It turned out that this guy was in Topsham by way of California and most of the Midwest, and as I departed he gave me a gift of wine. Now, I normally don’t take gifts or complements very well, but this chap seemed an interesting bloke and in an English way – a very decent chap.
Topsham41Away I went to block more streets – especially the road outside a shop I was delivering to called The London House. The delivery was so large that passers by started to help with the unloading of the truck and carrying the large boxes in – some were 8 x 4’s!  I really don’t know of anywhere in the UK where people just help – Devon is awesome for this, it really is different there and everyone mucks in to help – always. The ladies in the shop were great and I was most certainly grateful too – for sure.
RBHMy final journey took me to the town of Exmouth where I delivered bar chillers to a hotel called The Royal Beacon and what an awesome high quality establishment this place was!   I’ve stayed, no, I’ve almost lived in hotels all ovRBHbarer the world from one time to another and my most favourite of which is the Hotel du Cap in the south of Fr**ce. But as I walked into the lobby of this small but lavish place, I simply felt very ‘invited’. If I ever need to stay somewhere on the south coast, this will be the first place I think of. It could also have been down to the added fact that I was so thirsty when I walked into the bar – I just wanted to drink lol.

 

Returning home, hot and sweaty I kept thinking about something a friend (JC) from overseas emailed me with 99yesterday, she was missing the British summer and recommended, in fact she insisted that I should go and eat an Ice Cream on the beach – well JC, it wasn’t on the beach… but some fine locally made Ice Cream was indeed consumed!  I am now fatter – but happy!

So Friday was hard work, but a great day.

twb-button

A town that time forgot? Chagford

Yesterday, I had been working all over Devon from a base in the village of North Tawton. It was a harChag1d, long day with getting stuck on hills, stopped by the police and driving down roads still more suited to a horse and cart.
So, when I finished work, I drove up to a place called ‘Whiddon Down’ and fueled up the beaten wreck I call my car. While doing so, a well dressed man approached me and asked if I had any jump-leads he could borrow as he couldn’t stachagford4rt his car. I did one better and gave him a set to keep – as I carry more than one set in my wreck. He was gobsmacked! and I left thinking, if that was the only single reason for me coming out today – then it was a good result.
As I pulled out of the petrol station and stared at the road sign, I read the name ‘Chagford’. I had heard about Chagford but had never been, I know that a few well known people live in that area and many talk of this oddly tranquil place. So I thought ‘what the heck – time for a look’.chagford2
Now, Devon and Cornwall have some amazing towns tucked away, but nothing prepared me for Chagford. It was far bigger than I thought it was, the roads are incredibly narrow (one car width – just), built in, on and around the small hills of this greater valley. Yet some of the properties were really quite large.
With a town so small achag7nd tight, I started to wonder how on earth people moved in and out of houses they had just bought or sold. You see, for the most part, you have little or no chance of getting a truck on some of the roads there. Then what about deliveries? your latest internet purchase etc.
I drove all the way through and followed the road up a steep hill in order to get a whole view of the town from the top – buchagford5t knowing Devon’s roads, I turned around before I had to drive a further 10 miles to do so as you can often run out of places to turn anything bigger than a bicycle.

chag6One thing is for sure, it was a truly enchanted location and one I’d love to revisit at a more leisurely pace (when I can work out where to park my wreck of a car without obstructing the entire town).

Chagford – an amazing place!

twb-button

Published in: on 29 May, 2009 at 06:26  Comments (5)  
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So, another week behind us,

I’m either a little bored, fractious or pensive… and all at the same time. I think I have too much on my mind ttwit-copy1hese days.
Twitter has started boring me and as such I’m slowly dropping off the persons that rarely reply.

Over in the US, or more accurately, Sioux Falls, Big Dog (aka Dave) shot a very quick vid of the inside of the local bar ‘Wiley’s’ before going on to get his teeth flossed, this is where Vinnie Jones managed to get a kicking. The story of Vinnie Jones brawl was reasonably well reported in the press and it’s good to know that Vinnie was found not guilty on all charges.

Also this week I wx-51as reading that Boeing are making a new Cruise missile that flies at Mach 5 (3600mph) which will be able to reach any place on the planet in less that an hour – C’mon, you have to give the bad guys some sort of chance, just where is the sport in total annihilation? lolBurnt Bridge

I have come to realise in the last few days that certain things have been resting heavily on my soul for nearly 10 years, and that I need to build bridges and make amends, the trouble is, I simply don’t know how to.

sheffieldMight finally have come up with an idea about my lack of dentist problem – simply go to my previous one in Sheffield. I need to go back to my old steel city home town because I haven’t in so very long. It’s fair to say I think I feel more at home in London than Sheffield now – probably why I live in Devon.spinal

Good news for my Ex-wife and good friend San, who has been suffering terribly with back agony for the best part of the last 18 months! With two opposite slipped discs and a bone spur on her spine, medical folks seem to have finally come up with a realist plan to get her sorted out. This is good news and means her life will return to some level of normality.

land_rover_logoMy cousin Judy’s eldest lad, (is that nephew, once removed?) Matt, has taken to wanting to own a Land Rover Defender and good for him, I’ve spent many an hour, location and in workshops, driving, fixing and even living in them – so I hope he gets a good one.

I’m still trying to get the bits together to record some music, but I think I really should clefupgrade my guitar. I would like to try out a Taylor Solid Body, but until I do, the options are a Les Paul, a good Strat or even a Tele. I’d actually like to get my brother involved and even Matt as one is a drummer, and the other a bassist.

However, today I take take trip to the jaws of hell itself – I’m going to B&Q. B&Q is a large home improvement/DIY store in the UK and my journey is about the purchase of the one single thing I paint-cantruly hate doing – decorating! Many years ago I had a fantastic step daughter, thing is, she loved Barbie back then and had me, sorry, insisted (possibly on pain of death if I didn’t) that I painted her room Barbie piBarbie logonk! Yep, the whole room!! I’ve just never been the same about paint ever since… So it is with some trepidation I go in search of such merchandise today :(

Wish me luck – I fkin need it…

LOL

UPDATE: look at that, it’s the Monaco F1 GP – looks like I’d better watch that first….. ahhh procrastination is a wonderful thang..

twb-button

This weird weather…

Yes, I say weird because the night before last we had temperatures at – 9 oC ( 15.8 oF) . Last night the temp in some areas was +7 oC (44.6 oF). As such we’ve had the fastest thaw I think I’ve ever witnessed.

It’s Sunday lunchtime here in old Blighty as I write this, having just got home from a 12 and half hour fun run to East London and back. 

On my way home to ‘not-so-sunny’ Honiton I was astounded at the sudden lack of snow, when only yesterday I responded to BigDog’s  comment’s about snow and had a good old whinge at the same time. So I took a couple of quick snaps…

As you can see from these two mobile phone pictures, (of the road that got closed) – there really isn’t much left.

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twb-button

Published in: on 8 February, 2009 at 12:31  Leave a Comment  
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So we have a little bit of snow

london_snow

Yep, it’s been snowing here in olde Blighty and the way people are going on about it you would think 18 feet of the stuff fell overnight.

That of course is not to say that it will not get worse, because they’re saying it will.

Ironically we used to get heavy-ish snow t1home_uktrain_afp_gievery year but we sdickdastardlyimply haven’t for quite some time.

Fellow Twitter-er Dick Dastardly who lives in Londinium says at least 2mm have fallen.

 

So what of the rest of the week?

Well with rail networks grinding to a halt, not one bus in London running and where I live is hardly touched at present – the rest of the week’s outlook is bad.

Obviously since leaving the tech world I presently drive a truck and the main thing I haul is Milk from farms to Dairies alltruck-milk over the UK as Devon is the major milk producing county in England and as Cows don’t stop dropping, we have to keep rolling – besides, we need milk for our Tea, Coffee and breakfast cereal. so we have to drive no matter if the snow falls to depth of 20 feet LOL.

twb-button

Published in: on 2 February, 2009 at 19:05  Leave a Comment  
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Sometimes my town isn’t so sleepy

Yesterday Honiton came to a bit of a standstill, in fact I was a little bemused when I looked of the window.

I live right near a local Police Station and right next to that Police Station on the otherside is a thatched roof pub called The Volunteer (or Volley, as it is known locally).

Well one of the regulars in the Volley is, or should I say ‘was’ a guy called Jason Stuart who was the keyboard player for an old rock band called ‘Hawkwind‘.  Now Hawkwind have spanned 3 decades, certainly used to tour the world. And of course their most famous anthem was the track ‘Silver Machine’. 

Heck, I remember going to see them at Sheffield City Hall way back in 1980/81.

Well a few days ago Jason sadly died and the funeral procession was amazing! Local news claimed hundreds brought the town to a standstill, but all I can say it that was a lot of people. In fact the weird thing was that more and more joined the procession as it went on and the picture here from the local press was very early indeed does not show the sheer number of people who finally made up the procession.

At 10pm, the who’s who of the rock world were still packing the pubs on the High Street, no hassle, no fuss.

If I could choose my own funeral, I could only wish it could be as good as this.

Jason Stuart, without question a man respected and most obviously remembered.

 

twb-button

Published in: on 19 September, 2008 at 04:05  Comments (1)  
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Honiton, dawn this Monday morning

This is the small town where I live.

 

 

 

 

twb-button

Published in: on 28 July, 2008 at 05:52  Comments (3)  
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