A lot has happened in the past year…

So yup… a lot has…
Just over a year ago I attended the Riphay Scuffle, it was an enlightening experience too, even after just under 4 hrs sleep (boy did I look rough lol)… A truly fun event! I met wonderful people too and yet went on my way. I was certainly thinking about running in this years event but for two things – the ladies on this blog would undoubtedly have removed me from the vehicle and taken it over completely!!
And yes, I did indeed move away completely too, as such I have relied on this blogs very own White Knuckle Driver a.k.a WKD to keep me up to speed on events.
Now WKD, like Gabsatrucker is a trucker… and they have a disturbing amount in common – trucks, both are women, cycling, being jolly and very, VERY sharp witted!! Thankfully they both are used to the fact that when I ‘think’ I’m saying something in a particular way – it *never* comes out the way I think it does and therefore sound callous and arrogant… oh wait……. So when I try to sound callous and – nevermind ;-)
WKD informed me that the event did happen but wasn’t anywhere near as good as the last few years on account they were not allowed a beer tent.. This is because last year two young lads decided to drive home totally pissed and died in the process…
This is where the whole thing fell down badly… and I must thank someone whom I often refer to as Lady K and/or Kate McAndersen (neither are her real name)for bringing this event to my attention when she did – I saw it for real and it’ll never be the same again now sadly.

Yes I moved away a few months ago and there are things I miss and things I seriously don’t – but above all in Devon, I miss the people… and the odd pint of old Otter… Hell, Honiton even has a Costa Coffee now :-/ But I will say my time there was somewhat of a rejuvenation of my spirit and while I’m still a bit of a beast in the eyes of most, everyone I met added another layer to this onion I call my life.

In this past 12 months twitter star and crazy friend @CareyLouisa actually went through the whole torturous process of buying her first home and while I know she had support from a most excellent person in the field, she did come through the process quite triumphantly I must say – and very good for her (even if she did start breeding pigeons in the process). In fact I’d go as far to say that Carey is a changed person since then and has her feet firmly planted on the ground.

Gabsatrucker came to the UK and promptly left again – straight to Malta!! Malta is of course a small island in the Mediterranean Sea just off the coast of Libya – and guess what – as she arrived war broke out! Then after kicking the life out of the Land Rover Maltese Marathon, she promptly legged it back to Arkansas after a total of 10 flights!!

Further more, this blog and my friend Sue Black aka Mustang Sue, went off to South by South West in Austin, Texas… and we managed to get her hooked up with Gabsatrucker who gave her a ride around Austin in her big-rig aka Lola… along with Elsie the dog.

My mother had a lung out and they removed the right one ;-)

Buddy Kev took his first ever flight and spent his time making the other passengers nervous through his perpetual knowledge of air crashes etc – rocking ! :-)

I caught up with six of the best guys in the form of Hammy, Dean, Charlie, Squeezy, Gary and Ray. Then there was bumping in to old buddy Alan Shearer by total accident… A story I should tell when I eventually get around to writing up the Google Garden Party post.

Basically there is a hell of a lot more to write here and I seriously could turn this into a very long post – but needless to say the year has been short but very interesting indeed!
For those I offended when I wasn’t joking, tough – to those I offended when I was joking, chin up :-) oh… and tough also :D

So… what enlightening thing should I leave you all with…. Hmmmm tough one this…
I know, an informative video on looking after and maintaining your guitar by Taylor Guitars
No, I’m not kidding :p

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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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.


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


TWBRIT number plate

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

hot penny dayThese last few weeks have seen a variety of local events. We have strange customs in this part of the world (for sure), these range from ‘Hot Penny Day’ where the children walk up the middle of the High Street and everyone else throws hot (warm or cold) pennies in to the street. The children in turn pick up all the pennies and spend them at the street market.
honiton hill rallyLast week of course was the Beautiful Day festival and this week is the Honiton Hill Rally which where old stream traction engines show off and various other events happen.

For me, I miss most of these events. You see my time off is so ridiculously varied and uncertain – I can never make plans to meet up with people and go and do things locally. That is of course not quite true because Dave, (my friend who owns the chip shop across the road) have been known to frequent certain drinking establishments locally, the trouble with this (or not actually – as the case may be), is we start drinking, then drink some more and then we start our way through anything unusual looking things behind the bar – which always appear to be many! We haven’t fallen over yet – but we’ve drunk some pretty weird local drinks!

It’s now 6:30 in the morning and I’ve not long since arrived home from work. It’s a Bank Holiday here in England and it would appear that I’ll miss this and any chance of going to the Hill Rally.

I’ll be posting later, when I finally get up so do pop back

Published in: on 31 August, 2009 at 06:25  Comments (1)  
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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.









Published in: on 8 February, 2009 at 12:31  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.



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.






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