A fine weather day, good for getting outside work done but first thing we did the census for our elderly neighbours, 89 & 90, that only took a few minutes. Mandy got all the DVD orders ready to send out tomorrow and we went out to fill up Mandy's car and the PMP van. The van should see less use after this week as the stay at home rule goes and no need to go under the work banner of PMP film crew which has thus far got us through with no incident. I'll probably contact Brazil re our Pantanal trip schedules over from last year probably put back again to 2022. We went to the garden centre after lunch and I had a hour or two catching up outside. Arrangements are now made for Mandy's 70th birthday party a week tomorrow, 29th March 21. Remember Mandy doesn't do social network stuff but emails can come via myself or cards via post, sorry you can't all be here to enjoy the garden party, thank goodness the rules change then, just right to get some atmosphere. Tonight a slide show from Derby, I think, I'm not really sure where we were up to!
This week I will start with trucks at maybe Runcorn or Woodhead pass, buses perhaps Chester, Birkenhead, Runcorn etc. I'll be even further away from home the week after next. Thanks for all the good wishes, 'spots' and greetings, we really do have a world wide audience and many supporters. I feel so sorry for people without hobbies or interests the lock downs must have been difficult for them. I glanced at reviews on the old Youtube clips, mostly good stuff still some sick wretches out there though. Zero tolerance these days and people ordering DVDs via EBay or even Amazon are likely to be blocked, everything is on the PMP shop why would we want to give a load of stinking rich Americans even more money.
The Epson printer decided to play stupid for about 90 minutes mid completing the latest round of DVD covers. I think we have decided that it was stressful enough to open a bottle tonight. Here are the new DVDs, they are on the shop list and will go on as items on the shop to purchase in the morning. Gloomy news on the travel front, very unlikely to do overseas travel this year, not a problem for us and there are plenty of places to go in British Isles, only hoping the ROI opens up some time this year.
Slide show from Shude Hill tomorrow meanwhile the slide show tonight is Derby filmed yesterday. Manchester certainly pulled out a few surprises for me and there must be a few out there that we never see, sods law and all that. I was well please and the weather with light cloud was just right for filming. Met several of our PMP viewers, some have visited the bus station every day.
Part of the I assume temporary arrangements while the out of town bus station is being reconstructed, it certainly looks huge although I cannot see buses filling a building that size, maybe a couple of hotels and casinos like Derby. Anyway we'll kick off tonight with a slideshow as it is pub night and although we cannot visit Janet and Simon at The Crown we hope that it will be able to reopen soon once Covid condition allow. Deaths down to double figures at last lets hope that wretched daily toll is reaches its end. I enjoyed the Leicester visit, dry weather, just the lightest of breezes, friendly drivers and folk but remember last time we visited was the reopening of non essential shops after the first lock down, a day of celebration which did not last, they have been under some measure or other ever since as their stats were pretty grim. The mural of the theatre by the newly constructed stops is very impressive, even the pseudo belisha beacons at the crossing are in keeping.
Another Irish bus model, from Northcord as usual in limited numbers and already nearly sold out.
I've been busy with the diorama phase 2 west side, other than the flats nothing is yet fixed in position just reevaluating possible placements but trying to keep to the image I had in mind. The Scale Model Scenery download of the garages looks well, I may well do another block. Each garage is detailed inside even though it may well never be seen, right down to the light switch!
The slide show this evening covers Walsall the last destination on my pre-birthday West Midlands outing. Not a million miles away tomorrow at Leicester and Derby. Friday I'm popping into Manchester to get an update on the Go North West strike busters fleets, reported there are 12 suppliers. Clips going on Youtube this evening from the West Midlands trip. DVD list is up to date as of today.
Tonight we have a slide show from West Bromwich taken on my visit yesterday. I spent quite a lot of time getting all the DVD orders away this morning and then some more resources for completing the high rise flats which form the back drop to the west side of me phase 2 diorama which is roughly 1980s certainly after deregulation of bus services but edges into First Bus era, a bit of artistic or modelling licence is required. All this of course was after opening my birthday cards, I can't say I feel any older than yesterday, I may well feel otherwise in a years time. Preparations are now underway to make Mandy's 70th a special day on March 29th.
I have managed to edit the Dudley visit, I've updated the DVD list on the PMP shop front page, I also got a couple more digital downloads done. This was our best week yet for downloads and makes life of so simple for folk abroad, instant access at a lot less money, no waiting, no customs, it has to be the way forward. Last year we sold 2800 DVDs not a rally to be seen. The diorama has come on a lot since this morning when I took this shot. Quite restrained really compared with the next two blocks which really got the works!
I will be filming Thursday and Friday, Friday may well be an afternoon trip to Manchester to update on the Go North West strike busting activity. Thursday may be Derby and Leicester.
Not a bad days haul, three films with Dudley probably the best as the buses were on a new routing, I guess a stop which has more room and maintaining a bit of a one way system with alighting and boarding passengers segregated. It all seemed to work well and the promised light cloud was about spot on. Nothing really new , I did suss out the Dudley turn off from the M5 for lorry film, bit chokka at rush hour with cars but seemed to have a good bit of lorry traffic. I don't think the Walsall roundabout will be much use in the future after the rebuild, the traffic got stuck there going down just like it always did. West Brom worked well and the light was ok and it didn't take too long to get an hours film, I also managed to get in at the same car park as last year. Certainly more buses about and quite a few passengers, it has increased a lot in the last couple of weeks. Then across to Walsall, a bit too much light for my liking, spotted by one of our Youtube bus driver viewers, always good to meet the folk the other side of the screen. Tomorrow I'm 69, two weeks time Mandy is 70, that all seemed so old once now I'm there it seems like I've only just started. Good job I've got the energy to keep going. The weather tomorrow will be a bit mixed so I'm out next on either Thursday or Friday, plenty of locations to tick off the list and I'm wondering if there will be much change of the strikebuster fleet in Manchester.
Well we'd better get stuck into the buses at Dudley, starts about 8.30 this morning.
Another day or should it be weekend slipped by without noticing. Anyone who knows Mandy will perhaps know that on 29th March she celebrates her 70th, thankfully we can have 6 people in the garden so deploying the PMP gazebo. She will be overjoyed to hear from our many friends and relations worldwide. We pick the cake up on 28th March. We can run lighting and heat out to the garden.
I spent ages yesterday afternoon getting caught up on the last two rounds of DNA matches that came through on My Heritage. I'll have to join Find my Past as some stage as when the 1921 census comes out they have got first dibs at it. Each platform's DNA comes up with a different story and more matches. None are as expensive as Ancestry. My Heritage seems to dip into different sources, shame they cannot be merged without complete duplication and on large trees really in effect hopeless.
I've decided that I have got as far as I can with the sky on the dioramas, here is a few incomplete models in situ to give an impression, now need to finish the 'Derby' bus station and blend into the left and right sides. Wasn't it awful the attack by London police on the people at the vigil yesterday, the news appears alongside the latest from Myanmar, we are going backwards to the dark ages, still glad you voted Tory?
Anyway some images of model and last slide show from Manchester area taken at Salford last week
Received the latest RF from Brooklands Bus Museum , I don't think I ever saw it advertised but I got a flyer as I'd bought from them a few of the specially commissioned models, I think the ST was the last one and very nice it was. This one looks equally smart
We went down the tip and got rid of stuff that wouldn't fit in the bin and several cardboard boxes etc. My main achievement this morning was to get the sky finished on the diorama which needed some touching up of the top, never done a model with actual overhead sky, usually it has been above the backfrop which is also the case just that it is high up and to look at it the shelf above would be so out of place thus it is now 1/76 scale sky. I actually took a few shots out of the window to finish it off, we have a very fast moving/ changing sky, very windy and at times wet other times sunny. Fingers crossed that the week ahead will have 2 or 3 days suitable for photography. Well we have created some shelf space in the office and actually have a few empty shelves, they never stay that way long. Here is the office if you have forgotten what it looks like.
The display and editing suite room is not so neat as I am of course in mid construction of diorama phase two.
I know you have seen it all before but there may be some newbies joined us since I constructed the shelf units for the dioramas, the other side has received one mirror screw each to ensure nothing bad happens to the perspex, ie falling out. Todays slide show moves on to Bolton.
I received the first batch of birthday cards today more to the point though it is a big birthday for Mandy on 29th March. We have ordered a cake and we are having a party in the PMP gazebo in our back garden with our neighbours either side. Mandy isn't on anything like facebook but cards are welcomed and I can pass on emails to Mandy. My card to her must definitely doesn't have a big 70 on it but next year I shall have no modesty.
Most of the day fitting the back drop and sky to the diorama phase 2 has been taken up with the printer. I think the problem was that the rock steady yellow backed peel off copy paper is fine, never had a problem. I was going to order some then found the white stock I ordered and never used, its a pain figuring which side is which, with the yellow sheets its yellow uppermost in the feed tray, Bobs your uncle, job done. Then when this Epson WF7710 gets a huff on it really seems to revel in making life hard. The back drops are really good in themselves but the card is quite tough to handle in a confined space of cupboards/ display cabinets, easy peasy in the wide open spaces of a railway layout. So that was the who day gone. Its still not finished but nearly. I have ordered up more of the yellow sheets and I probably need to get more card in stock. These layouts gobble up card at a rate of knots. We had a few orders for DVDs this morning, mostly old ones. The office is more spacious with a tidy up and kit that I don't use year on year has gone up to the loft.
Our slide show tonight is on the Bury visit. Remember all 5 of this weeks bus films are on the PMP shop. I had Paypal from Thailand ringing today, my complaints to higher places seem to have had a small success but the result is status quo, it was sort of nice to know folk in Thailand have the same problem in rural areas with no mobile phone reception.
PMP Sponsors the North West Vehicle Restoration Trust at Kirkby.