Splendid summer weather at Easter, the joy of a late Easter I suppose, pretty much as late as it can get. The children go back to school straight after the holiday to balance up their term. I've had a tough day, I got the trellis up around the entrance to the new shed, its like a porch really , looks a cosy spot for a tired gardener with a beer or two. Talking of which The Crown reopened at lunch time after the refurbishment, we'll go along tonight to see what has happened. While I had the fence post cement out I also repaired the steps to the greenhouse and the base of the bird table. The remainder of the cupboards which housed the models have almost all been shifted, the bottom one which was also the base of the end curve on my old railway layout is going to be dismantled as it is far too big to get out as it is. Here is a shot of the increasingly bare and now shoddy looking office waiting for the makeover when the new office cum showroom is complete. The door through will be on the far wall to the left past the shelving. The shelving will all go over to the other side with a complete 20ft run of shelves. The other side the packing table will be against the wall with more shelving above. The computer station will be at the end to the right of the new door. Sitting temporarily on the table is the pile of cine to go to the Online archive in Shrewsbury next Thursday. The new editing suite will be within the new showroom the other side of the far wall. I must get a slide show ready for tomorrow's buses Worldwide meeting at Brian and Sue Rowneys house.
Talk about everything happening at the same time, the builders had forgotten it was Easter when they start , I chased them when I hadnt heard anything from them, funny thing calender's and diaries usually show bank holidays but after 40 plus years in construction I know the form so thus the reason I chased them. All the models are now stored in 30 large storage boxes, each so heavy you can hardly lift them. These are all in the dining room. The showcases that are in the office are partly dismantled and under my feet as I type with a bit of difficulty. As they are 8 feet long it will be a bit of a wiggle to get them out of the house, they can go under tarpaulins in the garden at the back of the house on the path. There are three more, they get bigger as I go down in height, I'll probably need to move the printer and associated drawers it is sitting on. I suppose it will get worse before it comes together.
We picked up colour charts from B&Q this afternoon and got the finances for the conversion sorted. The editing computer components are now ordered and the new guts of the box should be complete Thursday next week latest then testing etc, expect to pick up a week today so no editing underway but as and when with limited time I will carry on filming. The new motherboard and processors will cost nearly £800 fitted but a lot less than the thousands I paid for the first software and hardware from the old Siren business at Oldham, they sold out to our media suppliers in Barnsley but I guess it was worth nothing as they abandoned it altogether= so much can be purchased direct and software downloaded and the Storm interface can now be bought as a hub.
The new trellises for the garden by the new shed arrived this afternoon, three large posts and three sacks of cement with them, really huge solid jobs, even our sandy soil is hard with the lack of rain, reminds me I need to water the front lawn again today. The vehicles all need a wash as well so I won't be idle over Easter. I've made a lot of progress getting the Asia trip photos spruced up ready to file and having finished Hong Kong I'm now working through Taiwan. I'll put some shots up of the work in progress when possible, a bit uncomfortable at present so wish you all a peaceful and restful Easter holiday weekend.
A perfect day filming in Coventry, friendly drivers, nice people, sunshine, new liveries so all in all top class and we stopped of to see cousin Chris before leaving the area. No movement yet on the computer as they are closed on Wednesdays so hoping to learn progress tomorrow, I'll carry on filming and then catch up editing asap. Sorry if you are waiting for anything new it really only effects the Detling and Brooklands films I think. I was editing Detling when it went down. Tomorrow we have a few domestic jobs to catch up on and I've still a way to go on boxing up all my models ready for the builders next week after Easter. The garage is ready for them but I need to get all the shelving units shifted in the office and try to keep them for reuse if space permits. I haven't got a sketch of the new office layout yet but need to get my heard around that as well as many other things.
Most of you know that we shall probably withdraw from Youtube, I may leave what is there as a resource as all the effort has been made, shame as I know so many people enjoyed watching but they aren't at all interested in hosting trucks and bus films as they don't fit their requirements, better the elf harm and make up ads I think, I've no idea where they are heading if I can get monitized on an alternative such as Daily Motion it may be possible to resume there. I'm quite glad to have shaken off Facebook, not missing it at all. Really with the ongoing years the less I have before me leaves me time to enjoy the bits I like best which isn't loading clips , doing adverts etc! Watering the lawns is another daily chore at present trying to rescue the front lawn, astra turf may be the long term result! I'm looking forwards to creating some amazing displays for my models of which I've many, I really want it diorama based rather than just line ups or at least themed displays with pictorial back up. There may also be room for my crested giftware collection from East Sussex area locations. Shots from Coventry today.
I'm waiting for word back on the computer which is now with the repair people at Ellesmere Port and hopefully when fixed it will have a faster processor in it but didn't get the expected call back this afternoon, checked with them but they were very busy hopefully it will all be fixed by next week. I'll continue to film as normal, I can download later. Next week after Easter the builders are due to start work on the garage conversion although I've heard nothing from them. Mandy is probably coming out with me tomorrow, filming in Coventry. We now have quite a full list of destinations lined up including of course Scotland and Ireland plus the south of England. Meanwhile here are some shots from Avonmouth yesterday, I must also get the Asia trip photos finished and files and I have a friend waiting for a copy.
A disheartening response from Youtube and it seems that our type of material is not what they want moniterised even though it was they who invited us in the first place. I'll try to re-register in May but if it doesn't go through there is little sense in putting material on with all the effort involved if it doesn't produce any income. It does provoke a review of the whole operation and if it is worth carrying on as I could easily do the traveling and go to places of most interest with just the sale of the DVDs or downloads to underwrite the trips. The overseas expeditions are unlikely to be self supporting but we can afford that with savings in other directions perhaps cutting down on models I order and various subscriptions. It is a pity this has all happened as we are having the major work done on the house for the PMP office , perhaps we wouldn't have gone down that route if we had known. So lets see what happens in May but it would certainly cut the work down for me and if people want to view our work they download after all £8 isn't asking that much! Today I filmed at Bristol and Avonmouth docks.
Shots of the buses in Bristol this morning.
Vicar Jane is leaving St Oswalds in July after our 750th anniversary celebration , not really sure about the score but the consensus is that the BCP brigade have won the day, I'm just a bystander these days as they players still batter one another in what should be an atmosphere of Godliness but more a gladiatorial contest. Anyway that can be put to one side as we heard that Mandy's cousin Trish has had a fall and cracked bones in her lower back, sounds painful, hopefully she'll soon be moved from Wythenshawe to Trafford hospital nearer home. I've not finished all the DVD covers for my resent Asia trip and started to put them on the PMP shop. I've started packing up my models ready for the new PMP showroom, after the builders the shelves will need fitting throughout and the computers migrated to their new work station not to mention the hubs and routers extended next door.
Business is still quiet as it is everywhere with Brexit handing over us even if it has moved out of the headlines recently. With the suspension of revenue on Youtube for no good reason it makes it good to stand back and take stock. Really as nothing we do makes a profit regarding the transport hobby then it is just an indulgence and given all the time it takes perhaps I should just enjoy it for what it is and give up with the constant filming. Shots from Doncaster last week.
We had a 4am start on Friday, a pretty good journey down to Sussex stopping at the services south of Gatwick for breakfast and then to Eastbourne. It was sunny to start with, Mandy sat close to the car on the promenade and had a cruise down in the wheelchair to the pier while I was filming. Eastbourne town centre has been turned upside down for road works all happening at the same time and goodness knows how locals have coped, strange to see it going on into the start of the tourist season. I got some new perspectives on the buses with temporary bus stops scattered around and even though the weather became bitterly cold and cloudy this itself helped get the film finished then we could meet up and make arrangements for lunch before heading down to the crematorium and the family funeral at 2.30 pm. I'm glad we went it was a lovely service remembering a good, kind man who loved music and nature and was be trade a joiner. Spent some time chatting with his daughter Amanda and revealing a few family stories. We had an ok journey back until we were nearly home on the M6 when it was suddenly announced it was shut, 10pm became nearly midnight only 10 mins drive from base. How annoying and tiring.
Youtube has struck us again, the revenue on the Youtube advertising again suspended this time for reuse, which seems to mean that someone else has used our videos and we are now guilty of listing them, trying to get it all unraveled but seriously it takes a lot of work putting the clips on Youtube and this erratic and strange behaviour does nothing for stability in our business and enabling the PMP archive to continue. By early summer it should all be back on track, it always seems to revolve around the archive material which I've taken off the net which is a shame particularly for our overseas friends and of course those who enjoy our golden oldie tram and trolleybus shots from the many collections we own and are gradually being digitised and passed to the Online archive, another journey down in April with 20 reels to deposit and hopefully pick up some for review with bus scenes. Good news in the post the company pension has shot up yet again, so glad I picked the higher rate of premium each month, paid off well as long as I don't pop my clogs too soon!
This morning after the briefest lay ins we were up and off to top up Mandys now depleted fuel and then to Ellesmere Port where we had our ministry course group catch up, all but one were thre although smaller numbers have met up over the past months. I'm just burning the last of the Asia trip DVDs and then need to get the remainder of the covers made and then I can start on the recent bus visits. I've updated the DVD list, still nothing on the shop but it will happen. I've nearly emptied the garage now, trips to the tip scheduled for tomorrow and also treated the front lawn for moss and reseeded as well as replacing the flowers in the front door trough and topping up all the bird feeders. I'v got all my tools in order back in the racks they came from now relocated in the garage/shed move. This week I'll start on boxing up all my models. Good weather forecast so I hope for some bus visits around Easter time although we'll stay close to home at the bank holidays as the roads will be at a standstill. Shots from Eastbourne yesterday
After a hectic day yesterday the freshly mowed grass was white with frost this morning but nearly a cloudless sky all day. First I went to the dentist at Partington to get the new crown fitted, I was in and out within about 20 minutes then back home, dropped off the PMP post then it was time to head off to the Wirral for the Cheshire and Wirral branch of the Polio Fellowship annual meal. It was spot on other than an armour plated Yorkshire pudding, washed it down with a lovely local beer, well two actually. We got home late afternoon, got the DVD orders ready, Malcolm and June over the road will bring our milk in tomorrow as we shall be on the road by 4.30am. We have a funeral down at Eastbourne in Sussex on the south coast, where I grew up. I'm hoping to get some bus filming done there in the morning as I missed Eastbourne out last year.
I've nearly finished making all the DVDs from the Asian trip in March, just burning the master DVD for the first of two long running DVDs on the narrow gauge railway which connects KK with Tenom. 3ft 6" gauge, the only railway line in Borneo. In four hours you'll be experiencing the reality close up with cab views and rear shots at the highest area where it shadows a river complete with rapids and boulders. After I get that finished it will be a dash to get Tunbridge Wells, Detling, Brooklands, Sheffield and Doncaster done as well as anything I get in Sussex. We are there and back the same day as we have a reunion of our ministry course group, hopefully we'll all be together first the first time in a year and very appropriate as we approach Easter. Saturday afternoon after the meet up I want to get the front lawn sorted, moss killer, aerated and new seed down, all lawns on sandy soil suffered in the prolonged heat last summer.
Mandy will drop any DVD orders off at the post office Saturday morning. I've just loaded some more material from Borneo on Youtube. Next week I'm be trying to get this material on the shops and start the digital download versions, all takes such precious time , it has been agony seeing these sunny days go by with nothing produced but we have to catch up eventually! Hopefully next blog Saturday evening, no probs missing pub night at The Crown as it is still being refurbished, open next week. I'm also going down to take more films to the Online Archive at Shrewsbury after Easter and hopefully picking up some bus material to review, perhaps for the first time in many years. Also had a bit of a random conversation on Perrys Movies an old cine producer, a family member has died and there may be some bits of interest coming our way. Life is never boring here! Remember we are no longer active on Facebook or Twitter and comments are no longer possible on Youtube other than older uploads, the percentage of bad stuff is very small be upsetting, more relaxing without it! Here are shots from Sheffield .
Very busy all round today here are the covers for the latest of the Asian trip films, I've just got Borneo to complete. Mandy found someone to fix her car after scraping the pillar on the drive. I got the bathroom light fixed, sorted the handle on Mandys dresser, got the upstairs loo roll holder fixed ( for good I hope) then got almost all the remaining stuff in the garage ready to tip, to put on the shelving unit I moved to the new shed, got the tool shelving / drawers installed in the greenhouse. The garage is almost clear, next step then is to get all the models boxed up. Here are the covers for the latest DVDs which still need adding to the shop!
I think it has taken three attempts to get Sheffield filmed for 2019 but today worked well and no hassles although the street life seems to grow even more prolific and then on to Doncaster where it was sunny and fine for getting the buses on the roundabout, miss the old bus station though, lots of hassles here as befits South Yorkshire but lots of waves from the bus drivers so they once again save the day, even saw a First in the old livery not so many of those about now. Not sure about tomorrow but I don't want to go too far away. I'm still editing the Taiwan film, I'm on the thrird of four DVDs covering the docks, lots to go on Youtube perhaps tonight. Meanwhile back to Manila for our slide show.
PMP Sponsors of bus rallies for 25 years.