My first trip on a russian high speed train, seated next to a very interesting lady who had Scottish and German routes the four hours of the trip passed very quickly and smoothly, perhaps there was one stop I didn't notice. The weather got better the moment we left Moscow and its low cloud and rain, in stock Petersburg it was sunny , clear sky and a stiff breeze. Reports on the hotel I am using plus the reception promote all types of transport such as the minibuses, ordinary buses and a thirty minute walk or use their twice daily shuttle to the metro which however is served by trams only five minutes walk away. I had dinner tonight at the hotel I won't repeat the occasion though, oh for the Japanese cum Italian at the Moscow tube station. Anyway I'll skip breakdast which starts late and go and catch the number three team to the metro, get my srored value card like a London oyster card. Then I can pick up with my itinerary which should take me to all the main parts, my stroll before dinner revealed several types of transport cars on the same route, seen were routes sixteen, three and fortyone. By the waterside with curves and undulations a very picturesque scene. At least the will to is faster here than the Moscow hotel.
If itissnt rsjng id be tempted to go out and film the mass coach departure this morning, just like two pm at cheltenham in the old days except this is moscow and the passengers are all chjnese, i had a lay in this morning, iiget oicked up in just hnder an hour for the rsilway station, a trip which would probably have been essier on the metro. Reallt the metro has savedmy intinsrary which was built around stops on the underground which tied in with clutches of trams and trolleys preferably both. Tyoing with my diuble vision is nowherenesr as hard asgettjng ariund in the metro, its the errors snd changes ofosurface which are hidden and with marble hard to distjnguish. Yesterday the weather was lousy not much different todsy but st petrrsburg promises sunshjne hntil iidepart midday wednWedne. The hotel hear is nearly one hundred prrperc chinChi, noisy but as it's families it goes very qiuet atnighat. I hadn't best nightsn sleep yet after a lot of moving around yestedaye. I managed to compete all the target location s and then finished near the hotel which has several tram routes sefvjns it. The weather did finally buck up at the end of the day and I got good shots at a busy junction, the automatic points failed for steam five minutes later themainthe main band were there to clean out the tracks. The tram fleet is apleasant mix of old and new, I think I say a good representation of the isolated section of the system. The trolleys seem more random in their allocation of routes albeit the trams can be a mix of very old and new. Everyone I've encountered has-been helpful and pleasant, no hassles at all filming around Moscow although I don't think you would last long with a camera outside the main railway stations. This city is surprisingly green, lots of qietq back waters and turning circles in the woods etc. I've been pleased with the coverage, obviously looking forwards to being bckb in the sunshine when I film tomorrow. It's a four hour journey on what passes as their high speed trains, overall the trains I've used have been efficient, on time and clean. Crossing my fingers that st petersbuPe is free of Chinese visitors but I did hear one English chap in his mobile in Moscow suburbs last night, first one! Cli here to edit.
The first time I seem to have got enough strentgh in the signal to get into blogbmode. Ill recap the journey so far. IIhad a good flight via heathroH with British airways and was greeted in arrival. It took two hours from airport to hotel in the evening traffic. The hotel complex is the old Olympic acomodatioac.. it is ok but I've not managed a breakfast yet each day when I'm up and about early it isn't open but today it is raining heavily and I am in no rush hopefuilh it will stop later this morning. My first full day was Thursday and I managed to get to all five photo locations I'd identified from various maps which tied in with metro stops, it was easy going as the weather was very good. No hassles filming and people friendly and helpful especially on the metro when direction of travel isn't obvious as all locations are in cyrillCy. Yesterday was my side trip excursion to Ryazan and Kolomna. The Ryazan tram finished some time ago but it's trolleys orovidep an entertaining morning after the train journey from Moscow.. I got a taxi as scheduled from there to Kolomna which took about an hour in the light midday traffic, the road to moscMo had plenry of lorries but the weather turned wet. I managed to get he driver to drop me at the central point on the system. There are some original transmission but most are rebuilt or secondhand I think. Then it went to torrential rain. Getting the ticket back to Moscow by evening train was fun, the ticket lady was usual gruff person but had a helper who spoke english. I had dinner two nights running at the Japanese com italiIt opposite the metro stop hear hhe hotel complex. So fingers crossed today that it stopped raining and that I can get some shots mainly of the delegate south west tramways as it is now two seoerate sub systems. There is a display of histotih restored metro stock at the metro stations here..
I tackled the gardening this morning, it left my back in a bit of a state but perhaps it needed the movement, i though my shoulder was fixed but the pain is coming back a bit, the new medication may be starting to kick in though. We had the majority of my packing done yesterday just a few last bits went in today plus some sweets. THe weather is looking mainly dry and warm, cloudy in Moscow and sunnier when I get to St Petersburg. I've got all the documents in order and I'm hand baguage only, I've got my lighter travelling tripod which will be better for my shoulder. I edited the first two of the M6 DVDS, there is a lot of material left, just needs topping up for another volume.
I got the covers done and they are both on our shop. Mandy will be holding the fort here until next Wednesday. Last night was the culmination of my years ministry course, we had a buffet courtesy one and all , a bit too much pastry consumed perhaps, still land of the dumpling next few days. I've got the M6 photos filed, I'll try and get them on S,ugmug this evening, I'm working on the last of the Scottish photos which need filing, masses to migrate to the still photo sales though. Anyway fingers crossed that it's a smooth run through Russia, I fly via Heathrow from Manchester earl;y tomorrow, then a side trip from Moscow on Friday to Ryazan and Kolomna.
Sunday its the train to St Petersburg and that it back home next Wednesday. My back has settled down through the rest of the day, the garden looks good, everything growing like mad, even though I weeded all the borders grass is shooting up between the plants. I've stripped out all the spring bedding at the side and front of the house ready for the summer plants when I get back. It's only a few weeks then until our Ukraine trip, myself and John and a sort of reunion after our first trip which was Ukraine back in 1995.Here are more shots from yesterday at Middlewich M6 junction. If I can blog from Russia I will depending on connectivity.
WE went to the doctors after a terrible night, I was awake with the shoulder pain and although I managed about 3 hours in two separate sessions it was equally as bad for Mandy. We saw Clair Taylor our GP, she put me on the other type of nerve pain medication as the usual one won't touch these two locations one from the neck the other the lower back, strange as the first lot of pills i've taken for many years have been fine for the first lot of sciatic pain, the leg isn't so much of a problem the pain stops when I rest it, the shoulder hurts all the time but more manageable when upright and doing something. Well lets hope these new pills do the trick but they can't sort my double vision. The blood pressure is still a tad more than the GP would like.
After having a brew on return from the docs I headed out aware that the M6 looked blocked. I went via Middlewich and thus far and no further as it was grid locked. The sun was spot on for the M6 so a new position, a new location really and lots of superb video and stills, gave up when the sun started to cross the trucks path head on but I did do some more near home as I wasn't sure how much I'd actually captured. I did manage a few jobs while I was up through the night, the cover for Bus Spot Ultra Southampton is done and it's on the PMP shop page of this site.I also backed up all the files on my computer, its got another hour left to run the photos have taken forever but I also have them on cloud storage. Also had to update the World Pay compliance which is always a nightmare, what a shoddy sort of company it is, typically US and no service whatsoever, the net crawls with complaints about them. Anyway I have to go out soon, last night celebration on the Ministry course at Chester.
The latest Bus Spot Ultra is on Southampton and will be ready before I leave for Russia Wednesday, the DVD master is burning now and I'll get the cover done tomorrow or Tuesday. The weather has been very sunny although I kept indoors and tackled the outstanding jobs, all the DVD orders are ready to go first thing although probably not until I've been to see Dr Claire Taylor, a rare treat as she is very much in demand and is part time with other calls on her schedule. I hope to review all my current health problems, obviously the worst currently is the double vision from the stroke but we have monitored the blood pressure and that seems very stable. My trapped nerves are causing a lot of distress. The shoulder is the worst in some ways as it disrupts sleep although I managed to wiggle around and untrap it last night but it has been a devil all day.
The leg hasn't been bad mainly as I haven't been on my feet, that will change of course. After the doctors I'm going to film probably trucks on the A50 near Uttoxeter. Then it's back and ready for the very last session at my ministry course. Its been a busy year and all ended up in the air really with the problems I've had following the vicious treatment I got from a fellow church warden and the supercilious dismissal by vicar Jane, the Archdeacon is coming to see me the Friday after I return from Russia. I've no idea where to take it from then unless he has suggestions.Mandy went to St Oswalds today and it was like they were oblivious to what had happened.
I'm going to back up the computer this evening as I haven't done it for a while, the PMP covers and the photos are by far the main content the rest these days quite limited. Thankfully we keep no customer records electronically so don't get immersed in the data protection gefuffle. I'll be putting trailers for the Bus Spot Ultra Southampton on Youtube later tonight. Here are some Southampton shots for you in the meabntime.
Another day built around collecting for the Polio Fellowship. I had a bad night with the trapped nerve manifesting itself in my shoulder, I woke middle of the night and didn't mess around, just went straight to the bathroom and had two tramadol which soon zipped the pain and I was back asleep, we both had a good night there onwards and didn't rush. Mandy popped down to M&S at Handforth Dean to collect my rubles and I was busy editing and put some 2007 buses in Youtube from Isle of Wight. The weather is still quite chilly although not as bad as yesterday although fire and central heating plus electric blankets all in use. I've decided the next Ultra series DVD releases will be Dundee, Southampton and Berlin in no particular order. We then went out straight to Heswall on the Wirral and took up the last shift of the day collecting at Tescos there, much better than Morrisons at Ellesmere Port yesterday. I've goty most of my bits and pierces together ready for my trip[ to Russia on Wednesday. The stroke which caused my eyesight problems and blood pressure is under some control although vision is the biggest problem the blood pressure with medication is spot on. Reading and typing also eating are the biggest eyesight problems. A look at Germany to give a taste of delights to come, on cine much older and rarer then my humble video efforts, we shall be digging into the past for all three from trams through to the modern era although Berlin , not terribly modern!
LOts of activity although not a lot of interest probably for the general reader. We had a slow start getting DVD orders ready and posted then off to Elllesmere Port, hair trim as we were near then to M&S some food and wine etc then collecting at Morrisons for Polio Fellowship followed by some shopping in the store then home. My head aches continue plus of course the double vision, MRI scan at Countess in Chester day after I return from Russia. My sciatic pain in the right leg continues to be bad, GP appointment Monday. Started blood pressure readings in advance of GP visit, it seems almost spot on now with the medication. A few DVD orders but not a lot, activity on Youtube seems light but advertising rates must be rising as revenue showing sharp increase. Looking at Villas in Malta for September but they are very expensive.I've managed to file away some more chunks of recent still photos but not on Smugmug other than the Truckfest and Llandudno which I did upload this week. Another collection tomorrow afternoon on the Wirral at Tesco store in Heswall. Photos from the weekend at LLandudno
We were at the Polio Fellowship branch dinner on the Wirral today, good chats, nice food, drink ok other than Guinness which came out of a can and was flat. The weather was fine and we sat out having tea before our lunch, we managed to get home before the evening rush hour. We are collecting for the Polio Fellowship tomorrow and Saturday at various supermarkets at Chester and on the Wirral. The hits on Youtube seem in slumber at present it always happens around holidays but thankfully the commercial rates for adverts is rising so even with less hits the income is rising a little. We are considering adding a week in Malta in the Autumn to this years schedule. I checked the main theatres in Russia for my trip next week but there is little on which would be possible to visit and all the remaining seats are at the top price in hundreds of pounds. Here was the dinner today at Inglenook Manor.
Our still photo platform Smugmug has now purchased Flckr so I expect lots more visits to our shop and you may be impressed to know that all the bank holiday weekend shots at both Llandudno and Truckfest Peterborough have been uploaded and available to view plus purchase from just 50p each. I've edited all the DVDs and am just about to start making the covers. I was at the physio at the health centre and have a series of exercises to do which could help all my various back problems, it would be good to stop taking pills rather than the growing list. I got the Russian train tickets, the Ukraine ones should come through as soon as I've been able to get a scan of my companion John's passport hes away at present. Also had a chat with my erstwhile traveling companion Martin who has had foot surgery which is mending slowly, we are hoping to get an exciting trip organised for over winter. There isn't that much to do for 2018 trips other than local European sorties all very much weather dependent as ever. Today I give you a taste of Truckfest from Monday morning.
PMP Sponsors of bus rallies for 25 years.