another relaxing day although we have monitored the large volume of orders which have been streaming through on the net over the weekend and all will be downloaded tomorrow evening and posted out Tuesday morning. Graham have to get up for work very early but we heard nothing and slept through to after eight am and had a culpa with Yvonne and then went to Lyndhurst in the new forest where we met up with my middle sister Margaret and had a delicious breakfast just near the car park. we then had a slow potter around the shops and got embroiled in conversion with a spiv in a tatty secondhand jewellery shop until we managed to escape and catch the others up. it seemed no time at all before we were sitting down to afternoon tea, piggy here got stuck into a dessert portion of treacle tart and clotted cream and tea, Mandy had their home made giant mince pie. we got back to Yvonne,s and had a brew before getting the last bibs and bobs loaded for the trip east to Sussex which was a clear run other than the usual crawl into polgate from Lewes, at least the treaclemine is handy just left at the junction and later John and Maureen bishop will meet up for dinner after a concert at the congress theatre. in the morning assuming the weather is suitable I'll be filming firstly at Eastbourne and then on to Brighton. John and Maureen have just arrived so it's over and out until tomorrow.
what a day a nice rest in bed and it was nearly lunchtime when we had eaten breakfast and had decided on an itinerary for the day.we settled on Winchester as it had a Christmas market on but when we arrived it was evident that the rest of Hampshire had woken with the same idea. luck was with us and we landed a parking place just near the cathedral . the Xmas market was in the precincts of the church and to say it was crowded was an understatement . Mandy was using the wheelchair which made progress even slower very little is accessible anywhere but with the cross I think the traders were struggling as people couldn't stop to browse in comfort. we did manage to but a wrought iron tiny hedgehog which will remind us of the recent mortality in the greenhouse. passing the food section of little Santa huts we spotted the luxury chocolate stand but what were actually on sale at a pond a throw were sticky thinly covered marshmallows with various flavours not particularly Moorish. then Yvonne spotted the caramelised nut stand only they were more like salted than caramelised. we decided to move on and seek out a few shop but is was heaving everywhere so we packed up and headed off to another place with a giant m&s store. they had some sort of sale on but it wasn't really evident what was included and what the discounts were which smacked rather of sharp practise. in the cafe there was an absence of bakewell tart although it turned out they had loads in the back but given the state of the place it seemed that nobody cared , there were no forks but requests were ignored finally a supervisor chanced upon our problem and got the place into gear. Graham regaled us with tales of their recent trip to the states when he was pulled at the security section in the UK as he was they thought an Algerian which was really random although sorted out it was in his mind as when arriving in the states they pulled him in at immigration with more random excuses it wasn't his day anyway all turned out well in the end and I bought Yvonne her first Christmas snowball globe for 2015 yet another for her collection. Mandy bought a dress and me a shirt, my eyes were now glazed over and a trance coming on so we called it a day and headed back home for a catch up on the soaps we had missed last night . we are out at the horse and jockey pub this evening although I think I'll need a five mile hike to work up an appetite. loads of orders have been coming through on the net all will be processed on Monday night of first thing Tuesday.
greetings readers world wide as we write from my sisters house near Fareham in Hampshire. we left about 1.30 pm and had an amazingly good journey considering it was a Friday afternoon. really we flew down and were at Fareham at teatime, Yvonne and Graham have been very busy at work and are looking forward to a restful weekend which I think are sentiments we agree with and the slowdown in activity has paid dividends for my knee. I don't intend doing much tomorrow I would expect the girls will be heading to the shops even the pmp shop has its own British version of black Friday only with out all the hassle I think I set it until Saturday night. it has been pretty hectic and Mandy haS cleared all the orders placed before lunch time. I did get the third volume of the west Midlands bus archives done last night but the YouTube clips will have to wait until Tuesday evening. we are meeting John and Maureen Sunday evening and heading back up to Cheshire Monday hopefully after I've managed to get some bus footage in Eastbourne and Brighton. we are eating out tomorrow night so perhaps a very late blog afterwards.
Greetings to all our readers friends customers, relations etc who are quite evenly placed around our small planet bobbing about in the myriad eons of our universe and even then we moan that there aren't any new places to go so planning has started on a trip to record the trolleybuses on Alpfa Centuri III but it may be a while before it's released. Back on planet earth the Scots seem to be getting everything on a plate and still whinging for more, looking forwards to a referendum in the rest of the UK as to whether we wish to go on with their constant carping, in Lancashire I think getting rid of half the MPs and MEPs would be favoured as the whole lots seem to be a waste of money, looking for extra layers of politicians gains us nothing but expense.
So what's happening at PMP, well actually it was work that shaped the day with the pensions consultative committee meeting at Knutsford and a chance to get some glimpses of what influences investments of nearly £2billion. I'm sure that is won't effect us that much although at least Euromillions now accepts payment on direct debit so the escape committee is looking like being on top of payments and not missing out on the big'un which is surely due to come in our direction. Mandy headed up to north Manchester to visit a friend of long standing ( that's to avoid saying old friend) terrible but the o word touches too close to home nowadays. We got a pleasant mixed bag of orders through all the shops, post and phone. I finally managed to get Skype set up on the Hudl2 pad thingey despite getting a not particularly helpful bloke on the Tesco help line, it just depends on who you get as to whether they are going to try on your behalf, in the end i used the business computer to look up the search results and then acted them out on the pad which after 30 minutes did get a result so friends and relations across the globe should all be in touch once more and Mandy can monitor our progress around the globe next year.
Still not really sure when I'll have my knee operation done, may be before Christmas. I've sent off mt passport for the Indian visa, I'll send off for the Cuban one before we go to Cuba. We are pretty well all packed up ready for our trip south this weekend, I've packed some mags and film for John Bishop, Christmas cards and gifts for rellies in Hampshire and I hope we'll have time to put flowers on my parents graves in Eastbourne if not to visit everyone but you are not forgotten. Time just seems an ever more rare element in our lives. I've loaded the latest West Midlands clips on to youtube and the latest DVD is on our shop. I'm trying to get another through the sausage machine before we go out to the pub later on. Some clips from last nights uploads. Tonight I'm working on 1991-92.
The race is now well and truely on as we hurtle towards Christmas, last years card list seems to have vanished and thoughts of ever getting the cards written this week seem to be fading although we haven't received any yet but as soon as they land we'll feel very much under pressure , rest assured regular recipients its a corker and relates to some of the not so brilliant moments we had getting back from a couple of rallies this year. I've also loaded the first batch of clips on Youtube from the West Midland archives ranging from 1983-1989. The next volume covers 1990-1991 and features the work of our friend Tim Bubb with a West Midlands shuttle in March 1991. This added to Dave Cole's material gives a different perspective on the bus scene to mine. Hence forwards though it's all my own work. The first in the series is already added to our Weebly site shop see shop page and that's not all the news as celebrating that awful US invention of Black Friday we have done one better and got a black Friday and Saturday right through to midnight at just £10 each post free in UK. I'm already editing the second West Midlands DVD plus I got the first one's cover ready.
A little flurry of boxes keeps arriving as I dip more into the Atlas European bus ranges seeking out models at sensible prices and that includes allowing for postage, my latest acquisitions are from Netherlands, China, Chile and more. Tomorrow we can have a bit of a lay in as I've got a pensions meeting in Knutsford which is only just down the road, I had hoped to get into Chester today but it was really hectic at work with one lot of training in the morning before the start of a 2.5 day course in the afternoon. With the delegates, people who work there, specialist technicians, delivery of 2 new vans etc it was really difficult getting everyone squashed in for the afternoon. I've got some mug shots to take on Friday for the tankage divisions new director which should be fun as not everyone is a natural before the camera, we have profile pictures which pop up on Link and E Mails etc , some are really dreadful.
I was thinking of having so and so of the year awards, one contestant I've already stumbled across was a pratt from Bexhill called Michael E Kebbell, black listed in all directions in these parts he slagged off our Best ever Southdown and M&D volumes and gave them the awful rating of 1 on Amazon which now sits there for all to see, he didn't like there not being a commentary, fair enough comment if that's what you like others prefer just realistic bus sounds, but to actually praise the interest and images and mark it a rock bottom does little justice to the marvellous film from our good friend John Bishop etc. Oh and he says it darts about from place to place, well thats because John edited them by vehicle types. Of course when you try and find and publications , films or just anything by these types there is nothing, a big round hole and wouldn't it be nice if they would just jump in the hole. Have you a favourite do nothing and gripe person there are an awful lot about.
Clips from our first West Midlands archives trailers on Youtube
a very busy time of year for everyone ourselves included, it was compounded today by having a briefing on the new structure of AMEC Foster wheeler having recently acquired the US company, it rambled on a bit and it was time to have fruit being on diet day one this week and watch the soaps for a rest. I did manage to complete the first of the West Midland video archive features last night before bed but no time then to get the Youtube clips ready or to take stills for the cover, I'll be doing that about 9pm this evening. I'm realy though with the next volume which should all be 1990, once more aided by Dave Cole's great footage, even the 1983 scenes on the first volume came out well, a pity Dave didn't stick with the video camera a bit longer way back then, there are a few shots of Oxford in 1983, having already completed that region I thought I might pop it on the net as a Youtube only clip, the local club could always embed it on their site.
I've already downloaded tonight's DVD orders, it looks a lot quieter than the last two nights although it does sometimes all come in a rush mid evening. I managed to get the hotel booked for Sunday night as we are going to shoot down there from Fareham on Sunday after we leave my sister Yvonne and then get back up to Cheshire on Monday using up the last day of my leave. I've already put the paperwork in for next years holidays well the first couple anyway.
I also got the application done for the Indian visa which will get to them tomorrow, then when I get that back I'll send off the Bangladesh application in January after we get back from Cuba as it's only valid for two months after issue, strange way to go on isn't it. I noticed that a chap in Netherlands has a few of the Atlas 1/72 buses up for grabs at reasonable cost so I'll drop him a line tonight and see if I can order some, I have to be careful not to duplicate what I have or am bidding for. Anyway I'll keep it brief as there is so much I want to get on with. A chap at work has just got back from Myanmar, he had taken a couple of jap bus shots, I was showing him how it used to look, these shots in Mandalay when they had route colours like Malta in the 60s
Just one month to go and we'll be at Christmas Eve and winging our way over the Atlantic to Cuba for two weeks tracing the oldest vehicles in all the major towns and cities of Cuba. Meanwhile that gives you under a month to order up your special Christmas presents before we shut for our annual two weeks away. I am already running off the material to edit for our golden oldie video archives from the west midlands and thanks to our good friend Dave Cole we are able to add greatly to our coverage of the post deregulation era in that region. By tonight I hope the first DVD is ready and I'll get the covers done as I go. Remember they won't be available at most rallies for a few months but if you want your copy get ready to press the magic buttons on the PMP shop. Everything appears there first, then they go on Amazon and last of all to EBay and I delete as many as I add each time to keep the selection fresh and restricted to the top sellers.
The weekend was a break from work but still left us feeling weary, Sunday lunches with beer take some getting used to. Now we can focus on the next year and we have already pencilled in lots of destinations for the PMP stand, many for the very first time. Never to be visited again also gains some ground with North Weald taking one of the booby prizes for having closed down trice and had a poor resurrection. Lets hope they let it rest in peace. I'm away when the annual 'cobham' takes place and with stand prices soaring Mandy will decide if its economic for her and Sue to go all the way to Surrey whilst I'm in Mexico.
We got another quote on the Mexico trip and I think I hit on the best deal myself first time around. I'm taking my passport to work tomorrow and filling in the visa applications forms for Bangladesh and India no doubt I'll have to do some passport photos during the day. I'm sending them to an agent to process, it's worth the extra to save getting them lost, rejected or as in the case of the robbing sods at the Algerian embassy just plain looted!. I'll bring you another West Midlands photo selection tomorrow, remember they are all on our Smugmug still sales site, see links page and they start at just 50p each which is just the sort of price you'd pay at a UK rally so great value and I've uploaded all the shots I took in Malta both trucks and bus. Tonight a couple of clips from our latest UK truck DVD at Lymm Poplar services in the rain.
A great night out at the opera in Birmingham although I wouldn't be wanting to be walking the streets there at that time of night it was pretty well our worst nightmare and you could see all the ambulances and police there ready to scrape up the human wreckage. Anyway a good lay in and then after a couple of slices of fruit bread toast we set off for Ludlow, we have morning coffee and cake, well actually only I had the cake bit, Mandy was using her chair, that really exposes the majority of shops and restaurants which aren't accessable at all , really only lip service is paid to access problems and England has advanced little more than most other countries world wide.
We had a gander around the market, the girls picked up some Christmas presents, the art gallery we usually visit was closed so that saved decisions on spending money we don't rerally need to and then it was choice of pubs, all were difficult to access although there was plenty of room, by next weekend I think mayhem for the pre Christmas rush will be in progress. I had a Timothy Taylor Landlord and a Wadworths 6XX, the girls had small red wines we had puddings as well and were pretty stuffed, anyway it was time to get back to the car as the disabled parking allowed only 3 hours albeit we had seen no sight of traffic wardens about. The sun was out most of the sky blue and without wind it felt very pleasant. We bought cheese and meats at the food centre put of town which was heaving , I suppose as the town shops were closed it picks up the market in meat etc really well on a Sunday.
Then drove back to Sue's in Hednesford near Cannock, watched some tele and had a brew before setting back off over The Chase and back up the M6. Quite a lot of orders this weekend, looks like Mandy will be busy tomorrow morning. I've just edited the trucking film on the Lymm services in the rain Friday and the few shots I managed to get Wednesday morning on my way over to Teesside. Tomorrow I start editing the West Midlands material which has never made it to DVD before. This leads us to tonights puctures in the Midlands
we had a great day our first non transport weekend for a very long time, this is my first posting using
the new hurl thingey , we are staying with our friend sue at Cannock . we had quite a late start this morning which was very pleasant. a few chores to be gotten out of the way one of which was getting the west Yorkshire cine archive cover done which along with other recent releases has been added to the Amazon shop plus they are all on our own shop. one problem I often encounter is people searching eBay and expecting to find all our DVDs whereas there are just a few samples its far too expensive to have that many listed. Amazon is better value for shop. this keyboard is pretty crap as it struggles to leave gaps between words. we headed off down the m6 only to get stuck behind a wide load but it was empty once we had passed. we had shepherds pie and a few classes of plonk and then headed into Birmingham and had the usual struggle to find disabled parking near the theatre . it was Rossini,s William tell which is diverting stuff although sue thought the overture might have cropped up again. late back having mince pies and some more wine, just remembered I had a delicious ice cream in the interval which was stemginger and honey flavour. tomorrow we are having a trip to Ludlow .
my patience is just about exhausted tonight, we bought this new Tesco Hudle computer thing which we thought would be more convenient than the old ipad which really weighs a ton and knocks up the hand bagguage allowance pretty quick. It came highly recommended on lots of review sites and especially for the ease of set up. Well on second evening trying to connect up the email and even searching the net the only suggestion from Orange seemed to be that it wouldn't work with my email. I then spent about 30 minutes with the help desk, chap with very board south wales accent so we had to work phonetically through the various set up options, tried everything his charts would tell him, he looked it up then gave up and said I needed to talk to my service provider which is either Freeserve, Orange,BT or EE they all seem to come into the equation so throw a bit of Tescos Hudle in and it's a casserole. I ended up on a talk shop thing what are they , got it a call centre, otherwise known as a go away centre , obviously in India where these places have provided the biggest support for the National Socialists aka UKIP as race relations are at an all time low as so many people have been driven to distraction by these Indian nightmares. Anyway giving up after two attempts of finding anyone who was able to speak English I gave up and rang back to Tesco's help line to tell them what I thought of their super easy to set up machine. Anyway the new chap who was much easier to understand went through some of the same options then running out of info tried some good old fashioned thinking and as my email is old used the older connection type called POP ( how appropriate) and then the Orange modern stuff and heh presto it all worked so now they have a new connection on their list.
Then I had sent my copy to Buses for the January issue and got a reply that had an attachment which wasn't the copy I expected for proof reading it was some sort of invoice. I was getting really pee'd off at the stage and suggested I move to Bus & Coach Preserved classics etc . Then she phone up and says that it's something new, she can see I'd be annoyed from my perspective but she was just doing what she had been told. After 35 years continous advertising you'd think that they would cherish their advertisers a little more than that. I thought I might send Gavin a line but really I can't be bothered perhaps as the statement only included three months the magazine is ceasing production?
I noted that the Tram magazine modern old tram ways or whatever had the airport line in Manchester as starting on 1st November a Monday which was what was intended, of course they had already announced via the NON enthusiast press to locals that a free service would run on Saturday 1st Nov, nearly a November fools day as there was hardly a camera other than mine to be seen on the Saturday the real first day of service but again what does it really matter. I noted that a certain name was missed off a certain northern part of an asian country article in the same mag on a recent visit to it's capital , not being ID'd as a journalist is required action to avoid visa denial or arrest on return visits!
I'm going to try and get the sound on the West Yorks cine archive film finished tonight, by the way stopped off at Lymm on my way home and took some truck shots although the light rain turned to a sodden downpour but the shots should look good, no fair weather sailing here. Some of the stills tonight, tomorrow evening I'll try and get through on the new computer mini do dah and if not it will be Sunday night when we are back. I would like to see another heap of orders through by then just like last week until the next time cheers and stuff the computers.
PMP Sponsors of bus rallies for 25 years.