The lads have been here all day, the new floor is in, electrics first fix and ditto plumber. Tomorrow walls and ceiling should be done and then with skip delivered first thing the old garage up and over door comes off. The bricks have been matched to the original extension. The new door and window should be in place before the end of the week. Then it is plastering and 2nd fix items to finish about Wednesday. They all seem very pleasant and competent. I'm going to leave Mandy in charge of them tomorrow as I'm off to Shrewsbury to exchange cine films with Peter Waller at the OTA. I've done a bit of work on Mandys family tree by way of a diversion, hoping that my editing computer is up and running by Friday. Mandy's car goes in for repair on Monday after its brush with the gate post. Heard from my pal Martin down in Somerset who raised a fantastic sum from his Easter railway day. No need to water the garden tonight, thunder and lightening outside and throwing it down, first rain in a couple of weeks, much needed to get the moorland fires under control in the hills above Manchester. Photos this evening from my trip to Birkenhead yesterday afternoon.
A bit of a rush as we are off to see cousin Trish who has been discharged from hospital today after her fall down the stairs, Derek is playing at a gig tonight so we said we would keep Trish company and put his mind at rest although I don't think stair diving will be on the menu. I'v been filming today at Runcorn, Widnes and Birkenhead and the garage conversion starts tomorrow after all. Here is the garage as of this evening, ready for the builders and despite forgetting about Easter they are going to stick to the planned schedule.
Shots from Rundown and Widnes this morning, slightly hazy sunshine but still warm and no sign of rain so still watering the front lawn and freshly planted climbers. I got the last dregs out of the garage when I got home and Mandy had to go to the doctors as she has an infection and I'm seeing doc tomorrow re the cough which I've had for eighteen months.
I was thinking of Nottingham tomorrow but the slightly hazy sun seems to have changed to another day of full sunshine which better suits Widnes and Birkenhead. Widnes perhaps gets a little more attention than it would if it were not for its status as one of just a handful of municipal operators left running buses. Birkenhead always attracts a good audience. A few orders for DVDs to go out tomorrow but generally things are quiet. I'm looking a little ahead with a couple of possible weeks in May when we could well cover developments in Scotland, it will happen. By the end of next week we should be up and running with editing again. I've made covers for those due even when the DVD doesn't yet exist. Here are some covers but if not on our shop they are not ready yet. Of these below Tunbridge Wells and Sheffield are available.
I got some climbing plants for the new shed area front and rear and tided the back garden borders a bit, each day more things appear about one to two months early, we have had more butterflies than all last summer. I've got all the sales stand DVD stock replenished after Brooklands and Detling rallies, we seem to have sold quite a few, remember we no longer bring the truck films to bus rallies but if there is anything you want we can bring it for you. The May holiday weekend will be the usual mad whirl weather permitting of Llandudno and Truckfest. I'm very much looking forwards to our Irish trip this year, provisionally looking at end of June or the middle of July.
EBay has messed around with their shop yet again and I'm reduced to pressing buttons at random to try and download orders and very nearly missed one altogether which was on the email advice but not the sold section, phoning them gets you to The Philippines which I've just returned from, the most crazy out of this world nation who would have you think that many speak English but it is meaningless waffle which explains the hassle people have with many call centres.
The explosions in Sri Lanka are another nail in the coffin for peace and harmony among nations. When will the UK break off relations with the likes of Saudi Arabia which constantly supports and finances ISIS attacks and ban them from trying to wreck our countries. Mind you Britain in its inglorious past lay the foundations for most of these terrorists in its divide and conquer regimes. Sri Lanka has suffered civil war for many years I don't think they are in a mind set to take this on the chin without retaliation. Meanwhile in our wonderful democracy peaceful climate protesters are arrested by the hundred, isn't democracy great I wonder what it feels like living in one.
Today after church I got the vehicles cleaned and polished and fed the plants, sprayed against disease and cleared the gutter and pavement outside the empty house next door as well as getting several more DVD covers made albeit I can't edit them until the end of the week when our computer is returned. Here is a shot of our new shed for PMP stock and the trellis we put up on Friday.
Yes we have managed to file away and upload the still shots from our recent Asia trip joing the hundreds of thousands of pictures already there waiting for you to pick out the prints image files you need covering most of the world and it's bus, truck,tram and trolleybus systems. I've also got more of the Hong Kong images ready for DVD downloads together with the first of the Taiwan features. More coming on stream tomorrow. Today I also managed to get the remainder of the display cases removed from the PMP office. Looking more bare and tatty by the day just ready for the super facelift and the new editing studio and show room. It almost echoes in here now, not just that I also managed to get the lawns mowed and edges to lawns trimmed and swept up after yesterdays concrete works.
In the afternoon it was the Buses Worldwide meeting at Brian and Sue Rowney's home at Tyldsley , I did a slide presentation on the Asia trip and Brian covered the German regions around Hamburg followed by refreshments, we were that full that we scrapped dinner had some cheese and biscuits tonight and pudding. After church tomorrow I want to get the garden borders weeded, the hot dry weather continues so still watering the rather shabby from lawn which hasn't recovered from the last two dry summers.
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.
PMP Sponsors of bus rallies for 25 years.