I always think that aeroplanes are a sure fire herway Clickof egetting a cold toor worse and being hunted up then streaming cold and followed by hacking cough is best done when the temperature is below the mid 30,s but at least we are in very smart spacious surroundings in Borneo. The flight from Jakarta was via batik which is supposed to be the more upmarket version of lion air but it just proves howawfullion air must be. Airlines seem to be inarace to see who can makeryanair look smart. Anyway the flight was on time, Mandy miss read the time to 4pm departure when that was arrival time, a good job she likes to get to the airport early, nobody noticed our slightly late arrival. The wheelchair was taken in their stride and was there at the door on arrival, full marks for that. The baggage has also managed to follow us so touch would and fingers crossed on that. The hotel I booked as being by Sheraton turned out to be a Marriott which produces would worst hotels in my experience but this one was very new, shiny and lots of usual Asian smiles but the pool was tin and seemed to be next to some industrial plant and there were only four sunbeds plus the doors to the pool or incredible iteep slope required special request to open. Gave up after the first night and looked at the other top hotel the platinum hotel and conference centre. I gave up on the cheap as chips option with super reviews as that had landed us at the Marriott four points and went by taxi to see this hotel, I decided to go upmarket to executive suite which has given us a really superb room at about sixty quid anight, yes the Marriott was a bargain for workers at twenty or less but if you are mostly on holiday skittle bit of bargain luxury doesn't go amiss. They are trying to get us liked to go to see the orangutan and sun gear sanctuary, booked up for tomorrow but we shall try for Sunday or Monday. The main road seems to run outside so I should be in a good position Monday onwards for truck filming and the uses all pass by, the local ones are the 5k minibuses., I think theageof tickets is dead, lucky to have got them inbatam last year. The Jakarta stored vakuecardlooked like something you could use in many countries not just on transport. Welltry and get to some other out of city spots, the locals aren't very much into wildlife , walking or general culture, just making slot of noise en masses at times? Thankfully the hotel we arenowin has masses of space to get our own haven in the quiet? Must charge iPad battery it is running out edit.
An annoying habit of these iPads is updating lots of apps which I never knowingly use. The weather has been better than expected, yesterday our last full day in the capital I rejoined Mandy after having another truck film morning not too far away from the hotel.isas sunny yet again and then as the afternoon progresses it becomes more bearable to sit in without shade, it's been low to mid thirties all the time. The Mercure hotel has been a gem and we've mastered the short walk to the Bavaria pub in the old town by a new wheelchair route otherwise know as the bus way but there are few buses on the route most go straight into the city. I never managed to film the trains as I never found the wide crossing I'd stopped at on the minibus coming back to Kota but at least I got a lot of pdecent us and trucks shots.. we are now packed and ready for the taxi trip to the main airport which leaves early afternoon.bi noted on the news and blogs that JCB might take over wrightbus which has been run into the ground by a typically barmy extreme protestent owner who's new church towers above the factory and bled the business dry.
The sun shine yet again in Jakarta, I went to the docks via taxi first thing after breakfast, it always hard discovering such locations abroad, discussions with the staff and taxi driver did produce a direct route to the dock entrance and on to the bus station there. After bidding the taxi farewell I walked back to the dock entrance and filming as I went back even more until I settled down on a junction. Lads act as human trsffic lights for donations of small notes from drivers to keep it all moving. I got a couple of hours filmed and then got a mini bus back to Kota station which enabled me to survey closer truck filming positions just minutes away where lorries travel parallel to the toll road but at grade rather than elevated and this is accessable over the railway not more than a few minutes via Lyra cheap local minibuses which are just pick ups or vans with bench seating at around 30p a journey.
we had our now usuallat afternoon drink at cafe Batavia on the town squsre about 7pounds a pint but the duty free gin hhelp spin out the assets. The hotel despite being French accor group is just do friendly and helpful with wheelchair friendly adjustments appearing each morning. Do tomorrow our last full day prior to carrying on to Borneo . Tonight the first rainfall much needed locally but fingers crossed it is sunny again tomorrow. We can get the soaps on the iPad via daily motion site, the news is from sky, so awful, I think Johnson is not anaxi but a Stalinist, his doctrine of self esteem and denial of any opposition like the mad manoeuvres of a typical dictator. I think the British army has a disproportionate number of Scottish trips which will bolster our ranks if we get to civil war, perhaps Ireland will supply leave keeping troops!
I filmed buses in Jakarta today, Mandy was by the pool,very hot, using Batavia cafe nearby as our local pub at the hotel still has no drinks licence. Gave up trying to find the new let, the elevated track works are blocking any road which wasn't already blocked by the traffic!
As ever doing the blog on an welciPad Wellis very difficult for an oldie like me I bet I'm the only omeperson in Jakarta without amobile phone. The flight was on time and the wheelchair and other luggage all driver fasafely in Jakarta. The in flight service was polite and friendly but on the dogs to Jakarta leg the food was awful and a glass of wine had about an half inch of wine in it. We got the money changed and bluebird taxi to hotel with no problem and being a Sunday and on the toll road traffic was minimal, I've already Sussex out the location of docks and main industrial area, trucks looked a bit samey but masses of them. Monday morning should see the city at its manic self. One of the northern get terminalis nearby we had a wander out after dinner, life with a wheelchair here is interesting but Mandy is very confident and resilient these days and everyone is friendly and helpful so the impossible is not so difficult. We are hoping we can get Mandy to the open top tour bus terminus I'll investigate tomorrow, I can it seems get my stored value card at this terminus and then explore the bus network, harmony station has dozens of get routes and several of the Dr tour bus routes passing through. I do need to see exactly where the light rail section under test is situated as it isn't shown on the main public transportmap. There is apical raillineoassj g near the hotel. The prices in western style hotels is small to us for the room but food is extortionate and alcohol really a major investment but thankfully our gin in the water bottle with tonic water for Mandy and orange for me has worked fine. Just us two and wedding party in the hotel, breakfast should reveal any other guests in the morning. So a public transport film day tomorrow and trucks on Tuesday then we hope to get Mandy a city tour if we can link I. To their routes and stash the wheelchair on board, smiles are abundant. It was nice to get the present shower of Facebook friend requests while confirming our site popped up and it was great for Mandy to see Berta her mother mentioned in cousin mark ashmores blog ref the theatre in Manchester. I think Berta would be pleased to see us as patrons of the royal northern college of music which in its old buildings in where I squatted and met my then girlfriends a flautist before starting Togo out with Mandy back in 1974. So gingerbaker has. Drummer his last, all these people from outer generation popping their clogs! Anyway a very modern Mercure hotel and comfortable, we got a great view looking back through a Dutch lifting canal bridge vetybsd repair but framed the hotel nicely. Cameraout tomorrow. everyone to get another trip with Mandy and myself searching around the world for items of transport interest. We have had a reply from Norman central salt lake on the parking charges from holiday in at Swansea , emailing politely the CEO seems to have invoked a response and a bit of backside kicking to get it sorted.
After the shock news that my brother in law Graham had died which I extracted from Facebook postings we were down The Crown last night, it closes Sunday and then reopens soon after we return home after another phase of refurbishment. It has been a day of getting everything sorted out ready for the journey which with Mandy takes a lot more preparation than on my solo missions or with my transport pals. I had hoped to have got all outstanding photo files sorted and out the way but no chance as I seek at random an editing software that will be as simple as I had with Photo Impression which is no longer available, I've still got it on my XP machine but the new external drive is not compatable with XP so I can't even import the files and it has never been very reliable crashing all the time.
I've downloaded and then deleted several that were supposed to be easy but none were within my grasp, as I haven't any young children to translate I fumble on still searching, surely someone makes a simple basic programme - I don't do much other than crop, straighten and file. The weather in Indonesia looks mixed but then it does rain a lot but at 32C we won't be cold. Its a matter of making sure I can stay dry when I'm caught out filming down the docks or somewhere.
I'll try and blog as I go, we'll get some gin and a bottle of wine at duty free, you can only take in one litre of any booze per person, it must be surreal living in an uptight place like that no wonder the locals brew their own fire water and then die of it. Hopefully when we are on Borneo it will be more relaxed, drink was really cheap in the Malaysian part back in February, amazing I'm in Borneo twice in 12 8 months.
As our next Bus Spot Ultra will be Sunderland lets have a North East feel to tonights photo slide show. The Amazon shop is closed while we are away, EBay just on out of office but you can order and our own shop open as always with notification on the front page that we are away. All the DVD s are now on the shop, a few still need digital downloads activated.
News just received via Facebook that my brother in law Graham Lowe has passed away, we had been trying to get in touch and I felt that something was amiss. Great chap, terrible blow for Susan and all the family.
We have been busy getting the decks cleared ready for our trip to Indonesia. I've just got all the covers done and DVDs ready from our six lorry productions. When we get back I will work through my list of bus location for the back end of October subject as usual to the weather. We took the van and IQ to the car repair shop where he put a lick of paint on the rust spots on the IQ and filled the small scratch on the VW. Then we went to Waterstones to top up our reading material plus I did a lot of work on the DVD editing and fended off the phone which must have rung about 20 times and included a visit from a chap doing panic buttons, something that could be applicable given Mandy's rate of falls. Anyway no time to ramble on, the next Bus Spot Ultra will be Sunderland, it will be out before Christmas. Here are the covers for the latest truck releases and clips for Immingham and Hull will be on Youtube this evening.
Yes greetings as I start to put the PMP shops 9on to holiday mode, EBay says we are away although we will post while we can until late Friday and Amazon has to be suspended as they have no holiday mode and the PMP shop has carried a notification for several weeks and we shall clear these and EBay as soon as we return. We fly out on Saturday morning on Qatar via Doha perhaps we'll meet the runners coming back. Anyway to day I returned home from a day out filming to the second parking penalty from Holiday Inn Express agents Parking Eye despite Holiday Inns promise to sort it I've now contacted the chief honcho at IHG Keith Barr an American ( how come they can work in the UK, under EU rules surely they must offer it to all EU citizens first? We'll see what happens next, really cheesed off with them.
The trip today took advantage of the sunny weather in some parts which at this time of year best suits lorries, this took me first to Immingham where there was a fantastic reaction from all drivers with hoots, waves, smiles, thumbs up and flashing lights from all nationalities, certainly an EU of the truck world lets hope this is not disrupted by the Tory maniacs and the bestial support from the leavers who expect that we shall be able to survive alone in the world, perhaps a study of history would demonstrate otherwise. After Immingham the smallest of clouds were starting to form and I arrived at Hull and confirmed 'my' roundabout had vanishes ( almost) and was no use for truck filming but I already knew that would be the case and used my usual parking spot and a 5 minute walk to the other side of the bridge which worked even better than the roundabout did which was pleasing and then the clouds really started to gather as I finished just the one film there. The temperature had been freezing first thing, thick ice on the car windscreen and it was misery at Immingham with cold hands, slightly warmer at Hull. Finished off with abuse from passing car in Hull, that most wretched city in the most wretched county perhaps the most violent and aggressive in Europe. Anyway start with shots from Immingham. Getting car paint fixed first thing tomorrow not sure about any chances of filming before we leave for Indonesia on Saturday.
That weird and wonderful whacky world of transport enthusiasts sometime has to collide with day to day life and today was a suitable example as after getting the DVD orders away and several more digital uploads done on our shop it was a trip to Middlewich to organise the application of the paint I'd got at Knutsford for the Toyota IQ which is being kept for posterity and thus requires a high degree of upkeep, likewise the VW Caddy albeit the one and only scratch is about 1/2", they are going to sort either Thursday or Friday whichever is the driest as we seem to be in the monsoon season. I did stop off at Northwich glass and ordered up the first 4 sheets of glass for the display cabinets, just another four to go but space and enthusiasm is probably best in smaller doses. There were closed roads this morning in several; places and although very wet I think the closures were otherwise caused.
We had to go to Oswestry to do some juggling with accounts to clear the credit cards this month, very cold out and about but I'm still hoping to get out with the camera tomorrow. I made a few discoveries of old transport film in the nether regions of the internet which might come in useful some time. I'm now turning my attention to archive transport DVDs for the winter production schedule as many I know are looking forwards to more in the Bus Spot Ultra range which will resume probably in November. I've also got a whole box full of cine to go through and digitise much of which could well be London in the 60-80s. All projects after completion of phase one of my display cabinets, ie when all 16' is complete I'll take a break and alter my focus for a while. Quite a few DVD orders again tonight all will go out in the morning. I might go to Hull and see if the alterations to the dock traffic flow have left any suitable truck filming spots, I'm sure that there will be opportunities for lorries coming off the bridge on the dual carriageway as the sun would be the same position as the roundabout. Anyway lets have a look at other Hull lorry visits.
Back home after a very wet windswept journey north where yet again the water is cascading down from the back of the house down the drive to the road. We were staying with my sister Yvonne and brother in law Graham's at Hythe near the New Forest in Hampshire west of Southampton - mindful of overseas readers querying locations as to where they are but I keep asking don't they have Google and all its maps. The highlight of the weekend, well most memorable event was when at the Ruby wedding celebration at Exbury and Graham had a giant caterpillar climb down onto his arm, I must try and track down details of just what it was. Anyway a great day for my sister Margaret and brother in law Roger who celebrated 40 years together, we were at the village hall and together with Marg and Roger's children put on an excellent spread with cake in enormous profusion and take homes the order of the day. It may be wedding, anniversaries etc which get people together in a family spread about but all the better for them to focus on all getting together.
Meanwhile at Yvonne's we enjoyed views, mostly from the dry inside the house of their lovely new garden, I think photos will have to wait for perhaps a spring visit but we do have some shots taken at Exbury village hall on Sunday and to those who didn't read in advance , hence our absence from Showbus for the first time in many years. We will be away next Saturday for two weeks in Indonesia, the PMP shop will remain open as will Ebay with an away message and finally Amazon is suspended in our absence as it has no holiday setting or allowance which shows how well its employees must be treated. Photo of myself and Mandy taken by Graham at Exbury on Sunday. Then a slides show from the other shots I took, I didn't overdo it as there were so man phone cameras busy at work.
PMP Sponsors of bus rallies for 25 years.