On The Road From Kent
greetings friends worldwide it was a very early start today up at four am and straight down to dover, traffic not bad although we came to a standstill on the m25 before 7am. we had breakfast at the dovorian cafe and very nice indeed baconbutties to match stobarts cafe at crick. it was overcast at first so i did the trucks near the pott entrance and then went back up the hill towards folkestone direction and did shots of the trucks there and then through the rosd works nesr the marina. we still had some time in hsnd so we went to folkestone and i hsd a quick session at the bus station met a pleasant felloe enthusiast there from london doen for the day to look at rail replacement bus servicrs. stagecosch in folkestone certsinly looked better until one of the oldies arrived from steptos yard aks stagecosch dover. a bit tired now, telly doesnt work and had to ask for set of towells disabled room has non accessable bsth cumshower. tomorrow we are doing buses at canterbury first then on to chatham and then set up the stsnd st detling showground. the weather has been mild and got better ss the day went on, nice to feel almost warm.
Yes we are on go mode now after a very busy day when DVD orders which had gone quiet over Easter started to surge again , we took two lots of mail to the village post office any orders received from now until the weekend will all go next Monday . We come back up after the Detling rally on Saturday. As its forecast to be a bit cloudy in the far south east tomorrow that would suit best covering Dover docs so we'll be getting up very early to reach there as its hectic. That then means we are well lined up to do Canterbury and Chatham on Friday and later in the afternoon go to the showground and set up the stand Friday afternoon which takes the pressure off a bit on Saturday morning and I can then crack on with filming as the vehicles arrive. It's looking for for Saturday perhaps hazy sunshine certainly should be dry and warming up. It will be a great day as the East Kent RCC centenary celebrations kick off and as usual a great representation from local buses of all ages, well over a hundred expected and masses of them work on the continuous showground free circuit, you can ride as many as you like. Hopefully a lot of you will call in at the stand hall where Mandy will be in charge of the PMP display, you shouldn't miss it as we've 10 metres booked.
A very busy day , I got 4 hours of films loaded on our EBay shop, listed in our image database and clips put on Youtube. That was the least of the tasks though although also on the bus front I did some trimming up ready for filing of stills from our Jan visit to Hull. I did a lot of gardening, thinning out plants as well as weeding, the garden rubbish bin is full. My new knee seems to stand up well although by the end of the day it lets me know it's still there! Dieting day although only the one as it was Mandy's birthday yesterday. I'll do my best to blog and keep in touch from the Premier inn at Gillingham where we are staying. If you are out and about in Kent give us a wave , we'll be in the PMP van. Some photos to get us in the mood for Kent. Outside our visiting reed warblers are back yet again enjoying some of the feeds I put out this morning on the grass,
Of course I've another year to go before I pull down the OAP but Mandy was lucky and slipped in to get her dollop earlier than those on the female line to follow. A miserably wet day and suited well to the tasks in hand although going for a blood test seemed a bit much but it was the nurse's birthday as well. We then went to Altrincham, well Broadheath to be precise and eyed up new Washing and Drying machines to be integrated in the new kitchen installation although the chap from Winning kitchens did fail to make the promised call not a good omen. We did make a note of the required machines and they are as cheap there as on the net. We then went to Ellesmere Port and visited the computer shop in the market where we got a refurbished laptop being upgraded and having the contents from Mandy's old machine transferred. It still cost a fair bit but much better than thousands on a new machine, this one should be a lot faster and load on to the net super quick speeding up skypes to the family etc.
Then we called at the pet shop where we stocked up on specialist stuff like hedgehog food now they are awake and pooing, the only evidence so far. Also got stocks of sunflower hearts and fruity mix for the bigger wildlife and no doubt the feral cats which seem to have invaded. It was then times to go to the other end of the shops to have my biannual eye check, they are improved yet again, the joy of aging, wonky eyesight from childhood being rectified by loosening muscles ! I didn't hang about for new specs as purchases on the kitchen front are enough of a drain on the purse at present. Afternoon tea at M&S dwindled to coffee and cake as time had marched on, the Cheshire Oaks branch at 2pm was a right mess all round and pretty disgusting as is much of Marks & Spencers these days, I now prefer the John Lewes cafe and Debenhams clothes.
Mandy is picking up her refurbished laptop next uesday and I'm going to sort out the remaining colour negs which need putting on CD as ASDA is either selling on their service or failing that shutting it down so a kick up the back side to get it sorted. We are hoping to set up the PMP stall at Detling on Friday afternoon. It is looking as if we'll film at Chatham and Canterbury on Thursday and Dover docks Friday but this can easily be reversed. Orders after Wednesday sent out the following Monday. Here are our recent DVDs.
COLOMBIAN PRINTS ALL ON SMUGMUG
As the holiday weekend draws to an end we prepare to celebrate Mandy's 65th birthday tomorrow and also hopefully an end to the atrocious weather and closure on some of our outstanding tasks. We've had the latest amended quote back from the Kitchen people and given the go ahead which hopefully will mean that it gets fitted while I'm away in China in the second half of May. We are also looking at Ethiopea in more detail for a trip in the winter months. I've finally got all the Colombian trip pictures trimmed up and filed plus loaded on Smugmug link via this site links page. I've also got the last of the Dublin shots from Sept/Oct filed and I'll make sure these are uploaded as well, a few other trips have now been rounded off. I've done the covers for Keighley and Coventry bus DVDs which have been added to our shop. I've uploaded 3 hours worth of 16mm films to our Youtube site and the reels are for sale on EBay. I got all the vehicles cleaned this morning, Mandy popped down to the bedlam which is the local tip in Northwich on a bank holiday.
I've enjoyed staying put after the experience on Friday. Tomorrow we are going to Altrincham to look at Miele washers and driers to replace those we have ready for the new kitchen. We are then going to call with Mandy's old laptop at the computer shop at Ellesmere Port in the market. We'll then go for my two year eye check up at Specsavers there before carrying on the M&S for Mandy's birthday afternoon cream tea. First thing Mandy has a blood test and I'll get all the DVD orders ready to send off. The van is packed and ready for our trip down south later in the week which will see us cover trucks at Dover docks plus buses in Canterbury and Chatham. Perhaps the weather will have cleared then and we'll have a great day at Detling showground for the rally on Saturday which kicks off the East Kent RCC centenary celebrations. I'd hoped to get some more gardening done but it's been lousy weather, it has been bitterly cold again and spring seems a long way off. Mid April will be busy, our friends Hil and Sean are over from Ireland and we have the Cobham rally, not that much time to spare that weekend but we will cover something in the London area on the Saturday. We are hoping to get over to Cultra rally in Northern Ireland towards the end of April after Cobham but it all gets a bit rushed then. Here are some of the photos on the Smugmug site from Colombia.
EASTER SUNDAY LIGHTNING AND HAIL STONES
The weather pretty well threw everything it has at us today and any early brightness soon vanished as the electricity failed and crackling with lightning hits and then restarted. There was a quite spectacular display of indoor fireworks from the electric bell and its transformer. We had some Easter eggs fairly early in the day and managed to get the last bits and pieces into the van as the storm started. All the clocks are now to BST after a survey of what automatically and what is manually changed. I've delisted a few of the misc bus orientated items from EBay which haven't gone through the winter and low value stuff like dozens of old Buses magazines have gone to the dustbin along with a few old posters and random low value models. I've put any South East interest books in with the stock for Detling next weekend. The weather forecast looking ahead to our visits from Thursday to Saturday looks very good on the whole band we shall in one order or another be covering trucks at Dover plus buses in Canterbury and Chatham from a hotel base near Maidstone and Detling rally on Saturday before returning home. I've put a few clips on Youtube including those from yesterday's coverage of Coventry. I've also uploaded some more of the PMP Archive from 16mm cine films which are now being listed almost daily on our EBay site. Business remains very quiet over Easter, anything received will go first thing Tuesday.
The Youtube site has witnessed a modest improvement but not perhaps to save it long term, remember apps to get rid of adverts get rid of the sites in the end, don't do ity, click on the ads they pay their way! No advance of the subscription channel but there is a long list of jobs like this to be tackled.
FRIDAY IN COVENTRY OF BUSES AND PARTIES
It was a busy day and as you'll gather we were back too late for me to post. We were up at 6am and got down to Coventry in double quick time as the roads were almost empty. We managed to find a disabled parking slot at the rear of the shopping precinct and Mandy used her chair which enabled an extended shopping session after we'd had breakfast in M&S. I set off to record the buses, it was going to be wet and windy later in the day but the weather hadn't watched the forecast and the rain had started by 9am and it was already quite breezy. I did however manage to carry on filming using a few new angles and locations which were under shelter and then it did clear up and I carried on a bit loner than usual. Then met up with Mandy and we went to Coventry Cathedral where we joined the 2pm tour and this was very interesting and you got far more insight and then it was late afternoon has tea there and located the social club where Chris Ashmore's surprise 60th birthday party was. We were about an hour early so kept warm in the car while the heavy rain worked its way over. Lots of Chris's friends and relatives, a really good turn out, lots of old age hippies and grand children. It was the first time we'd seen some of Chris's children for quite a while, reminded me that any difficulties in family history are already there in the present generations. As we needed to get back home we left about 10.30 and got home before midnight. It was a shorter sleep than anticipated as the clocks went on this morning but this works to advantage on our filming days. We are off to St Oswalds quite early today as it fills up on Easter Sunday. Some pictures from Coventry of the buses, I'd had enough camera work and didn't do photography in the evening although I suppose I should have! Have a happy Easter and perhaps I'll manage a short blog this evening.
My first job for the day was to do some tidying in the back garden although there are now so many young plants pushing through that any attempts to walk on the border destroys the shoots such as lilies which are always delicate at this stage also reminds me that i need to start spraying against the lily beetle which came from the Netherlands and spread north like an express train. Later on after getting the lawn edges straightened up I ran the mower over on a light cut but out in the front the scarifying has left large empty patches which need to grow on so I've just strimmed the longer bits and edges.
Mandy thought we should go out to a National Trust property as it was such good weather today ( and only today the rest of the holiday will be windy and wet). In the event we found that the amount of people with similar intentions had created huge tail backs and we got to Calcke Abbey and found that there was a kiddies Easter egg event so just drove in and then out, we ended up driving to Bakewell and thought we'd visit the cafe we like but nowhere to park so gave up and drove home, so much for a day out. It many years since we've been at home at Easter and it showed.
I'm now working through the downloaded 16mm film which I copied recently and about to load on to EBay for sale and put clips on Youtube, the first of this batch will be on this evening and includes the 1957 Mobil Economy car run which is great fun plus power boat racing for posh people and a film of the Royal Navy.
March 24th, 2016
A day of getting caught up to some extent and getting ourselves ready for Easter. Lots of orders to go this morning which i got ready and we dropped off at the post office on the way out. Lawrence has got a traditional phone bus at the PO now, we still have the original village box a few yards away by The Crown but I assume this will be replaced when the PO one is up and running, freshly painted and with gold crown it looks lovely positioned by the shop. We called at Winning kitchens and had a catch up and went through some final details, thought is Mandy will get it all done while I'm away in China in May. We then carried on to Waitrose by which time it was mid afternoon.
I've finished the round of 16mm cine film copying as I've run out of tapes, thats 20 hours worth copied in the past week. I've ordered more and will resume in a couple of weeks time. I've tidied then all up, got rid of any packaging and stacked then u8nder the office bench. The 9.5mm films are now all together, I might try and give the projector a few runs, it needs some more bedding in and oiling per Phil at the home cinema shop in Cleethorpes. All the random standard and super 8 film that's left is safely stored together awaiting another round of copying but purchases of the smaller formats are now strictly only for areas of interest I have in particular. I need to get the royal family films on the computer to get the programme ready for St Oswalds on the queen's 90th birthday which in turn reminds me I phone my auntie Thelma in Eastbourne today she is well in her 90s and has just agreed to have carers in a couple of times a week as she still has the family home to look after which she has no intention of leaving.
I've also been trying to get my model buses etc into cabinets and this never ending task requires some complicated shuffling to try and fit stuff in plus maintain a semblance of order about it. I've hidden away some of the areas which aren't core to my collections and want to give prominence to some of the overseas groups I've gathered together. The recent Chinese trolleybus models look superb now out of their boxes, the artic trolley even has movement around the articulation section. A couple of magazines which need skimming through and all the usual orders to process although Saturday morning is the only post now until Tuesday. Fingers crossed for the weather Saturday which is forcast wet but we shall get something done in Coventry if it is at all possible. We go down to Kent ( if the weather is suitable) on Thursday and film the trucks at Dover then Friday its Canterbury and Chatham - next Saturday the Detling Rally then back home afterwards. Thus starts the busy bit of the bus rally season.
March 23rd, 2016
e went out fort a meal at The Dog last night it was a good dinner and the pudding was fine although they are weak on desserts. If anyone judges an establishment on the cleanliness of the toilets as we often do then they will be mightily impressed with The Dog at Nether Peover. It always sparkles and smells fresh even in the gents which is very commendable. We didn't get up too early but I stayed and downloaded the DVD and cine film orders and got them ready for Mandy. It was the first morning the table had been covered in orders for a while. I then set off for Keighley and the satnav took me up via Burnley then across amidst dense traffic before it directed me to a high moorland road which if it had been sunny would have been most scenic.
Eventually I dropped down into Keighley , eventually I picked my way through to the car park I'd used before then set about the usual hard work in getting the buses recorded, the traffic was no less or no more than a Saturday, just the usual constant stream. Although free of feral school children there were other usual hazards such as the winos near the shopping centre / bus station. There were more strange people than was normal for a weekday, it was like getting hassle from geriatrics and oddballs. One chap seemed nice enough but was very unkempt and smelt like the farmyard he looked like. Well time went on and I'd just enough on the car park to get a tad under an hour as it turned out. Transdev are changing the Keighley colours to two tone green, almost A&D colours, too dark for Southdown!
I got back and nearly called the police when I heard someone going upstairs, Mandy was at the doctors, turned out it was the window cleaner going up on the roof. I topped up all the bird feeders and managed to squash all my rubbish in the bin, I'd been getting models unboxed and on the display shelves although space is getting very tight. When we do the garage I'd like to get some display units in there as there is no room anywhere inside. I've only a couple more tapes left for copying the cine which means I'll have done about 20 hours of 16mm films this past week. I'll then put the kit away until I have another bash.
ITINERARY FOR THE YEAR SKETCHED OUT
Greetings fellow travelers as we look at the year ahead and how we fit everything in. We have sketched out in pencil on the calendar when we'll undertake our main outings fitted around rallies and overseas travel. The remaining overseas trips include China, Malta, Ukraine and Ireland. Regional visits include Northern Ireland, East Anglia and Essex, North East, Hants, Dorset, Kent, London, South Wales and no doubt a couple I've just forgotten. In July I'm taking part in the long walk for charity which runs from St Oswalds in the n East down to our own village in Cheshire, I'll be opening a sponsorship page for this and as I've never done a major walk in my life and have got the new knee etc it's probably going to be something of a challenge, hopefully between the two weeks we'll be at the West Midlands 30 bus rally which fulfills my idea to fit in a couple of events which we don't normally attend. Day trips will still happen and sometimes involve flights to IOM, CI etc.
I've finished making the DVDs and covers for the Bedford and Northampton visits, tomorrow I'll probably be at Keithley in West Yorkshire. On Saturday we are expecting if the weather isn't too bad to do Nuneaton and Coventry but its not that settled and we'll keep our eye on the forecasts. I'm still working my way through the 16mm cine film, next week I expect to be listing on eBay. We have decided to press ahead with the new kitchen ideally getting it done while I'm away in China at the back end of May. We are toying with the idea of an Australian trip in early 2017, perhaps I'll list all those places we want to visit and come up with a 10 year plan. On Thursday we'll visit the kitchen shops again and getting a few errands done, Good Friday I'm gardening, the birds are all very active munching their way through vast quantities of food and hedgehog droppings sighted so need to get their favourite treats back in stock. Today photos from Bedford. We were out on our joint birthday bash with cousin Trish and Derek freshly returned from their Amazon trip but Trish is poorly again. Tomorrow we have a charity fund raiser at the village hall, a stocks and shares night.
PMP Sponsors the North West Vehicle Restoration Trust at Kirkby.