The next part of the process for Bus Spot Ultra Llandudno is actually tidying up and trimming down to size the clips until I'm left with 120minutes. We hear that Corona virus has now arrived at our neighbouring village, Plumley, hitherto we had been an island of health in the North West with the badlands around Manchester area. I had a session with the remote camera located at Plumley and took some lorry stills. This visit will give us another two films which you will see in due course once I've finished the Lllandudno film, next Ultra production will be Birkenhead with Wallasey/New Brighton. We have been very busy with the DVDs plus lots of digital downloads happening. We are able to turn around everything as we obviously aren't out on our travels at all. We've just had a walk out down to the Cobbles but with the wheelchair its as far as you can get, with terrible roads and broken kerbs it is a struggle for Mandy to get out anywhere. I've put off most outdoor jobs until the weather eases a bit, supposed to be warmer by Friday so they can wait until then, actually warmer should read less cold, todays its been hat, scarf,gloves weather. Here are some lorry shots to keep you going until I can put on trailers via Youtube.
Work has now started on Bus Spot Ultra Llandudno, this will be at the smaller end of locations covered very regular coverage from mid 1990's but patchy before but nice scenes of the old Trams and Cable cars. The next Bus Spot Ultra will cover Birkenhead with Wallasey with quite good coverage from municipal and old trams through to present day. The next Spot On Tickety'boo film will be on London buses in 1960s-70s, exact content to be decided. That should take most of my time this week plus I hope to be able to get out and walk to the motorway from more shots on the M6 allowing for suitable weather, it was below freezing again today first thing. As it gets less cold I'll get a couple of outside jobs done, feed birds and put some more 'no nails' adhesive on the leaking hose, if it doesn't do the trick I'll buy a new one.
Not a lot I can report other than the DVD sales are still quite buoyant as are digital downloads, I'll try and get more on the shop today. Mandy hasn't as many things to go at as I have so is getting a lot of reading done. I'm trying to avoid the constant depressing news broadcasts with just a glance at the headlines a couple of times a day. All is calm in Lower Peover, next door decided to take their front wall down which now looks a mess and they intend to plant a hedge, I'd do the exact opposite but each to their own. My other outside jobs are pending milder weather.
As I'm pottering away with North Wales archives lets have a few shots to put us in the mood for that
I had to delete and remake the last 13 video trailers on Youtube as specially at beginning and end and sometimes in between I made reference to the present situation without realising that Youtube will stop your revenue if they find this happening. So in the rather crazy world that is the USA you cannot mention the biggest elephant in the room since WWII. No wonder a country so strange produced a Trump but then following their type of logic and people being sucked in by propaganda we ended up with Scraggy Head and their far right camp followers. Mandy says I need to be positive in what I say, believe me I've rethought and amended many of my recent blogs. This jolly hockey sticks we are all in it together is not my world. For me we should have an open free debate ongoing and decisions at government level should be cross party rather than the fascist right given free reign at COBRA meetings.
Meanwhile we continue to support our more elderly neighbours and the community, for example I went around the surrounding roads with my weed killer and treated the pavements and gutters where overgrown and decaying with weed breaking up the tarmac. I will not be standing at the door clapping anyone that doesn't mean I don't support whatever just that it seems a bit banal to me. Also the local church diocese wants us to put candles in the window Sunday nights, what a crazh fire risk that is, so no we won't be doing that either.
It is Mandys birthday today, I recycled an old birthday card but a special one. It was the first I gave Mandy when I was helping on the Catonsville Roadrunner before we were married in spring 1974. All very 70's it was very delicate and in danger of decaying so restored and encapsulated it and trimmed to size. Today I am going to do outside jobs, some more no nails glue on the old hose reel to stop the remaining small leak. Then there is a strip on the opening roof light in the greenhouse which needs filling in to stop rain coming down through it. The min job will be the base for the to be purchased garden seat, it is laid out roughly just needs the bottom cement scree then leveling and finishing from back to the front.
After that well we will have got the house warmish, remember our boiler is not working, no central heating or hot water, day 2 of that, Worcester the boiler maker are coming tomorrow under warranty to fix. There are masses of photos to file and the remote M6 camera coverage from Lock Down week 1 to edit, there will be four DVDs. I've also started gathering the material for Bus Spot Ultra Llandudno with Colwyn Bay. Anyway a few photos before I file them in the archive. the Goole trip is now on the shop, four volumes of that. I'm still loading digital downloads on the shop as and when I have time.
We went to M&S at Handforth Dean, health workers went first but then disabled, we only waited 10 minutes. The amazing sight of full shelves even toilet paper. Anyway I've bulk purchased marzipan balls my favourite. Come to think of it, sweets and biscuits figure large. They were handing out bunches of daffs to customers leaving, how wonderful- nice friendly staff, nothing heavy. Bouncers on doors at most supermarkets, than goodness M&S are shining through. We attempted Tescos next door for items for our more elderly neighbours buit queue there was about half a mile, bouncer said there was no pensioner hour, perhaps they should alter their website then. Why can't there be co-ordinated times of opening and uniform times when health and elderly persons can get in.
Our boiler broke down again, bad news no heat or hot water, not goof for Mandy and her chronic circulation but good new Worcester boilers are coming Monday to sort under warranty.
I'm editing the last of four DVDs on trucks at Goole last before lock down started. Then it will be the remote camera an hour at a time on the M6, there will be four films at two locations and if weather suitable we'll repeat next week. Still scanning old films. I'll clear the current material editing and get back to the archive bus material to keep up that side of business.
Highest ever daily hits on Youtube this past week hit 88k in a day. Digital downloads are starting to take off now.
I've been getting the slabs for the new garden seat in place, a lot of digging and lifting. Next to cement the base, loads of level checking plus hazard that existing grass lawn is not level so ingenuity required there. Noisy in garden, screaming kids and wine quaffers abound. I've been around our property and along the adjacent road in either direction with the Polish super strength weed killer, fingers crossed that it actually works.
When we were out shopping also used Boots in Knutsford, opens 9.30, very helpful, got neighbours chest pastilles .
Some more shots from the M6 for today's slide show. Clips of Goole trucks second batch on tonight.
I guess the royal family missed a chance to make amends when Charles got a mild dose of Corona, it all stinks when NHS staff and others on the front line can't get tested. Now we don't even have a government and the draconian laws seem to pile in one upon the other. I am really getting cheesed off when the inane comments and jolly hockey sticks going the rounds. I don't see any of the lorry drivers getting people out clapping each other despite their hours becoming uncontrolled, despite being vilified and refused to use the wash rooms at delivery points. Behaviours like this have long been the norm at ports like Peel in Liverpool Seaforth docks.
Once more it is down to PMP to bring out another aspect of life and living as we do astride the M6 motorway we are well placed to monitor the truck traffic, this time at the end of our road, alone in my little IQ a two minute drive and getting the remote camera set up for a couple of hours and then a few snaps with the still camera which forms the slide show tonight. Tomorrow we have to go to Handforth Dean to shop, we also have our more elderly neighbours shopping to get. First hopefully M&S at opening time 8am and then to Tescos next door for their golden oldies hour at 9 am. We can go by the new road straight to Handforth and don't pass through any substantial urban area at all.
There are still lots of jobs to be done, was hoping to carry on with weeding but council have stopped collecting the waste, I can't see the bin lads were in any danger and it was a younger neighbour who told us they weren't collecting, she'd seen it on Facebook. Locally there is no news at all and you have to hunt on the net to find contradictory advice on shop opening. Why not have a standardised set aside times for elderly, NHS and essential workers etc , it could vary by area if need be but at least it was county sized the older non internet people would get to know. I had a phone call from Devon again with people who know us asking for advise and completely in the dark as to what they can do, their bus service to their village has ceased. Yet again the vulnerable, elderly and disabled are certainly in 'it' but it is not together with Eton toffs.
Scraggy head Johnson is still spewing out a daily dose of nonsense, they are not on top of PPE for essential workers and health care staff, the shops do not have a decent supply of food, they are getting rid of care for the most dependent vulnerable people. We don't have a government of national unity we have the most right wing government now given unfettered powers to see off those they don't want. Our MP is Esther McVey, she has a track record of malevolent action against the severely disabled population. Don't be conned by anything scraggy head tells you. Let the Left unite, fight this virus defeat that and then get the Tories out. I bet Scraggy Head is going to appear in a uniform of some sort soon, like Churchill in his boiler suit.
I've managed to get to the public footpath near home which runs alongside the M6 motorway where I can set up a camera while I have my daily exercise , some stills on tonight's slide show. We have been very busy, tidying up the garden after the severe hedge hair cut and marking out the base for the new garden seat plus putting bug killer on shooting flowers and setting up the new hose connection, failed need a new hose reel.. I got the seats out so we could have a rest in the sunshine, my knees are really bad with all the work o the hedge. DVD orders are very buoyant still and hits on the PMP Youtube channel high. I've loads of DVD covers to make and DVDs to edit mostly trucks then move to bus archive features. I've had emails from our friends in Spain, it is now worse there than it was in the whole of China. Albert advises like ourselves he is limiting the news he hears or sees as you can get overwhelmed by it all. Mandy did the banking at Knutsford, huge long queues at the bank, one in one out.
At least it has been the warmest day of the year but downhill at the weekend back to cold.
Mandys friends son and his wife are Corona positive but only mild symptoms, the first people we know of even second hand with the virus. They can't get a test to confirm it as there are no testing kits, if they knew they were now probably immune they could be of great help in the volunteering effort. A couple of shots for the bus enthusiasts among us.
Big business once again looks et to clobber ordinary people, in response to our claims against Hays Travel and British Airways we were told that consumer rights no longer apply, I never heard that mentioned on any daily briefing. I think it is what we expect they want your money up front and then hang on to it when it doesn't happen. It looks as if we'll have to eat humble pie and accept vouchers in the hope we can use them but what if they go bust. For relatively small claims insurance isn't an obvious choice as with excess and premium increases you may end up losing more money. So far I add Nat West black card to Hays Travel and British Airways as working against the interests of ordinary people, I bet we don't manage to get our own back though, being 'in it together' will mean the super rich can scoop up cheap shares and the whole exercise becomes another bonanza for the rich. Anyway in frustration I've written to Esther McVey our mp aka Dracula's mother.
We had a very busy day, DVD orders completed and posted after we went on the old codgers hour at Waitrose, only a few people in at a time and hardly anything on the shelves. Called at a small butchers they had any meat you wanted like Lawrence has toilet rolls and baked beans at our village shop. Perhaps best avoid supermarkets and stick to small outlets and farm shops. When we got back I got more DVDs on as download options, everything that has recently gone on the shop is now in download version as well as DVD. I'll try and get caught up with covers for latest films I've done. I've now scanned all the Winter family films of Aberdeenshire etc ready to go to Scottish National Library Moving Image Collection at Kelvin Hall. I've also completed all of our friend George's London bus films which were a nightmare to scan with lots of bad joins. That then leaves me with some much better quality sources to go through. Hopefully I can dip into enough material to offer a few more Spot On productions and get cracking with more Bus Spot Ultras, Llandudno and Birkenhead are in the pipeline.
I managed to get a couple of bags of super strength cement so another project I can get on with is putting a base down for the new garden seat we are getting so we can make the most of those rare Cheshire moments of sun and warmth with a G&T etc. Northwich was very quiet, I never saw more than two people other than with children and everyone seems to be handling it well so far but I guess the youngsters are really peed off as it doesn't seem to infect them. Still not heard of anyone actually getting Corona or anyone who knows someone who knows someone but rumour that a posh party recently resulted in four Real Cheshire Housewives getting it.
Here are some more photos of the trucks at Goole. There is a footpath I could use for legitimate exercise by the M6 might take the video with me, never ever seen anybody else there!
After tonights shock decision to go for a full lock down we obviously won't be able to get out and about like we have done thus far and todays truck film at Goole will be the last for a while. We have masses of things we can get on with though and among these are more archive features and loading more as digital downloads. Lots for us to go at and we can continue scanning the old cine films we have here. Our thoughts are with you all in these frustrating times. Perhaps Corona is the biggest hoax of all time or perhaps it is true, we'll probably never know the truth. Having scraggy head in charge is going to be a nightmare, I dearly wished we would have someone sane to lead us through it.
Lets hope after all the Corona episode is over and sanity returns that the rip off companies are remembered. Two not giving refunds for trips that they cancel albeit impossible to take at Hays Travel and British Airways but a big well done to ASDA the only petrol retailer who has truly reflected the dramatic drop in oil and thus fuel prices, now at £1.02 a litre, still room to fall more it should be about 80p.
Today I filmed at my super truck location at Goole just off the M62, all sorts of vehicles on the Stobart runs including masses of WS vehicles. It was an epic visit, all the usual friendly toots and waves and a tremendous variety of companies represented and at this location new giant distribution centres are being built so what is great now will be even more so in the future.
I am carrying on filming as long as I can , I'm not sure what arrangements there are for the truckers, take aways with a picnic area to eat in seems the favourite work around. Tomorrow I'm trucks at Goole just off the M62 with reduced traffic it is a lot easier to get there and it is nice and isolated but expecting lots of super friendly trucks passing by. Most places seem to be going over the Saturday service on the buses but for lorries they are busier than ever with land shipments from the continent drying up they are arriving more by ship which will mean the likes of Immingham , Southampton and Liverpool will be more busy than ever, I haven't been top Felixstowe for some time but should be epic there, I'll be taking a flask of coffee and some cake or sandwiches to keep me going. I really don't get close to many people ever on the film trips so I should be a neutral observer in the current crisis. I've still not met anyone who knows of anyone that has had Corona, really quite weird, lots of theories out there and fake news but little sensible comment from the 'authorities'. What I can't get my head round is that there are 8k seasonal flu cases in UK each winter yet the corona virus is nowhere near that . I'll probably manage to get to Coventry this week for buses, the weather looks set fair in many places until the end of the week.
I've been hacking away at the hedge at the bottom of our garden with the new chain saw and its well on its way to being about 2 foot shorter and even more so at the ends where the unkempt council hedge and neighbours hedges meet it. The giant Leylandii number two, we thought it was all the one tree. I'm clawing my way through them at the extremities. all the offers from neighbours to help comes to nothing when the sun comes out and the wine flows. I like to just get these things sorted, there I sound like Trump/Scraggy Head Johnson. The DVD orders are all ready to post tomorrow morning. I'm still scanning cine films, I've come to the end of George Roberts London buses, a shame that about 90% is poor quality all that film must have cost a packet. Did you read the Emmerdale and Coronation st are to cease filming now onwards, enough episodes to get to June if I understand correctly.We had my birthday present Margaux with dinner tonight. What can I give you tonight, I've been emailing and phoning so many friends this weekend to keep in touch so how about some 'happy days' shots from our family album, not something you'll be viewing that often but rings the changes in these unusual times and just to prove there is a life beyond buses, trams,trolleys and lorries!
Yesterday we decided to tackle the buses of North Wales as we never got there last year, really though it was the hardest slog I've had for ages trying to get an hour, the clear sky was against us and the lack of buses noticeable and in Caernarfon most operators other than Arriva are white and small! . I think we'll leave that area off our list for 2021. Nothing new needless to say but all friendly enough.
We were up[ early this Saturday morning to get some shopping for our very elderly neighbours, we tried this first hour for older folk at Sainsburys in Northwich but there wasn't much point as it had the barest shelves we've seen yet. They reckon by Monday filling up over the weekend there might be more on sale. The weather outlook for next week looks fair, a mix of trucks and buses I hope. Normal service continues and all the weeks DVD orders went out on time. I'll get recent releases on as digital downloads over the weekend and get the latest three lorry films edited plus the North Wales buses.
Our slide show today from the meagre pickings in North Wales yesterday. I think we can safely say that all bus or truck events until the summer are off and with the pandemic set to last a year or more perhaps even the later summer events are at risk.
PMP Sponsors the North West Vehicle Restoration Trust at Kirkby.