Clear blue skies in Picardy yet afaik
There only seems to be enough strength in the signal to write in the mornings, tomorrow we head home and will get all the DVD orders in the post to go out on Wednesday. As it's a bank holiday in France tomorrow I'm going to try a bit of filming of trucks today with a trip up to the sugar beet processing factory and then carry on up to Boulogne where there is an estate of fish or sea good processing plants which gets a steady stream of traffic but a lot of people will be taking today off as a bridging day. The reason for the holiday is all souls day and the fold at home from St Oswald's are joining together in a short walk across the fields to the sister Church St Lawrence's in over priced. We had a superb dinner last night quail cooked by Miguel followed by cheek of beef the puddings were monumental home made roast banana ice cream and Boston chocolate cake which isn't the proper and but something lie that. Yesterday we had a drive around areas of the coast up to normandie border with triport being heaving and couldn't even park and everywhere else all closed up. The cliffs like Kent or Sussex looked lovely in the autumnal sunshine and of course the yellow leaves falling now looked spectacular. Mandy's white car was however covered in flies when we returned to it after admiring the cliffs, not sure why quite horrific. Well that's it for today, Mandy goes off to Ireland this coming week and I hope to get a lot more bus filming done dependent on the weather.
Struggling to post from France
Hi readers here we are in France struggling as usual to post the blog, I typed it out late last night but it just went nowhere. We left home half four Saturday morning the roads were so quiet it was a pleasure driving. We got to the tunnel early and caught an earlier train than envisaged but it broke down so we only got there a few minutes early. We picked yet another route across to picardie and the weather has got brighter and more sunny so that now on Sunday morning it is a clear blue sky, the clocks changed here like the UK but still an hour ahead of us. It's a bank holiday here on Tuesday so any filming will be Monday we might try for shots of the sugar beet trucks and seafood traffic up at bologne. Today we'll just potter about. The uploads on the still photo site have prompted some orders now I'm making progress with getting photos loaded more swiftly lots to go straight on when I get back including the latest Pennine trucks and buses in north east.
On the road in France
GETTING READY FOR A WEEKEND RELAXING
ready for a sit down and the weekend away down with Ian and Miguel in Amiens, well Corbie actually, as long as the local restaurant doesn't palm me off with Andoulette that most foul French concoction which makes tripe seem like a mars bar. It's been a hell of a week and it just seemed to keep getting if not worse then no better. I've certainly had my fill of EBay and Paypal, without relaying whole tranches of further mishaps I have only one item still to get payment for the second time around. It was a nice chap in the Philippines who finally got it sussed and the Irish chap could have done the same and got it all cleared without refunding and having to ask them to send payment a second time. Well that's behind me almost and I've got all the latest DVD filming on disc and everything is listed on this site's shop plus EBay and Amazon.
The slugs have prospered after getting rid of them and cleaning the bird food bin out etc, they just came back in bigger numbers there are now slug pellets all over the shed and outside, I hope the hedgehogs don't decide this is a time to return. The mole season seems to have ended. The kitchen kettle socket with the hob etc had got welded to the kettle plug, sparks came today and replaced. Mandy's clean car is no longer clean we had a rain shower of dust and soot?
We are just getting the documents sorted, we had telephone medical screening this morning for the new travel policy after Nat West abruptly pulled the plug on it, also need to get the airport lounge pass sorted before next February. A whacking big credit card bill that will need some sorting so hoping for mega sales over the weekend even have a short sale on EBay. Cleaning Mandys' car I lost the hose nozzle, thought I'd really lost my marbles for good but Mandy spotted it under the van, car cleaned now and ready to wind down. Mandy hasn't got to see the anesthetist consultant ref the blocked tear duct operation as the new one is happy to proceed but a year on still no date for the op oh the joys of the NHS.
We are out tonight at Plumley village hall for the musical version of the Importance of being Ernest, tom is front of house and Joe in the caste should be a laugh. We are back home Tuesday, we'll be up at 4am for the drive to France, at least the roads are quiet at that time especially on a Saturday, we should be in France about 1pm so can have a potter up to Corbie although I think we've tried every lane and track over the years to make new discoveries. I'll take the camera kit but no obvious intention to film but would hate to see something I couldn't capture. I'll download recent photos, effort required still to get on top of the photo filing and loading to Smugmug but i can't say there were any orders following uploads of thousands of pictures last week. I think I'll put notes in with amazon and EBay sales telling people about our own shop. The discs are now going out fully printed, the robot machine seems to be running really well, we've done a few hundred already, makes some funny noises though. Photos from Gateshead and South Shields, remember I'll try and blog en route otherwise it will be next Tuesday.
EBAY AND PAYPAL THE NIGHTMARE CONTINUES
A very long day out yesterday, I was up at 5am and had a pretty smooth drive up to Sunderland but parking by the metro at the interchange there was no pay machine you had to do this by phone which required getting a text they called a sms why not call it a text, then replying with reg no to confirm but I couldn't make the phone work anyway a young lady with bolts through her bits did it for me, how kind. Then I struggled to get a Metro Day Saver you have to select all areas of the North East then pus buttons a and b and c then go back home then drive to the moon then with luck you still haven't got anywhere, does anyone actually confirm these things work, has anyone bought a day ticket in the last 10 years, I did once. Well I ended up £3 for the poorer as I got a day rover which didn't involve NASA but included bus as well which i didn't need. I lost 40 minutes with parking and getting a Metro both were 2 minutes from each other.
I had a reasonable ride on the Metro but they have renamed all the stations for the Christmas period, how bizarre, life just gets harder to fathom each passing moment. Now they are called after dogs, so Sunder land becomes Dog poo etc, Park Gate becomes Bark Gate, they've actually gone and stuck these names all over the stations, whoopee if you are local and know what is going on but I guess they get no visitors there. Newcastle seemed to lack many buses, never seen it so quiet but as it was mainly cloudy with brighter spells I didn't take too long to get the required film and then went the short ride to Gateshead. The ticket entry machines now work but each requires a staff person to make sure nobody steals the machines, honestly go there and see if you don't believe me! The High St was under road works so no buses but as it was dull I ended up doing even better than usual with near sides leaving and offsides entering from the opposite side to bus station tucked in near the entrance to High St, it all worked out well.
I then had a ride to South Shields, some nice shots out of reasonably non dirty window and arrived in South Shields it was cloudy and threatening rain at times but as busy as ever for buses and I was soon all done and then made the tortuous Metro journey to Sunderland which involves one change of tram. They were going very slowly for a reason which was announced three times in broad Geordie which I couldn't fathom out. The only change had been a light shower of rain, guess that put paid to speed, a man with a red flag after rain or leaves on line or suicides or nicked wires whatever. Then Sunderland, there were road works on the High St thus no buses ( ground hog day or what!) I had never seen Sunderland so quiet for buses, of all the dismal poverty ridden places Sunderland is up there with Motherwell and West Bromwich, it just feels horrible, smells horrible and it horrible but there were a few friendly drivers who returned my waves and nobody was left alive in the bus station to come out and snarl at me filming.
I didn't get finished until nearly 5pm, then got stuck an hour on the A1M going south, arrived home nearly 8.30pm knackered out. The sorry story of EBay and Paypal continues with nothing sorted, it has been escalated to the pope but he isn't giving anything away, like playing poker with the mafia. Did you know that EBay really doesn't have a customer complaints department, if they did they'd complain about customers, Oh dear. No heart to recount further, no money getting from Paypal to my account or is it EBay to Paypal to my account but i'm sending everything out in the hope that customers of mine will be happy and it will get sorted sometime. Photos from Newcastle yesterday, off to Halle concert this evening.
Autumn seems to be here now and today with all the mixed messages over the weather I decided to play it safe and not stray too far ... the weather has just been on tv and tomorrow's plans look as if they have gone up the creek yet again as I was going to Newcastle etc but it says sunshine now instead of the cloud it said yesterday which isn't really what you need in late October with unwanted shadows. The set up on the DVD printer went on to very late about 10 hours and I'd made little progress since my last report. Phillip from N Ireland was on the phone all evening but he has looked out his notes he made when the supplier translated the manuals for him, never seen anything so double Dutch since I got a Chinese barrow cum trolley which was at least fathomable from the pictures.
In the end I went over the A628 towards Sheffield, I'd sussed out the route for photography a couple of timers, it was misty over the moors to start but it cleared. Most of the shooting was on footpaths on the water board land over the Salters Brooke Bridge which at least slows them down and gives about 1.5 minutes of shooting from the distance to passing by. It was a great spot and I also did a little more further on towards Sheffield. Phillip from NI is phoning again tonight at about 7.30pm I hope we can make some progress I'm about ready to send it back to him or throw it on the tip what a crap lot of instructions little makes sense and it's full of techno talk, not even a USB port to plug anything in ( it's American crap not Chinese though). Here are some shots from today's outing.
DVD PRINTER A NIGHTMARE TO SET UP
The two large boxes via Parcel Force arrived early this morning together with a load of MiniDv tapes for cine recording. The printer and automatic feeder took ages to get set up and adjusted, the manuals and reality varied on just about every step so I think a lot was constant trial and error and a bit of good luck here and there. Earlier on I sorted out the cine films with the customers from hell and after crediting them to get shot of them Ebay also credited back the final value fee which just left me the postage out of pocket and they are now relisted on the auction channel.
This reminds me a have a customer who has yet to pay for a film which then goes out with another I'm holding, as it happens this is the one that I'm having the chew with Paypal about as they are withholding my cash and as yet have still not had the courtesy to respond to my complaints about the awful hassle they caused me last week and the stream of constant lies, they should get on well with Volkswagen! I then went to get printer ink and a longer lead at PC World for two small items £65, they know how to charge all right no wonder we use the net so much to purchase items.
The next task was to get the DVD image created, this took several attempts but I finally found some genuine free software and managed to import the finshed jpeg as a 'backgound' on the software which came with the DVD disc printer. the big gap now is getting that image on to the printer, been at it hours now, after dinner I'll phone up Phil in Northern Ireland, he supposedly had it running, there are no test images on it so cannot even say if I've got the image lined up right for printing, really I'm at a brick wall for the minute. I did get some 2015 images filed away for Manchester and Birmingham earlier on this morning, so relaxing compared with the crap I'm having with this printer. Here are links to some recent Youtube clips
greeting friends, customers, readers worldwide on this lovely sunny autumn day in the heart of rural Cheshire ( actually next to the M6 motorway) . Still no frosts and I'm keeping an eye on the weather for Tuesday or Wednesday which are the only two days on which it would be possible to get up to Tyneside. Other than that thee are plenty of neare4r destinati9ns on our list. I've spent the afternoon cleaning all the cars and the van. Given that we don't plan on replacing te van we are really looking after it, and feeling inclined to do so all the more now that it seems to have given up the constant breakdowns as with the first four years - I still wouldn't touch another Volkswagen if I could help it, I think it was their lies that got to us most in the end.
So cars and van stand glistening on the drive, I've put the wheel trims on the Caddy which has really smartened the wheels up as they were going rusty all around the edges and painting doesn't solve anything as it comes straight off with a power hosing. Mandy will get her bald tyre changed, it was just the inside edge indicating a tracking problem, as its not long has its service I think Honda at Ellesmere Port were pretty poor in not spotting it. When we change the Jazz in March we'll get quotes from three branches and see if we can move, they all get complacent after a while.
I got a lot of photos filed earlier this morning and have reduced the back log greatly although there are still plenty as far back as 2015. I'll try hard to eliminate any backlog and have already put thousands of fresh ones on our Smugmug still photo sales site this week with obviously many more to go and all at just 50p for print which is cheaper than most rally charges for photos these days, I saw 80p being asked at Bridgeton in Glasgow. With just the one sale in Scotland planned for 2017 at present I will keep the Scottish DVD stock to a minimum, anything anybody really must have is best bought online. Remember our own shop doesn't charge postage at all to any location, we can't be fairer than that. I've a lot of cine film to copy both 16mm and 8mm/ Super8 all jobs for the winter. I renewed my LRTA sub and also tried to register for the Indian online ticket shop but nothing has come back yet. I'm trying to keep outstanding jobs to a minimum. Photos as just filed were taken this summer alongside the M6 near Plumley.
PAYPAL ARE NOW PUBLIC ENEMY No1
A frustrating week with Paypal and EBay making my life a misery , all through glitches in their systems which changed my email in their records and the knock on effects are still rattling on, along the way they have blamed everyone bar themselves and seem unable to accept they are less than perfect but even if they were it was EBay at fault which of course is possible but both are as intransigent as the other. This has taken up much valuable time and energy and has lift me really peed off!
We were up early and our electrician was around quite promptly, in fact we had just moved the furnishings around to prevent damage and give access. He was the sparkie on the kitchen and very pleasant chap, it all works well now and gives at least as good as illumination as the old wall lights but I'll need to do some sanding and filling before we decorate. We had a session after the sparkes had gone on clearing out the garage, Mandy's car was full and we took it all to the tip at Northwich which being a Saturday was mega crowded. We had a few bits of shopping to get in Waitrose and then called at the pet shop for a sack of pigs ears to take to Ireland - none in stock, if they are always sold out why not get more in.
We also called at Quickfit, Mandy's Jazz needs a new tyre which they'll do Monday when hopefully the pet shop will have the dog treats to take when Mandy goes over to Ireland. We shall be in France next weekend, Mandy goes to Ireland the first week in November. We called at the garden centre and I've put violas and pansies out side the back door in the narrow border along the fence line. I did get a lot of recent photos filed earlier today, I'm trying to prevent it getting up to 100k again, lots are duplicates or buses with no screen, to get this you need to rattle off a few shots, lucky Londoners don't have that problem with the destination screens on their buses.
I lost any more possible progress to Paypal problems. All DVDs are up to date now and latest releases all on our shop, remember we now take all types of cards on the PMP shop plus there is a shop at Amazon and a few on EBay but why pay them money and not us, use our own shop please if possible. Weather has continued dry and sunny, more of same expected tomorrow. Still no sign of the DVD printer arriving with Parcel Force. Photos from the arc tonight old B&W shots waiting to be 'treated' and filed, a lot of water under the bridge since I took these shots in Northampton!
CLASSIC MIDLAND CLASSIC AT BURTON
I had the pleasure of going to Burton upon Trent today to have a look at the bus operations since Midland Classic took over the Arriva local services back at the end of August. I came about a year ago and was very impressed they are certainly enthusiast friendly ( perhaps shocked if we didn't take pictures) - I missed the Stevensons running day event that looked very good I recall when Stevensons ran the local services for a while including Routemasters. I also had the pleasure of bumping into other like minded people and enjoyed conversations and information exchanges with gents who were at the 'sane' end of our hobby. I'm editing the DVds now, the Weebly site has bee down a while, now dinner is ready... I shall return in a few minutes - better than twitter this isn't it.
Actually really what is twitter, I click a link icon on Youtube and Weebly and it posts something somewhere and I don't actually know what it does... that was great, a Booths steak pie and jacket pots and cabbage, can't be bad. Booths is the Lancashire and generally North West only store which makes Waitrose look like a pound shop. When I headed back from Burton a Roberts bakery ( Northwich) had gone into a Lancaster haulage artic and both were sat in the outside lane on the D road at Stoke which on a Friday afternoon is crazy. The M6 was a car park and the back road from Sanbach to Holmes Chapel which is the normal 'escape' route was road works along the whole length with plastic yellow pipes.
Tomorrow we have an electrician coming to put the new wall lights up in the lounge, four months in the waiting. A new telephone installed after I dropped the one in the office for the umpteenth time, while on to Paypal, thankfully everything seems to be working now. I'll get the Burton film burnt to disc, I've a few clips to go on Youtube. Then I'll download all the pics on the memory cards, I've two on the go with the camera at present covering back end of Sept through to today. I did put a couple of thousand on our Weebly site the other day. Saturday I might get some more tidying and clearing out done in the garage the last job on the list before we decorate the lounge, office and dining room - the wall lights were a hold up.
The DVD disc printer seems to have arrived in England but as parcel force are another bunch of plonkers they didn't leave them in the green house as instructed on our notice or at the post office, must be Poles! Photos today at Burton.
PMP Sponsors the North West Vehicle Restoration Trust at Kirkby.