greetings from rainy hampshire which seems similar to rainy cheshire but with less wind. we were up at 5.45 this morning amd onbthe road by half six, if only the traffic wasvas light as that all the time. i suppose lots of people are on extended holidays but i couldnt understand why so few lorries wrre out but tjen our ecperience of englamd betweennxmas and new year is pretty limited. as planned we stopped off at oxford met a fellow photographerneithin minutes, we had to bide our time already had breakfast in marks but it wasnt really up to filmimg until nearer ten am but using previous expereineve there innthe winter i eventually hsd it wtapped up amd bavk atbthe car with mandy by lunch time and headingnonnthe final lap to hythe nrar the new forest and fawlry which i once used to bebinvolved eith on an awful maintenance contract which saw us inherit a load of deadlegs who had seen a dozen previous contrators come and go. well been to see yvonne atbher new bungalow and backnatbyje premier inn, we get pivked up at six thirty for our seven course new years eve meal. have a lovely time wherver you are and ill try and blog again tomorrow.
seems to be quiet most places except the shops, we had a bit of a lay i this morning, mainly I think as we had been listening to the storm howling through the night and there wasn't anything that important to get up for. After getting the last of the cine reels sold on EBay over Christmas posted off after payment received that just left 5 more selling although I must say that everyone else has now been reloading material and there are hundreds for people to look at although not many bargains around at present. We dropped the post off at Lawrence's village shop and then headed via the back road to Ellesmere Port, Mandy dropped me at the hairdressers where i got my shaggy mop off then we headed top Marks at Cheshire Oaks, there were queues on to the next motorway by then, we cut around the back roads i the port. We got the things we needed and Mandy had a glance at the sales but nothing that was wanted was cheap just fashions that never made it and patterns designs that were unloved with good reason.
Then we headed home with the morning having flown by very quickly. The post had already arrived our usual postman obviously on holiday other wise it comes near teatime. There is a mania for signed for deliveries, this one was a 'special' which meant even a well trained postie can't leave it in our greenhouse as do the others. This meant Mandy going all the way to Knutsford sorting office. I cracked on with the PMP accounts and got November wrapped up and managed to balance with the bank accounts then filled in the summaries, all done another brew, its back to dieting days but it isn't a bad thing with a 7 course New year eve dinner coming up tomorrow. The rain came down this afternoon, other than the bins being blown together with contents all over the garden there was no damage but recycling can take a running jump as their little boxes even with a brick on have taken off time and time again this winter
.I've got the suitcase in ready for Mandy to pack for the Hampshire trip, we are setting off dependent on weather prospects either early or mid morning, if it looks possible to film at Oxford we'll stop off aiming to get to New Forest for 3pm. After a quick look at new bungalow at Yvonne's wego back to hotel and meet up later, no plans yet for New Years Day, on Saturday we come back up very Epsom having lunch with our cousins. I've purchased a very interesting looking set of films all marine navy or merchant with dates back to early 50s with locations including several engagements with Iceland fishery protection as well as the usual run of docks around the colonial British world. I'm working my way now late afternoon through some more Standard 8mm cine films included a coach trip to Scotland which looked interesting. Not sure if I'll be able to blog before Sunday evening here are some clips from Middlewich yesterday, don't forget it is low resolution on Youtube buy the DVDs for best quality al last circa 60 minutes or more. Happy New Year to you all.
I've no idea how we used to manage when I went to work each day although often we don't get up that early. Today was as the forecast predicted clear blue sky and sunny for the better part of the morning and through the afternoon. My cunning plan to film the lorries just down the road in Middlewich came into fruition and although it took three hours I did manage to get an hour in the end. There wasn't the usual volume of trucks passing through but then its never as by as when the major distribution centre there was in full swing. A lot of interesting lorries seen with quite a few local operators well represented as well as some from further away and just one Stobart in the whole morning. When I got back home I downloaded the film and got it rendering although Mandy had taken the post first thing there were already a few extra things to get away.
The next thing was given the relative dryness to use the wet turf to repair the large dip in the front lawn. I took off the lawn turfs in two pieces, cleaned out and then topped up with extra soil before replacing the grass sections and stamping the whole thing down just proud of the general level to allow for some settlement. I had a mega row with Orange/EE over the old internet line which they had carried on charging for despite paying to have it disconnected at around £100 for the privilege mainly because they were so rubbish when I inquired about them changing us over and in fact we had preregistered to be informed when it was available. They carried on making monthly deductions for the line, eventually after trying many times to contact them I stopped the payments at the bank and wrote to them when they contacted us about difficulties getting payment, you can imagine my response. Anyway I heard nothing from the letter sent back earlier in December and then today Mandy got a text threatening legal action. I didn't waste time trying to phone their complaints dept they are far too busy so contacted sales which you can be sure will be answered. Anyway the upshot was the chap we cancelled through never actioned it and we aren't sure if he even took the payment but it has now been disconnected and a refund made of the two stoppages, a result!!
Mandy and I did some work getting November accounts sorted and then I loaded up this mornings film and got the master DVD made, I'm about to put clips on Youtube. This week will see us traveling down to Hampshire on Thursday, if the weather is suitable I'll film at Oxford but it may be too sunny. We join my sisters Yvonne and Margaret for a new Year meal and then spend family time no doubt including shops on New Years day. On the Saturday we visit our cousins in Epsom for lunch on the homeward leg of the weekend. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to blog as the Premier Inn connection can be weak, anyway our best wishes to you all for a healthy and w2orthwhile 2016. As soon as the New Year is out the way the little IQ gets its 30K service and we go for Yellow Fever jabs ready for Colombia. More rain forecast tomorrow so probably err on keeping dry and close to home. Still masses of film to sort through, sales of the reels are going up again after the Christmas lull.
I'll have to get the pictures changed to Happy New Year but I haven't been sitting back idly over this bank holiday I've been copier the Standard 8mm films. I've actually got through another 8 hours worth of film. Like the last batch the best of the bunch had suffered from damage, it was a wonderful full 400' of Nottingham area material but although much of the earlier part was beyond salvage the latter half offered quite a lot. It was after trolleybuses had gone but it did have plenty of street scenes, the Goose fair, the market, fairgrounds and so much more running from the station to a model railway and I think a relation or parent ran a sweet shop which was also a Barton agency. Frustrating when the gems are so badly looked after, I expect these days once people have a DVD done of the film the throw it away and a lot comes to the surface through house clearances. The clips on Youtube add to the funding for our film trips so remember plenty of hits on the adverts when you visdit our Youtube channel which is by the way approaching 20M hits and nearly 7 thousand subscribers are you one yet?
The weather forecast for the first normal days of work in many days is for bright sunshine for most of the day around here so I'm going to do what I planned last time it was like this and go for the lorries at Middlewich, not quite as busy since the distribution centres shut but there are plenty still heading through this small Cheshire town on their way to the other centres and businesses in this busy catchment area of the M6 motorway. Of course it has the added advantage of being near home. I'm now looking at the likley situation Thursday driving down to Hampshire when it looks as if it will be sunny earlier and clouding later down in Oxfordshire, I'll keep my eye on things through. The water levels are rising in the south west now but thankfully Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria have had some respite. I really must get thrashing into the bus coverage as soon as the new year festivities are out of the way.
Next Monday I'm hoping to cover either Birmingham, Leeds or Manchester. Don't forget that this coming year we shall be revisiting many of the English trams lines or systems in the case of Manchester and Nottingham. The tapes I've taken off the cine film need putting on Youtube and then loading for onward sale on EBay and the archives recording on my database. There are some very nice films coming up in this next batch including material on Belgium and the Netherlands, aircraft and ships as well as other travel features although there are always those that shine through. The orders for DVDs are still coming through on Amazon and EBay but our own shop is silent, please consider this your first port of call it is always the most up to date of the three. I've made a start on trimminmg upphoto files for fioling and loading to Smugmug, I did put a lot of new shots on earlier this week.
It has been a far from wonderful Christmas for much of the north of England as the focus of the flooding reached down from the Lake District and Cumbria to Lancashire, Gtr Manchester and Yorkshire. Mandy and I thought it weird a couple of weeks back that no mention had been made of the floods we witnessed in Yorkshire and indeed of the widespread flooding in the East Midlands. I can't remember the Irwell in Manchester / Salford ever flooding before, it has been canalised over the year to freshen it up, once a dirty, foul water course it now features wild fowl and fish. The destructive power of water is as bad as fire, pervasive and unrelenting in it's destruction. We are luck as we are on a slight slope with our land runing down so our water drains away from us. Although wet forever and a day this December it's never been out of control and I topped up the bird feeders this afternoon and it wasn't that bad even on the lawn. I was really out trying to set the new flood lighjt at the back, I used Martin's trick of taking a photo then took the setting of the one at the front and transfered them to the new one, now its later afternoon and dark the proof of this little pudding will be if it only turns on when required, first attempt it just kept coming on all the time.
Not surprisingly there isn't a lot to report with the Christmas holiday period extending seemingly forever with yet another holiday tomorrow, Monday. The shops though will be in full swing and I've no desire to witness the sales. I have taken a peep ahead in preparation to normal filming duties returning and note that Tuesday should be 100% sunshine, lorries should be out in force so I'll try nearby Middlewich and thus won't be too far away if it doesn't work out. Wednesday should be cloudy but bright so I'll keep tabs on the forecasts and hopefully get some buses recorded. We travel down to Hampshire for New Years Eve with my sisters and will perhaps be able to take in Oxford on the way if the light is suitable and who knows perhaps even stop off on the Saturday before returning home. Then we shall be focussing on Colombia which I found with some really nice shots on Flickr taken 2010, the photographer did buses as well, I attempted to find him on Facebook to send a message but the name seemed common in latin countries. There did seem to be a great variety so fingers crossed.
Work has continued on the cine films and I've a few more hours worth on Youtube and reels of cone listed on EBsay albeit quiet there at present. I'm recording more films right now with some interesting material passing through from Greece, to Morroco, Fiji to Norway. We had a very pleasant afternoon and evening with Phil and Emma and the children down on the farm yesterday, a traumatic year ahead for all diary farmers as they must face the prospect of more years working at a loss or leaving the milk business.
you could copy and past this link to go to the Flickr page which has the lorry photos for Colombia some interesting stuff, surely 5 years on much still remains to be seen.
It may be Christmas but the DVD orders haven't stopped with both our own shop and Amazon producing orders plus several cine films selling at auction on EBay. Well the computer is going off again in a minute. The weather as expected has been pretty grim only mitigated by the fact that its not freezing cold. The sky has been dark, its damp and tomorrow bodes really badly as another severe bout of rain is due to hit the North West of England. I was up early as my knee wanted a stretch and while Mandy dozed on I got quite a lot of photos listed on our Smugmug site which reminds me I might do a back up for my computers this evening while we watch television. I did have a few chocolates this morning but I've tried to stay off them as I want to enjoy our Christmas dinner this evening. Presents were mainly centred around food so some people know us a little too well. Anyway I'm enjoying a relatively restful day although I have got a few clips for Youtube ready plus pictures for the EBay listings as tomorrow I want to give the shop a boost while we go out visiting Phil and Emma down at the farm after lunch and see Sam and little Daisy.
We hope you've all had a peaceful enjoyable day and where applicable shared your time with family or friends, I tried my sisters down in Hampshire but I think they must have been tucking into the turkey when I rang. Anyway to everyone we know, our relations, friends, customers worldwide thank you for all your cards and even text messages over the phone received at rather odd hours of the day and night, I'm sure we'll recover eventually. I'm pondering the wisdom of having a sale onm our EBay shop, I might wait until it really is coming up to New Year as there seems to be nothing but sales on at rubbish furniture outlets at present which together with nauseating holiday adverts dominates the gaps between TV dross. We have paused over the day and recalled Christmases past many of which have been spent on trips abroad. Several were quite spectacular such as Sierra Leone when I nearly died, the Oberoi in Calcutta which I revisited this year and Melbourne where we had a job getting fed, our hotel had run out of spuds ( hmmmm only in Australia!).
It has been a very long time since I had heard from my friend Li in China but today I received Christmas greeting from him and his wife Wang, I updated them with the major news like the knee replacement and retirement. We had a lovely leisurely dinner last night by candlelight with friend Sue and tonight we are going to have fillet steak and baked pots. The weather was pretty grim this morning and cheered up for a sunny sunset but dire weather with more flooding is in the offing. On the work front we got all the cine and DVD orders away and Mandy made an extra trip with orders which came in late. I got pretty well stuffed on EBay by a customer who had purchased three set of tickets who claimed that there were items missing.must have been little green men that took them as it was securely packed and only went to Manchester, you get them just looking for refunds with the implied threat of bad reviews, a refund stops any follow up, thankfully we are big enough to withstand such people who go straight on the blocked list but then they can change their account and appear again.
The cine film has been listed which I started on yesterday but I've a couple more hours copied which I need to process but I stopped to make the 2 DVDs from the trip to Immingham yesterday. I gave you photos last night here are the first two clips I've put on Youtube. It's quiet on the net now, down in New Zealand there are asleep with Christmas day already there while our relations in Canada are barely into the Eve. I noted a few more cine items 16mm listed on EBay which were up before at much higher prices so I've put in a few bids. After Christmas and New Year I can start making inroads into my next scheduled round of bus visits. I got the CVC mag today ( old lorries) and the promised publication of material as usual failed to materialise, the little clique which surround this magazines is nauseating and prevents other people from getting material published you just get the same perspective month in month out. We've confirmed 12 months in Light Rail mag , should be interesting to see if we get tram DVD orders back up as its been quiet on that front as a lot of the fans are elderly and not on the net.
Well the heating is on, the lights lit, the temperature not all seasonal and no harm in that, the refuge chaps aren't taking garden material for a month so what are we supposed to do with it, think of all the Christmas trees unrecycled, rumour is that in the new year the dustbin men will be back with the council and most of the recycle crap abandoned as a waste of money
Dave and Mandy wish everyone a happy Christmas around the world and will post as usual tomorrow although the chocolates may distract me a little!
I was up at 6am and the drive across England was speedy in the extreme including Yorkshire in the rush hour unlike the dreadful journey Mandy and I endured when we went to York. I was early enough to stop and have a bacon butty and mug of tea at the transport cafe at Immingham, other sandwich providers should go there to find out how to make a bacon bap, nothing but meat, no streaky stringy rubbish, about six pieces piled up with brown sauce with bread buttered, bliss or what. Anyway I was fairly horrified to find that they are in the midst of doubling the carriageway into Immingham along the first stretch from the motorway. Thankfully progress hadn't impeded my usual spot although i did get a visit from the safety officer from construction outfit but he was very switched on and friendly and knew a truck enthusiast when he saw one! Lots and lots of lorries as the sun started to rise, got an hour of film quite quickly and then moved down to the other roundabout I use where VOSA have been evicted to make room for the construction equipment, remember the nasty sod I had a run in with last visit. Anyway all the truckers very pleasant as usual, noted that all Polish drivers smoke in the cab but little use of mobile phones this time.
After filming I went to Cleethorpes and sought out the Home Cinema shop which is sort of a model railway ( ish) shop and the ciine stuff the back couple of rooms. He had one of the 9.5mm machines I was after and gave it an initial service and new drive belt, it needs some more running in and oiling after years of no use, has case and instruction book all complete which was really helpful. I took the opportunity of getting a pile of 16mm reels which can go into the stash for my next dip into the format but only after Standard 8 super 8 and 9.5mm then the cycle comes back to 16mm. The sales on EBay for cine are very solid even now and I've still got material ready to go on only time is running away. Friend Sue here tonight, our pre pre Christmas dinner Spag Bog but Pannattoni bread pudding to follow which i love. Mandy has doctors appointment early so no lay in, lots of mail order DVD orders lined up but nothing on the net but the cine is heavy enough to deal with. Anyway some shots from sunny North Linc this morning.
With a weather forecast giving sunshine over much of Britain I'', attempting to complete the long promised truck film at Immingham which has always proved such a popular destination for the lorry fans. While I'm over that part of the world I intend to visit the cine specialist at Cleethorpes in the afternoon and perhaps come back with a haul of documentary films. I was thinking of squeezing in Grimsby buses but I've not seen the new bus station and I'm not at all sure how it would be with winter sunshine. I managed to take a look at Medellin in Colombia for the new Translohr rubber tyred tram system recently opened which I'll be visiting in a few weeks time, it looks fairly accessible from what i could see although central stops may be underground with closing glass doors but there should be enough open to get the basics. The net has gone quiet on DVD orders but our sales of cine film are doing very well.
I've taken the opportunity of getting some more of the Standard 8 film listed on EBay. We were up slightly earlier than expected when the electricians arrived at 8am to fit the new flood light at the rear, the LED lights are much more effective and the old one was a gonner. We got the orders shifted and then later before the cleaners arrived went up to Handforth Dean shops near Mcr airport , it was chaotic there with the Christmas shoppers and inside it was hell. We were fortunate enough to get our Christmas dinner in m&S we had wanted their Guinea fowl and there were just a couple left, mind you we still had to go to Booths at Knutsford on the way back for essential figs!
Anyway that,s all taken care off and with the house clean we can make a start on getting the cards up. I'm still trying to get more films sorted and on Youtube and listed on EBay, my knee hasn't helped, its better than earlier in the week but still a bit stiff, perhaps a bit of time out and about will help tomorrow. Later in the day friend Sue arrives to stay over then its on our own through Christmas eve and day and then to see Emma and Phil on the farm Boxing Day. I haven't even though of getting the photos I've recently filed uploaded to the Smugmug site but over Christmas with time to spare perhaps it will fill a few moments. We've had our fasting days early this week so looking forward to Spag Bog tomorrow. Looking back at Llandudno Friday now...
I managed to get the wedding photos trimmed up and ready to file, Mandy has already gone to Boots and got 'proper' prints from them which she has identified subjects on the back before she shares with relations overseas. I might upload them to the Hardy family website which not surprisingly 'hardly' gets a thing posted.
My knee was that bad last night that i took the first sleeping pill for some time, 8 hours later I don't think I'd move an inch. We had a leisurely start to what became a busy day. Mandy went off to do some shopping after dropping off the post. I got the rear lawn mowed despite the wet conditions, once again a wet and windy day, tomorrow is forecast even worse. We should have some respite on Wednesday and it looks as if it will be sunny to the east and I'm hoping to get over to Iimmingham for an overdue truck film. I've been busy getting more cine film ready to load on Youtube sell on EBay and list the copies on my database.
We've decided to start advertising in TUT ( Tramway and urban Transit) magazine as its been years and they now have some spaces at hobby type prices rather than the hefty charge rendered to manufacturers and operators. I remembered to phone up my Auntie Thelma in Eastbourne who is still relatively sprightly despite her age in mid nineties. I had a brief chat with my traveling companion Martin in Somerset and decided that we'll try and attend the launch of his railway extension in the spring. We had a hunt in the garage for the festive wreath or garland which lays across the mantlepiece but also no joy but we did find the Santa that my sister bought me. After the cleaners have been tomorrow we'll start putting up the cards. Tomorrow its Christmas food shopping , ensuring we've enough to last through until next week. The period between Christmas and New Year may be an opportunity to get some film work done but the line up of destinations for 2016 is getting very long.
One of the films I've put on Youtube is of Jersey in 1965, it is great quality for standard 8 format here it is
PMP Sponsors the North West Vehicle Restoration Trust at Kirkby.