Saturday, 30 April 2005

all of April 2005

Friday, April 29, 2005
Bus stops and the Lottery
We were sat around talking as you do and the subject of bus stops came up. If you drive a 12 the worse bus stop is Windy Corner coming out of Paignton and next is Brunell Road in Newton Abbot. I happen to mention there was a stop between Windy Corner and Cherry Brook that I had never stopped at in the 7 years I have been driving the route. Two hours later I arrived at the stop and their was a gentleman with his hand out.I just thought I would mention that I have been using 6,9,12,29,43 and 48 as my numbers on the lottery and I have never won more than £10.00.If this strategy works and I win a couple of Million please send your begging letters. I will post the best.

Thursday, April 28, 2005
Urban Terrorists
There was an item on the net a few days ago about a woman in the US who found a finger in a take away meal. She announced that she was going to sue. The company that provided the meal checked their workers and all of them had all their fingers. Further checks discovered that the woman had a history of finding things in meals and she was arrested.This culture of sueing some one at the drop of a hat, with its origin's in the US has spead and is effecting our lives just as the activities of the IRA and other Terrorist Groups have.
One small example is that Companies now are forced to take measures that go beyond reasonable. An example of that is the issuing to all drivers with a yellow jacket to be worn at all times when a driver is not in side the depot or the cab of his bus. If I feel my addiction growing and decide to step out side to feed this addiction I have to fish about inside my bag to get my yellow jacket out and put it on before I can step out side. I have no problem with stepping out side for a smoke, it's having to put on the yellow jacket first.A few drivers standing at the front door starts to look like a flock of dandilions.
Even to walk 10 feet from the door way to the pavement I have to wear the jacket. How soon before any one crossing a road will have to don a similar jacket. Imagine a court room in 10 years time.Judge, summing up a case;"Well yes, the driver of the car was doing 80 mph, was 3 times over the drink limit, had failed his test 15 times and banned from driving for 20 years and did mount the pavement, the car had faided it's MOT but the little old lady didn't have her yellow jacket on. Not Guilty."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Election, what is it all about?
We are in the middle of a General Election here in the UK. New Labour have a majority of 160 and are widely expected to win. I used to belive that my vote counted and always voted. Now I know that my vote is important in that it is a part of democracy. If I don't like the party in power I can vote against them and if enough people also vote against them then out they go.But what do you do if you don't like the party in power but trust the 2nd party as far as you could throw a bus?Vote Lib Dem!The problem with that is it gives the Lib Dem's the idea that they are important and have a chance of getting into power one day.Instead of ineffectually attacking labour for the last 8 years they should have been destroying the Tory Party and making themselves the main opposition party. Hopefully Charles Kennedy and co will realize that to get into power they have to spend some time in Opposition. A Party holding less than 9% of the seats in Parliament are not in opposition, they are a slightly interesting side line and a place to dump the protest vote. Not for much longer though; UKIP are set to become the recipient of the protest voter.Round here Labour have no chance of getting in, Tories could but the sitting MP, Adrian Sanders Lib Dem is most likely to win. As it would take a Court Order to make me vote Tory it's either UKIP or Adrian. I will see who knocks on the door first and offers me the most.

Saturday, April 23, 2005
Pubs and footie
Day off to day so we went down to the Harbour for a walk round and dropped into the Harbour View pub. In the background there was a football match on the TV but not too loud and we could have a conversation without shouting. Nice place, warm, no kids,cheap beer.Then the boss came down and looked round and decided that there were more people out side and decided that all those people walking by would come in if they knew that Chelsea were playing Spurs and turned the sound up several hundred decibels.Conversation went out the door as did the sound from the TV. In fact the sound from the TV was bouncing back of the cliffs 300 metres away and made no sense at all.We decided to go as did several other people. Footie is God; but so is Jesus Christ and nothing empties a pub like JC or footie if you hate footie.Torquay won and Milton Keynes lost so Torquay may stay up, which interests me but not having it pushed into my eardrums like one lump of uranium into a second lump of uranium. If you want to watch footie go to a game and watch; don't force me to watch and listen as well.

Friday, April 22, 2005
HM Queen
Our local football team, Torquay United, are at present involved in a struggle to avoid relegation. The photo was taken at their recent game against Port Vale which they drew. With only two games to go they must win at least one and milton Keynes Dons must loose all their remaining games.If you look at the lady at the left of the photo you will see why the Queen was unable to attend her son's wedding. Footie comes first in the Windsor family.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Abbey Road
Abbey Road in Torquay has been under the Road Workers for the last 5 Months. They have changed it from a one way road into a two way road in the hope of improving access to the town centre car park. Lowering the Car Park Charges would have been a much more cost effective way, but that's just my opinion.On Friday last week there were notices up saying that from Tuesday the road would be Two Way.When I drove along on Tuesday it did feel a bit strange to see cars coming to wards me after 7 years of one way traffic. the car in front of me really got carried away. Despite all the notices and new road markings, he was flashing lights and waving at the car drivers coming the other way in a desperate attempt to warn them they were going the wrong way. At one point he even swerved in to the path of one car. Must have been dyslexic.One effect of the change is to add a new bus stop at the top of Abbey Road. The 31, 32, 33, 34 and the 12 will now all stop at this stop adding to the congestion on an all ready busy road. I wonder if the council thought of that.

Sunday, April 17, 2005
Back at work
Well I have been back at work for a week now. I had been looking forward to going back but things didn't quite turn out as expected.First of all the Allocations Controller, he is the person who tells you what duty you are doing, wasn't expecting me back for an other week and he had given my duty to some one else. So instead of going back on the 12's as I expected I ended up filling in with what ever was going. This included route learning the 91. It's a nice route, the 91, started last summer and takes the scenic route to Plymouth. Very scenic but sitting on a bus for 3 1/2 hours trying to remember lots of turns in to villages I had never heard of before Tuesday is hard work. I did drive one trip which is easier but we only carried 10 people altogether. Too quiet for me after the 12 where you can carry 300 people a day.Also I had a bit of a cold so I have not felt too great. I am now back on my own route now and the cold has gone so next week should be much better. Shame the weather has been so bad the last few days.

Friday, April 15, 2005
Crash at the Grand
BUN EATING BUS DRIVER MOWED DOWN BOY The above Headline was taken from the local paper, The Herald Express to day the 15 April 05 and refers to an incident which took place 18 months ago. The boy spent 3 months with his leg in plaster and still gets jumpy when he thinks about the incident.The driver was fined £2000, banned from driving for 4 years and received a 28 day suspended jail sentence. She no longer works for the company.I made a remark a few days ago about how forgiving driving can be when you make a mistake. All of us who drive make mistakes most of the time and usually we get away with them. This some time makes us feel we can do daft things when we are driving but more often we do daft things, like answer the phone, speed, or just drink a cup of coffee, the more likely we will one day just run out of luck..

Sunday, April 10, 2005
Tip of the Day 2
If you are driving along in your car in the left lane and you wish to drive along in the right lane there are two ways to go about this change in your life style.You can check in your mirrors carefully and if it is safe you can turn the wheel slightly to the right, straightening up once you have reached the desired position in the right hand lane.Or you can do exactly as above but leave out the bit about the mirrors. Most times you will be lucky.PhotoBut not every time.On this occasion the car was being overtaken by a bus.Most buses are driven by people who either have the "Whistle a happy Tune and nothing will go wrong" approch to Road Safety or the more robust approach which is" I am driving a vehicle that weighs 11 Tonnes , is 14 Feet high and 8 feet wide and is full of nice people who pay my wages so if you expect me to swerve off the road, through this wall, down this embankment and on to the railway line in front of the on coming express where any survivors will be sweapt along at 100mph before having their remains scattered all over Devon, you've got an other think coming."Both approaches tend to work queit well.

Saturday, April 09, 2005
The Funeral and other events
Friday, the big event was the Funeral of Pope John Paul II. The biggest funeral the world has ever seen, certainly since Egypt was the World Super Power and Pyramids were the in thing. John Paul was not my favorite gay... sorry guy. He had views that I did not see eye to eye on, but we never fell out over these differences. Certainly he was the most famous person on the planet, to quote John Lennon, more famous than Jesus Christ. Good Luck to him where ever he has gone.Incidentally, I am a papal candidate. True I haven't been to mass since 1983 when I went to Heaton Park in Manchester when the Pope was there saying Mass but I was baptized an RC (once a Catholic always a Catholic) and I am male. That's all it takes. Which means there are half a billion other papal candidates, all but about 10 of whom have the same chance as I have. If I do get elected I will call myself Pope Bus Driver the First and I will defiantly belive in miracles.Saturday's big event is Charles and Camila. Ask your self one of two questions. 1) Do you want the future King of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (what a long winded name for a country) and Head of the Church in England, living in sin or married to a divorcee? 2) Do you care?Monday's big event is that after four weeks on the sick I go back to work. Thank God; even though I don't believe in him/her/it. First week was OK but by the third week I was bouncing of the walls. I am looking forward to finding out if the new Parking Attendants are making any difference. The Traffic Wardens we used to have did about as much work in the last 7 years as I have in the last four weeks, none. So the council have brought in their own Parking Attendants. For the last 7 years you could park any where in Torbay provided you got to the double yellow line before every one else did. Now the council were so concerned that holiday makers would get tickets for parking any where, like they had been doing for years that they put a sign up on the road into Torbay warning people to park correctly or they would now get fined. The Tourist Board were up in arms saying that it would stop people coming to beautiful Torbay. I can just see some holiday maker and family, having driven down from Lancashire or Yorkshire seeing the sign and turning round and going home fearing their car would be invisible under a sea of Fixed Penalty Notices. If you are coming down to the Bay park your car up some where and take the bus. Probably cheaper than parking fines.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Things to say in the pub
Poor Prince Charles, just when nothing else can go wrong the Pope decidesto be buried at the same time as the wedding. Still not many blokes down atthe pub can slip in a line like, "Had to put the wedding back a day so I could nip over to Rome for the Pope's funeral. The Camila wasn't too happy about it, I can tell you".

Traffic Diverted
Abbey Road here in the centre of town has been closed the last two evenings due to long term road works. I have been missing then during the day as I am still off work sick. However the road I live on has become a bit of a Rat Run in the evening with people trying to find an other way round the diversion. Usually only a few cars an hour go past the front door but last night and to night it has been more like a few hundred an hour.To day I got a form from work asking me to fill in a questionnaire about working for the Company. What a good idea. It gave me chance to have my say in one or two areas that give me a little concern. I'm not going to say what they are, the form is I am afraid confidential.I have now been off 3 weeks and I am going up the wall, my arm is getting better and I do hope I will be back at work soon.

Sunday, April 03, 2005
The Pope Is Dead; Long Live The Pope.
Just in case you had not heard, his Holiness Pope John Paul has gone to his eternal reward.
At least the election of the next pope is done without Michael Howard and Tony what's his name being involved. Mind you Tony might be putting name forward for all I know.

Prince Charles
Well Done Charles, no often I feel the need to congregate Royalty but some times it must get hard to keep up the act especially when you are on holiday. I don't mind the odd person coming up to me in the street when I am not working and asking when to next bus to Brixham is due but for you it must be like some one banging on your front door all night long just for "one more photo" or ask "one more question"
Are you coming to Torquay for your honeymoon? It would be a great for the local Holiday trade and Torquay is fairly quiet at this time of the year.