Still here but running up and down the M5 several times and a few little tours around the area over the last week.
Over the Christmas period I did two weeks full time work together with the other driver who worked out of the Torquay hotel full time. Then the hotel closed for a couple of weeks and the full time driver left to go coach driving somewhere else that paid slightly better. Then nothing, no work all through January. I went in the hotel just to make sure they hadn't forgotten me. No, they assured me I hadn't been forgotten and as soon as more guests book more holidays I would be called in to do the driving. Almost all of February went by, a couple of trips to the hotel just to say hello and "You haven't forgotten me have you?"
Then came the call I was needed at last, thank god. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever drive again. My first job was to pick a coach up that had broken down, towed up to Exeter and repaired. I drove it back to the hotel eventually. The fitter had to come out at the garage and use jump leads to start the coach, "The batteries were dead." he said. Well who am I to argue with someone who has served a 7 year apprentership, spent years working for a well respected nationwide coach repair company, probably been on loads of in-service training weekends and takes pride in his job to the point of obsession. And is paid lots more than me who once took a BSA Bantam motor cycle to bits and couldn't get it back together again. Next morning I boarded the coach to go up to the West Midlands to bring a coach load of happy holiday makers back to beautiful Torquay. Full of optimism I was. Working again, a bit of money coming in to augment my merger pension at last. The coach didn't start. It still hasn't started. My company and the nation wide, world renowned coach repair company are still arguing the toss about who should pay to have the coach that was suppost to have been repaired, actually repaired.
Not to worry, the company have other coaches and over the last 10 days I have worked 7 days. I would appear we are not as yet replacing the full time driver who left in the new year but managing with a driver who is normally based in the Midlands and me.
Could be interesting,especially if I heve to take a tour to Plymouth, a place I have only been to 3 times in my life and one of those times was 56 years ago.