Saturday, 29 May 2010

Trago Mills and the M5

Trago Mills. I have been there a few times but never really had a good look round. Normally I drop the passengers off and go into the office and get a meal ticket. Then I have a meal and return to the coach and read a book. Next time I go I shall have a look round and see what's what. I should be there again on Wednesday.

Last few days I seem to have been up and down the M5 to Gordano's Service station on at Bristol. A couple of things about motorway driving that still make me wonder, first is you are coming onto a motorway down a slip road please don't drive at 40 mph. I only means I or some HGV driver will have either to pull out into the path of cars in the centre lane (all doing 100 mph) or brake hard to avoid running it the back of you. Accelerate to 65 mph then just slip on in front of me ( and the HGV). We are only doing 60 so if you are doing 65 we won't crash into you. And to the driver of the horse box that pulled in to Sedgemoor services (north bound) at 10:30 on Thursday morning please note that the exit slip road is where you should slow down, please don't slow down to 15 mph whilst still on the motorway. It doesn't do your horses any good if a coach comes in through the back of their nice cosy horse box doing 60 mph, especially if the driver is swearing as loudly as I was.

An lastly, why do people slow down on motorways to look at accidents? I came on to the M5 at Gordano having just told my passengers it would take about 2 hours to get to Torquay depending on the traffic. Down the slip road at 5 mph and joined a road full of traffic all going the same speed. We continue for about 8 miles until we got to the accident. Two cars were on the hard shoulder one had a big dent in the front and the other had a big, matching dent in the back. No police, no ambulances, no fire brigade, no wreckage strewn across the motorway, no priest crawling through said wreckage to administer the last rites, just a breakdown truck winching one of the cars onto a flat bed truck. On the other side of the motorway there was a 5 mile tail back. Just to look at a couple of damaged cars and gloat.

If you want to look at wrecked cars go to a breakers yard.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Part Time Coach Driver?

Been a busy week. Monday was an easy day on paper, a trip up to Gordano services just south of Bristol, according to my satnav 90.4 miles. I had 25 passengers all returning to their homes in the West Midlands. I don't take them all the way, just to Gordano. There I meet a coach coming down from the West Midlands and usually we just swap coaches. First problem was the flashing 50 mph advised max speed sign about 20 miles before Bristol. Not much happened for about a mile then I noticed a truck carrying bricks was wedged on to the south bound side of the central crash barrier. I also noticed it was facing north. For the next 3 miles I could see traffic going south slowing down. Usually a big queue of traffic going the other way on a motorway is of little concern but in an hour and a half I would be back with 55 passengers heading for Torquay. Maybe it would be clear by then. Fingers crossed. Then in the coach park at Gordano I was told by my colleague from the Midlands that we would have to do a baggage swap. He had fifty five suitcases plus a wheelchair and a trolley to move. I only had 20 cases in my coach. Not the best way to spend lunch time on a motorway service station.

Anyway, the crashed truck had been moved by the time I got back to the place where it had had it's little run into the crash barrier. The barrier was a little bent but had survived.

Tuesday was trip to Plymouth with a stop at Endsleigh Garden Centre on the way and Lee Mills for a whisky tasting on the way back. I don't join in with the whisky tasting for obvious reasons. It was sunny in Plymouth but a cool wind took the edge off the day.

Wednesday included a trip to The House of Marbles which most enjoyed, Trago Mills where a lot of money was spent and then on to Buckfast Abbey for a bit of spiritual uplifting. Supposed to be a half day trip but still took 6 hours due to traffic problems all over the place. Please Mr Cameron, can we have a by pass round Kingskerwell?

Thursday was a long day, started at 9 am with an other trip to Gordano and back just like Monday. I had been assured there would be no baggage swap. There was a baggage swap. At least it wasn't raining. Then back at the hotel by 2pm and home for a few hours before a trip to Babbacombe Theatre in the evening. While the guests are enjoying the entertainment I go and refuel the bus. It usually takes about 250 litres of diesel, glad I don't have to pay the fuel bill. Mind you I do get to keep the Green Shield Stamps.

Friday an other trip out. 35 of the guests decided to see what Teighnmouth and Dawlish and Exeter looked like. And it was the hottest day of the year so far. And we crawled home from Exeter, broken down truck on Telegraph Hill, a long tail back at the Penn Inn roundabout and ages to get through Kingskerswell. Please Mr Clegg, can we have a by pass, I did vote LibDem.

Saturday is a day off, except for taking Hector and Ginger to see the vet. Always fun.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Brighton Belle

I took a small group to Plymouth today. Parked in the bus station was this coach. A French coach driver also parked in the bus station thought it was beautiful. It isn't bad. Shows what dedication can do.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Pope, Rain Forests and he should stay at home.

Just in case you haven't heard the Pope is coming to the UK some time in September. Also in case you haven't heard the pope is homophobic. His recent comments in Portugal about civil partnerships and gay marriage suggested he was far out of touch with reality. Given the support that David and Nick as well as former PM Gordon Brown have given to the gay community in recent times it would be better if the pope stopped trying to tell the UK how to run it's self and concentrated more time in getting his own house in order. i.e., Stop his celibate priests having sex with small boys.

An other of his recent comments made in an end-of year address in 2008, he said that the existence of gay people threatens humanity as much as the destruction of the rainforests does and that "blurring" genders through acceptance of transgender people would kill off the human race.

Yeh, right. I haven't noticed the rise in world population figures (currently getting near 7 billion at present) slowing down by much since civil partnerships have been introduced in many countries world wide over the last few years.

On the bright side it looks like we could be in for a few more No Fly Days due to the volcanic ash heading this way. I say bright side because jet planes are being accused of doing more to promote Climate Change that the destruction of the rain forests. I notice the Pope isn't against flying around in a jet plane and hasn't yet mentioned the danger to the world in using jet propelled transport.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Standing at a Bus Stop

So there I was, at the 32 bus stop in Abbey Road. Coming down the hill towards me were two little old ladies. When they got to the bus stop one of them asked me if I had been waiting long. I told her the bus was due any minute. The two ladies then began talking about the doctor. Now my doctors surgery is just a little way up Abbey Rd and I guessed one or other of these two little old ladies had been to the surgery. Then one mentioned that she hadn't seen the new doctor. I wondered which of the doctors had been replaced. Over the last 10 years I have been going to that surgery I have had 4 different doctors. Surely I wasn't going to get a new doctor.

Then the second little old ladies said, "Oh, I've seen the new doctor. I don't think he is as good as the old one." Slight pause, "But then I do fancy that David Tennant."

Monday, 10 May 2010

News Flash

I have just found out that the ship in the Bays is the natural gas carrier British Trader was a striking visitor to Tor Bay over the weekend.

Built in 2002, she is a 93,498-ton liquid natural gas tanker owned by BP Shipping.

She carries 138,000 cubic metres of liquid natural gas at minus 163 degrees in four tanks.

She had unloaded at the Isle of Grain in Kent and is bound for Point Fortin in Trinidad to reload.

She stopped in the bay to have an underwater hull clean. Alongside her in this photograph by Rodge Musselwhite is the MTS (Brixham) workboat Bay Protector, from which the divers are operating.


That's if you are interested in this sort of thing

Ships in the Area

The ship in the Bay has been here for a few days. We are all hoping it doesn't slip anchor and crash in to Corbyn Head and totally pollute the bay.

The war ship in the Dart estuary is there because Gorgon Brown is determined to hang on to power for as long as possible. That's what a taxi driver friend of mine says anyway.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Local Result

Adrian Sanders Liberal Democrat 23,126     47.0     +5.2
Marcus Wood Conservative 19,048     38.7     +2.9
David Pedrick-Friend Labour 3,231     6.6     -7.9
Julien Parrott UK Independence Party 2,628     5.3     -2.7
Ann Conway British National Party 709     1.4     +1.4
Sam Moss Green 468     1.0     +1.0
Majority 4,078 8.3
Turnout 49,210 64.6     +4.4

This is our local result. As you can see Adrian Sanders the sitting MP won yet again with an increased vote. Sorry to see that more people voted BNP than Green. Both Labour and UKIP went down. Will Marcus Wood continue in his attempt to get elected or will he step down for the good of his party. His close association with Nick Bye (Torbay's mostly disliked Mayor) has not done him or the Conservatives much good.

LibDems didn't do as well nation wide leaving that nice Mr Clegg with egg on his face. Sorry Nick.

Even with LibDem support Labour can not get anything like a majority in Parliament which leaves me wondering how long it will take for David Cameron to get Gordon Brown out off Number 10 and how long it will be before the next election.


Well done the Green Party in Brighton 

Thursday, 6 May 2010

All Over Bar the Counting

An other few hours and it will all be over bar the counting. Then the realisation that it isn't all over. After being force fed election program after election program for the last month we will get hung parliament program after hung parliament progrom with newscastors speculation going on endlessly about what part of the Tory policies the LibDems can support and would it be better if the LibDem sided with the Labour Party or even the idea that the Tories and Labour Party should work together just to keep Nick Glegg and his gang out in the cold.
Will it make any difference what happens and even if it would there is nothing we can do about it anyway. Not until the next election in 5 years time. Or 5 weeks time maybe.
Climate change is going to get us anyway.