This is ginger the cat. Handsome isn't he? Well on Monday evening he went out for a walk. Tuesday morning, no sign of him. Same Tuesday lunch, Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday tea time Tuesday evening and the same Tuesday night. Not really worried he has done this sort of thing before. But Wednesday came and went but with the same result as Tuesday. A look on the waste ground at the back of the garden produced nothing nor did asking those neighbours I saw. Thursday was the same, no Ginger anywhere. Could he have gone for good without a word. Not a chance because when I got up on Friday morning he was sat by his food bowl waiting for his breakfast. No a word as to where he had been. Where had he been? I mean he wasn't starving or anything, didn't look bedraggled and sorry for himself even though we had been worried sick by his disappearance. We are glad he is back, even Hector the other cat gave him a lick on the nose to say hello.
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Monday, 26 July 2010
Long experience of motorway driving have taught me that when you see those overhead lights flashing nastily telling you there are long delays ahead you done not leave the motorway, the side roads you are heading for just can not take the volume of traffic and if you are going to sit in as traffic jam you may as well do it on the motorway. My driver saw the flashing sign and was off the M5 and into hell before I could say NO!, 45 minutes, 5 miles and shattered nerves later we rejoined a free flowing motorway. Eventually at 3 pm we go down to Torquay where we quickly unloaded the coach then loaded it again with those going home and I headed north arriving back at the hotel in Walsall at 8pm, 14 and three quarter hours after I had left it that morning. Not better than bus driving.
Cabbie, was a taxi driver once and have been there, you could try going up to the depot in Regent Close and asking for an application form. I am not sure if the training school in Exeter is excepting new recruits at the moment. Worth a try.
Sunday, 25 July 2010
The coach that came down to Torquay went back on Tuesday with the intention of bringing some passengers back on Thursday. However the coach was enjoying sitting in the garage so much it refused to start. Fortunately there weren’t too many passengers heading for Torquay and it was possible to bring them in one of our luxury minibuses. There was a problem, there always is. First there were 26 guests wanting to go to the Theatre on Thursday night (two trips for the minibus). The second problem was bigger. Forty guests were expecting to go home on a coach on Friday morning and there wasn’t a coach in Torquay, it was in the garage in Tipton, W. Midlands. I would have to go up and get it using the minibus, but remember what the minibus was doing Thursday evening. That’s right, going to the theatre and back, twice. So at 11:30 Thursday night I set off and got back at 7:20 the next morning. A shower, shave, tooth brush and breakfast and we set of for Gordano, me asleep on the back seat and someone else driving. A coach came down to meet us laden with 45 passenger and I drove them to Torquay and I got back at 2:00 and went home for a sleep.
Bus drivers don’t have that much fun, I’ll bet.
As the M5 goes over the Bristol Avon you can see a car park on the seaward side of the road. Not just any car park as you can see but hundreds, possibly thousands of new cars waiting for someone to buy them. I had seen like this a lot recently and always thought that white seemed to be the predominate colour. But I managed to take this photo the other day, I hadn't been able to previously as the traffic is usually too heavy but this day someone else was driving. When I looked at the photo I realised that the cars had white covers, presumably to protect from sunlight and seagull droppings. I wonder how long those cars actually sit there before someone drives one away from a showroom under the mistaken impression he is driving a brand new car?
Note; for pylon enthusiasts I used the photo with a couple of pylons in it
The Blue Wall along Rock Walk has finally come down a couple of years after it went up. I think Torbay Council should have closed the road while it was being demolished and had a big party with a free bar-b-que and a band playing but never mind, it's gone. The blue boards heve been replaced by a see through fence so we can see what's happening. And what's happening is the walkways and viewing platform are almost finished, slight delay during the week due to high winds, the crane, like Mr Bye's balloon doesn't work too well in high winds. Not sure exactly when we will be able to climb up and have a look across the Bay at Brixham and Paignton, nor when the top pathway which was closed for 4 weeks five weeks ago will be open either but it will happen soon.
No blue boards but still fenced off.
Only about 40 more blocks to lift into place.
Thursday, 22 July 2010
A couple of weeks ago I was down on the Strand. There I noticed a controller driving a bus. This could mean that a couple of drivers had both rung in sick at short notice or a driver had gone sick on duty. The 3rd alternative, and the one that interested me the most was the possibility that Stagecoach were short of drivers. It does happen from time to time. So I had word with a passing controller who did tell me that there were a few gaps here and there. So the next day I went down to the depot and filled in an application from. What had I got to lose?
I spoke to the depot manager and arranged for an interview the next day, a Thursday. The interview went well, mostly. There was a short 5 second pause at one point. At the end of the interview I was told a letter would arrive telling me yes or no in a week or 10 days.
On the way home on the bus I was at first mildly optimistic but by the time I was all the way home this feeling had changed slightly as I considered all the pros and cons of the situation. Had I been a betting man I would have considered gambling a fiver against me being successful.
A week went by and no letter, no news is good news people say. Not sure why. Friday and Saturday and Monday all passed without the postman bring the awaited missive. Then on Tuesday it arrived.
I should have had that bet, at least I would have been 5 quid up on the deal.
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Or maybe the Harbour Master will notice and remove from the water before that happens. There is a phone number you can ring to report cars that have been abandoned, is there, does anyone know, a similar number for abandoned boats?
> The top photo was taken June 6 and the bottom photo July 11. If there is a development I will let you know.
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
A quick glance to the right and I could see where the smoke was coming from. Right underneath a bridge was a burning car. The whole of the front end was engulfed in flames. The traffic heading south was moving out into the 3rd lane to get as far away from it as possible. I was past it and a long way away before a thought occurred to me, 'What would happen if the petrol tank exploded?"
An hour later I was passing the spot on my way home and the bridge was still standing though the car had gone leaving a big black mark on the hard shoulder. Highway maintenance men were there clearing away any debris.
A bit later I stopped at Taunton Dean Services for a rest and took the photo of the steam engine that was parked there on a low loader. I wonder why it didn't make it own way to it's destination, under it's own steam as it were.
That was Friday. Saturday evening I was watching the BBC news quiz program "Have I Got News For You". The last round in this quiz program asks the teams to fill in missing words from the week's headlines. Some of these headlines come from your average newspaper but some are from a guest publication such as, "Well Diggers are Welcome" and “ The Coffin Makers Gazette.”
This week’s guest publication was, as you have probably guessed, “The Pylon Appreciation Society” Click here for a link to their web page.
And here is a photo I took earlier.
Sunday, 4 July 2010
Saturday, 3 July 2010
At last Rock Walk is due to open once again to the public. It was closed in November 2007 as the cliff face was deemed to be unsafe. Trees that had been planted almost a hundred years ago were to blame. Their roots were forcing their way into cracks in the Limestone the cliff face is composed of and expanding those cracks. There was a danger that lumps of rock might crash down onto the busy main road at the base of the cliff. First the trees were removed in a 6 week period at the beginning of 2008. Half the road was closed and a boulder proof barrier was built along the central reservation by ISCA Scaffolding to prevent the possibility of a number 12 bus being hit by debris falling from the cliff. I am glad to say it worked.
Then followed a period of apparent inactivity. The council employed a company to carry out a survey on the cliff face to decide what exactly needed doing to make the cliff safe. In the autumn of 2008 a firm moved in to strengthen the cliff by drilling holes and insetting bolts, hundreds of bolts, into the limestone. Netting was also placed on parts of the cliff and a small area the required concrete support.
Over the last few months work has been proceeding to rebuild the walk ways that zigzag up the cliff so those who wish will be able to climb up and enjoy the views of the Bay and Paignton and Brixham. The footpath at the top of the cliff which is called Rock Walk is also being rebuilt and will open at the same time as the walk ways open. It had been hoped the work would have been completed for the beginning of June but a problem emerged that required extra work. If there are no more problems the area will be open at the end of the month. There will be a formal opening event some time later in the year.