Thursday, 30 May 2013

Tips on how to properly hang wall paper

I have just spent the last two days hanging wallpaper in the back bed room. While I was away in Australia the roof sprang a leak and the paper on one wall got damaged. Also a section of the paper on the ceiling had to come down. Fortunately the plaster underneath the paper was only slightly damaged, bit of Polyfiller sorted that out.

Anyway, after two days of hard work the wall and ceiling now look almost as good as new. So I have decided to give anyone thinking of hanging any wall paper a few tips so you can end up with walls and ceiling looking like they were hung by a professional decorator.

First thing you need to do gather together the equipment you will need. Surprisingly you will almost certainly have two of the three things you need close to hand. So what you do is switch your computer on and open up your search engine of choice. Type in Painter and Decorator followed by your home town and press enter. Take you pick of 53 thousand results (that what I got for Torquay) and then use your phone, mobile or landline, makes no difference, to ring three of them and ask them to call round and give you a quote. Pick the best one and sit back and read a book or watch telly or listen to the wireless while someone else does the hard work. Then you will need the third piece of equipment I mentioned earlier, loads of money.

One other thing. During one of many rest periods I took today I listened to a program on the wireless. Two teachers of English were arguing about whether it was OK to split the infinitive. Not knowing what splitting the infinitive was I wondered if it was dangerous, like splitting the atom. I wondered how many times I have split the infinitive while writing these posts. And has anyone noticed?


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Catching the 9:30 Special

Hard at work again today. The bus of the Strand at 09:32 is always fairly full. All us bus pass holders start congregating at the stop from 20 past nine looking at our watches and hoping the next bus will arrive after 9:30 so we can travel free at the tax payer's expense. I don't start work till 10:00 so this bus is fine for me.
Actually I have been hard at work (unpaid) for the past two months. After I got back from Australia in January I was out of work after Devonian Buses closed down.  I did have a look round for another bus driving job but the possibilities were limited. I don’t have a car so getting up to Heathfield or out to Long Rd (Country Buses and Local Link depots) was a bit too much of a struggle. Plus I needed to take a medical to keep my licence (£50 min). And, due to government legislation I would need a CPC ( Certificate of Professional Competence) (min £550) by 9 September to carry on driving a bus. So sadly my bus driving days are over.

So, what to do with all my spare time. When you’re working you never have enough. Once retired you have too much. So I Googled "Volunteering  in Torbay", and one of the positions that came up was Teaching people how to use computers. Now I have been a teacher and I do know how to use a computer so it sounded perfect. Now I catch a bus over to Paignton twice a week to The Pad on Torquay Rd, just opposite Victoria Park. It is part of a Community Interest Company called Eat That Frog. We don’t just do computers, downstairs there is a drop in centre, you can get a cup of tea or a meal and join in the various activities. Call in if you are passing. I am there Monday, Wednesday morning and Thursday. If you know anyone who wants to know more about their computer or would like to use our computers to do a job search or help with a CV, then we are here to help.

One the way to work this morning I couldn’t help but notice that buses were still going up Fleet St even though the council said less than 3 weeks ago that buses would be going down by 22 May. Yet another Torbay Council deadline missed. And Livermead is still one way but a huge team of work men are working almost round the clock to get that finished before the summer season is over. Paignton Bus Station will be open next Wednesday.

And lastly, I am planning on Tuesday to have a ride on the extended 11 service from the Strand to Dawlish Warren. Bet the number two drivers are glad they don’t have to go to The Warren anymore. One question though, the last bus back from Dawlish warren is 23:30. Who wants to travel from Dawlish warren to Torquay at that time of night. Not a shift I would like to be on.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Say Yes to a Third Harbour!

And get more cruise ships to call in the Bay.

A leaflet dropped through the letter box today, one of dozens that I drop forlornly in to the recycle bin a few minutes later, unread but given a quick glance if I can be bothered. This one did catch my eye due to it’s head line, and I quote,

“Tories Pursue Third Harbour Madness!”

The leaflet is actually a brief newsletter that turns up from time to time and is edited by the local LibDem councillor Jenny Faulkener together with Amanda Darling and Swithin Long. The whole of the front page, A4 in size, is dedicated to the news that our Tory councillors have, under the watchful eye of our elected Tory mayor, Gordon Oliver, voted to go ahead with the Third Harbour project. This will provide a safe place for cruise ships to dock here in Torquay. At present, cruise ships have to anchor out in the Bay. Those passengers who want to visit, climb aboard small boats for the 10 minute trip to the safety of the Marina and then, most of them anyway, board coaches so they can go and have a look at Dartmouth, Dartmoor, Teignmouth, Totnes, Exeter and other local, for local please read South Devon, attractions. When, last week, the cruise ship Artania came for a visit I did notice two German couples in Torquay. One couple walked past me carrying Primark bags, now I can only guess they were from the ship but my reasons for this guess are, they were speaking German, they weren’t foreign language students, too old, and the cruise ship had been reported to be full of German tourists. The other couple were emerging from The Green Ginger speaking German and carrying, yes, you’ve guessed it. Poundland bags, big Poundland bags. But not big enough to cover the sixty thousand pounds that our mayor said the Torquay economy would benefit from the visit of the cruise ship. The mayor even had the Land Train abandon it’s usual route, and therefore it’s other waiting, expectant, passengers, to take our visitors to one of our very own local attractions, Cockington Village. I know someone who works in one of the coffee houses in Cockington and asked that person had they been especially busy. A flat no was the answer. This lack of spending power could have had something to do with the fact that the cruise ship operators decided not to bother changing their passengers’ Euros into Pounds. If this idea continues with the next 6 cruise ships due into the Bay then they may as well not bother coming.

I digress, back to the LibDem’s leaflet. The tone of the article suggest that the writer thinks the whole scheme is insane. Not true. I think the mayor is extremely farsighted. He is only thinking of our great, great grandchildren. He wants to make sure they have something that will attract people and therefore money into the Bay and actually make a profit. Sadly he is ignoring the fact that we, our children, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren will be the ones actually paying for this Third Harbour and seeing no benefit from it, just a massive debt repayment that could last 100 years.

£175 million is the cost of this Third Harbour. It will never happen, who’s going to be mug enough to lend Torbay that kind of money? Better to lend it to Greece. The thing that angers me the most is the £600 000 the mayor plans to spend on a feasibility study to see if the project is viable. Please Gordon give me a ring and I will do a sensible study, with an open mind, either way, for or against, for just £10 000 saving you a massive 590 000 quid.
PS If you do think the Third Harbour is a good idea, please let me know your reasons for think that. 
PPS I don't expect Gordon Oliver will read this but if you do, I would be interested  in your reaction.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

More Traffic Lights

Just when we thought there just couldn't be any more road works in the bay this lot appeared at the Milk Bottle in Paignton. I thought they would be running out of work men by now.

It is supposed to be for a couple of hours so it should be finished by some time next month.

Question. Did any of our local Torquay traders actually make any sales to our German visitors yesterday. I do know the Land Train was diverted from it's normal route to take people to Cockington even thought there is a local bus , number 62, that runs into Cockington. So the numer 62 didn't make loads of money from the visitors. Nor did Cockington Court traders by all accounts need a security van to take their takings to the bank. So who did make the 60 grand the mayor predicted? If you know, please let me  know.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Good for Google

While I am on the subject well done to Google for changing the name from "Palestinian Territories" to "Palestine" on their web pages. Not that Israel or the United States are likely to follow suit any day soon.

Facebook are Sick and should be put down.

The world, so I am told can be divided into two groups. The first group, a large majority at 85% don’t have a Facebook account. The second group, a small minority at 15% do have a Facebook account. Until today I was a member of that minority group. Hardly a day would go by without me getting an email from Facebook asking if I knew, and or wanted to be friends with, so and so and so and so’s best friend and so and so’s first cousin and someone so and so’s divorced wife’s aunt who used to boast she once spoke to Stuart Hall.

But no more. I have deleted my Facebook account. Not because, if you worked really hard at it you could be friends with 15% of the worlds population. Not that I ever worked hard at being friends with even 1% of the people Facebook wanted to introduce me to.

The reason is the unbelievable reluctance on the part of Facebook to remove certain videos that had appeared on their site. Now Facebook cannot watch every video that is downloaded, there are just to many. But when a reader/visitor/friend of Facebook, not just one but many tell them that videos of women being beheaded is not suitable for a social networking site and they turn round and say, “Oh yes it is. I shows the real world.” Are they sick or something worse?

Well I want nothing more to do with someone this sick or stupid.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Two Way Traffic at Livermead

ROAD diversions at Livermead will be suspended over the Bank Holiday from Friday rush hour until early on Tuesday morning.
During that time traffic will be able to flow as normal

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Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Straight From The Horse's Mouth

 Latest news regarding out road traffic delays at Fleet St and Livermead. It is expected that the direction buses will travel along Fleet St will change from up to down will happen on 22 May. This will mean buses coming from Castle Circus will no longer need to divert via Abbey Rd, Lucius St and Belgrave Rd but it will mean that buses from the Strand will have to divert Via Belgrave Rd and Lucius St. If the buses will then go down Union St to serve the stops in Abbey Rd is up to the bus operator but I expect they will.

The work currently being carried out in Fleet St is expected to be complete by the end of June so we can expect two way traffic in Fleet St on 1 July. Not bad when the original notices posted on the bus stops said 19 March.

The work to dump rocks in front of the sea wall at Livermead will take about 6 weeks and so the existing diversion via Wheatridge Lane will be in place until the end of May. The council are hoping that if it is deemed safe to open the road to two way traffic sooner then they will do so. The reason traffic lights aren’t being used at Livermead is it was felt that a necessary delay for pedestrians to cross the road would mean the delay to traffic would be too long. Buses will have to divert via Wheatridge Lane but that is better than the long trip round the Ring Road.