Hello and welcome to my Blog, my name is Chris, a bus driver for First Mendip based in Wells, Somerset. Married to Fiona, we live in Midsomer Norton near Bath, with Harvey the dog and Boots the cat. My main hobby is Amateur Radio and I hold the call sign G4KVI. I am the repeater keeper for GB3UB and MB7UB. I have a fascination for the weather and all things to do with nature and science. I am a biker and currently ride a Honda CBfF600. As a Christian I worship, when shifts allow at St. Nicolas Church in Radstock. These are my observations on my life, both at work and at home.

27 Jan 2008

Spelling

It has been brought to my attention that there are a few spelling mistakes in this blog. I did get an A in English but I still cannot spell and the spell checker does not always pick things up. So sorry for the mistakes and hope it does not spoil your enjoyment.

Cutting the grass

Things have been going well, very busy Saturday. Checked my duty for this week and my name was bot on the list. Made a phone call. I am on holiday this week!!!(they are allocated) Should have checked. It has however given me time to get a lot done. Spent most of the day in the garden. Cut the grass and tided up. Looks so much better. Looking at the weather looks like tomorrow is is the last day of good weather so more outside work.

24 Jan 2008

Petrol Prices

Had this sent to me and thought it might be of interest.

See what you think and pass it on if you agree with it

We are hitting 106.9 p a litre in some areas now, soon we will be faced with paying ?1.10 a ltr. Philip Hollsworth offered this good idea:

This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the 'don't buy petrol on a certain day campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to hurt ourselves by refusing to buy petrol. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT,whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work.

Please read it and join in!

Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a litre is CHEAP, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the market place not sellers. With the price of petrol going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of petrol come down is if we hit someone in the pocket by not purchasing their Petrol! And we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. Here's the idea:

For the rest of this year DON'T purchase ANY petrol from the two biggest oil companies (which now are one), ESSO and BP.

If they are not selling any petrol, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact we need to reach literally millions of Esso and BP petrol buyers. It's really simple to do!!

Now, don't wimp out on me at this point... keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!!

I am sending this note to a lot of people. If each of you send it to
at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300)... and those 300 send it to at
least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) ... and so on, by the time the
message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached
over THREE MILLION consumers! If those three million get excited and
pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have
been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it... ..

THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!!

Again, all You have to do is send this to 10 people. That's all.(and
not buy at ESSO/BP) How long would all that take? If each of us
sends this email out to ten more people within one day of receipt,
all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the
next 8days!!! Acting together we can make a difference If this makes
sense to you, please pass this message on.

PLEASE HOLD OUT UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE 69p a LITRE
RANGE

It's easy to make this happen. Just forward this email, and buy your
petrol at Shell, Asda,Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons Jet etc. i.e.
boycott BP and Esso

Day off

Had a great couple of days. Good trips up and make and no hassle. Day off today and with the weather so good spent the day sorting out my amateur radio aerials. Now got both VHF/UHF aerial outside on poles and the HF (shortwave) up nice and high. Must be working well as the first contact I had was with a chap near the Polish Border. Well chuffed and now have to spend some time in the 'shack', spare room and try and get it so you can see the floor!!!

22 Jan 2008

A bit naughty

Not bad yesterday. Lot of traffic going up, not helped my someone breakdown and parking in the middle of the motorway at J8/9. Why they could have not got to the hard shoulder. Had to pick up an out of hours driver at Heathrow. In fact our training officer who was also due to take over my coach. Decided to go to Victoria by Knightsbridge and traffic was good until we got to Scotch Corner. It is very narrow and a bit of a bun fight. As we came over the lights I notched traffic indicated right around some roadworks. I mirror checked one car alongside and a BMW behind. Let the car go by and stated to move over. You guessed it, it was 'I am not letting the bus move what ever driver'. We moved along slowly me edging ever over and the BMW TRYING to push between me and the cones. I think he saw the traffic island a bit late as he stopped a bit quick!! This sounds a bit naughty on my part but when you have given as much warning as I did you do get the 'Red Mist' come down and you then do what you are told not to do and use you vehicle size to get what you want.

20 Jan 2008

A very close shave

I do not like weekends at the best of times as they seem to bring out the idiot in many drivers. Today was no exception. However the worst, and possibly the closest I have come to have a potential fatal accident was this one.
I was travelling between Radstock and Peasdown. This road is long and straight with various roads joining it. One road on the right is angled so traffic approaching from Peasdown can usually turn right without having to slow very much. As I approached this one a car appeared from the right and stopped. A 4*4 was coming up towards me and indicating to turn right (across me) I eased off a bit and was going about 45mph. The 4*4 then turned right, I eased off as he had time to clear in front of me. Oh no, HE HESITATED!! half was across the road. I will not repeat what was said on the bus both by me and the passengers. I hit the anchors and the ABS did the job, the poor guy at the junction must have been in the same situation as me. As you can tell all worked out OK but it left me a bit wobbly. The passengers were very quiet the rest of the way. One passenger saying he was amazed we did not hit him.

19 Jan 2008

Front Fog Lights

Not bad day, very busy up with full coach. Getting a bit fed up with people using front fog lights. This must be an easy one for the police to crack down on, and make a few quid. The highway code states.

Rule 236

You MUST NOT use front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced (see Rule 226) as they dazzle other road users and can obscure your brake lights. You MUST switch them off when visibility improves.

Interested in the post about luggage and loading. This is always a problem when you are singled crewed. We can have 30+ passengers to load and they are going to different locations so the luggage has to be put in separate lockers. I normally check the tickets, paper and mobile then either load the luggage myself or ask the passenger to do it. However it is normally quicker to do it my self as most people will just put their case at the front so you then have to spend 10 minutes sorting it out!! Anyway I am not loosing any sleep over yesterday as it is the first instance of this I have had.
Tomorrow is bus work, have the 778 and 14A. Cant complain though, short day only 1000-1800.

18 Jan 2008

Made it to Victoria

Well, made it to Victoria!! traffic was light, but had a few 'incidents'
Started even before I had left Bath. I had reversed out of the bay and had just started to make my way out of the bus station when a bus appeared alongside, not a problem but then a guy appears running along side the coach. This is so dangerous as if he slipped he would go straight under the wheel. This is one situation that I do not stop for. Once I have closed the doors and started to reverse next stop is, the next stop. This guy did not give up and chased me round the bus station! I have not heard whether he got on the next bus.
Had a call from control, could I pick up some extra passengers from Swindon? their coach had been delayed, I assume by the flooding around Gloucester. Arrived at Swindon on time and started to load, I came back from loading some luggage in the rear locker when a passenger informed that 'a couple of druggies had got on' I wandered down the coach and in fact I could smell them before I could see them! I decided to act cool and asked them for their tickets. They said they wanted to go to London. I gave them 5 seconds to leave before I called the police. One of them said could I count, so I did and got to 4 before they got up. At this point and wondered if this had been such a good idea. I kept out of 'striking' range and herded them off the coach. They then started to get aggressive so I just kept pushing!! They got off but then tried to get in the lockers!! I did consider dropping the locker door but did not fancy wiping the blood off. They finally wandered off into Swindon. I continued to load the remaining passengers and called control and Bath to warn other drivers.
Off we went again and another call from control. Can I pick up a stranded passenger from Reading services. No problem, but wondered how I would find them, should not have worried as I a pulled into the coach park they was a young man holding a National Express ticket. No further problems even Heathrow was fairly quite despite the problems on Thursday.
Had a long lay over in London so had a nice lunch and did the shopping and read a book until 1715 when it was time to return to Victoria for the 1800 departure.

15 Jan 2008

Aircraft spotting. take 2

0530 today and apart from the weather things were looking good. Until that is we got to J12 and then it was a crawl all the way to Heathrow. By the time we got to the bay I only had 40 mins driving time left and and that time of the morning it can take over an hour. So after dispatching my passengers, some for the second day in a row, it was off to the west ramp car park. I came prepared this time with scanner and plenty of coffee. Trip back was good and due to a fault with the door went straight out to the depot. had fun getting home the river Avon is looking very angry and some of the roads had been closed due to 3 feet of water!! Home now and off for 2 days. Still got to repair the exhaust.

14 Jan 2008

Aircraft spotting

Funny old day. Frome up so start at 0515 drive out to Frome for a 45 min break before heading off through Wiltshire. Everything was fine until we joined the M4 at J13. In then took nearly 2 hours to get to Heathrow. That meant only 35mins of driving left so had to terminate. Along with 2 other 403, 412, 200,201 and several other company coaches. Spent 2 hours up in the West Ramp car park which has fantastic views of the runway. Bit said but I do have a scanner so it was like being a kid again!! Trip back was Ok but weather tomorrow is not good so see how we go.

10 Jan 2008

Are people really that stupid?

Back on form now the flu/cold is finally going. It still amazes me how stupid people are. I have been on the 'overnight' which involves Bath city bus work and a trip to London plus a stay overnight.
Yesterday was the the no 10, this goes from the bus station and up to Southdown. On the way back, with Bus Station on the front and side a hand goes out for me to stop. Yes, you guessed ' you going to the bus station?'
Journey to London was uneventful until we got to Earls Court. Traffic lights are green and had been for a while so logic says they will go red. I did slow up and sure enough up came the amber and then the red. It was one of those nice 'chauffeur stops'. The car beside me also slows up and goes straight through!! Nice double flash on the camera.
Next set of lights is the Earls Court stop so I was slowing anyway. Looked in the mirror and down the outside comes jack the lad in the flash BMW carving his way through the traffic. he obvious was not the brightest of people because behind him was another BMW, this one painted red and white and blue lights on the top. What really made me laugh was that he pulled into the bus stop in front of as I pulled up. I was very impressed when the police told him to move round the corner.

Today was a demonstration on how without proper use of the mirrors it is all too easy to have a serious accident. The weather was poor on the was back and there was a lot of large lorries on the M4. This means a far amount of overtaking. As I went past J8/9 I noticed a dark Focus in lane 2. Not much of a problem but he was sat about a coach length behind at the same speed as me. We approached J10 and I indicated to overtake two lorries mirror check showed the Focus still at a safe distance for me to move out. I moved out and mirror checked, the Focus was now trying to get between me and the car in lane three. This was really serious stuff as I nowhere to go. I kept my position and the focus went past between me and the car in lane three.
To that man he had 40 witnesses to his appalling driving and the next time he has a death wish, the ditch is a much better option.

My weather data