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.

28 Nov 2009

Bath Traffic

Overnight last night and for the first time ever had to take a break at Heathrow. First problem was in Bath on the trip to the Uni, this put a 20min delay before we even started. Why can no one in NX see the problems this stop causes? Especially when up to 20 buses an hour come and go!! So with a 20 min delay off we went. All OK until J15 and then 'M4 Closed J10' came up. I had to go to reading at J12 to pick up 2 so was planning to go to J10 and then go down the M3. Approached J10 and the traffic was heavy but not the end of the world. Most traffic was going down towards the M3 so asked the Police man where the M4 was closed. he advised me to use the A4 and rejoin the M4 at J8/9. So that is what I did. We then arrived at Heathrow at 2130 which did not give enough time to get to VCS so 45 min break had to be taken. Most of the passengers got on the 501 or caught the tube so was empty into VCS. Finally arrived at 2311 which even with a 9 hour break meant I could not leave until 0830. Today was Ok until Bath. It took nearly an hour to get from the A46 into the Bus station. It is 2 miles!! Had the '5's' after my break and it took 45 mins to get from the Bus Station to Sainsbury's, 1mile. The cause of all this is the Christmas Market and our local councils complete inability to  grasp the gravity of the situation. Maybe they think if it looks busy it will bring people in!!!

27 Nov 2009

Not much to report

Not much going on at present. Caught some bug last week which required a duty swap so I was not to far from the bus station. That also meant less money, but better than no money. Felix the cat also decided that I did not require an take a ways this week and went fighting resulting in bites to his leg and  a trip to the vet. The weather has been pretty rough resulting in some interesting drives.

14 Nov 2009

Bus Work

As I said there was a bit of a cock up and I was down for holiday last week. As a result I had a spell of bus work. I do have to say I do enjoy it, as they say 'a change is a good as a rest'. It was a mixed bag of local city work and trips to Bristol and Cribbs Causeway. Things I noticed were the traffic and a difficulty of running on time and passengers. I had forgotten how they behave. Comments like, 'are you late driver?' when you arrive at a stop 20 mins late! Trying to use a bus pass before 0900. 'but you ARRIVE at the bus station at 0900' After you have sat in a traffic jam for 20mins 'Do you think we will arrive on time?' These are thankfully outnumbered by the nice ones. The ones who say ' it's nice that a driver speaks to us' and various other complements. Off now for the weekend and family coming for lunch tomorrow. Next week back on coaches again.

9 Nov 2009

UCB Radio to go nationwide!

UCB goes national on DAB digital radio
(News release)
United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) has confirmed it will begin broadcasting
nationally on DAB digital radio from Dec 1.
The Christian media organisation which had previously been broadcasting to
most major cities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on DAB, has now
signed contracts and been granted Ofcom approval, to broadcast nationally
across the UK (inc Northern Ireland).
“This is an extraordinary dream come true”, said Ian Mackie, CEO and founder of
UCB UK. “We have had a 23-year old dream and vision to broadcast nationally
across the UK and it’s an overwhelming and humbling day to finally see that
dream come to fruition”.
Notes to editor
1. United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) has five radio stations, two of which
broadcast on DAB digital radio – UCB UK will broadcast nationally from
Dec 1, 2009. UCB Inspirational will continue to broadcast across large
areas of England and Wales on DAB digital radio. Other UCB stations
and UCB TV are available on Sky, Virgin Media and the internet at
ucbmedia.co.uk
2. UCB provides thought-provoking, life-changing resources to churches,
Christians and people seeking a better understanding of the
Christian faith, currently reaching more than a million people across the
UK and Ireland.


This station is well worth a listen to. It is not what you would think a christian radio station is like.

7 Nov 2009

Good job I checked

As you may know we have a shift pattern this runs on a 26 week rolling bases. There is the main 'base' rota which you can use to see what duties you on. This can of course change due to sickness holidays etc. There is also the 'spares' These are days or weeks where you have no allocated work but will be early. mid or late. We then have a rota posted on the board giving up to two weeks duties. This is the working rota and is supposed to up to date.When I arrived at work last week the inspector said 'that's one way to get out of the overnight' I was a little confused and asked why? 'you have a weeks holiday' I inquired further and it turned out the holiday I had swapped when I moved house had not been changed correctly. I now have a week of bus work!! Not the end of the world and with a couple of drivers off sick there is always hope of a swap. I assume if I had said nothing the company would have gladly granted me an extra weeks holiday. I think not! Anyway '14's' and Chippenham today.

1 Nov 2009

The end

As you know we have moved. This is the reason why.















The houses had stood for over 60 years and it only took a few hours to turn them in to this. Still they were a bit drafty and cost a fortune to run but they did have a lot of character. I will post some photos when they start building the flats.

Halloween

Not something that we 'follow' but was interested to find the 'true' meaning and found this.

All Hallows' Eve falls on 31 October each year, and is the day before All Hallows' Day, also known as All Saints' Day in the Christian calendar. The Church traditionally held a vigil on All Hallows' Eve when worshippers would prepare themselves with prayers and fasting prior to the feast day itself.
The name derives from the Old English 'hallowed' meaning holy or sanctified and is now usually contracted to the more familiar word Hallowe'en.

A brief history of the festival

In the early 7th century Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon in Rome, formerly a temple to all the gods, as a church dedicated to Saint Mary and the Martyrs, and ordered that that date, May 13, should be celebrated every year.
It became All Saints' Day, a day to honour all the saints, and later, at the behest of Pope Urban IV (d. 1264), a day specially to honour those saints who didn't have a festival day of their own.
In the 8th century, on November 1st, Pope Gregory III dedicated a chapel to all the saints in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Gregory IV then made the festival universal throughout the Church, and November 1st has subsequently become All Saints' Day for the western Church.
The Orthodox Church celebrates All Saints' Day on the first Sunday after Passover - a date closer to the original May 13th.
It is widely believed that many Hallowe'en traditions have evolved from an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain which was Christianised by the early Church. Pronounced sow-in, Samhain is a Gaelic word meaning 'end of the summer'. This festival is believed to have been a celebration of the end of the harvest, and a time of preparation for the coming winter.
It is widely accepted that the early church missionaries chose to hold a festival at this time of year in order to absorb existing native Pagan practices into Christianity, thereby smoothing the conversion process.
A letter Pope Gregory I sent to Bishop Mellitus in the 6th century, in which he suggested that existing places of non-Christian worship be adopted and consecrated to serve a Christian purpose, is often provided as supporting evidence of this method of acculturation. (See related links.)
Encyclopaedia Britannica states that this date may have been chosen "in an effort to supplant the Pagan holiday with a Christian observance".
The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions also claims that Hallowe'en "absorbed and adopted the Celtic new year festival, the eve and day of Samhain".
However, there are supporters of the view that Hallowe'en, as the eve of All Saints' Day, originated entirely independently of Samhain and some question the existence of a specific pan-Celtic religious festival which took place on 31 October/1 November.
In his book Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, Nicholas Rogers states:
Festivals commemorating the saints as opposed to the original Christian martyrs appear to have been observed by 800. In England and Germany, this celebration took place on 1 November. In Ireland, it was commemorated on 20 April, a chronology that contradicts the widely held view that the November date was chosen to Christianize the festival of Samhain.Nicholas Rogers, Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night
Steve Roud, author of A Pocket Guide To Superstitions Of The British Isles, says:
Certainly the festival of Samhain, meaning Summer's End, was by far the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish calendar, and there was a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen, but however strong the evidence in Ireland, in Wales it was May 1 and New Year which took precedence, in Scotland there is hardly any mention of it until much later, and in Anglo-Saxon England even less.Steve Roud, A Pocket Guide To Superstitions Of The British Isles
In Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, Ronald Hutton says:
Heavy Irish immigration into the Scottish Highlands and Isles in the early Middle Ages carried the name Samhain there, in local variations, but to the Welsh the day was 'Calan Gaeaf', 'the first day of winter', and the night before was termed 'Nos Galan Gaea', winter's eve'. Perhaps significantly, the earliest Welsh literature attributes no arcane significance to these dates (in sharp contrast to May Eve) and describes no gatherings then (in sharp contrast to New Year). It must be concluded, therefore, that the medieval records furnish no evidence that 1 November was a major pan-Celtic festival, and none of religious ceremonies, even where it was observed. An Anglo-Saxon counterpart is difficult either to prove or to dismiss completely.Ronal Hutton, Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain
Either way, what we can be sure of is that the modern celebration of Hallowe'en is a complicated mix of evolved (and evolving) traditions and influences.

All Saints' Day (also known as All Hallows' Day or Hallowmas) is the day after All Hallows' Eve (Hallowe'en). It is a feast day celebrated on November 1st by Anglicans and Roman Catholics.
It is an opportunity for followers to remember all saints and martyrs, known and unknown, throughout Christian history. As part of this day of obligation, followers are required to attend church and try not to do any servile work.
Remembering saints and martyrs and dedicating a specific day to them each year has been a Christian tradition since the 4th century AD, but it wasn't until 609AD that Pope Boniface IV decided to remember all martyrs. Originally May 13th was designated as the Feast of All Holy Martyrs. Later, in 837AD, Pope Gregory IV extended the festival to remember all the saints, changed its name to Feast of All Saints and changed the date to November 1st.
We celebrate today the solemnity of All Saints. This invites us to turn our gaze to the immense multitude of those who have already reached the blessed land, and points us on the path that will lead us to that destination.Pope John Paul II, All Saints' Day 2003
All Souls' Day is marked on 2nd November (or the 3rd if the 2nd is a Sunday), directly following All Saints' Day, and is an opportunity for Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholic churches to commemorate the faithful departed. They remember and pray for the souls of people who are in Purgatory - the place (or state) in which those who have died atone for their less grave sins before being granted the vision of God in Heaven (called Beatific vision).
Reasoning behind this stems from the notion that when a soul leaves the body, it is not entirely cleansed from venial (minor) sins. However, through the power of prayer and self-denial, the faithful left on earth may be able to help these souls gain the Beatific Vision they seek, bringing the soul eternal sublime happiness.
A 7/8th century AD prayer The Office of the Dead is read out in churches on All Souls' Day. Other rituals include the offering of Requiem Mass for the dead, visiting family graves and reflecting on lost loved ones. In Mexico, on el dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead), people take picnics to their family graves and leave food out for their dead relatives.
Whilst praying for the dead is an ancient Christian tradition, it was Odilo, Abbot of Cluny (France) who, in 998AD, designated a specific day for remembering and praying for those in the process of purification. This started as a local feast in his monasteries and gradually spread throughout the Catholic Church towards the end of the 10th century AD.
For the souls in purgatory, waiting for eternal happiness and for meeting the Beloved is a source of suffering, because of the punishment due to sin which separates them from God. But there is also the certitude that once the time of purification is over, the souls will go to meet the One it desires. Letter of Pope John Paul II for Millennium of All Souls' Day

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