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.

30 Apr 2010

Reading

While I was lying in a hospital bed I had various thoughts. One of these was the idea I would be able to read. We have the complete works of Dickens and I thought I could sit and read all day. Well I have read a grand total of 0 words in the last few weeks. I just cannot sit and concentrate on a book. I find it easier to sit in front of a computer screen or tune around on the radio. Still I have a few weeks left before I go back to work so maybe. Bit of an update on the ankle. All appears to be well. I have attempted to put some weight on it but the plaster cuts into my leg so gave that up! main problem I have is pain in my right shoulder and patches of hard skin on my hands. Both these I assume are from using crutches.Hopefully will be able to walk in some manner after Tuesday. One problem we have had this week was that the computer downstairs. failed. It appears that the hard drive had failed. Anyway found a spare in my 'junk' box and it appears to be working OK. Lost a bit of data but most of our pictures and files are stored on an external drive so they are all Ok.. I also have hard copies of XP and Office 2003 so got them all loaded back on OK.

25 Apr 2010

This link says it all

This is from a Blog I subscribe to. What record will future generations have if this trend continues?

http://omnibuses.blogspot.com/2010/04/social-commentary.html

Do not buy Powerline adapters

Most of you will be unaware of these devices and the danger they pose. These devices are designed to allow you to use your mains wiring as a wireless network. However they have a major and potentially dangerous side effect. That is they interfere with most radio systems. For example FM radio, DAB radio, amateur radio, 446,CB and air band. These devices are sold in contravention of various European standards. More information can be found at http://www.southgatearc.org/news/april2010/belkin_pla_video.html So do not but these devices and tell your friends not to buy them. Remember if your neighbour has one of these it be the end of you listening to and kind of radio in your house. If you think you have problems then have a look at this site http://www.mikeandsniffy.co.uk/UKQRM/

24 Apr 2010

All Change?

Ok, now into week five and just over a week to go until my next hospital appointment. I hope after that I will have a plaster fitted that will give me the ability to walk again. It looks like I will be able to return to work around the 20th May. However it will not be on coaches but on 'stage carriage' work (normal buses). This will give me some time to settle back in and make sure I am fully fit. That way if I have a problem I will only be a short distance from the bus station and not stuck on route to London! However it would seem that I will not be returning to coach's for a while. The contract is up for re-tender and all the signs/rumours are that  First have not retained it and it has gone to another local company. Given my current state of health I think I will be better staying with First at least until the dust has settled and I can be sure of my driving ability. Anyway, like all these things nothing is 'cast in stone' so we will see how things go. Main thing is, it looks like I still have a permanent  job. I may however have to change the Blog name, or do I leave it as it is??

23 Apr 2010

Birthday

It was Fiona's birthday yesterday. I will not say how old she is, but SAGA membership is VERY close! Anyway the plan was to have  a couple of days in London seeing the sights etc. However, that has been put off until our anniversary. We had a nice day and she had some very nice presents from friends and from myself (thank goodness for on-line shopping!!) In the evening we went out to a local golf and country club and and I have to say it was a very pleasant evening. I cannot remember the last time we went out somewhere on our own. A friend even provided a taxi service so we were able to enjoy the rather pleasant ale on offer.

18 Apr 2010

Volcanic Ash

Been following the problems with air travel. I hope you are not due to travel or are not stranded abroad. If you are I hope you get away  soon. It has been amazing to see the number of gliders, balloons and light aircraft operating around here. I see that airlines want to resume flights and can see no reason not to fly as they have done some test flights. Perhaps they should remember what happens when aircraft enter an ash cloud.

16 Apr 2010

No Vapour Trails

Well what every terrorist group throughout the world has only dreamed of doing, nature has none. The volcano has grounded all jet flights in the UK and most of Europe. We do not get many aircraft over us here but what I do notice is the lack of vapour trails. It is not unusual to see at least 10 which I assume are aircraft heading to the US. Anyway sat in the 'shack' listening to the hot air balloons making their way from Bath. People have been saying their cars are covered with ash but our car has been covered in dust since last week so doubt if it that. The next event that nature has for us is due in 2012 when the sun will be at it's maximum. This has the power to destroy electronic equipment and satellites. The last time the sun was very active was in the 1980's when of course there was not as much electronic communications. This, as a radio amateur made it possible to chat to people in the US with very simple equipment. It will be very interesting to see what happens.
Update on the ankle is that it seems to have settled down and the pain is very low. Have an appointment with the company Doctor next week. I think it is to make sure I am not 'swinging the lead'! Anyway will be interesting to see if they let me do 'light duties'.

13 Apr 2010

Fourth Week

Well here I am into week 4. Things seem to be going OK and now have less pain. Very glad the weather is dry for those of you who have ever used crutches will know how slippery paving slabs can be!! Weekend was fantastic. It was my niece Leah's 2nd Birthday so off on the coach to Heathrow. My Sister very kindly picked us up and my Parents dropped us back so very little walking (hoping) to do. The party was great and it was great to see the family again. Couple of domestic issues have arisen. We have a lock up garage and just before the accident I lost all my keys (found them now) so had to go the agent to a new one cut. While I was there I told him I would be clearing it out in a couple of weeks! He has now found someone else who wants to use it so will now have to try and find a willing volunteer to come and help move some of the heavy items and bring them back home, if I can find space. The next is that our tenancy has expired and we are on to a Monthly contract. Would be good to move as the on street parking can be a nightmare. However given my current condition I cannot see me being able to do that kind a work for a while yet so looks like we will try a sign at least a new 12 month contract.  My Wife Fiona still finds it hard to leave me on my own. She worries I will fall down the stairs or something. So next milestone is the hospital visit in May which hopefully will mean I will be able to walk again

10 Apr 2010

Car Fire

As you may know we live on the main road into Midsomer Norton. Therefore on Friday and Saturday night there is sometimes noise from people coming home from the night club in town. Last night there was lots of shouting and a car parked outside. My thought was why do they do that at 0230. Anyway it all became clear when the Fire Brigade and Police turned up!! I looked out the door and saw a car well alight! I remember Fiona saying she had had to park in that area so I called her down and we walked up the road. Fortunately it was not our car put not so for our neighbour. There was not much left of the front of her car. Feel very sorry for her but not much we could do apart from go back to bed!!

8 Apr 2010

A bit of gardening

Well almost. Spend a very nice couple of hours sat out in the sun at a friends allotment. Obviously no digging so forced to sit in the chair and chat. Very pleasant and even had a chat with an ex-miner which was fascinating hearing about the number of coal mines there were in the area and the conditions they worked in even in fairly recent times. Any way back in the 'shack' so able to play radio and update the pc. Last night was able to go to Church house group, good to see everyone again and share fellowship with them. Ankle seems to be OK, only problem I have had is with my knee. For those that don't know me I have had 4 knee operations over the years due to a motorcycle accident in 1981 so they are a little delicate. I assume it is where I turn at night and the plaster cast catches on the duvet. Anyway seems Ok today. Not sure what we are doing tomorrow but the weather looks good.

6 Apr 2010

4 more weeks

Not a bad day today. Trip out with a friend to a garden centre and a farm shop, have some idea for when I am fit. Hospital appointment went OK. Plaster off and stitches out. All 32 all of them!! Re plastered with a much lighter plaster but still not able to put any weight on it. I can however rest it on the ground. Doctor seems pleased with it and I had a chance to look at the X-rays. What a mess!! I have a plate running from my foot into my leg and another on the opposite side. Then there are two screws holding the two together. Very impressed with the metal work and the neat stitching. I now have to wait another 4 weeks and have another X-Ray to make sure things are mending OK. Anyway just waiting for someone to pick me up and take me for a drink with some radio friends.

2 Apr 2010

Getting There

Into week 3 and the ankle is feeling much better. Not too much discomfort but now have to be very careful as I tend to  forget about the plaster and go to stand up without crutches!! Good news yesterday, have a appointment at the fracture clinic to, hopefully, have the stitches out and a lighter plaster put on.  I hope this will mean I can at least put both feet on the ground and make me less of a hazard. Today is Good Friday and we were planning to attend the service in Radstock. However the weather was dreadful. This sounds rather lame given that Jesus hung on a cross for me. However given I have a couple of  'moments' on paving slaps we decided best to stay at home. Then 5 minutes before the service was due to start the sun came out and has shone all day!!

My weather data