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 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. Nicholas Church in Radstock. These are my observations on my life, both at work and at home.

30 Oct 2010

Do you do this?

Driving around I sometimes see and read about communities complaining about vehicles speeding down their roads. However, I just wonder how many of those people are the same people who speed down some one else's road?I have to say to some extent I am one of those people. I am sitting here and see the cars 'speed' passed the window and wonder if people say the same thing about me when I drive past their house on my bike or in the car or in the bus?

19 Oct 2010

When a bus stop is not a bus stop.

Bus stops are put in to allow passengers to board and alight a bus in a safe manner. It is the duty of a bus driver to park the bus as close as possible to the stop. This is especially important, when like today I had a lady in an electric wheelchair.
Anyway to the point of this post. Sometimes, when for instance road works take place, the bus stop will be suspended. This is done with either a notice, a cover on the flag (sign) or both. We have just this situation in Bath. A new stop is being built and the old stop is covered. Which means we cannot stop at it. This was a 'set down only' stop and used by people who wanted to go to the area where M & S is. So we now have  the situation where the bell goes and we sail past the stop. This is greeted by 'you missed the stop driver' and other comments. A passenger will then start to angrily tell you other drivers stop there etc etc etc. I inform them how would they like it if they asked for the stop outside your house to be moved because of the noise. But drivers just ignored it! I also remind them it is nothing to do with the company and it is down to the council. I then get the 'do you know how far I will have to walk?' At this point I finish the discussion because it will end only one way!!

11 Oct 2010

Rest Day??

Rest Day today, and as the weather was great had a very busy day. At long last I have got rid of the bed which has been sitting out the front for about three weeks. I thought it would go in the car but it didn't so it had to be 'dismantled' if you ever get rid of a bed one word of advice. Do not leave the mattress out in the rain. Trust me they get VERY heavy. Took the bikes front wheel to get the bearings replaced. They were very worn and the bikes now rides a lot better. Back to work tomorrow, Chippenham, Bristol and Bath so a nice varied day.

10 Oct 2010

Back on the road

Not much to report on the work front things going along fairly well. As you may have seen from Facebook the head gasket went on the Rover. This is usually the end for a car of it's age, but fortunately I noticed it overheating and checked the oil and saw the emulsifying and stopped! Tried a few places and was quoted up to £1000! After a bit of a panic I remembered a friend was always playing with cars. Anyway the result is, the car is fixed and as I had planned to have the oil and water changed before the winter all it cost was the price of the gasket and some 'beer money'. Next job is to get the wheel bearings replaced on the bike. Noticed some play in the front wheel so think it may be time for a new bearing set. Local shop will do it for £10 plus bits, if I take the wheel off. As you know we rent our house and next weeks we have our yearly inspection. So, spent some time yesterday sorting out. So far three rubbish bags and found bits we have been looking for for ages. Also the rent has been increased, not a lot but a pain all the same. Today hope the clean the lounge carpet which is a very useful Beige. Very handing with a dog!

3 Oct 2010

New Routes

Despite working for First for nearly seven years there are some routes I have never driven or only driven a couple of times. This week I have driven the '18'  service to Bath Uni. This route uses the famous 'bendy bus'. I am not 'bendy' trained so I was given a normal (rigid) bus. I do know the route as I use it to get to the repeater site, but I was still a little nervous as I set off. The duty went OK and despite some very weird students completed it without incident.
Last I had the 179/178 This goes to Midsomer Norton Via Timsbury. I cannot remeber the last time I drove this route and then to told not to forget to go through Farrington Gurney, I was more than a little nervous. The rain did not help and the first two passenger producing £20 notes for £4.15 fares put me a good mood! However with the help of a passenger we made it round OK. Finally finished back at the depot at 0045.

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