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.

23 Nov 2012

Lifes stuggles

Coming to the end of a weeks holiday and I have to say it has not been the best week. Had great plans on fixing the bike, sorting the house and just having a relaxing time. So here I am at 0600 with a stinking cold wondering just where live is taking me. The bike is still in bits as the brakes have seized and I have not done any of the jobs I planned to. Anyway made a cup of tea and checked my email. I was surprised, though I should have not have been to find this.
http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html
Is this a message and a hint? I would like to think so. As my faith tells me, God will never abandoned me. However, that is great when things are going well and you have everything you need, but a completely different matter when it seems that wherever you turn you find problems.
So has anything come from my early morning? Well, perhaps this is all part of Gods plan for me. It could of course be the enemy causing me to be feeling like this? Which ever it is I think it may be time to fasten my seatbelt take life by the neck and 'enjoy' the ride, and look forward to reading this in the future wondering what all the worry was about.

22 Nov 2012

20mph Zones

It is road safety week this week. yes news to me too. We have a few 20mph zones around the area and I am all for reducing the speed in built up area as the path from my house comes straight out on to the road. However, I do worry that this can lull pedestrians in to a false sense of safety. I say this because in the 20mph zones I travel through I do notice that pedestrians assume vehicles are travelling slowly and walk out in front of them. They forget of course any vehicle hitting a pedestrian is going to leave the pedestrian worse off.

Flooding

Not been affected myself, yet. But for those that may be interested this is the link you need to check your local river.

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/riverlevels/120718.aspx

20 Nov 2012

Bit of a result

Due to a bad Christmas present selection a couple of years ago I ended up on the Three mobile phone network. I had no problems with it and it enables me to listen to the radio and run APRS anywhere I am. The only problem I had with it was using the phone in the house. So when the contract came to it's end I rang them up with a view to go back to O2. I got the usual thing about beating any deal and didn't listen much until I mention the in home problem. the Indian voice said 'we can fix that' Well I listen a bit more and cut a long story short I now have a new phone Samsung Galaxy Pocket which is much better than the reviews. And, Home Signal This uses VOIP technology to give 100% signal throughout the house. So I am most impressed and I got a cheaper deal!
Our TV was also on the way out and I put a not on Facebook to see if I could get it repaired. I had a couple of replies and ended up with a rather nice replacement which had been heading for the tip!

18 Nov 2012

A little embarrassing

Very cold this morning but decided to use the bike to go to church. Got up to North Road and closed the choke. Bad idea. the bike stalled and I was not quick enough in getting my foot down and the bike and myself ended in a rather untidy heap. No major damage, just broken mirror and bent brake lever and a scratch on my leg where I tried to pick the bike up. I must say thank you to the young lady who came and helped me lift the bike up and the driver of the Shell tanker who came over to make sure I was OK. It goes to show no matter how short the journey ALWAYS wear safety gear.

17 Nov 2012

Union Elections

I am a member of the Unite Union. I have to say before I became a driver I always thought of Unions as left wing anti government and only interested in calling strikes so they could have a day off. However, almost the day I started driving my view changed. I was asked to join the Union and did not, until one day I was out with a 'shadow driver' who asked if I had joined the union. I told them I did not believe in unions. Then then asked me to tell them who was left on the bus. I looked and only saw one young lady sitting at the back. 'If that girls said you assaulted her who do you think will stand by you?' The company? I said. Think again I was told. I joined the union the next day. I am not militant but daily I see the rights of workers being attacked and see how much normal working people are struggling. I understand companies have to watch the money. However, many decisions are being made that make no financial sense and seem only aimed at getting more for less from workers. It is therefore vital that every work place has union representation and ideally 100% of the workforce are members. So after all that what is the post about? Our branch chair is retiring and therefore there are elections on the 22nd for a new one. I was asked if I would stand as at that time it seemed there was only only one candidate. Since then a few have put their 'hat in the ring'. This is good news as it shows there is interest in the union within our depot. I have 'set out my stall' so we will see who wins.






4 Nov 2012

New Timetables and new buses

New timetables come in today which means duty changes. Fortunately being on the 'Long Day Duty' mine have stayed pretty much the same however some of my collogues have had major changes made and it still remains to be seen how they will all work out. We also have new routes, changed routes and changed times to deal with so happy that tomorrow I am on City work which at least means if things go wrong I haven't got too far to go. We have also had our first new bus delivery in a while. These are the new Park and Ride Buses.
These are Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 H Hybrid Double Decks. Or as I call them big milk floats. However, these are rather nice and if you drive them correctly will run of batteries for almost all of the journeys as the system uses regeneration from the brakes to charge the batteries. 

My weather data