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.

31 Jul 2013

Day 4

Lates last night hence the missing day. Yesterday was the day off so apart from gates and the coach to Street and relatively quiet day. Today a very early start 0645 to ensure gates open at 0700. Bit of a rush as have to ensure team members get some breakfast. Solution was to send 5 people out until about 0815 and then do a change round and then back to about 3 hour duties. Did have a couple of 'emergencies.' One turned out to be a mistaken fire. The other was no,t but thanks to prompt action by a delegate and rapid attendance from the Stewarding team only minor damage was caused.

29 Jul 2013

New Wine Day 2

A little wet and thundery day. For those that know the site can turn into a swamp very quickly, however today we were lucky and with a help of a few sandbags most delegates seem to remain dry. My teams main duty today was to man seminars. This requires us to ensure the delegates arrive and depart safely and get what they require from the seminar. The main speaker in the Arena tonight was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. His talk was interesting and well attended even requiring an overflow venue. To me he seems a well informed, 'worldly wise' man.


28 Jul 2013

New Wine day 1

So day one over. Took a while to get up to speed with regard to my team and the site, which has changed slightly. Today we were on late shifts and covered gates, mobile and freezer packs. This is know as the 'Steward breaker' as it is a full on duty where we exchange delegates freezer pack for, hopefully, frozen ones. Apart from that and a little rain it was a fairly straight forward day.




16 Jul 2013

New Wine

Well it does not seem like a year that I was at New Wine. Last year was not the best. in fact I can't really remember much. Looking back I now see what my doctor said when I was discharged 'you do not realise how ill you are yet to be' He was spot on. Anyway that was last year. At present I feel much more like 'me' than I have in about a year, so really looking forward to it. I have been asked to be a team leader which I have accepted. I have also come to realise over the last year the real power of prayer and in reading and studying the Bible. I have seen a real difference in the way things have been going so New Wine will be an opportunity to give something back. I will also this year try and keep the blog updated and try and add some photo's.

Cyclists

As you know I have a 'love hate'  (mostly hate) relationship with cyclists. I find them in the main completely unaware/ uninterested in other traffic, the results of their actions and have a 'I am entitled to use the road' mentality. This may sound stereotypical but I can only speak as I find and see and the scary thing for me is that a lot of these people have little regard for their own lives. I had a run in with group in Bath who told me after they came straight across a give way sign that had I killed them I may have got points on my licence. But as I, and one of my passengers who wanted to get of the bus and kill them said 'but you would have been dead!' and this seems to be the problem they have no understanding that even if they are in the right, if things go wrong and they end in contact with a vehicle they will at best be seriously injured and at worst dead.
Anyway, back to the case in point. In Bristol there are a lot of cycle paths designed to keep cyclists safe. As I was leaving Temple Meads I had a cyclist doing his stuff in front. I did think why does he not go up the cycle path? Anyway he waited for the light to change and then struggled up in front completely ignoring the safe cycle path to his left. I then had to indicate and stop all the traffic behind to get past him and continue on there was a symphony of car and bus horns behind me as everyone else struggled to get by. I arrived at a set of lights and this chap appeared at the window, why were (and everyone else) so close, why did you toot.
I replied why not use the safe cycle path. what I got back amazed me. I am entitled to use the road, It is only a suggestion I use the 'safe' path you should all give us space etc etc. When he finished I asked 'but is it not safer??' he replied I am entitled to use the road. When I got to the end of the journey several passengers commented on him one even left her number should I want to complain. So the question is why are these people so uninterested in their own safety? Even when steps are taken, that they demand, to protect them they choose to ignore them.

7 Jul 2013

Updating to Met office

For those that may be interested I am now sending weather data to the Met Office WOW (weather observation website) site. This for anyone to send data, pictures or comments on anything weather related.
You can find my site using the link below. Also worth a look around if you have a interest in the weather.

http://wow.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/view?siteID=64155283

5 Jul 2013

How to catch a bus

This week has had it's fair share of 'bus virgins'. One gent was over 50 and had lost his licence and this was the first time he had used a bus . So I though I would put together the Chris  foolproof guide to using a bus.

  1. Planning. Always try and check BEFORE you get to the bus stop. Most companies have their timetables on line or over the phone or you could even check at the bus stop before you travel. This simple step will avoid the 'I've been waiting nearly an hour for you' because you arrived at the stop 5mins after an hourly service.
  2. Signal. As the time comes that your bus should arrive. Get ready, stop looking at you electronic device etc and have all your bags to hand. As the bus approaches check the destination on the front and put you hand straight out to signal to the driver you want that bus. Always ensure the driver has seen you before putting you hand down.
  3. Money. Bus travel costs money so have it ready. Most fairs are between £2 - £7 so a supply of £1, 50p, 20p 10p will ensure you have some chance of having the correct money. If you only have notes don't slap it on the counter and announce 'single to town' Apologise for the note and most drivers will take it with a smile.
  4. On the bus. Once you have your ticket find a seat and settle down as quickly as you can. The driver will wait until you have seated so if they are late he and your fellow passengers will not take too kindly if you mess about. If you do have trouble with movement please tell the driver so they know there may be a delay.
  5. Arriving. If you do not know exactly where you need to get off, ask the driver. That way you can ensure you do not miss your stop. If you do know ring the bell in plenty of time and wait for the bus to stop before making your way off the bus thanking the driver as you leave.
There my simple guide to bus use. Hope it helps.

My weather data