Sunday, 27 December 2009

packaging and global warming

well thats christmas over with for another year - time to start up on the cleanup operation

i have allready been down to the recycling bins with one load and it looks like i will have to go down again with another load if not two

why is there so much packaging and stuff on toys nowadays - it takes about an hour to get into them and a tool box full off tools and sharp knives to get them out

why dont they come with batteries in allready and how come it costs more for all the batteries than it did for the toy in the first place

why do annoying toys batteries last forever and the ones they want to use run out within seconds and need a degree in astrophysics to actually change

why even though i buy several wagon loads of batteries every year does some one buy a toy thats takes the only size of battery you dont have - and who thought up the idea of using watch batteries in toys - have you ever tried changing them !!!!!!!!

but as i say its over again for this year - back to normal again fairly soon

seasons greetings from me and mine to you and yours and where the hell has my screwdriver gone again - what do mean its not working i only changed the batteries half an hour ago

Monday, 7 December 2009

nice to know people do care

just a quick note to all you out there who called in to say hello
thanks for your concern and thoughts it makes me feel better to know people out there still have concern for other people than just them selves
it may come as a surprise to you for saying thanks but us drivers are well used to being little thought of by Joe public and it does get to you after a while so it makes a pleasant change to be appreciated if only for a little while !!!!!!!

if you have any appreciation left out there please pass on a little bit to any trucker out there as i am sure we would all be grateful for it - you know the score " one act of random kindness "

we are all out there just trying to deliver the goods and in turn to make an honest living to support our family

and a quick extra thought for the better halves back at home keeping it all together who rarely get to see us and aren't thanked often enough

better get off my soap box now - but thanks for looking

Friday, 4 December 2009

the view from the cab-a really bad day

so you want to be a truck driver ?
i bet you dont after you read this -
a day in the life ....

got parked up wednesday night in a good layby i know not too far from the motorway so to give me a good start for the morning

went to sleep late about ten-ish and happily entered the land of nod

woke up about half past four (early-as i had set the alarm for five) not feeling right at all - i was really desperate for the toilet (both ends) really desperate-so i did what i had to do and got up and went out of the cab

i walked round to the passenger side to the bin with my rubbish and got the shock of my life ....

i could see shrink wrap and cardboard every where and a huge hole in my curtain ...

its a drivers worst nightmare ...

i had been slashed and robbed through the night - i just looked at it turned round a few times to check - yes it was my trailer and no i wasnt dreaming it was happening and it was happening to me

i went back to the cab and phoned the police and gave them the story - they didnt seem too bothered but would come out ...

i made coffee and thought for a bit - better phone the boss ... bottled it and phoned the transport manager ... couldnt think straight and didnt want that discussion just yet

oo eck whats that ... needed toilet again - boy i dont feel well

police came and looked about a bit made sympathetic noises, took details and statement and went

phoned transport manager again and gave him the crack - i told him i had tidied up all the rubbish and re-secured the load as best i could but the curtain was totalled and i didnt think i could continue the journey with it in that state - could he find somewhere to get it repaired ...-....he would ring back

he rang back later and told me where to go - a firm we work with and not too far away who would help - only about 20 miles away but it would be slow going with the curtain in this state

30mph was the best i could do any faster and things were looking dodgy - i kept pulling into laybys to let the traffic past but it was still bad

made it in the end and was pleased to see them they had a look and agreed the damage was bad - but they would lend me one of their own trailers and tranship what was left of the load to get me on my way again - good lads

phone went - change of plan

the transport company we had got the load through wanted to send their own man to have a look - dont touch it and wait for him

went to the toilet again - bad but getting better

the man came took lots of pictures, catalogued everything and asked lots and lots of questions - he does this for a living and knows all about load thefts

he says they work in organised gangs and target loads by use of spotters who either follow loads or others that drive round in cars and slash curtains to see what is inside - if they see something they want they contact each other and you are hit later

the gang turn up later and pull up allong side you with vans with side doors in - open the doors lean across cut a hole in the curtain and transfer the load across until the van is full - this is usually over and done with in less than twenty minutes

they have a spotter who keeps an eye on the cab so as the driver does not disturb them - some of them spray chemical mixes into the cab vents or the night heaters - this drugs the driver and makes sure they dont wake up for a while until they have finished - probably explains why i felt so crap

anyway i spent most of that day there getting the curtain repaired and after all that i had to take the whole load back to where it came from as the customer would not want it now as it may be tampered with ...-...a really bad day

could have been worse at least i'm still here
they could have pinched the whole truck with load
where do they get rid of all this stuff and who buys it?
where can you park nowadays that is safe from scum like this?
its all probably a sign of how life is nowadays - how did it ever get this bad?
i'm only trying to do my job and you get trouble like this - its no wonder people dont want to drive trucks - cant say i blame them.............................

Saturday, 21 November 2009

cumbria floods in appleby

we have had i bit of rain this week in fact bloody loads of it
in just over a day we got four and a half inches of it - but considering it has hardly stopped raining for the past few weeks there was no where for it to goso hey presto it flooded the flood alarms went off in the morning and everyone put out the sand bags and the flood barriers came up - no problem they thought just another flood we are used to it - it happens often here ......

nope not this time, this was a lot worse than normal in just over an hour it was up and over the river bank and over the main road - a rise of about 6 to 8 foot from the normal height of the river
as you can see from the pictures no one is panicking they are just getting on with it - it has happened before and it will happen again - lots of expence and inconvenience not to mention huge amounts of cleaning up and drying things out

but appleby is a resiliant place and we will get over it give it a week or so and all will be back to normal - most normal visitors wont even know anything ever happened here
so why is this - look at the last picture and see why - big flood defences - these were put in years ago a great expence and keep the main part of the town from flooding
these are a combination of physical barriers and large water pumps which up to press have worked well - appleby with its history of flooding was well ahead of the game and worked hard to prevent flooding in the future - looks like it is time for an update but at least it saved us from the worst

my heart goes out to the people of the other towns who were flooded - cockermouth,workington,maryport,keswick etc - lets just hope their councils all bite the bullet and re-do their flood defences before the next freak storm - which seem to happen more often now with this global warming lark - and a special mention to the police officer who lost his life at workington doing his job trying to get people away from a bridge before it was washed away from underneath him - to his family our thoughts are with you

Saturday, 7 November 2009

bathroom update - getting there

i am quite proud of this photo - i know it doesnt look like much but it is the start of the next major task to do with the bathroom
this is the new fixed shower head and bracket on the wall ready to be plumbed in - so getting the shower working again
got the idea from ones we saw at b & q priced at about 2 to 3 hundred pounds for the set
i figured i just needed the bracket and big shower head for what i wanted to do so we set about trying to find them and at respectable price - well done to
e-bay again £10 - had to go to leeds to pick it up but still cheap so - job done
as you can see here the bath is done now and i made a bath panel from the same stuff i did the walls with
it looks good and is flush with the sides of the bath so takes up less space than the proper one which stuck out about 2 inch - its only a small bathroom
the new toilet is in and works well - the toilet seat was another e-bay find brand new of course - there is an e-bay shop that does loads of good designs and we liked this one
have put some paint on the new walls but it will take a few coats i think but it should look ok in the end
also we have done the floor - it is stick on lino tiles - we have used these before and as long as you hardboard the floor level they are great and never move - quick and effective
you can see on this one how patchy the walls are - as i said a few more coats of paint - and a bit of polyfiller on this bit should sort it
we are sanding the walls down beteen coats as we would like a smooth finish - hard work but worth the end result
the laundry basket is new as well our lass got it as it matches the theme - she is good at doing that sort of thing
you know the score
- men build houses but women make them into homes -

Monday, 12 October 2009

bathroom update

just a quick update here for you
just in case you were worried
the bath is in
and so is the sink
no where near finished yet but we are getting there

the walls are finished with the plastic sheeting i was on about
i must say it is good to use and put on and it looks much better for it
as i say not finished but getting there

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

bathroom-a quick 5 minute job(not)

well we got a start on the bathroom at the weekend

not a five minute job this but you hve to start some time so off we went

we have been collecting all the bits we need for a while now to try and keep costs down

the corner bath came from e-bay , the sink from a car boot at siloth(brand new in the box) and the toilet new in a sale at b & q

as you can see first job was strip all the old tiles from the walls

those of you that have done this know how easy this job is - all you have to do is tap the tiles and they just drop off leaving nice clean,level plaster ready to re-do
like hell they do - total pain job this - they come off eventually after lots of graft and take half the wall with them
quick phone call to our mate scouse our local tame builder and he came to the rescue with all the plastering gear and waved his magic at the two walled we wanted done and that was that

the other two walls dont need plastered as they are being covered by the new covering which is not tiles it is plastic sheets which will be much quicker and maintenance free when done

that was friday night and saturday taken up so saturday nights job was to get the bath back in and usable if pos as i was now black as the ace of spades and would need a wash

its a good job b & q stays open till late as none of the plumbing would match up as some was imperial and the rest metric

so a late night rush to penrith and back before it shut was in hand and i got the bits i needed and after some choice words and application of brute force it was in and the water came in by the correct taps and went back out of the plug with no leaks - job done

quick one here is there an easy way to level a bath on its legs as it took me forever and needs ten hands about baby size and a vice like grip
next time putting the plastic panelling in and what it looks like now

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

weekend away in the £20 caravan

look at this view - nice isnt it - this is just up the road from our house at a place called wild rose caravan park - its on the net look it up

so we took the £20 caravan out for a shake down and a try out to see how it all worked
it all worked well and the awning we had lying about fitted as well - bonus
we only stayed for two days (one night) but it was long enough to try it all out and test everything and it did go well
it did rain for a bit and we stayed dry , it got a bit cold and we stayed warm so i would say 'result' and well worth all the effort
next job plenty of polish and its ready for lots of weekends away over the indian summer were going the get this back end
inbetween hands we have started to put a new bathroom in the house(big job) - never a dull moment at our house
pics and words to follow - watch this space

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

the view from the cab

car drivers are stupid

bit general that but bear with me and you may see why

approaching roadworks etc the traffic allways backs up why? - its the chancers in the outside lane trying to get in at the last minute - yes you have seen it and yes its all their fault and you are perfect of course - or are you? - if you are one of the ones who let them in at the cones you are just as bad because if we all stopped letting them back in they would not do it in the first place - get yourselves in the correct lane by at least the 600yd marker and keep the traffic flowing and we can all get there quicker

the third lane slip road manouvre

yes we have all seen this and boy is it annoying and damn suicidal to say the least
if you see the mile marker for your junction you should be getting accross to the inside lane ready for your exit by at least the 1/2 mile marker - yes you will probably have to slow down to do this and yes you may lose valuable milliseconds on your journey but have you ever seen the damage a wagon does to a car when it 'T' bones it?

little point of note here - crash tests are done by driving into walls and things like other cars and usually test for front impacts and some even for side impact as these are the most common none of these tests involve ploughing a 44 TON wagon into them - odds are if a wagon hits you you wont be in any fit state to argue about it - its your life think about it

slip roads

your comming down the slip road and joining the road what do you do?
if the roads empty no problem just keep indicating and join the road into the first lane and away you go
the problem comes when ther is other traffic on the road
valuable thing to remmember here those dotted lines to your right are give way lines which means you have to give way to whatever is already on the road
if you are lucky some one will see you trying to join and if they can will move over a lane and let you out if not its up to you to give way of course and that usually involes having to slow down and losing valuable milliseconds again

thats it for the rant this week as you can guess i have been cut up a few times this week so have to get it out of my system
a big thankyou to the other drivers out there that have given way and driven while thinking of other people as well - you are few and far between but much needed - have a good week!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

£20 caravan update

its the £20 caravan looking very respectable at last so read on and see what we have done

you will remember that mass of wires i had to sort out - well it took a while but i have bossed them and nearly every everything works now

scrubbed the outside again so getting better now - still needs polished but that can wait

the floor is all down now and looks good - walls painted looking brighter

all cleaned washed and polished looks and smells much better

see the mass of wires has now gone - all works but just wired into blocks for now - i need to find some switches and then i can make a panel to cover the wires and put in all the switches and it will look nice - but for now it just works even if it doesnt look pretty

Sunday, 23 August 2009

£20 caravan update

these pictures are all over the place as my photographer is still training so i appologise in advance for your sore necks

what do you think this is ?
this is the muck out of one cushion after using the new toy to clean them with

this is the box of the new toy and a fabulous thing it is too

these are some of the cushions after being cleaned and dont they look better

it wasnt just the inside stuff that was getting clean this is me scubbing clean the out side
its amazing under all the moss and green stuff its actually white

doesnt that look better - almost respectable now - also you can see in this shot the new electrical hookup i have put in - what you cant see is the new fusebox and circuit breakers on the inside - better safe than sorry

got this bit to sort out next - this is where the zig unit should be but isnt so all i have is a mass of wires with nothing to wire them into - could be interesting this bit

another action shot this - now its a bit cleaner inside we couldnt get all the marks of the walls so i decided to have a repaint - it'll take a couple of coats but it looks better all ready

just an interior shot this to show you what its starting to look like

same again here

Here are the little darlings at morecombe having fun in the sun .The youngs trying out the skate park

here we have a nice random piece of farm machinery

now the secret is to work out what it is and whats it for ??????

Sunday, 16 August 2009


been out and about today and went to a bit of a do at the local animal rescue centre - the same one where we got the dog from

it was a good turnout with plenty to do - lets hope they raised plenty of money as its for a good cause

this is the youngest boy doing a good impersonation of a dalmation - can you tell one from the other ?

here we are at last a nice teaser shot of the amazing £20 caravan - this is a before picture as we saw it listed on e-bay
when we got there we realised this must have been an old shot as it was even worse

right - sunflowers

here are some nice pictures of the sunflowers in our garden -

i have these in the garden and do not need to take a drve out and take photos of some body elses

as you can see they are getting kind of big now and havent stopped growing yet

this one here is ten inch across so far and still has some growing to do

this is a nice shot accross the acreage - doesnt it look much bigger without the pool ?

Sunday, 9 August 2009

caravan update

worked on the £20 caravan again this weekend and have cleaned and bleached right through - looking a lot cleaner now and smells much better.

opened up and cleaned and polished/repaired all the windows

all curtains have been washed twice now and have discovered they have a pattern on them and they look quite nice

the cushions have come clean also and they to look good

started laying a new floor which is beech laminate and is looking good so far and should be a lot easier to keep clean

it was missing some floor vents so bought some secondhand off e-bay and i fitted them this weekend perfect fit and look good too

also missing was the main electric hookup point so e-bay again but havent wired that in yet as didnt have time but have checked it for size and it does fit

hopefully next weekend i will tackle the electrics both 240 and 12 and see what works and what doesnt and repair as needed

the gas hob is scrap so has gone to the tip and am looking through e-bay again for a replacement

the built in microwave is beond cleaning so have sourced a replacement the same size and will be fitting that

the acreage is doing well the pool is down and put away for now the sunflowers have just started to flower and look great - i picked what beans were ready last week and put them in a bucket and put them out front with a free sign on them and they all went
have planted a second crop of peas just out of interest - lets see what happens

a scooter arrived in the back of a van today its a peugeot , its yellow , and after a few hours it now starts and drives - another project

its all go as usual but all is well with me and mine - hope all is well with you and yours !!!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

short one for now
get ready to cringe
went and bought a caravan today
and it cost the grand sum of £20
if you think our gill has her work cut out - thats nothing
all will be ok in the end
no photos - just let your mind run riot
it will get there in the end

Sunday, 26 July 2009

todays flower

well lots of flowers today

dont ask me what they all are as i dont really know

<- this one is my courgette plant

this is one of the pots

this is the butterfly bush - a nice close up shot i thought - well worth growing one of these as your garden is full of butterflies if you have one of these.

this is another on of the pots - bit of a selection in this one

as you can see the flora and fauna is well underway on the acreage

just goes to show you can do a lot with a small space if you think about it

all is well here with me and mine - and i hope all is well with you and yours

Friday, 24 July 2009

oh the joys of living in cumbria - the only place in the world you can get four seasons in one day on a truly regular basis

as you can see by the photo the rain is bouncing of the pool - i would'nt mind but half an hour earlier i had just emptied about a foot of water out of it as it was too full
the last picture is only ten minutes later and we have bright sunshine with light breeze - yeah i know it could be worse - but this is supposed to be summer and we are going camping next week

as you can see the scaffold thing has worked and the sun flowers are recovering - now up to 7ft and still no flowers as yet but they are starting
the acreage (behind the sunflowers) is also doing well - hardly any peas left now as the kids keep eating them - the beans are well ready now and are hanging with massive , bulging pods - still no idea what to do with them
still better go now and empy more of the pool out again and see if the rabbit has drowned - probably better hurry in case it snows next

Sunday, 19 July 2009

end of another week and time to update you all with news.

the sewage problem is sorted - i got the insurance company out and they sent the boys round and two vans later they have it all sorted out and both the smell and the mess has gone
- no photos or long winded explanation of all the ins and outs of it as this is me not our gill and besides you might be eating your tea

as you can see things are growing well on the acreage this is the beans which are allmost ready to pick

any ideas of what i am going to do with them as the kids wont eat them and im not a big fan either?
we had some really bad rain on friday and the wind was hellish - really back end weather -

the sunflowers took a real hammering and all fell over

the ones we could save have all out grown the canes i put up so we needed a new plan

so what do you think of that - it is scaffolding it might not look pretty but it is working

the sunflowers are well over six foot now and not a flower to be seen so god knows how big they are gonna get - ive got some more scaffold just in case

the butterfly bush has exploded into flower and we are now surrounded by bumble bees and small butterflies - nice

as you can just see the pool is now crystal clear with the chlorine shock tablets we got off e-bay

just disolve them in a bucket over night tip them in and run the pump for a few hours and hey presto one clean pool - much recomended

its our wedding anniversary this weekend

7 years so looked it up as we always do and its wool or copper for 7 years so i looked and looked and didnt find any thing i liked so off we went down to kendal and bought the good lady a new hardwood patio set

top romantic or what!!!?

it is nice - and i will get round to oiling fairly soon as i dont think it has a lot on it so better safe than sorry as it wasnt cheap

the good lady bought me a toy sheep(wool)and and a garden wind vane(copper)

i lost again lets hope i do better next year(any body know what 8 years is ??)

lastly a bit of live stock news - this is the rabbit who is called roger
a very happy rabbit at the moment a he is getting all the casualtys from the bad weather and is eating well to say the least
the other live stock - pongo is still doing well and is standing guard duty on the butterfly bush as he likes to chase and ear the bumble bees - yes he is daft - so fits in well round here