Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Free entertainment!

Today is Tuesday and I have a rare mid-week day off. The sun is shining. Bonus.

I was snoozing away at 08.00 am (unheard of) when KERRRRPPPPOW!, this crew arrived to unleash, noise, havoc and machinery in BS5. I had to move VX52 down the road and the fella who knocked the door to ask certainly didn't tickle the wood.

Anyhow, I moved the car, got a fast pot of tea on and for the last 45 minutes have been enjoying the noise and the hollering and the kit!

It reminds me of a visit to Shanghai in 2002 when my brother and I cracked out two beers and the kitchen chairs to watch some concrete pouring on a city street near his apartment. I think the Chinese construction dudes thought we were tapped...

Here's the scene in BS5. It is pretty entertaining stuff.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

That would be plenty...

Last weekend at the Dorset County Show, I happened across the Badger beer truck where a merry crew were dishing out small tastes of their new beers. I like Badger beer very much -  they have lots of brews and a marketing campaign that is smart and fun but not too up itself.

In this picture of hope, I am entering a competition to win my height in beer! At 195 cm/Six four and a wee bit, I would dearly like to win.

No news yet from this eagerly entered competition.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

A country show

I do enjoy a country show and the Dorset County show was the last hurrah of the summer.  It took place last weekend and I attended with my mum and dad, aunt and uncle, first cousin and her son Lucas, who is a terrific ball of fun at 4 years old.

Before I attended, I had a tick list of show stuff that I wanted to see (detailed in the previous post). As tick lists go, it was a good haul and I added to it unexpectedly too!

Here are some pictures from the day. The start was just fine with the last run of the summer special train from Bristol to Weymouth. A weekend off and it started with a geeky Class 43. I rode the one pictured here but liked my attempt at artistry by snapping another one through the window.

Various other pics: giant veg, tractors, a beer tent, the big wheel and hairy piglets!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Last gasp of summer

This weekend I am off to the Dorset County Show. It is held at a show-ground near Dorchester and good weather is on the cards. It has been a tumultuous week in BS5 (of which more in a few days' time) and a weekend of larking about is most welcome.

I am travelling down on The Weymouth Wizard, the last summer run of an Inter City 125 seaside special from Bristol. I am very excited about this part as it's a train journey, not for work and on my favourite machine!

At the show I am looking forward to ticking off:

  • Pigs
  • Sheep
  • Moo Cows
  • Chickens
  • Working dogs
  • Vintage Tractors
  • Combine Harvesters
  • A quality pork pie
  • The Badger Ales tent

Show pictures to follow!

Friday, 29 August 2014

NATO visits Newport. Tidy mind, Spa.

You knows it!

NATO is coming to Newport on September 4th and 5th.

150 world leaders, 10,000 staff, 2000 journalists and 9000 coppers.

Every news outlet is reporting the NATO summit as Cardiff and whilst it maybe the Welsh capital, reporting Cardiff is still a sloppy mistake. Newport needs its publicity and this is surely it?

Barack O' and world leaders will be visiting to hammer out our great world issues. However, I am sure they will be in the bubble and shielded from the real thing that Newport offers. It isn't great.

To help the NATO bubble this 9 foot steel fence is right up around the whole venue. It is in place for miles and miles and miles (nine miles all told).  I drove past it today coming back from my folks' house to BS5.   How much did it cost and what does it say about NATO to have that much security? I bet the venue will be as tight as a gnat's chuff.

Newport is the town where I went to school, met best friends, and bagged my qualifications for University and beyond. It is not a town famed for beauty, tourism or culture. Check out this Alicia Keys parody. The guy in the video (Rhys) fronts the band GLC and was a couple of years below me at school.

You knows it Newport...tidy.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Ice Bucket foolishness

2014 has been quite the year for charities getting wise to the power of social media.

You know how it goes, do something silly and foolish, upload it to Facebook,  nominate a couple of your mates to do the same and into the bargain donate to charity - a good idea.

Naturally when Cancer Research UK rocketed the trend with the No Make Up Selfie in March, I did not get nominated (and they raised £7m). However, the latest ice bucket challenge has reached BS5 as it favours boys and girls equally . Kersploooooooosh with cold water and donate to charity to do so, then nominate two or three mates to do the same. Young Thomas Walsh nominated me along with his mum and little sister after he did his, and in turn I have nominated two good University mates and SiL's son!  Here is the video I uploaded.

Once I was dry I donated £3 via a text message to Macmillan Cancer Support.


Friday, 22 August 2014

Hire car eejits...

I work for a birdy charity and 99% of my travel is by train in order to minimise the carbon footprint we put out. All to the good but it takes forever to get to a destination to actually start my work. No complaints here though, trains are my thing.

Occasionally I have to hire a car for a drive of a couple of hundred miles. It is normally a wee roller skate, suited entirely to economic city driving. However, on this hire I scored a bit of an upgrade. This is a Nissan Juke and has a decent sat nav and a parking camera.

I am a bit miffed that it arrived today (Friday, 3.30) for hire on Tuesday next week; parking is already tight in my street as next door seem to be  running a clandestine and noisy Romanian people trafficking/scrap metal outfit from their house, and the cars and vans are frequent and endless. I am not insured on it for another three days, so there it will sit, stealing my neighbour's slot. And it will remain in situ' all next weekend too after I park it up and it comes off hire next Friday afternoon.

I think the firm who dropped it off have a number plate tailored to their drop off policy.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Water Bricks

I cycle around the BS5 and BS2 area a very good deal (they neighbour each other). I really enjoy it and one of my favourite bits of the area is shown here. This is the end of Oxford Street, a street on the way to the cheese grater bridge and Bristol Tempe Meads.

The pleasure I have in this road is that when cycling over these bricks, they all move and make noise due to the subsidence of the road and their floating  state. It is a most satisfying noise and the wobble is kinda' cool too. When it has hammered down with rain, you can hear and feel the wash of water underneath, prompting even more subsidence. I thought it was somewhat niche liking this and I had kept it quiet, but it turns out my bro' likes it too (no great shock, I suppose)

So here it is for public consumption, if I am honest, I always knew it was BlogBS5 gold....


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Tweeting my Blog.

This morning, I am blogging from a motel in Leicestershire in the East Midlands.

I am working another weekend (my fourth of late) for the cause.  This time it is at The Birdfair, pretty much the largest international gathering of those who get their kicks from birdwatching (I have my vices, but this is not one of them). 

Sunday is the last shout and for our retail team, it is break down and take down day too. That always takes longer than planned and I suspect I will miss my last connecting train home tonight, so it's random overnight locations to come....

I have encountered Bill Oddie, mind you.

Here is some retail action...and Bill. I have to say, meeting Ping was much more of a kick. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

This is a big day...

My friend Mike is the most musically articulate and literate person I know. There isn't a tune he can't reference to another, be it via a sample or an artist or a similarity to another track.  For most of the late eighties when we were at school, other than liking a bit of Prince (and that was via you, Banj') , I kinda' coat tailed Mike musically.

Thus today is indeed a big day when, after 30 years of friendship Mike messaged me to say...'I'm about to go for a run and I've got your Delorean Dynamite track lined up. You've introduced me to music. This is a big day'.

Have a listen yourself...if Swap Shop, Space Hoppers and Chopper bicycles were in your youth it will echo your growing up days.

A big day indeed.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Ping!! In and out of London....

This week my work took me to our London office on Petty France (a road in Westminster, SW1 and a moment away from St James' Park and Westminster).

I enjoy going into London because it is my favourite train route of them all (to Paddington station), to a happening place with a lot going on, and frankly for a day a month that is vastly untaxing.

The structure of the day was typical, a 1-2-1 with my boss first thing and then a shared meeting with the other fella who does my job, reviewing our stores and reporting back on the most recent month's commercial trading across the UK. Between us we cover England, Wales and Scotland and a fair few ££ of turnover. I work hard at the prep' before hand but the delivery is easy-peasy.

I was into London early and took a wander up Palmer Street to the corner of Victoria Street and Buckingham Gate. I rarely have time to appreciate the office locale and its proximity to London stuff. This was a new view for me and I really liked this pub, nestled amongst new office blocks. The Albert opened 169 years ago in 1845 as The Blue Coat Boy but was renamed when Prince Albert checked out. Here is my picture of it - rather pleased with it. Bagged the bus too!

After my meeting I caught the tube to Paddington, watching the mix of nations on the journey.  I bagged  the 4.30 service and my seat of choice (the first two in the carriage are not reservable so they are easy to bag but most people hurtle past them). It was the one here on the right, train fans!

Just before the off a lady asked if she could take the window seat next to me. She settled in and I asked if she wanted her stuff on the shelf above - she declined and thanked me for the offer, and whaddayaknow, I recognised her straight away as Ping, the rather attractive and exceptionally talented amateur cook who won this year's Masterchef! Left her to it, but conversation came naturally and I told her I thought she was terrific on the TV. She thanked me and we chatted most amiably about it all. She said that the morning after the series finale went out on TV her life was completely changed, for the good! It was cool to meet her and she was charming, chatty and grounded. She may not be blogging about meeting me, of course!

Ping did not ask me for any recipes from the BS5 book of second breakfasts and evening compilations.

#masterchef #Ping #Paddington #PalmerSt #Class43 #Intercity125

Monday, 11 August 2014

Groovin' on a Bristol afternoon.

With thanks to the Pete Tong/Ritchie Cole inspired title, here is a wee post about a cycle ride this Monday afternoon.

I travel a good deal on the train and I am pretty organised about booking tickets ahead and at minimal cost to my work expenses budget. Thus I planned tickets for the week and duly and cycled off to Temple Meads for fares into Slough, London, Birmingham and Oakham across the rest of this week.

My ride took me to Queen Ann Road, site of The Rhubarb Tavern. On thinking back now, the cones were probably laid out to prevent people using the road as the tarmac was still pretty new and had that nice smell. Oops.

I hope the tread on my tyres is not unique or traceable to BS5. Kinda fun though!

As you can see from that picture, there was a mighty crane behind The Rhubarb - even more excitement! I liked the green and orange Scania paint job.

After stopping to look here awhile (and spotted by the Banksman), it was on to Temple Meads to park up my bike in Brunel's original tram shed where work shelled out £163 for trains.

After that I made a point of going through a new tunnel my brother and I discovered at The Dings a couple of days ago!

It's all go, Groovin' on a Bristol Afternoon...