Monday, 20 April 2015

Mark, Lawson.

If you are a regular reader here you will know that my good pal Bazza passed last month. He and I met in 1991 at University, sharing a floor in a Hall of Residence. Bazza was called Mark in reality, but became Bazza after his delight in watching movies on our rented video recorder in Halls in that first happy year. Man, he worked hard at that, but he also worked hard at being a good man and a sci-fi spod.

I attended his funeral last week, and of course it was hard, but that's an indulgence when I think that his parents were there too and lowered his coffin into the ground. Easy for me in comparison to that task and I said my prayers quietly in my noggin throughout proceedings.

What was really very, very difficult about it was that Bazza was one of identical twins. Now I know identical is a binary thing - you either are or you are not, but Bazza and Lawson were *really* identical. Thus, I attended a funeral of a man I had met hundreds of times, but here in attendance was an in-every-way-identical man I had met maybe 8 times. Every nuance, look,  laugh and mannerism was there, and the voice was identical.  That was surreal. It was Mark, but of course it was not.

Lawson was 12 minutes older then Mark but now that gap will grow and grow and grow as the years roll on. Lawson was a stand-up  guy, leading things for his family and remembering the life of his brother.

Hard days.

I was glad to know you Bazza and I did not recall until funeral reminiscences that I  had kicked off your affectionate nickname.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

£412 in forty seconds

When I collected my new company car a handful of weeks back, it already had a crack in the windscreen. In fact, it was more a case of having a crack with a windscreen attached to it,  not the other way around, so hefty it was.

This week I managed my diary around a home call to have the screen replaced. Full of tech', spod excitement I set up a time lapse movie to capture the action.

Here it is.


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Easter Eating

I started Lent with my folks, visiting them for pancakes at  Glewstone Court on Shrove Tuesday and travelling up to Yorkshire the morning after on Ash Wednesday.  I also ended Lent at the house and in the forty days between, I wrote my Letters for Lent (a post to follow once the last letters have reached their recipients).

Spending Easter weekend in Goodrich was just fine, relaxing in easy company and enjoying the champagne transformation that makes Sal' even better company than normal (she did not disappoint and her speedier disposition to risque humour kicked right in at half a glass!)

It was a fine weekend with company, cooking, companionship, crosswords and a quick visit to Ferdy up the road. I mixed beer, champagne and red wine with a headache for my troubles.

Here's a section of pictures.

Friday, 3 April 2015


Today the house that is BlogBS5 is eleven. Actually, it is a touch beyond one hundred and eleven, but it's eleven under my stewardship.

Happy birthday house  and thanks as ever to Ma and Pa (and Uncle Ronnie) without whom I could not have moved in.


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

My pal Bazza.

Getting on for a scary 24 years ago I made it to University. I had a place on a degree course I thoroughly enjoyed (in time bagging a 2:1 in politics), and I went off to a place in halls of residence for my first year away.

Back in 1991 the internet existed on the IT sections of campuses and certainly not on phones, desktop PCs or watches, thus the thing to do for entertainment on our floor (after the pub) was to chip in 50p each per month and rent a tv and a VCR. This was cutting edge stuff but one fella alone made pretty extensive use out of this magic cooperative scheme. My pal Mark watched videos. A lot. So much so in fact that we called him Bazza because there wasn't a movie he hadn't seen and he was as wise on movies as Barry Norman himself. It stuck. Mark was Mark in week one but Bazza for the next two decades. Bazza, movies, HRG and a load of beers and laughs. 

Alas those decades ran out last Saturday and Bazza passed away after a long and hard struggle with the big C. Now this may sound cliched but I never knew Bazza to show anything but cheerfulness and generosity to everyone else at all times in his hard final year. He was a top fella and I'm going to miss him. 43 is just no age to go.

Miss you dude but thanks for all the foolishness over the years.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

VX52 goes north

After 90,000 largely happy and memorable miles across England, Wales, Scotland and much of Ireland, VX52 has left BS5 for pastures new.

I bought him 6 years and 4 jobs ago. He had 34,000 miles on the clock back then and this morning when he left, it was around 124,000. I kept him on for a few months whilst having a new company car, but with the tax and insurance due this month, it was time to part company. I was much more sad than I ought to have been for a machine, but he served me well and with many a memory of love, larks and happy holiday journeys!

I had been reluctant to get into gumtree and trade it and other such sites to shift VX52 but a pal urged me on and placed ads for me - the phone rang off the hook with about 18 offers in the first day alone, half of them for the asking price. In the end it was the ubiquity of Facebook that found VX52 a new home, and then from an ex BSFiver, my very good pal Walshy. I gave him mates' rates, a touch below asking price and it was a pleasure to sell that way, with a continued acquaintance, which is pleasing. Walshy came down last night from Manchester, we got the battery going this morning (it had drained charge these last weeks and the RAC helped out), and off he went today. Insurance cancelled, new Merc' behind VX52 in this first shot, and a pint raised his way later. The new one has a very big act to follow to give rise to such affection.

Farewell VX52 but not, I hope goodbye.


Monday, 16 March 2015

A week off

I am at home today having enjoyed a Monday week off. It's back to work tomorrow after my first days off in five months' duration at my new job.

Enjoying my house was a large and welcome part of the week, and not driving 600 miles in the week, but here's some other highlights too.

The week ahead had two training days, depositing current car and collecting new one, and of course a Solar Eclipse; rich pickings for blogging as March moves on.

Post politics pint

 Super omelette
 If the numbers come up
 Afternoon pint
 Another afternoon pint, with Judge Dredd
 Hound larks

 Geek purchase

 Tea in bed
 The business editor of the BBC and various political sketch writers

Sunday, 15 March 2015

2tb drive.

I'm more excited than is reasonably reasonable about this slim bit of geekery. As my Apple Mac approached its 1tb capacity, I explored storage solutions in order to thin things out a little.

With a healthy saving of 44% I purchased this on Amazon and I am having a bit of a spod about with it today. It has a 2tb capacity, so bring on the spaceships! 

Tb is not a reference to tablespoons (dad). 

It is also Mothering Sunday as I write and I made dinner for my mother (and Pa) last night and shared flowers today :-) x

Sunday, 8 March 2015


It was a mixed weekend a year ago but there was a good deal of happiness in it too.  I attended the wedding of good pals - Wide and I went to University together and I met his wife that day but had chatted and corresponded with her a good bit prior to that.

The Mac Pack were along too and we had a tremendous time introducing Cass and Mikey to drinking games (with junior beer on their part).

It is also a year on from flight MH170, and the frightening, unfolding story of that incident was a backdrop to that happy day in Fowey.

The sun shone, I was sufficient in my own company, and I danced.

Happy weekend.

Monday, 16 February 2015

And I would drive 10,000 miles

A while back I posted about Yolonda, the car assigned to me for the probationary period of my new role.  She is so called because her number plate ends YLA.

Yolonda is a cool character in Pulp fiction and hey, I could be a hitman with a cool car, meeting Yolonda at breakfast.

Four months and a day have passed since I collected said car, and I am holding on to her for a fortnight yet, until I take on my next and permanent car, which is in fact currently driven by my boss who is leaving on March 2nd.

In those working days I have driven 9822 miles, and so I will pass 10, 000 tomorrow as I  make my way to Shrewsbury. That is some going and it is the total mileage I have put onto VX52 in the last 18 months.

Where would I have travelled had I driven 10,00 miles in a round trip from BS5, just in one long journey, and not schlepping it around my Retail Area?

You know what - it's the same as Bristol to Bhutan and back.

There we are stats fans, another exciting post here at Blog BS5.

Bring on March, and with hope, onto the car in the last image here.