Monday 17 January 2011

Flu again...

Can't safely go trucking with flu.
Neither can one do much computing with a streaming nose!
The first bout started on Boxing Day and lasted nearly two weeks. A couple of days out last week and then I got floored again on Thursday.

I was finally desperate enough to look at th NHS direct website 2 days ago. Did I find the information I wanted? No. Where was the way to diferentiate between swine flu and any other ('ordinary'?) sort? Where was the information about incubation periods - so that I can work out who to blame?

Why do people go to work (or anywhere else) to spread their bugs around?  If one is in regular employment there is no excuse, take the time off. Go sick. That way those of us who only get paid when fit to work can earn some money!

(grumble moan etc etc)

Friday 14 January 2011

Wednesday - the thaw gathers pace...

I suppose it was inevitable that once I decided to do this blog that the daily sorties would become uneventful!

Anyway, on a trip round and through the West Midlands, not only were al the overhead signs blank again but the Coventry Canal and the Birmingham & Fazeley canals appeared ice free everywhere I saw them - at Polesworth, Tamworth & Tyburn.  On the other hand, our own Erewash Canal was still solid in the lower reaches - only clearing today! That's the first time since November 2010.

Tuesday 11 January 2011


Uneventful trip round Redditch and Coventry Arena. The traffic flowed smoothly and none of those irritating overhead signs seemed to be in use anywhere - very unusual. One day soon I will write a diatribe about them and what an utter waste of money they, and those who administer them, are - but not today!

The most exciting thing, just on the last few hundred yards back to the yard, was passing an oncoming fellow M&S driver and hearing the horrendous jangling of metal from the rear of his trailer! I was trying to find out who he was when he reappeared at the yard. The rear steel 'bumper' had failed at one end and dropped to the ground just after he had gone out the gates.  It doesn't imply much about the build strength of the new super dooper 'tear-drop' trailers!

Also of interest was that the Coventry Canal at Polesworth had broken ice on it for the first time since November! Someone had obviously been through breaking what still appeared to be a couple of inches of ice. That would not have been easy going. Also at Coventry Arena, the ice on the Coventry Canal arm was broken too - not quite so thick there though.

Sunday 9 January 2011

The New Year

It started with the 'flu. Yes really the flu, not a mere cold. It started with a sore throat on Boxing Day and has only just really felt like it has gone away. After a brief respite last Monday (3rd) when I felt able to work again, there was a relapse for the rest of the week. This was all the more annoying because I had been looking forward to some extra money working all the bank holidays that this particular 'Season of Goodwill' has given us. Its unusual to get three such days PLUS the weekend special rates.

At this point in the blog it is probably worth explaining that I work through an agency and can therefore pick and choose the work I do and when and if I want to do it. Its very handy that our children have left home and SWMBO and I can have our 'weekends' out during the quieter days when everyone else is working. Weather permitting.

Anyway, on the 3rd, drove to Shrewsbury for M&S. Shrewsbury is possibly my favourite city to visit in the UK. Quite why I feel an affinity with the place I don't know but I do. I love its mix of historic and modern and the cleverly unobtrusive ways the modern shopping centres have been discretely fitted in behind the older city centre shops. Inevitably to get there you have to pass through all the usual suburbian mush and 'out of town' shopping experiences (ie supermarkets :-)) but the city itself has much of interest and many of the sort of interesting shops you used to get everywhere (but don't any more) mixed in with all the usual chains and things you would expect to find.

Friday 7 January 2011

It begins...

Ok, I'm new to blogging, and relatively new to trucking. It was a midlife 'career choice' forced on me by redundancy in 2007. Prior to a job at Nottingham University - where I went on a 'temporary' technician's post in 1978 - I had been a white van man. During my 28 year at the Uni, I always said that if I got made redundant I would go for my HGV Class 1 - or as it is now known an LGV C+E!

The object of this blog is to inform, educate, complain, and occasionally rant, about our transport system.
So here goes...

Firstly, about that Class 1/LGV C+E thing.
What kind of an idiot ever thought that would catch on? 

Here we are several years down the line from the change and local authorities are still putting up signs saying 'No HGVs' and the like. Why? because, as everybody knows, LGV stands for 'light goods vehicle' and has done so for decades. It will remain so for decades.

Also, whilst I can understand the logic of the C+E thing (ie C[=LGV] + E[=trailer]) it really is not good is it?
I have already lost count of how many times a month I have to explain this stuff!