You can’t always get what you want

Wrightbus

I have worked for Wrights for over nine years now and the company is now battling for survival. In a well documented “leak” to Sky News, the company have now appointed Deloitte to find them an investor who is willing to put 30 million pound into the business to allow it to continue trading. Things are going to get very interesting over the next month and certainly a local DUP politician claims that there are only two weeks left to save the company. I have read some of the stuff on social media, which from what I can see are unsubstantiated, and it all looks like it’s going to get very messy. So I sit here contemplating my next adventure, at almost 59 I am probably well past my sell by date. I am going to have to look at my options. I would love to share more about the situation at Wrights but they are currently my employer so I would be foolish to publish anything, but I think it may be cathartic once this chapter comes to a conclusion. Watch this space!

The Boat

After an extended absence from Norfolk, this month I made my return. I was disappointed to see Martha in such bad shape but to be honest I had neglected her. So I have spent most of the month cleaning her up and bringing her back up to standard

A nice beer after working in temperatures exceeding 35c

I have now got her more or less ready for the boat safety certificate, which is like a MOT test, except that it lasts three years and is nowhere near as stringent. The BSC is to be carried out in a fortnights time and I apart for a little bit of fettling it should be about ready after one more visit next week. I am looking forward to spending more time on the broads again.

Orient

Our season tickets have arrived and our first game on the 3rd of August, roll on!

Here’s hoping that my next blog isn’t a view of the demise of Wrightbus from a London perspective

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I’ll be standin on the corner full of gin, when they bring your dead body in.

Its been a couple of weeks since my last post, but that’s not to say nothing has been happening.

Allotment

I have finally got my last courgettes from the plot, I have now dug up both plants, they were starting to suffer from leaf mould and I don’t think they would have bore much more. I have turned over the soil and put some manure in.

The onions are now coming up and Christ they are strong.

I dug my spuds up, they make it look very easy on youtube but I don’t think I had a spud that hadn’t been spiked with my fork. I got about 5lbs from the plants and considering they grew from a couple of jacket spuds we didn’t eat I think it did well.

My butternut and St Johns Squashes are growing well and the St Johns ones are already being taken home. I have planted some winter potatoes, these should be ready for the Christmas table.

I have planted some Parsnip, Cabbage and Chard seeds into the little greenhouse and these are shooting up now. And my tomato plants have been planted out and are flowering.

We still haven’t heard anything about the other half of our plot yet, but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.

This weekend I went to one of my cousins to pick up an unwanted 6ft x 6ft glass greenhouse. I can’t wait to get it erected, this will give me a lot more options with stuff to grow.

I had a pretty stressful week at work last week and on Friday evening I went up to the plot for a few hours. I was amazed how de-stressed I was when I went back home at sunset.

Orient

I went to the last O’s match vs Yeovil, the game was atrocious and Orient wouldn’t have looked out of place on the Hackney marshes on Sunday, in fact I think there are some better players over there. At the end the fans were shouting Becchetti out at the gallery. Becchetti is the clubs owner, what happened next beggared belief, the chairman just waved the supporters quite dismissively which made matters worse,  and then to put the tin lid on it all the fans clapped and cheered the Yeovil players off the pitch after booing the Orient players off. We are playing at home again on Tuesday evening and the fixture has almost become a side line to the inevitable protestations.

Watch this space.

Other news

I had an interview last week and the feedback from the agency was that I am now a firm favourite, time to start thinking about what I want to do. I will have a second interview in a couple of weeks so I have time to consider this, but its strange. I am now responsible for 30 staff and three business units and I am having crisis of confidence, I know this is because of my age and the time I have spent with my current employer, but its still difficult all the same.

Toni has just returned to Italy after being in New York for fashion week and a few days spent in Santa Barbara on the west coast. I envy her, to be that young and be paid to visit these places, she’s a lucky girl.

Boat

We spent last weekend at the boat and the weather was perfect, Martha behaved herself and we had a good trip visiting some of our favourite places. Alfie hurt his leg while we were up there, but it is better now. I think he may have a weak joint or muscle as this keeps happening.

I bid you a good evening and what’s left of your weekend

 

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55 Times round the Sun

Tomorrow sees my 55th birthday putting in an appearance. Last year I took a long look at my life and made a few decisions to change some things.

The changes I put in place are working out quite well, I am learning to let go of things that cause me grief or affect my mood or well being. I have had some family issues which were in the main caused by me, however the reaction from my mother and younger brother were not what I expected. Forgiveness from them is now out of the question and this hit me quite hard at the time. Over the past year I have come to terms with this and I am now comfortable with their decisions and am happy that I will never have anything to do with them again.

I also made the decision to get out more and I have taken up photography again and this is helping me do this. I can see this continuing at a good pace.

We have also made more use of the boat this year than we have for a number of years. We’ve even managed a week on the water and we have another 5 days coming up this week. We were considering selling Martha this year due to the lack of use, so this was our make or break year, I am pleased to say that Martha will still be a fixture and fitting for a few more years. Spending time on the broads also figures into my photography.

I renewed my Leyton Orient season ticket also this year, and so far I haven’t missed a game.

So I aim to continue upping my activity in a bid to reach retirement in a condition that I might be able to enjoy it.

In other news I was preparing Odin, my Land Rover, for MOT today. Unfortunately I have found some bad corrosion on the sills which is a bit of a showstopper as far as the MOT goes. So expect some photo’s in due course of my progress in welding in some new sills.

I am sitting in my living room having a glass of wine pondering my birthday, and the past year and I think I am altogether in a better place. So I raise a toast to the people who never made it through the last 12 months, and there have been a few.

Here’s to the next 12 months! Prost!

 

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I am an Island

Flippin hell, where has the time gone? Summer is now over and we are a third of the way into the autumn.

I have had a great summer and even a good September.

My camera skills, (not that I was anything more than competent) are coming back to me. I am now using a Canon 7D, I am really enjoying taking pictures again and I have even joined a website called meetup.com, it has tons of camera groups who meet up in places and set about taking picture. I haven’t been to any meet up yet as I don’t want to embarrass myself, but I know I will go soon.

 

During the 2nd week of September we took the boat out for a week, we haven’t done this for some time. We had a great time and we even managed to get on at Ranworth, this is Lesley’s favourite mooring spot. It was great to be out and about again and the boat performed well and without event. Alfie loved it and was as good as gold while we were out, he has settled into boat life very quickly.

We are off again for a few days in October.

Radio

Radio has been a bit quiet of late with many other distractions of late. I have been back to the radio club, but I doubt I will be going back on a regular basis. August and September were probably about the quietest months I have known since taking up the hobby. This can be blamed on the fact that we are quite low down in the sun spot cycle and the fact that there was quite a lot of solar flare activity which does play havoc with the ionosphere.

Things are starting to pick up again however, and I even managed to work a Canadian this week VO1MP, stangely enough he was my first Canadian contact when I first had a QSO with him back in 2007.

Work is getting a little problematic at the moment and I think it may be time to consider my options again.

Orient

I renewed my season ticket this year despite the league table drop and now have M115 for the year, my seat neighbours are a good bunch and I have a good spot. The season started well but we are starting to slip again, so watch this space.

 

Gott Mitt Uns!

 

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What’s my age again

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted and the main reason for this is that I have been flat out at the boat every spare moment I had, in fact I have just got in from another great though tiring weekend.

We took the boat out a couple of weekends ago and visited the White Horse in Neatishead, this used to be my favourite broads pub and was taken over a year or two ago, this was my first visit since it was taken over. We liked the pub because it was dog friendly, felt like a local pub and had great, friendly staff. I have to say I was relieved as apart from the facelift nothing had changed, great staff, great service and still dog friendly, I’m looking forward to visiting once the summer season is over. We got there lunchtime with the intention of stopping for one and then going back to the boat. We parked ourselves in the new yard area with the dog and was soon joined by a family who were on their first boating trip, they came from Whitstable and we sat there for a couple of hours sharing stories and enjoying each others company. It reminded us of the reason we like boating in the first place.

I have spent the last couple of weekends on the moorings, I have painted the decks and gunwhales and varnished the rear doors, it’s great seeing Martha looking good again. It has also been nice catching up with everyone again.

I’ll be up again next weekend to continuing with the varnishing, we plan to go out on her for a week in September, providing I can get the time off.

In other news I sat and passed my IOSH exam last week, this is a qualification in Health and Safety something I’ve been looking to do for some time.

Back to work tomorrow and time to make plans for next weekend.

Stay safe.

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Quietly now, as we turn the page

 

Another weekend at the boat, nice and peaceful

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I decided after last weeks fiasco at the boat that the engine needed a service. So during the week I gathered all the parts together needed to carry out an engine service. After a hectic week at work, on Friday afternoon I set off up the boat, a little later than I normally would, but was pleased that the by-pass at Thetford had relieved the normal traffic jams of the past. I arrived at Tescos Stalham by about 19:00, after a buying some provisions I boarded the boat and it was nice to be back. For some time I have been struggling with the boat as it seems every time I go up there I always have some work to do. However that said this weekend I had some work to do, but it wasn’t work that had to be done and that is the difference.

The weather was cracking, in the high 20’s and I opened up the canopy and settled in for the evening, in the knowledge that I had a busy day tomorrow.

Being a very light sleeper and suffering from Insomnia for more than 20 years I was really surprised to have slept in till 10am the next morning, I never sleep this long normally. I set about servicing the engine and changed all the filters and the engine oil. I also cleaned out the engine bilge, this had filled up recently when the water pump dropped all the coolant out. I have always prided myself on a clean engine bay but of late I have not been too attentive in this area. this took me most of the day and I’m pleased to say everything went to plan. On Saturday evening I sat on the front of the boat looking out into the marina listening to the birds and watching the Swallows diving and darting about picking up insects for their young.

I came back home on Sunday morning safe in the knowledge that the boat is shipshape and ready to go out when I come up next week.

I haven’t done much radio recently, unfortunately there has been a very large solar flare which has knocked most of HF radio comms for about two weeks now, however I did work my mate Bob, about half a mile away on the key today.

My new pedals arrived for my bike while I was away, these are Look KEO pedals, I have always used Look after trying Shimano and SPD. My old pedals are about 15 years old and the cleats are quite worn so its about time I got a new set. I am nearing the wait I feel comfortable with on my road bike and expect to be back on the road with it in about 7 days time, watch this space.

 

That’ll do for now

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Loneliness, is a crowded room

Friday saw my annual visit to the nurse, except that I have missed three appointments. So once we got the bollocking over she went on to read my results, advantage Honey. She was very surprised to see my recent blood test results. My HBa1C and fasting tests were down considerably on the previous results, she said I don’t know how you are doing it, just keep doing it. I have to say the biggest factor in my success is the Paleo diet. 20.5lbs lost so far.

After my visit with the nurse I was quite pumped up so I got home, cracked on with work and got finished by about half past two. Me and Alf then jumped in the car and set off for Norfolk.

You may remember that on my last visit my water pump failed on the boat. I ordered a replacement on ebay, this turned up and was the wrong one, so I ordered one from ASAP a very good boat parts suppliers in Beccles, like an idiot I went by the picture on the site and not the blurb and when trying to fit the pump on Friday night I noticed that the impeller was larger than the original pump and would not fit the engine.

Norfolk is like going back in time, and don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t change it for the world, but it is frustrating at times. ASAP the biggest parts suppliers on the broads doesn’t open on Saturday. I then spent the whole morning driving around Norfolk visiting boatyards trying to locate a replacement pump. I eventually found one at Thorpe at Kingfisher Cruisers. Really nice people!

Problem No 37!

I got the pump back and fitted it to the boat only to find that the impeller seemed to be snagging when turned by hand, not something you want when the engine is driving the pump at 1000rpm. So on closer inspectionit turned out the impeller was 80 thousandths of an inch to wide. I then spent the next 2 hours taking with a fine grinding wheel taking metal from the outer edge of the impeller. Eventually I managed to fit the pump and it turned freely. So I topped the coolant up adding anti freeze to the mix and started the engine up. The engine got up to temperature pretty quickly which is never a good sign. You guessed it, I had an air lock, this was borne out by the fact that I had no hot water from any of the taps. After a great deal of faffing around which involved getting burned I eventually got all the air out and managed to get some hot water. I had intended taking Alfie for a walk on the beach but unfortunately by low tide the rain was bucketing down, I had had a bad day and decided to go home, which we did.

Radio

The HF bands have been rubbish lately so I haven’t done any radio worth talking about.

Back to the boat again next Friday.

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