You can’t always get what you want

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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 guess you always knew

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Allotment

I am way behind with the plot this year, this is mostly due to a chest infection which has lingered for about six weeks and has made me feel like an 80 year old. Things are returning to normal health wise but the rain has benefitted the grass and weeds so once again I am playing catch up. The stuff I have got planted out is doing well, but I have much less of it. It was getting me down until Sunday when I had an epiphany moment, I had to remind myself why I have an allotment and what I enjoy the most about it. It’s easy to loose sight sometimes, so I have decided to make about 20% of my plot for the wildlife. I will put a wildlife pond and fill the surrounding area with flowers which attract bees such as ragged robin. The ground cover will also be good for beetles and such.

I have had a bumper crop of Strawberries, Gooseberries Cherries this year, I will also end up with a bucket full of Redcurrants by the looks of it.

Gooseberry gin in the making

Family

I was given a load of photographs from one of my mothers sisters recently. She could be a funny old bird, but I think she probably wasn’t the only one in her family who was, and when I think of the upbringing she had, I can sort of understand it.

My mother is in the centre with three of her sisters, to the left of her is Sheila and the far right is Flo, I think Ruth is on her right but I can’t be certain. The wedding was of her other sister Clare, she (Chris) would have been about nineteen at this time, Ron and Clare married in 1952. The lady on the far left I believe was Clare’s husbands (Ron Craddock) sister

I have been tracing my mother in law’s family tree for some time, her maiden name is Willoughby. I had a small breakthrough recently and opened up a straight five or six generation line back to the early 1700’s, this puts them in Cornwall. Its looking like the next generation back will place them in Colchester Essex, but I have yet to give it a sanity check to prove or disprove the Essex link.

My daughter started a new job this week and I am so pleased for her, she went to work for House of Fraser about six months before it was taken over by Mike Ashley’s mob and it became a hostile environment straight away. The company she is now working for is pretty much like all the other marketing companies she has worked for. While she was working her notice she got a call from her new company to say that they were having a team building weekend in the south of France in August and she needed to put it in her diary. Team building in the south of France, as my mother used to say, nice work if you can get it.

In other family news one of my cousins died a few weeks ago, I hadn’t seen him for years but he was a good bloke. It’s life I suppose, the previous generation, on my fathers side, have all gone now, and now it’s our turn. It still seems strange to me that my brother is 67 now and I’ll be 59 this year, I don’t know where it goes.

That’ll do for now

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55 Times round the Sun

Boat, Family, Photography, Radio

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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That got hot very quickly

Boat, Radio

Boat

This weekend I took a trip to the boat, I was very surprised to note that this is only our second visit of the year. In my mind we have been up about 4 times, however when I looked in my diary the first trip of the year was 3 months ago. The boat didn’t look too bad considering and once we had loaded her up I started her up, the engine hadn’t been running long when I noticed the temperature was up at about 90c. This is very high considering the engine had only been running 10 minutes, I felt the hot water tank and it was cold, not a good sign. I then checked the header tank and that was empty. In the ten years we have had Martha I have never had to top the coolant up. After some frantic checking I found the water pump had actually rotted through, this may have been a consequence of putting fresh anti-freeze in last year or it may have been the fact that the pump was probably 15 years old. I was dreading taking the pump off for fear of having bolts breaking in the block, but my fears were unfounded as the pump came out no problem. I have ordered the new pump and will be making a trip next week to fit the new pump.

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A tranquil Sunday morning at the moorings

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning I left Lesley asleep on the boat and set off for an early morning drive around the broads. I came across a nice church near Barton and had a walk around the graveyard. I always find this an excellent way to think, no distractions and as soon as you start feeling sorry for yourself you remind yourself that all the bodies under the ground would probably swap places with you in a heartbeat.

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Radio

I took the 897 up to the boat and my new Hi-Mound key, the conditions were rubbish. Coupled with that there was a great deal of interference on all bands. I have had this before sometimes it pulses and runs up and down the bands and sometimes it’s a constant buzz. While mooching around on Sunday morning I came across this place:

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Neatishead Radar Station

 

 

 

I am pretty certain this is where my interference is coming from. So no QSO’s this weekend.

All in all a good weekend

 

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Life is Good!!

Alf, Boat, Radio

It’s been a few weeks since my last post and this is mostly because for the first time in ages my personal life has been busier than my work life, this is not to say work hasn’t been busy, its just that I seem to be making a bit more of my personal time.

Morse/CW

I am now easily averaging 30 CW contacts per month and the majority of these are foreign stations, I am really becoming comfortable with this mode. I have now had 122 contacts so far this year and I have set myself some new goals regarding CW and that is to acheive 200 contacts by 1st October and 300 by 31st Dec. Again I think its a tall order but achievable. We’ll see how that goes.

UKAC

I missed the 2 metre UKAC this month, which is a first for me, but I did manage to score a few points on the 70cm contest the week after, but I still don’t have the patience to pick a frequency and stay put, this is clearly the best way to pick up the numbers but I just don’t seem to be able to stay with it. So I managed 16 contacts which is about where I’ve been for the past 6 contests.

Boat

We have managed to get up the boat almost every weekend for the past six weeks. I still have problems unwinding, but worrying about at home or worrying about work at the boat, I still know where I’d sooner be. I have just come back from Norfolk after another cracking weekend, we never went out, but had a great time on the moorings, we also took a drive down to Ranworth, one of our favourite places to visit on the boat. We stopped, had a coffee and watched the world go past. Alfie managed to have a couple of swims and I have never seen him so worn out. On Sunday morning I always cook cheese on toast for breakfast and Alf actually snored while me and Lesley ate our breakfasts.

We are up again next weekend and I am looking forward to taking Martha out.

Happy Days!

 

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