Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Remembering 1989

Hello. Let's do something different tonight. I've been looking through my diaries to see what I was doing on this day, sometime in the past. So, going back to the 9th of February 1989, it was a Thursday. On this night I was sleeping on a ferry boat crossing the channel from Felixstowe to Europort. 
The entry in my diary reads......Start work at 7am. I went to Cliff Hill Quarry which is near the new service area at the junction of the A50 and M1. It wasn't far to go. I had to move a crusher, then I had to take a 50 foot conveyor to Thurmaston, and bring another one back. I finished this by 2.45pm so I went back to the yard to get the lorry ready for the Rotterdam job. 
I was booked on the 10.30pm ferry so I left as soon as I was ready, and arrived at Felixstowe at 7.10pm. While I was waiting for boarding to start I chatted to the driver parked next to me, and he was helpful. Once on board I found my cabin and had a shower. Then I met the driver, Brian, and his mates in the bar. All the food was included and we chatted and played cards. I went to bed just after midnight. We are due to land at Europort at 7am. 
Friday 10th February. I got up at 5.30 am our time and put my clock forward one hour. I had breakfast and got off the boat and headed for Rotterdam. I found the centre OK but then had to park and ask the way, and found the place. 
It was difficult to back inside the building and get under the crane. Loading took all day. It was printing press machinery which was covered in black ink. I had to keep shunting the trailer backwards and forwards to get under the crane. After sheeting my load I eventually got away at 6 pm and found my way back to Europort quite easily. I retraced my route and went out of the city the same way as I went in. 
Back at the port I met up with the same gang and we crammed into Brian's cab to play cards while we waited for loading. We boarded at 10 pm and sailed at 11pm. Shower, drink, and dinner again. I am pleased to be on my way home, all I have to do is get through customs tomorrow. They say it could take ages, we will see. 
Saturday 11th February. Breakfast then disembark at 7.10 am. It took two hours to clear customs. The paperwork was ready from the clearing agents. I saw Ginger on his way out while I was waiting. I drove straight back to the depot at Ellistown Coalville, without stopping, 3 hours 45 minutes. After I parked my lorry I drove home and walked in the door at 3pm. I felt tired so I had a nap on the settee, then went to the paper shop. I stopped in tonight. 
This is the lorry I was driving, but not the load I was carrying. I picked this water filtration plant up from Gloucestershire and took it to Goole docks where it was loaded onto a boat. It was 13 feet wide, 17 feet high, and the total weight was 70 tonnes. The lorry is plated for 75 tonnes gross weight. I had a mate with me and it was a Police escort all the way.

I remember it well, my first trip across the channel in a lorry. I was very nervous about driving on the other side of the road and when I got off the boat I went very slowly so as not to make a mistake. A convoy soon formed behind me, I hope they weren't mad at getting stuck behind a nervous driver.

We went over with empty trailers as we were picking up loads for a British company, to bring them back to Preston. I say we because there was a lot of loads, they stripped the print works bare and removed every last nut and bolt. We were spread out at intervals and went one at a time because there was only room for one lorry under the crane at a time.

The camaraderie at the docks was great, the other drivers treated me as one of them. They knew it was my first time and they gave me lots of useful information. I went back several times for more loads, and also went to Amsterdam and  later on to Germany. By the end of it I was feeling great, now I could say I'm a continental driver. More experience to add to my CV.

Aaaaah, they were good times, Leicester Heavy Haulage was the best job I ever had. It was a brilliant time to be a lorry driver.

Thanks for popping in. Catch you soon. Toodle pip.
PS, don't forget the Jeremy Vine Show Radio 2,  tomorrow at 12.30pm.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Keep popping up.

Hello again. I wondered if that article would surface at some point. As it's been two weeks since the first one  was published in the Yorkshire Post. I thought the Mail might have ditched this latest one, but no, there I am again popping up all over the place. Strange how they haven't used any of the photo's they took though. The man kept having trouble with his camera not flashing, maybe that was the problem. I've also been on the Take a Break Facebook page as well, funny how they all want to get in on the act. I haven't spoken to them so they just cobbled something together from other articles. Tons more comments have been flying around as well, a lot of them negative, I replied to some of them, but it really is a waste of time.

I did get to Crafty Club this morning, and I've been on the phone a lot this afternoon. So what did I have for my lunch today? Here it is, tuck into three different boxes, salad, pasta, and mixed bean salad. Couldn't be bothered to put it on a plate. Save on washing up, ha ha.

Me walking the streets in the dark, doing my three miles. Woolly hat to stop the wind blowing my hair in my face. Cold, red, wet nose that needs constantly dabbing.   
Contrary to what the trolls say, I am not mucky, I've had a bath tonight. A lovely soak with a book. That's me well scrubbed up.

Another big pan of stew is made, cost of this one is 35p. There's butternut squash, sweet potato, carrots, onions, broccoli, and mixed beans in it. I will eat another bowl of it tomorrow and freeze two portions because I have to eat some mushrooms next, then more broccoli.

I've had a conversation today with Pete, a researcher from BBC Radio 2, and I am booked to go on the Jeremy Vine Show on Wednesday, at about 12.30pm. Now progressing from local radio to national. I'm going to enjoy that. Also I am booked to go on Radio Coventry next week, on Tuesday. It's all happening here. I need my calendar on my desk now instead of hanging in the kitchen, to keep track of what I am doing.

I see the page views are shooting up again, I wonder if they will go higher than they did before. It's amazing.
Thanks for popping in, and thank you for your smashing comments. Winding down now. Catch you soon.
Toodle pip

PS. Just checked the page views for today. They have gone WAY WAY HIGHER than before. Almost 17,000 Golly Gosh.

It's all kicking off........again, ha ha.

Hello. Here we go again.

Another story out this morning.

I thought they might have dumped this as it's been over a week now since they interviewed me.

Off to Crafty Club now. Back later.
Toodle pip.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Looking for luck

Hello. I've been a bit lucky. I believe a lot of good fortune is down to luck, and working hard of course. But to be lucky you have to put yourself about, luck doesn't just happen, you have to go out and find it. Making things happen brings luck, do nothing and you don't find luck. That's my theory anyway. I'll come onto the luck bit in a minute. 
First here's the meal I made yesterday. Chop three onions and soften them in a pan with a slosh of oil. 
I buy Quorn when it's half price, this bag was £1. Chuck a handful in the pan with the onions. Then I added spices, chuck in anything you have. I put in a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, garlic powder, and a few other bits and bobs. I also added some frozen peas. By this time it will need water, I put some lemon juice in as well. Stir and simmer over a low heat, add more water if it is a bit dry.

Served on a bed of wholegrain rice. It was smashing. I had it twice yesterday for lunch and dinner. Today I have finished it off. There was too much rice so I have frozen two portions in margarine tubs for future use.

I did my three mile walk yesterday at about 5.30pm. The same route as always. I didn't really feel like leaving my comfy chair and braving the gusty winds. What I usually do is jump up and say, right, let's go, on with the trainers, grab the torch, and put the jacket on. I'm out of the door in a few seconds. About half way round something caught my eye in the middle of the road, it sparkled in the streetlight. I walk in the road because the pavements are a bit bumpy, and there isn't much traffic on the side roads. The shiny object stopped me in my tracks and as I stooped to pick it up I was amazed to see it was a £2 coin. Well that's a bit of good luck I thought. Then I saw another shiny object, and another, and another. They were spread over quite a large area. Goodness knows how they had got there. I kept picking up the coins, it kept me busy for a good five minutes. £7.58. It was stroke of luck that I happened to be going down that road at that time. 
Luck was with me later on when I went to Tesco. Most people would prefer to go out socializing on a Saturday night, or stay at home snuggled up on the sofa with a glass of wine watching the tele, but no, I got off my backside and went to Tesco. Lucky for me that there wasn't many people shopping at that time, the young lad was marking down the fruit and veg, and me and another shopper had it all to ourselves. I haven't bothered to work out what I saved, but I did manage to get it to £30 so I could use a £4 off voucher. 
There are some prepared vegetables here so tomorrow I cook them up into stews. I gave my neighbour some, and I will be inspecting the condition of my stash over the next week, making sure everything gets used. My treat was a rhubarb pie at 43p, and two bottles of wine at £5 each.

So, two instances of being in the right place at the right time. I like it when I am lucky. If you want to be lucky, you have to go out and look for it. Sometimes you can turn an unlucky into a lucky. I have been unlucky in love, but very lucky that I have survived whatever life has thrown at me. What has been a lucky find for you? C'mon spill the beans, I want to know.

Thanks for popping in. Catch you soon. Toodle pip