We start with a transport theme with the idea coming from something recently read. It seems the latest order of London`s Routemaster buses are to have rear doors that shut under control of the driver as do the other two doors. i do wonder how many doors you need to get on/off a bus.
Three doors controlled by the driver on this latest bus that I recently travelled on to the hospital.
On the left the old version with the door folded in the open position and a centre pole to grab. Hop on and off was Mayor Boris`s new brainwave some 3+ years ago. His brainwave included a conductor, Ooops sorry Boris `customer assistants` I meant to say.
Boris if you had asked any bus driver or conductor from the days of London Transport they would have told you of the many, some fatal instances of people hopping on and off.
The conductor collected the fares and was a wealth of knowledge about the route. Nowadays it`s all electronics with each stop displayed and announced. As for fares it`s all again electronics -Oyster cards- so no thinking needed by humans.
The only thing achieved is an extra person is employed to stand on the back and ring the bell when the rear door is clear.
So why the change of design to the latest buses. As you can see the door now operates and folds out as does the centre door whilst the front door still folds in under the watch of the driver.
Well the cash strapped Transport For London has decided cuts need to be made and Boris`s customer assistants have to go saving £60,000 per year on each bus.
Also because of safety the door needs to be shut at each stop. no more hopping on and off.
This is Leamington Spa station used by me several times to go into London for hospital appointments. Not sure if this is common but there are cycle racks on both platforms with this bike service area adjacent. You can hang your bike on the stand and use the very varied assortment of tools hanging from the unit. Just out of sight there`s a large air pump.
Staying with bikes I saw this in Birmingham city centre.
Other than the bike hire scheme in London and Paris I have never seen bike hire on the street before.
Ten bikes on each side. Seems you register online and credit your account to hire across the UK.
Still in Birmingham. When admitted as an emergency to the hospital they supplied a personal hygiene kit. Certainly never had this before down south on my only other emergency admission.
As I lived on a boat do you think they classed me as of no fixed abode and probably in need of a spruce up.
I remember this it was Lapworth and the previous week had been the annual scarecrow festival .
All around the village were the few remaining ones that seemed to be in different places each day I went for a walk.
I assume the local youth moved them each evening.
While cruising the secluded canal system life on land continues. Only when boaters venture into this solid, under foot, world do we see these.
The couple in this car will have a lot of horse power to take them from the church.
The two below however make do with a two horsepower conveyance.
Quiz time. What use can you put Gaffer tape to on the waterways.
You never guessed holding a lock beam together did you.
A rather unfortunate name in these troubled times the world has to endure.
Fortunately I think the boat was named after the Egyptian goddess Isis.
If you want proof of Fairies at the bottom of the garden here it is. We were in the Saltisford canal arm and I spotted her in a friends garden. I wouldn`t lie, I`m a boater.
I was reminded of the solar/log box project today when the sun came out after a proper wet and windy day yesterday.
I was today for a few hours getting 15amps.
I do so love a freebie.
Not solar but the electric buses in Milton Keynes were very nice to ride on.
This one has lowered it`s charging plate to make contact with a coil set into the road at each end of the route.The batteries are charged wirelessly for ten minutes absorbing enough charge for two thirds of it`s route.
Could we go this route on the canals.
What goes through your mind as you cruise the cut. I love the environment i live in and it`s history fascinates me as does the way it was built. This particular shot was coming out of Shrewley tunnel into a cutting that had also been cut through solid rock. It was hard
enough digging through earth and the progress was slow. My thoughts at this time as i knocked the engine into neutral to have a good look was how long did it take to break through the rock?. How frustrating was it to come back to the same site day after day seeing little progress. Manual work must have been so hard 220 years ago. Where did they go each night? Did they have camps or did they use local villages to seek a bed.
Anyway back into gear and lets find a quiet spot for a few days.
Now to end on some good news.The days are getting longer each day and before you know it the following scenes will once again be with us.
The holiday boaters will be out getting perplexed as they reach their first lock. The marinas will spill out even more boaters seeking the sun and relaxation cruising brings.
Do we mind? certainly not in fact we welcome it. A chance to help the first timers and chat to everyone. Living aboard gives you the benefit of winter cruising with no lock or water point queues plus all the good mooring sites having plenty of space