Look out! thread resurrection. It's been a while and some things have happened.
Ealing was where we were and I ended up driving various shite for 22 out of 24 hours. Some stuff had to go to Norwich and some to Stratford on Avon. I can't remember how many trips I did but the last one was to hook the shower unit up, the last thing left, and take it to Norwich. Problem was that a hitch had broken on something else so the hitch on the shower unit was robbed and I had to put it back on when getting it. All very well but there is a cylinder that works the brakes and you have to push it back, with a fair bit of effort, to get a bolt through before it pops back. A three handed job. Must have pissed around for about an hour with it and I was tired and wanted to Gtf out of there and go to bed.
It would have been about 4pm when I got away and got on to the M25. Driving at truck speed it was like being in a truck race and at that time, and pissing it down, it was the most horrendous drive I've had for a very long time and something I never want to do again. Going to Norwich there is a a section of dual carriageway where they have been road working for a few years from what I could make out and it's one lane a side with a metre, or so, high wall on either side of the lane which in a truck gives you about a foot and a half, max, on each side and when it's dark and raining the concentration level is off the scale.
I think I mentioned a possibility of going to Holland for a month. Well I ended up going but not staying which was a bit disappointing. Reason was there was not enough for me to do for 4 weeks there. I got asked a few times last year, by the public, if we went in convoy from one site to the next to which the answer was naa, once a load is ready it's fuck off time. Well we did make a convoy when leaving Norwich to go to Harwich at 4 in the morning. I tell you it was a sight to see with 15 trucks all hauling a trailer. or two. The length of a Peterbilt, extra long trailer then a draw bar shop unit behind is fuckin looooooong. Flashing lights everywhere. Behind the trucks came 12 other smaller vehicles pulling caravans and stuff. I don't know how long it all was but I was 7th in line and I never saw the back end. There was a slightly amusing event on the way to Harwich. Leading the convoy, rubber duck and ten four good buddy, was Elaine who was driving her artic fifth wheeler. We came to a fairly large roundabout and she missed the exit so continued round and therefore met the convoy coming onto it. Caused a bit of havoc for a bit. Luckily little traffic around at that time. Got to Harwich all at once which caused a blockage getting into the port which the port bods didn't seem to know what to do about a sudden influx of circus shite. Much hilarity ensued as they ran about trying to sort it all out. Then came the customs. When you go abroad with equipment you have to list EVERYTHING so when you come back they can check if you have more than you went with and if you have it's get yer wallet out time. Well, as you can imagine we had shite loads of stuff so therefore shit loads of papers for the nice customs man who was suddenly deluged in papers and us giving it loads of 'what about this one' and 'I've got all these do you want them all?'. 'Where do I sign this' and 'do I have to sign them all' etc. I think he took a look at all of us crammed into his little office waving papers and in about 5 different languages at him and thought fuck this get the stamp out and get rid of them. Going Freight is all right though. You get a cabin with shower, bog and telly and, depending on ferry time, a breakfast and a meal an hour before landing in the truckers lounge. Then it was rubber duck time in Holland up to Beverwijk near the Dam. I'd forgotten that the roads in the Netherlands are smooooooooth with not a pothole to be seen. Got put up in a bit of a swish, for me, hotel near Schipol called The Plaza where it was a eats/a few beers and bed. Next morning, early, flight to Brum and taxi home. So that was that.
On the tenth of this month it was taxi to Brum airport and back to Schipol where it was another good hotel called the Marquette, then the minibus arrived to take us to the pub which happened to have a coffee shop next door. When in Rome etc. Got slightly blitzed but when a lock in in the bar was mentioned I declined the offer being an old woos. A good night. Next morning it was all rev up and convoy, 10 4, to Den Haag. I like convoys and let's be honest it's rare to be involved in one never mind two. We got out of Harwich about 7/8 in the evening so more traffic around which must have pissed off anybody trying to get past. This time I was the last in line so could see the traffic building up behind and it was a lot. A convoy like that doesn't travel very quickly, about 40 mph. Dropped everything in Norwich and then it was a lift back to Brum and a taxi home.
Looks like the season starts at Easter and finishes end October. Don't know about doing updates this season as it will be very similar to the last one but if anything different happens I'll pop something up. Might be going to the Stratford yard next month to do some maintenance/repairs on stuff before the season starts.