PeteB

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Thanks for keeping up with the daily up dates Pete

I read them every day,

You and Caz have a good Christmas and hopefully not too many miles on the road.

Best Xmas Wishaes

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Thanks Graham, best wishes to you and yours too!

I am part of a trade forum too, I have been asked to do the same on there, but, there are too many things that I wouldn't like the trade to know about!

Caz home after 3 o'clock start, she'll come to bed for a while then she has to go back on Boxing Day afternoon. Tom was at work in Morrisons last night and tonight too!!!

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So after Caz got up, she started her wrapping frenzy and I started making a windy soup! Packed and loaded the truck for the dash to hers. After an hour therexwe went to support a village enterprise (the pub) for a couple of hours and that was it!

A tradition in the house (left of from 'children days') is to watch a Christmas Carol. Phished, tired, and listening to an invited friend going through relationship turmoil ended the night!

Be good to friends and their enemies, perceived or otherwise, you may need a shoulder to lean on! 

Night All!!

 

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Up, feeling a little beery! Caz got a dose of boozer's gloom! Are a decent fried breakfast and opened the gifts. No traumas, everything fitted or tasted good! The kids and Grandparents went to the pub then off to dinners elsewhere. Caz retired for a recuperative snooze while I walked the dog! 

Had a little snooze myself and now sorting a pleasant beef dinner! There does not seem to much of note on the box later so we might have a watch of Peaky Blinders or some such. Happy Christmas everyone! Hope you had a pleasant one!

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Back home after a bowl of goulash with Caz's parents and a few other quests. Caz on a 16:30 - 04:30 shift! Poor kid....

Took the dog (Woody) for a walk before their quests arrived, shooters in one direction so that walk was out, halve way on to the next walk and there was a danger of him spotting the Roe Deer ambling across the field so that walk was out! Halfway across our field a Hare popped up, off he went like a black missile! Chased the hare around the field, through the hedge, across the next field and over a farm track and he disappeared from view! I was hollering and shouting while cursing under my breath! He appeared about 150 yards away and came back....thank the lord for that! They have had a dog disappear before only to be found dead on the road. 

Feels somewhat deflated to be at home. Tom here watching tripe on TV, Pip away to meet some chap in town, a little cold beef for tea with a salad and couple of chips...

I'll be bored in a couple of hours - will have to do some ebay dreaming, wonder what a TT would be like to pep up a tad to do a stint at straight lining at a 'run what you brung' at Santa Pod in the spring......spring warmth, sunshine and twittering birds, now that would be good! 225hp from a 1.8 sounds a start for not big money but still need to move on the hot rod and various other projects before she'll agree to it!

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Caz got home at 5, and came up to bed and slept soundly for a couple of hours. I got up and did house stuff, quietly, which was a bugger as I got a succession of noisy jobs that I need to do. Poor kid is off again now for another 16:30-04:30.... She has nailed my day for me tomorrow too with a house viewing that she wants to do and some clothes shopping!

I had wanted to get busy in the garage during this 'down time', but doubt that that will happen, again....

Seems strange to have the big meal at dinner time and just about to have a bowl of soup - just so that Caz and myself had a quality meal together. Tom brought Pip over as she missed yesterday - she liked her present of a silver bangle, a bottle of expensive smelly stuff (Caz knows what is best in that department) and a load of store cards. She is off out to see this chap again, apparently a heavy metal freak with loads of hair doing a maths and physics degree at Uni in Leicester! She 'met' him on Tinder, another new thing that is odd to me! Having said that, Caz and I 'met' on Match.com!

Bizarrely, we got together even though she wasn't in my 'search' category, I had limited it to people who live local to me, were within 5 years of my own age (Caz is 7 years younger and lives and hours drive away). I guess that the 'rules of engagement' are changing and our busy lives and changes in social habits are changing all the time. Gone are the days of meeting someone at work or in a pub.....I went on Match after Pip suggested it some years ago and I had to admit that I didn't exist in a 'target rich environment' so the potential pickings were thin.....Whatever works for you I guess!

My parents have decided to come up to see the New Year in, and want to take us all to the Toby Carvery again,they enjoyed the experience so much after the rugby the other week! The difficulty is synchronising the various diaries, of the various off-spring's social events and work needs too!

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Caz got home after a tiresome shift. For the most part, she was teamed up with a couple of blokes in a gatehouse. Unfortunately, they proved to be the sort who don't care where they are or who is with them. Swearing, crude, burbing and other body noises and totally oblivious that not everyone finds it worthy behaviour! You can imagine the type, overweight, vulgar, think that they are god's gift to everything, been there and done that already etc, slightly bitter about life, the type who man gatehouses everywhere!

She was so tired that she slept through to lunch time, we had a bit of lunch then headed off for retail therapy! Well, not really, I'm not a natural shopper but needed some smart clothes for a function next weekend. Nearly £700 pounds later, I'm suited and booted! I tend to have only a few clothing varieties to choose from, joggers and comfy shirt, jeans and rugby shirt, corporate shirt and trousers! That's it! This jacket is only the second that I have had since the 80's!

Finally got the diaries for NYE so got to book a carvery dinner but will also look at options! I have a feeling that this could be another year where we are in bed before midnight! 

Hopefully, I'll get a few jobs done before she gets back and I best be quiet then!

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Caz away after alarms at 02:00. I got up at eight, cleared out the tree and put away the Xmas decorations. Got some house jobs done. Then managed to trim and refit the garage doors so that they are a better fit! I also got a couple of jobs done in the garage before she got back! 

After a quick lunch, I allowed her to have a quick nap before we went off to look at houses. We got some views organized but I got reservations on most of them, but, low cost houses are that way for a reason. Today's was a Victorian terraced. Old fashioned two up and two down with an outside loo in a block of four, at the end of the row. Wow! What a dive! Advertised at £120k, yet needs floors, kitchen, replaster to top Room, no garden to speak of (8ft wide) with a monster Leylandii that would take two people a week to get down! A bathroom had been stuck into what was half of a double bedroom too! Oh well, carry on dreaming!

Next one is a end terrace with nowhere for a car and downstairs bathroom and after that, another in a pretty ropey area! Might have to up the budget!

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A leisurely day! Caz came home early, a colleague signed her off at 10, forgetting that she was supposed to stay until 16:00! The day was going bad so she was glad to get away! We did a few drive bys of potential houses in Loughborough and got her car washed, that Mini seems to be a muck magnet!

We sat and watched Leicester Tigers get beaten by Bath. A disappointing match on the whole. Tigers have a history of a late winning streak but not this year!

Tom and Pip were too busy to come for supper so we had roast beef on our own and guess what? Caz has an early start again! Although, tomorrow, she really is scheduled to finsh at 10!!!!

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Got done jobs done around the place before Caz got home, we then went off to view a couple of houses. Both of the 'two up' types, one need a right took if work and a bigger one that needs nowt. They were a few grand apart but a world apart in quality! How do these people make up these prices! 

My folks turn up from Devon so we chat all day then go for a meal out with Tom and Pip. Now back at home a Caz will be in bed ready for early shift while we sit, drink wine and talk. Reminiscing and looking at places we have been to or lived at! Doubt we will see midnight! Happy New Year's to you all!!!

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Slept badly after Caz went, then got up at 9. My mother and father got up at the same time and Caz came home just as we finished breakfast. We left her to sleep while we went of to visit an aged relative. 90 with a really sharp mind and a failing body, getting old has been awful for her! Her beloved husband, my uncle, died of dementia complications several years ago. 

My folks left for Devon at lunch, I left Caz to sleep a while longer while I made some soup. After lunch, we went back to hers to see her family and after a decent meal, head south. Now sat in front of the box awaiting the new series of Luther.

I got to admit that I'll be glad to get back to work!

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Glad to be back at work! Up before 7 and took Caz a cup of tea and nose to the grindstone! She was at work for 16:30 until 04:30 tomorrow! I had a right rook of "If's, and's and what's" to start the day with a quick look back at the last two weeks of stuff to see how many promises I'd made- pleased to see that I'd remembered most too! 

After a couple of hours, we had a house viewing in Loughborough to get to and a couple of house buying calls but other than that the pressure was one to get the first day done and thoughts written for tomorrows meeting etc. The house viewing was for a tidy, Victorian terrace, small with a pokey yard. But the lass that brought it fitted it out for her to live in and work took her too far away to commute. Nice old house with some great original features and suitably updated with new bathroom and kitchen area, with a couple of enclosed fires. Sweet, nice place, would have been good value but awful location. Shame. Rough, low-end council flats at the end and streets full of cars, not good. We liked the place but it was in the wrong place. As we left, an electric wheelchair was being driven down the road, by a bloke who looked like Hagred from Potter films without the sophistication - wild hair unkempt, drunk, prison tattoos etc. Blocked the street up with his chair......onwards to another property methinks for us.

Back to work. We got a 'distribution workshop' meeting tomorrow. To decide and agree on the way we sell our machines, the choices are Direct (with no dealers), Indirect (through a range of dealers), Partially Direct (Use dealers where they have a history of performing), Partially Indirect ( where the dealers can sell some of the range but not all). Or a right mixture dependant on local conditions. Having done Direct, I know how much time it takes, how much back up and support costs, the hassle of chasing every account at the end of the month and how many hours hours I had to work (Once did 82 between Monday Morning and Saturday Night, and it cost me a marriage and a relationship with my daughter). Will be voting for and championing the continuation of Indirect....However, when I looked after the south and building up a relationship with a dealership, I was away for 3 months of the year doing shows, dealer open days and stuff as well as going before 06:00 and back at 20:00 5 days a week minimum.

Several emails and dozens of phone calls and my head is in a spin!

Caz away to work and I get to Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester, not my haunt....swap some over size clothes and once again, shall start a 'Bah Humbug' campaign to delay Xmas until the sales are on and the crowds are gone! Wouldn't have had an anxiety attack or be skint!!

I got a family distraction that keeps popping up too. My elder bro, who we/I don't have a lot in common with, don't routinely communicate with, has had some significant money issues and has had to give up his house etc and move into rented. He hasn't told anyone in the family bar our Parents, and didn't want me/sister to know. The old folk wanted to talk about it so I agreed not to say anything to him - either positive or negative - but they needed to off load. I have had some low periods with two marriages and putting a business that I was MD of into liquidation but found talking, openess and honesty the best way forward. I think he was too embarrased, too stubborn and ashamed to talk, that impending sense of failure?. We would have helped if we knew or were allowed to help, history you cannot help but the future can be worked. Whether we get on or not is not a negotiable but we are blood and family and that should have worked. He struggles for good employment as he cannot/will not drive but turned down an offer of help from me to get a scooter or driving licence to help find long term, meaningful work - but his attitude was that why should he conform to societies expectations just in order to be a wage slave. He has always been angry with attitude but I would have helped if he asked...

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Caz crept in at 5 but I was already awake. Snuggled up for a while before the lure of work got me out! It was my first meeting of the year and a good one on the whole.

Distribution Workshop was for the Sales Team, Coordinator, Tech Service Man, MD to discuss the different scenarios of taking machinery to market. To go over the pros and cons of each route and fully decide the route for the forseeable future. We all agreed that we have to, by and large, stay with our dealer route - their may be some changes as we grow our market share, but direct sales is out, OEM is not where we want to be, SuperDealers will be the tail wagging the dog and we all agreed that it would be best to carry on as we are with one, fairly large exception, change going forward at the moment.

Historically, we have had very few 'National or Key Accounts' which will now change. As well as two sales areas, social media, used machinery, I will now be Key Accounts Manager for the UK! So I get to cover even more geography! I look forward to the changing challenges and shall I lodge a broom up somewhere and sweep up while I turn off the lights???

Caz gone in for a night shift so I got to make my tea again.....tempted by chip supper but will knock something up!

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Nearly the end of the first Friday! Quite a tiring day but not a huge amount achieved...

Caz came home at five and had a couple of hours sleep. I did some intel gathering on this additional role that I've been lumbered with then took Caz to Retford for a hair appointment while I went to my nearest dealer with a loan machine and spend some worthwhile time with them. The service manager and I looked over a customers machine which had been dumped on them with only a little info, "service, change this, change that and it won't start". What they fail to tell you is that it has a major electrical issue and one of their own staff has had a meddle! That and an auto electrician has fitted a tracker, and badly! The Stores and Counter staff are in good form and everyone happy. This outfit have three chaps to sell groundcare equipment in the East Midlands, one of them has been slightly wayward for the last few years and this erratic pattern has been getting worse. The poor chap was found in a dazed state at the bottom of the yard and told someone that he banged his head getting out of a golf buggy. He spent time off with that then returned to work insisting that all was good. Some months later he was found at his desk in a semi catatonic state - he blamed the fact that he had eaten too many bananas! Six month ago, one of the Directors had ask him to come in as his truck was subject to a speeding fine at a weekend and its use was prohibited for private use. Despite photographic evidence, he swore that he wasn't out in the truck and suddenly 'melted' and couldn't speak, walk or do anything - a right 'turn'....After a spell in hospital, the poor lad insists that he is fit for work and they are imagining these 'turns'. He was in today, returning under strict HR and medical awareness, on a return to work programme of two days per week. I feel really sorry that this once vibrant, aware, successful chap couldn't remember my name, did not fully know what he was doing there and couldn't tell me what operation he was due to have! I hate to say it, but onset early dementia has been mentioned....what an awful way to end your working life and what an awful prognosis.....

There is a huge agriculture machinery show on next week called LAMMA, to be held at the NEC, so now doubt a lot of my Ag dealers will be there and I would hope to get but the diary is right busy as I'm dipping out of work on Thursday for a long weekend in Oslo. If the diary misses a few days - it will be because I'm there and busy!!!

Caz and her parents went to look at a house in Loughborough again - second viewing, an offer has been made and I hope that it goes her way. Nice enough house, in a quite looking street full of terraced houses and right in the town centre! She gone to bed for another hour as she is shattered again. I'm supposed to be doing some more intel gathering....

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The offer was accepted and we celebrated, up late, drank a lot and had to sleep in! 

After a few chores that needed doing we set off to Newcastle as we are at a function tonight, across the river at The Sage in Gateshead! Lloyd Ltd, my dealer in the North is 55 years old and we have been invited to the party! Not sure what to expect except I had been told that they party hard! 

Tigers won the rugby 34-16 against Gloucester so that is another good thing too!

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Blimey! The party was a do and a half! I googled The Sage and it is the concert halls are where all the main gigs happen and the home to the North Eastern Sinfonia etc - a big spot. Art Garfunkel is playing there etc....

I thought that this party was going to be in a back hall or something but no - Barry Lloyd had hired the whole spot! And all of his staff and partners where invited, as well as his suppliers! The lighting was corporate colours, food provided, free bar, chill out room and gin bar, two bands playing etc!!! From 18:30 until 01:00 the place was a writhing mass of boozing, laughter, dancing, talking etc..... Absolutely fantastic! We met and mingled with Prosseco etc for half an hour before being ushered into a concert hall for a brief welcome speech and the Dealer Principles and group Directors were introduced and they gave a prize to a 'hidden' member of their staff who shone out. Then we went to the central hall of the huge entrance area with a view over the river and to Newcastle beyond. The first band was soon on and they got people moving while people ate and started drinking. After a couple of hours the second set started - Rick Parfitt's son was the lead singer and they really engaged with the crowd and entertained them! Superb! There were five bar areas going until around 12:30! Dress was smart casual, no black tie and no denim and we were encouraged to wear something blue in regards to their company colours! They have seven depots, so that staff number and partners would mean 500 plus people minimum! A fair number of the Scottish lot were Tartaned up which was good and the ladies had some seriously smart ball gown type of competitions going on! A rolling side show on a huge wall showed the brands they represent and there was a number of us suppliers there too. In his welcome speech, Barry Lloyd pointed out that a number of us were present and without us, there wouldn't be a them! A fantastic night to remember on the whole. Grateful that the weather was kind to us which enabled many people to walk of to their hotels without getting too cold or wet. While we had a large amount to drink, we were able to walk across the swingbridge to our hotel in the shadow of the Tyne Bridge and wake feeling tired but okay.

We drove back to North Nottinghamshire and I took the dog for a walk while Caz went off with her daughter for a bit. We lounged about in the afternoon and came back to Shepshed after supper. Caz has gone to bed as she has an alarm at 01:30 for work. She then got mortgage stuff to sort and to engage a solicitor. Hard day tomorrow for us both! tomorrow will be the first day back for some and the phone will be busy!

 

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22 hours ago, PeteB said:

Blimey! The party was a do and a half! I googled The Sage and it is the concert halls are where all the main gigs happen and the home to the North Eastern Sinfonia etc - a big spot. Art Garfunkel is playing there etc....

I thought that this party was going to be in a back hall or something but no - Barry Lloyd had hired the whole spot! And all of his staff and partners where invited, as well as his suppliers! The lighting was corporate colours, food provided, free bar, chill out room and gin bar, two bands playing etc!!! From 18:30 until 01:00 the place was a writhing mass of boozing, laughter, dancing, talking etc..... Absolutely fantastic! We met and mingled with Prosseco etc for half an hour before being ushered into a concert hall for a brief welcome speech and the Dealer Principles and group Directors were introduced and they gave a prize to a 'hidden' member of their staff who shone out. Then we went to the central hall of the huge entrance area with a view over the river and to Newcastle beyond. The first band was soon on and they got people moving while people ate and started drinking. After a couple of hours the second set started - Rick Parfitt's son was the lead singer and they really engaged with the crowd and entertained them! Superb! There were five bar areas going until around 12:30! Dress was smart casual, no black tie and no denim and we were encouraged to wear something blue in regards to their company colours! They have seven depots, so that staff number and partners would mean 500 plus people minimum! A fair number of the Scottish lot were Tartaned up which was good and the ladies had some seriously smart ball gown type of competitions going on! A rolling side show on a huge wall showed the brands they represent and there was a number of us suppliers there too. In his welcome speech, Barry Lloyd pointed out that a number of us were present and without us, there wouldn't be a them! A fantastic night to remember on the whole. Grateful that the weather was kind to us which enabled many people to walk of to their hotels without getting too cold or wet. While we had a large amount to drink, we were able to walk across the swingbridge to our hotel in the shadow of the Tyne Bridge and wake feeling tired but okay.

We drove back to North Nottinghamshire and I took the dog for a walk while Caz went off with her daughter for a bit. We lounged about in the afternoon and came back to Shepshed after supper. Caz has gone to bed as she has an alarm at 01:30 for work. She then got mortgage stuff to sort and to engage a solicitor. Hard day tomorrow for us both! tomorrow will be the first day back for some and the phone will be busy!

 

The party sounded like great fun! Glad you had a nice time 🙂

mortgage stuff is so tine consuming to do and full of mine fields! 

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Caz away early again! I had the anticipated sudden rush of activities and a couple of good sales in the bag! I need a better year than last but at least get some monetary return for handling used kit which which is different from last year and an anticipated return if this key accounts thing starts to get stuff sold too! 

When Caz got home, we shot into town to see a semi independent mortgage broker. Infuriating news, we had not been advised to start a "help to buy ISA". To be honest, we were both ignorant of this "free money", and felt that the person at Lloyds was not too interested in Caz getting a mortgage and didn't advice us properly. Their loss now. Caz has loads to do and I'll help where and when I can but it she us still a tad bewildered by it all! I'll tell the kids about the ISA but I doubt that they'll take advantage - even if I put up the initial dollop, non of them will want to commit to £200 per month going forward!!!

I shot down to the factory, leaving Caz to sleep through the afternoon, to collect a chipper to demonstrate to a chap in Hull first thing. I want to get done early so that I can get back to the office to swap and get back up to the NEC for the LAMMA again machinery show but that may be a big ask!

Tom's plans to rejuvenate his Subaru is getting closer, he confessed that he has looked at a couple of temporary replacement cars. He wouldn't tell me what he has viewed - so he thinks I will disapprove! It'll not be a mundane ride but something with a little urge! Why he won't settle for a shed for a few months is beyond me!

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Caz away early, again. I left home for Hull for a demonstration as planned. Nice people at the dealership and nice potential customer too. He already has one of ours and I vaguely remember that deal from 2002. He prefers ours to the competition machine which is good, although they have thrown a spanner in the works - they valued his PX unit at twice what it is worth! And even if we give him a price to swap, my man could be down a grand! Oh well, best do my best to get a better underwritten value! Anyone want to buy an old, battered, rusty chipper/shredder?

I realistically run out of time to drive from Hull to  Stratford on Avon and then back up to the NEC leaving a decent amount of time to run about the show so I never bothered. I got a fleet deal going off in my patch for a possible 14 machine sale with each one fetching some £40k. Just when the Boss decides to put me as Key Account Manager with a % of each deal! Sweet! A bit rude and presumptuous so I may have to let him keep it - he doesn't take a commission but i'lI get a % on my overall figures so I shall not be greedy as I done nowt for it!

Caz had a good mortgage offer which includes a small set up fee but conveyancing and survey are FOC! They might well get the business....Poor girl is right tired from work and the stress of house buying etc....

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Trying, tiring day. Didn't sleep much after Caz left and headed out to Start Helens to do a demo. Got there to find that a misunderstanding had occurred and I had the wrong machine! Well, I had brought the machine the rep had requested but they wanted something else! A return visit us needed, they tried it two years ago, liked it, but no money....

The rest of the day was filled with driving, and talking. Upset people, broken machinery and deals not worth a jot to me! Emails not returned and colleagues who haven't done what they promised to do all made for a trying day.

Even though I finished until Tuesday, I got an urgent part and a customer machine to move tomorrow before going to Manchester airport. 

Now settled with a wine box and the recent Luther program with a mega tired Caz!

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Hi Folks, back again and due to circumstances, ie, busy and wifi issues, this is the first post since last Wednesday.

Thursday.

Got up and packed for this Oslo adventure - I've been to Norway before so knew what to expect, plus I travel light with the viewpoint that whatever has been forgotten, can be replaced there! Picked up Joe and Ez from Wood Lane and set out for Manchester Airport with more than plenty of time. Dropped the car off at 'Meet and Greet' and headed through to The Escape Lounge. Easy peasy! decent way to start, no hassle, no crowds, no trying to find a shettlered spot and a bit to eat....well worth the investment. Just as we went to board, we got took back upstairs as that aircraft was bust. The flight to Torp was uneventful and when we got there - !Removed! cold! Snow and lots of ice on every flat surface. Quick taxi ride to a smart hotel in Sandefjord for the night. Got the rooms sorted and Ez wanted to facetime her chap - so we headed for a couple of beers. Joe was amazed that the three of us had two beers each and it was close to £60....

Train to Oslo next morning was good, nice and easy way to see some countryside and get to the middle of Oslo City. Our hotel was a smart affair between the station and the new Opera building. Sweet! Norway is a smashing place with good people who get paid a lot more than us - so somethings seem really expensive, especially food and drink! Go with the knowledge that a simple meal can be £50 per head. We walked around loads, laughed, shopped, read and visited! Quizlings house is now a memorial to the Holocaust and the hundreds of Jews shipped out and killed - one fairly sobering thing from that memorial was three walls in a room that had names in alphabetical order, one after another, floor to ceiling, victims that of the regime. One complete row was one family name......sobering.

The Fram museum was a fantastic museum with some interactivity, for the people/pioneers from Norway who explored the North Pole, South Pole and the Northern Sea routes. Why would you go to such a hardship?....amazed at what they did and how they lived and again, sobering seeing Lawrence's words 'I'm just going out, I may be some time'. and Shackleton's diary entry 'for god's sake, look after our people'.

So, after a wonderful time and a heavy hit on the savings, we are back. Caz has a few days at home then back to the grindstone for her - her mortgage application is in, the house buying process initiated (another expensive period coming on!)  and I got a busy diary and, to be honest, a tad fed up with people not meeting up with my expectations and commitment to the cause! 

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Yesterday was a whirlwind of catch up! Plus a video remake on the flagship machine and more voice over stuff. Several people got up my nose because they hadn't done their job and tried to avoid the repurcussions however mild. We all make mistakes and no one is perfect - own up to your mistakes and accept that you screwed up and try not to do it again is a thing which many people don't like to do! In my opinion, to own up and apologise gets brownie points with me. A newly serviced trailer which locks the brakes in reverse should have been tested before being signed off - a shrug and a blank look doesn't do it for me. A new decal which doesn't fit and is the wrong colour shouldn't be passed off with 'the next batch will be better'......right makes me gurn with annoyance!

I had two lots of expenses to do, several emails etc before getting in a little trip to Stamford Bridge to collect a machine from a dealer/customer that I have sold elsewhere coincided with the news that I got the order for the two used units and the boss sold another £350k into my patch so a nice bonus incoming! Sweet.

One story that came to light was that the brother in laws brother is in hospital with badly gouged legs after an accident. He brought a Princess 7 on ebay and drove with his mate from Darlington to Bristol to collect it. Once there, the BIL's bro argued with the seller as it was clearly not as good as described. They haggled and a new deal done. He walked up the trailer while the seller started it. With a roar it started and shot forwards - knocking the mate over and running BIL's bro down on the trailer. He shouts a handful of obscenities - the sellers gets reverse and with a roar, shoots backwards, running over the knocked over mate and into a van! What a to do!!! BIL's bro is still in hospital needing grafts to his legs and the mate is released very bruised!!!

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I always seem to screw up my expenses, not in a big way, but still annoying! I try to keep all the receipts in one place and hopefully, nothing is missing! But there always is! Never mind, at least the girls in accounts realise that I'm too daft to try and rob them!

Then away to the factory to drop off the other used machine that I brought in and sold. This one looks a bit rough but as long as it works pretty, I can manage that. Then load a couple of bits on a long trailer ready for tomorrows heavy schedule. One of the things that I need to do tomorrow is view a customers machine which has been expensive to live with due to some expensive repairs. The bother is that I trained them to look after this asset and they haven't. Rotor bearings have been ruined again and then filled with fresh grease! I was talking with someone else the other week about someone who worked there and they confirmed that this numpty took pride in trying to wreck stuff. The client needs to know that the chaps are working it beyond it's working parameters then blaming others for the shortfall, they are signing the maintenance log but not doing it. I also got a rogue rep who has given way too much discount on a new machine to someone in another territory so a terse phone call will be in order tomorrow - we all got to eat meat at the weekends and we are all capitalist! Keep your margin up and make some money!

It is my Mother's 80th today and a quick phone call made her happy! She is a fit and able person who still plays pub skittles for the local team and loves getting Dad out for a walk (he would rather sit!) and is active in several local things and charities as the fear of getting old and defunct fills her with dread. All us kids are planning a surprise visit to their spot in Devon at the weekend, we are going to bump into Mum and Dad on The Cobb at Lyme Regis which will make their year! We are all taking some food etc and bedding so she doesn't have to do anything! Tom will come with me although Caz has to work as does Pip. One of my bro's kids is busy and my Sister's boys have a busy schedule etc....Still, be a good day.

My Ranger has now done 37k and has the 'oil change needed' light on and the front tyres are degenerating so they'll get swapped to the back and a quick laser check on the geometry. 

 

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Caz has an odd shift day today, ending at 21:00 then back in tomorrow at 03:30 - 15:30! Poor girl, nice to have her back here for a short while.

My day started at 07:30 with a drive towing a full load of machinery to a dealer near to Driffield. Filled the car at the local garage and set out. With that amount on the hook, it got the consumption down to 17mpg! The dealer's customer was a wealthy private buyer with a large property near to Driffield, he brought a chipper to go on his tractor for his odd weekend use! Nice chap with a right good house! obviously doesn't sell machinery for a living!!!

Then onward to my dealer in Tuxford to view a machine which needs valuing as a trade in - might have a decent buyer for that. I also got involved with another workshop issue - a three year old unit has had two major service jobs needed in recent years after the main rotor bearings have worn out and the shaft that the sit on needed replacement. To be honest, the unit shows every sign of being roughly treated and the routine maintenance skimped on! The pictures show a lot of wear from abrasive stuff and very blunt blades both of which cause premature failure. There is a 'step' in the shaft from the hammering action of blunt blades smashing into timber or stones. The 'wrap' which encloses the chipping chamber had a stress crack in it and a groove around the outside of the rotation which would tell me that a lot of gravel/stones/mud has gone through it! It may be that the operators are poorly trained, the daily maintenance although signed as complete, is not being done properly or that they are using it beyond it's design scope. All machinery becomes expensive then!

I left the trailer and second woodchipper in the dealers shed as I would not have time to take into the next chap in Nottingham - he will be seen on Monday. Then home - via the local garage to fill it up again in readiness for tomorrows adventure!

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It was my Mother's 80th just recently, Mum and Dad live in a sweet spot in southern Devon and are both very active and fit. Us three kids decided to surprise her with a visit, spouses and grandchildren included if they could get! As it was a short notice thing, no pressure was made on those who had diarised events.... Caz was working and Pip was unable to get her shift swapped either. Tom and I drove down to meet Mum and Dad in Lyme Regis, meeting brother and his family and sister and her husband. Dad managed to suggest a walk along from The Cobb before dinner and we all met within a few minutes in the Pilot Boat pub! She was astounded at the gathering! Made her year!

We all took what we wanted to drink in the evening and food to eat too. We all took our own bedding so that absolutely no preparations needed to be made and she didn't have to worry about any arrangements. Saturday evening was a tad boozy with a few large G&T's (Dad has a heavy hand), 4 bottles of Prosecco, 4 bottles of red and several tins of Lager between 7 drinkers! Sis brought along some board games which resulted in much laughing and bawdy humour. Although one game, Cards Against Humanity, while it was hilarious at times, it was a tad crude at times for my taste - especially with old folk an kids there! I never knew where the term cottaging came from but knew that it was to do with a bloke importuning another at a public convenience!

Today was a slow start after the 2 0'clock finish and we had a fantastic sunday lunch - most people had the rare roast beef - at the Tuckers Arms in Dalwood. Fab place with good food and staff - get there if you are within striking distance of Axminster!

Tom drove the Ranger there and back and did a good job of keeping to the speed limit and it was good to sit the other side and gawp out of the window for a change. He is away home now as he has to be in work at 04:00 - I think that job has come to an end - he was seriously underpaid at xmas, it seems that an untruth or too has resulted in him not  being paid what they promised and the increase in hours has been pulled too. 

Caz will be here tomorrow afternoon but she has to be in bed early as she has an 03:00 start on tuesday morning, be good to see her.....

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