Roger's blogs about his travels around the country by bus and train are always very detailed, very revealing and very enjoyable. But he has not, so far, ventured across the Channel.
So here is fbb's suggestion for something a little out of his comfort zone.
Of course, it's not a BUS as such, you won't be able to hop off at the Ulongo Bongo Hills and catch the next one. It is not even advertised as a return. The opposite "leg" requires a flight - by aeroplane.
It is being advertised by "Adventures Overland" whose current specialism is long overland adventures (there's a clue in the company name) by car - wot you drive - accompanied by your "tour manager". And, hopefully, a trained mechanic?
The bus trip is simply (?) a long tour.
Lets hope there are plenty of "loo" stops - or are you required to develop your "trowel technique"? No doubt it offers a little more than "basic" comfort as the price suggests.
Now think, Roger, how many blogs you could write about a 70 day bus ride.
And just think of the exciting new experiences that would tittilate your travelling tastebuds?
You would obviously need wellies ...
... as well as the obligatory pith helmet!
Super Excitement Part 2
We have been following GoAhead North East's boss Martijn Gilbert as his excitement grows from just plain excitement to SUPER excitement. It is all because of the launch of yet another "Uber-Style" bus service - this time in North Lincolnshire. (yawn!)
Yep they have been repainted after a very short spell with the failed "Uber style" bus service in Sutton ...
So we can all wonder where these nippy little Mercs will end up after this three year disaster is over.
Excellent Publicity From First Bus
Correspondent Peter, a Yeovillain, has drawn fbb's attention to some good news for the bus riders and potential bus riders of the town, as well as the wider Zummerset. Differing from the Stagecoach Devon area, where bus times and maps will soon be a closely guarded secret, Buses of Somerset (a k a First Bus) has ...
... wait for it ...
... produced an excellent "fold-out" timetable leaflet for their widespread area. It shows the current services some of which remain reduced after viral curtailment.
The well appointed travel shop at Yeovil bus station had closed long, long ago ...
... but, outside its bolted and barred portals, "the lads" are wont to position an "Enquiry Table". Recently thereupon has been this super exciting leaflet. Peter thinks that this is a "good thing", which it is - assuming that it will not become the permanent style.
A huge fold-out leaflet is inconvenient on-bus, on-street and even in home. The "normal" book ...
... is one of the best in the UK. It would be a real step back to cease producing it. But in these "unprecendented times" the mega leaflet is so much better than many other operators can manage. (First South Yorkshire please note!)
Each route has a full timetable ...
... together with an "adequate" route map. Those for Peter's Yeovil local services are, in many ways, more adequate than those for the longer distance routes.
Unlike the "proper" booklet, there is no network map.
The Taunton town routes are there in full detail, also with mini maps ...
... and, recognising the sad demise of Taunton's excellent and historic bus station and enquiry office ...
... we see all services now scattered about the town centre.
It follows that, if the leaflet is "temporary", it deserves a chocolate peanut or two; BUT if it turns out to be the "reduced scope" style for the future, combined with Taunton's, Yeovil's and Bridgwater's information office wasteland, Buses of Somerset might well become another contender for the 7Ps award. The committee is considering a subsidiary award for declining printed publicity availability - a lesser 5Ps Pathetic Parsimonious Printed Publicity Plaque.
A Load Of Silly Old Buffers
Happily NOT a blog about model railway enthusiasts as such, but a mini report on a further development at Peterville Quarry Railway.
A while back, fbb bought a pack of six plastic "clip-on" buffer stops from Hornby.
With a modicum of red and white paint, they looked smart and reasonably realistic.
fbb has JUST ONE left!
Where have the (in)famous five gone? Is there a dangerous model buffer stop thief (in a mask, of course) roaming the sheds and back gardens of East Devon nicking plastic clip-on buffer stops?
No, fbb thinks it is the wind. Although they clip on to the rails quite happily, any pressure causes them to clip off - and away they whizz into the English Channel where there are eaten by sea creatures, much to the disgust of Greta Thunberg et al.
So fbb has just taken delivery of a clutch of really ancient pre-owned Hornby Dublo three-rail cast metal buffer stops.
Currently (as this blog is written) they lie in the cutlery basket of the fbb dishwasher ...
... awaiting their fate under the onslaught of hot water and noxious dishwasher "tabs". Once cleansed, a little judicious repainting will slightly disguise their toy-like qualities.
Produced from 1939 until 1968 ...
... they clipped into three rail metal track but fell off when bashed by a badly controlled loco.
So you could screw them down to the baseboard ...
... which fbb will manage and then, hopefully, they will remain screwed.
Next "From Wood To Empress" blog : Tues 1st September