Putting a Sticker in my Car

Well, I am going to write this anyway, even if it means I may not be around to take full advantage of the yearly membership. The holiday plans are now turning into travel plans, with an open ticket and a working holiday visa with a plan to put stuff into storage and move out. So watch this space as there will be some stuff I don’t want to sell but will need a good home while I am away.

One of those items maybe a membership card. But not any old membership card. A card in which you get to put a sticker in your car and get free parking at thousands of car parks with entry into some very nice houses and some old factories. I am of course referring to the National Trust.

For just under £40.00 you can get a year’s membership. Basically if I visit Tatton, Durham Massey, Quarry Bank Mill, Lyme Park and Speke House I would have saved double the membership fee, as all those places charge a fiver for ground entry and then £7.00 upwards for admission into the houses or mills.

So my question to the blogging world is should I accept that I am old and get the sticker which I place proudly in my rear window to show everyone that I have elbow patches on my jackets and love to wear aran wool jumpers. I think personally it will be worth it, and even when I set sail after May for my jolly I hope I would have used the card to its full. At the end of the day it’s an excuse to go places. ‘What you want to do?’ “Don’t know” “Lets go and park in one of the coastal car parks because we can!”

Plus there is a serious element as the membership fee is helping to protect and restore coastlines, houses, mills, country side…. basically our heritage and that is something we should pay for as when it is gone we’ll miss it or I certainly will. If only more people were like me. I am not a Luddite but I appreciate where we have been and what we have come from and we need to show our rich history the respect that it deserves. People are all too quick to jump for joy when Apple release a new toy, but we have buildings and machines that were built from scratch and are marvels of how did they do that back then, but this past glory of the empire now enables people like Job’s to make millions from the very progression that is on our doorstep I bet no one has gone down to see the home and the first computer that resides in Manchester, that without it Job’s would be no one and we’d be listening to tunes on the old gramophone. Every one is all to quick to moan about the railways, but the trains are running on lines and bridges that have celebrated their 150th birthday, and the only comparison is ‘other countries can run their rail networks on time’ Well other countries had their rail network bombed to shit so rebuilt it. Ours is 150 years old and is a feat of engineering. Modern clothes shopping is only possible thanks to the likes of Gregg and Arkwaright who exploited the cotton and wool trade and built huge factories to mass produce. Everything we do, the way we live is an echo of our past and we should stop and listen to it. We should explore it and treasure it and live it. People who walk round a castle and see bricks, or towers that all look the same, have not bothered to step back into the world of when it was built. That is why the National Trust and English Heritage are a key part of the British conscience and people like me should join to help fund the good work that they do.

Maybe I won’t have time to enjoy the benefits of the card and exploring the wonderful treasures that surround me as I feel any spare time will be spent planning and organising my every growing vacation. But I am sure you will all find out if and when I get one as you can be sure I will blog about the trips I take.

Planning is harder than think!

It most certainly is, and I don’t need anymore ideas thank you, but I have been given some. So further to my blog entry yesterday. My holiday is; or may and will include the following. A flight to New Zealand via LA or New York, with a working holiday visa for NZ, there I will join a bus party travelling round both Islands hopping off and on as I please, with the ability to stay in a town for a long period of time. Then at some point, which will be when the visa runs out, get a flight home.

Just need to get the courage to book it and wave goodbye to my savings.

Planning a holiday!!!!

Short post. No history lesson, or moaning here. No update on the poor attempt at raising £500.00 for a worthwhile cause. Anyone feeling guilty about not donating yet??? No! well in that case I will continue. I decided a while a go that I wanted to leave this place and go somewhere else. My life isn’t really going anywhere, still no house, misses, family, and  still stuck on the same run of the ladder, so I thought what the hell I spent a large portion of my life savings on a car, what could I do next. Well a little place called New Zealand has been calling out my name for some years. I did a while ago want to up sticks and move out there before that I wanted to move out to Belgium after I ‘d toured there and came back to find I really hated the UK and my job.

I am now thinking maybe just a very long holiday is needed as I have not had one for 12 years and even when I’ve had time off, I’ve either sat at home doing nothing because I’ve had no money or when I was working I would take the holiday to work else where. So I am open to advice on any deals, or expertise that people may have on how I go about booking this very expensive trip in a cheap way. I basically want to see as much of New Zealand as possible without doing it in the gap year way. I know it’s a tall order but I don’t do things by halves. At the moment I need to get away, and get away fast and experience something different, see other lands and I need to do it quick, before my head explodes, I have some money put away for it so today I started the hunt for my holiday. No doubt nothing will happen as when ever I get these ideas they always seem to fade away into the darkness or work takes over… But one of my promises to myself was to change the way I live my life, and to make sure I am not in the same place next year. I know deep down that I will be, but that is what dreams are for.

Arent they???



Top Five Industrial hero’s

This is a weird one, but I write this as I was watching ‘Great Railway Journeys’ and see a images of ‘Iron Bridge’ and as I’m bored I thought why don’t I share my boredom with you lovely people.

Earlier I bought you my top five bridges, well today it’s the turn of historical figures who played a key role in the industrial revolution of England. Many of you may now know that I like my history especially the medieval period. But I also love the agriculture, industrial revolution and transport. So with that love still deep in my heart I now bring you my heroes. As before with the bridges I will be including more than five and they won’t be in any order, apart from the fella who is number one.

So who is first on the list…. Well without this guy the whole factory process might not of happened, as just after half past five John Kay came up with a shuttle that could fly. That’s right 1733 saw

Kays Flying Shuttle

Kay’s Flying Shuttle that speeded up the process of weaving dramatically. John Kay may have come up with a quick way to now weave, but the weavers needed the cotton, and it wasn’t till 1764 that James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny, or should that be his daughter as the clumsily bitch had knocked their spinning wheel over which gave James the idea.

However James didn’t think it was important to copyright the machine until the 1770’s so lost a lot of money has people nicked his idea. Samuel Crompton used the Spinning Jenny as his inspiration for the

Spinning Jenny

Spinning Mule in 1779.  All of these men from Kay who made the old fashion loom twice as productive to Crompton who’s machines were responsible for hundreds of child deaths in the cotton and wool mills owned by Arkwright and Gregg make it into the number five slot.

But while the women were handing over the needle and thread to the men and moving into the factories, and mill owners were popping up left right and centre over the country none of it would be possible without transport. So thank god that James Brindley was born and he met up with the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater who asked James to build him a canal so he could transport all his coal that he was digging up. James was of course only to happy to assist as he knew it would annoy Thomas Telford

Thomas Telford


and John Mcadam who had spent several years trying to improve the road network in Britain. I also have a love for Telford as he also built several good canals but also built some very nice bridges, but none as nice as the Bridgewater Canal.

Now all this transport was getting out of hand, and the factory owners and coal-pit managers needed a quicker way to transport their goods. It was very luckily for them that James Watt came along with his steam engine, but at first it was not used to get you to London in under two hours, its first duty was to pump water out of mines. What the miners use to do before James came along I’m not really sure, maybe they used Thomas Newcomen Steam engine instead.

Newcomens Steam Engine

This is the one little thing that annoys me about history, and I am glad I had a proper tweed and leather patches history teacher. A lot of people often think James Watt invented the Steam engine, where he only improved on the original concept by adding a separate condenser.

Richards Machine

While all of this was going on a very clever man in Cornwall hit upon the idea of mounting this steam contraption onto wheels which would run on a track, and once again thank you to Mr Clark for teaching me that Richard Trevithick should be credited as the father of the Railways, but he isn’t. Instead it goes to George Stephenson whose first locomotive was not the best, but manged to win the Rain-hill Trails (by running over and killing an M.P) and therefore he won the contract to build the locomotives for the Manchester to Liverpool Line. That Steam engine was of course the Rocket, but it was the Planet that ran on the Line. This was not the first time he had built engines. Stephenson was responsible for the first Railway line from Stockton to Darlington used to transport coal.

The Planet

However the number one person who is at the top of my list did it all. He standardised time across Britain, with his railway. He built Canals, boats, and bridges and the longest train tunnel at the time. Even now there is only one day of the year, where the sun shines through Box tunnel It is of course Isambard Kingdom Brunel. That is the person who is at number one, not the day of the year where the sun shines through the tunnel.

I will one day speak about all these people’s work in more detail, but in case you can’t wait I have linked their names to their Wiki pages, but I should imagine that most of you should know everything about them already. The only person who didn’t make it on the list and that is only because I could not find a link from his invention to the Factories is Jethro Tull and I don’t mean the band or the Cornish comedian. I’m talking about Jethro Tull as in the one who made the seed drill that allowed the  sowing of seeds in nice little straight lines to happen.

I hope you have enjoyed another look into my geeky nature. I also hope you enjoy reading up on some of these important historical people I will wait for the comments to come flooding in.

Shin Splints

Well this is coming to you as I am not at the gym. Why? Well it’s because I went out for my run the other day. The first time on the road before Christmas, and today I have what they call Shin Splints. Basically it is the muscles and tendons behind the shin that give off a very intense pain. Meaning I am out of training for a while.

So I had to come home after work, and eat instead of letting off steam, which today I desperately needed. I can’t even go for a walk around Manchester in this evening, as after a while it gets really quite painful.

I’m hoping at some point it will die down, and I can once again hit the road, or the mill, or even just go for a cycle.

Let us know if any of you have had the horrid splints and how you have coped and recovered from them. I’m hoping it will be good old rest for a couple of days, as I have probably been over doing it. But I know it will be worth it in the end


Weighing Scales

With dread we stand on them, and with bated breath we wait.

Yes today is about the humble bathroom scales. What we expect to see from them never appears. We stand on them and as the numbers swing back and forth we hold our breath until a number decides to line up under the red line. Of course it is never the number we wish to see. Maybe its our Jumper, or our slippers and so begins the routine of slowly stripping down to your birthday suit, but yet the red line hovers over the incorrect number. Then you have an idea of what it may be. Yes of course the scales are not set properly. The Red line is not exactly over the Zero. And so it begins. You bend down and move the dial a little to the left then back to the right and then to the left until you are satisfied that the line is now over the zero. Once again you stand on the blue area upon the scales and look up nervously. You can hear the disc spinning from right to left and once it has settled you look down to see that the adjustment of the disc only helped you to gain three pounds.

The type of scales at the gym

Right… Boots it is, I will pay a pound and use an electronic machine you think, and with that you get dressed in a little black number feeling depressed and fat and head for work. There you begrudgingly refuse any chocolates or crisps and ask for skimmed milk in your coffee. You are counting down the hours till you can have your Boots Meal Deal Shape Sandwich and pay that pound at the machine which will tell you your BMI is too high.

You approach the scales dreading the stepping on and hearing the words ‘One at a time please’ you wait for the bit of paper which informs you that you are over weight to be printed, and so begins the three-day ritual of eating rabbit food, until you get bored and cave in to the chips or the Chinese on a saturday night.

The reason for this tale is that I weigh different amounts. My Bathroom scales like the picture above tell me I’m 14 stone, The ones in the gym which are a balancing acts of knobs and maybe I’m not using them correctly inform me that I’m 93 or  94Kg  and if you do the maths that turns into 15 Stone. So Which one is correct??? Should I pay my pound to go to Boots and be told that my BMI is too much, or should I not care. After all the weight is built up of muscle and fat. I’m not for minute suggesting I am over 90Kg’s of pure muscle, but I am saying that I am not 90Kg’s of fat.

I have always been fascinated with my weight, as there are people who are larger than me that claim to weigh only elven or twelve stone, I know I am tall, but the only bit of fat that I own is around the belly. It is all beer. But yet I feel that I should have lost some weight with all the gym work I am doing, and I am not exactly over eating. I still it my chocolate and I am getting thinner. My new selection of clothes is evidence of that. So what is weight, is it really a scale of how heavy or healthy we are. A Rugby player can have a BMI of over 30, most of it will be muscle and he would be able to out run skinny Jim with a BMI of twenty odd. I know BMI is not weight, but weight helps calculates your BMI and therefore is an important factor.

But yet I will still step on the scales to see what the outcome is, and whatever the number my mood and approach to life for that day will change. So should be take it at face value. After all our weight can change several times through the day and even if i tell myself it is only a number I know deep down I will always want to know those digits.

When to go outside?

Well the old weather is warming up in Blighty now, and not before time. But with the warm comes the rain.

I need to get out and hit the streets. If I’m going to complete the Bupa 10K Manchester run in one piece I need to start training on the streets, but the warmth of the gym is to nice at the moment. So my question is when do I go out and pound the streets of Manchester? Do I do it today, or do I retire to the comfort of the gym? Should I do it next month, or should I mix it up?

The trouble with street running is you don’t know what you are doing! not in the sense of knowing whether you’re running, skiing, biking like it’s obvious you’re running I mean in terms of distance. I could run round my park for 30 minutes and at the end I could have barely ran a mile. This of course leads to more equipment. A nice watch that tells you your heart rate, my steps per minute, the distance you’ve covered. I could get apps for my phone that map my run in case I can’t remember the route I took. Running on the street seems to be a serious hobby and I don’t know if I am ready for this yet, I know I don’t need all this stuff – but I think I need it and therefore I want it.

Anyway… unless it starts to rain I am out for a jog on the streets without all the James Bond gadgets. I also need to do another post about raising money. I think my grand sum at the moment is £30.00, so I have a long way to go till I reach my £500,00. If you would like to donate and it does not matter how big or how small then you can do so online at http://www.justgiving.com/thomas-Scott0 If you would like to know more about chosen charity then I have written a page. But in short it’s for the Big C. Cancer. I am sure we have all known some one who has been affected, I know I have, and for that reason as well as a personal one I am supporting Christies Hospital in Manchester.

Right I’m off to do some stretches and go for that run and no doubt I will be back here in a couple of hours doing a nice short blog of the events through my run.