Monthly Archives: December 2008


2008 is ending with a literal bang.

Yesterday an airline managed to kill a serviceable aircraft engine that we were moving in the US. This will cost a minimum of $100k to repair and be out of action for 2 months; in addition there is the loss of lease charges amounting to $40k per day.

Think of an aircraft engine encased in shrinkwrap. Now anyone who moves these professionally knows that you cannot move this on an open trailer from Houston to Dallas. If you try then the wrapping will come off and the fan blades will “windmill” and damage the bearings. Then you compound the error by not allowing the driver to cover the fan casing to minimise the damage.

I know have a very angry client with a large loss of income for their business and a ruined New Year.


I hope that you all have a happy New Year. Don’t do anything that I would do!!

Atheists Aren’t All Like Dawkins

I saw this link on a friend’s Facebook page and thought I’d share it. I like Matthew Parris and had enjoyed reading this in the paper. It shows that the work of Christians is appreciated and a necessary part of modern life in Africa.

It is wonderful to read this from a confirmed atheist as it shows that there is hope for them by seeing practical Christianity in action. The fact that Christians do make a difference in the world without necessarily preaching at people all he time. Life through example is a great way of showing Christ’s love in the most effective way.

We are called to follow Christ’s example in our every day lives. The problem is that many don’t but those that do don’t always realise how effective their witness can be.

I was talking to someone the other day regarding this. How it is that something that we do or say can bear fruit years after the actual act. Yet we may never see the result but it will be there against our entry in the Book of Life.

So if we live a Christlike witness then we are storing up treasures in heaven that we’ll only see when we’re called to account. We may all be surprised at how much there is waiting for us.

Christmas Is For Relaxing

I have had a very busy Christmas, what with sermons, midnight services and driving to and from Dorset.

The Christmas Eve service was very good, especially as the little chapel had 20 people there – you wonder why they only turn up at Christmas. It was great to see so many people there and I felt very blessed o have had the opportunity to take the service. They asked me back for another service on 18th Jan. as cover for my work colleague who has decided not to preach there. So they’ll have twice in a fortnight now. 

Christmas Day was spent at chapel, where I’d forgotten that I was doing a reading. However I managed to guess the reading I was doing woithout having to ask. Then it was lunch & prezzies with my family. We got to say hi to FW when she rang halfway through the day and I got to spend time at my parents in the evening. Then on Boxing Day I drive down to Dorset to spend time with the in-laws for sister in laws birthday. The back on Saturday morning so we could watch the rugby in the afternoon.

Today we had a lie-in before visiting my folks. Then tomorrow it’s back to work – oh the joy!!


I am a true what’sitthingy man – you know that sort medeival Italian type man with arms and legs splayed. A reconnaisance man or some such.

As I write this I am –

Watching Corrie

Preparing tonight’s Christmas Eve service

Writing my wiblog

Talking to FW on the phone


Tomorrow is of course the day we all join to celebrate the birth of one of the greastest humans ever to live 






Traditional Food

FW has deserted me to be with her family. As usual I was told what was in the freezer and veg that I could cook. We both knew that this wasn’t option 1 on my list after a hard day’s work – or similar.

So imagine my happiness when I was asked if I wanted a Chinese at work for lunch. Me? Chinese for lunch and not have to cook tonight? OH YES!!! 

So I had my lunch for dinner. I love this single(ish) life.

Christmas Countdown

Tomorrow my wife leaves me so that she can visit her family for the Christmas festivities. I shall remain in South Wales in order to celebrate my birthday on Thursday with my family and to see the Troublesome Trucks on Christmas morning.

Then I’ll be driving down to Dorset on Boxing Day to spend time with FW’s family. It is my sister in law’s birthday on Boxing Day. Now you can understand why Christmas can therefore be somewhat fraut and lead to divided loyalties.

We are then driving home on Saturday morning so that:

a) We are home in time for the Pontypool/Ebbw vale match in the afternoon.

b) Able to have our own Christmas/Birthday celebration.


Therefore please don’t call, e-mail or drop by on Saturday as you will not receive a warm welcome but be told to…………..

Peace & Quiet

The last two days have been busy and restful. Confusing?

Well yesterday was another day off, to use up my leave entitlement before year end. Out of 20 days I had 11 left at the start of December. It wasn’t my fault as my colleague had been off all summer, so there was no one else to cover our work. I was only allowed to carry 4 days over so I’ve had to use up 7 days in a month.

Unfortunately my main customer has got busy at the same time and a new customer in the same line of business have come on board and are equally busy. In addition they don’t want to deal with anyone else in my company as they don’t understand what is required – plus I’d only worry that something would go wrong.

So my time off has been a little ineterrupted this week, at least I have 2 days after Christmas.


Then our peace and tranquility was invaded last night by 3 members of the Wibfamily. I must say that it can be enjoyable when visitors come round – especially ones bringing presents. I even recorded Corrie so that everyone could talk, that is a sacrifice for me.

One even stayed overnight. This was a good thing as it meant that FW had soemone to talk to until the wee small hours so that I could go to bed when I ran out of energy.

Today has been very quiet and lazy(?) I’ve managed to write my sermon for tomorrow and have a relaxing bath with no fear of being interrupted by the mobile or Blackberry going off.

Now we have to prepare for our chapel’s Christmas service – thankfully we’re aren’t involved – a visit to our friend near Bristol and then I’m leading the service for the “little Chapel that does” in the evening. Quiet then!!

More Christmas Cheer

I think that the time has come to ban Christmas. Oliver Cromwell and his puritan friends may have had things right after all.

I have done all my shopping but have had so much trouble with work that I’m getting stressed. I’m still working now trying to get an aircraft engine into Paris for 06:00hrs tomorrow. At present the engine is on a truck in a motorway in North Kent. The driver has run out of hours and can’t move until the early hours of tomorrow morning.

The customer has an aircraft on the ground at Paris waiting to fit the engine and the airline want it in use for Saturday. Short of divine intervention or a passing Timelord we are currently up **** creek without a paddle.

Everything is made worse because all the hauliers are rushing home for Christmas and there is no spare capacity in the system to recover from problems such as these. Christmas falling on a Thursday doesn’t help as now one will be moving on Continental haulage after tomorrow – they’re afraid of not getting home for Christmas.

I hope that you feel sorry for the drivers of Willi Betz. They’re mainly East Europeans who are having to work away from home for 3-6 months at a stretch for meagre wages (compared to W. European drivers). You’ll see them parked up in motorway service areas over Christmas eating baked beans and hanging out their washing.

Christmas Advert

This was in todays Private Eye & I loved it so much I had to share it:

From The Evening Chronicle (Newcastle upon Tyne):

Neutering & vaccination clinics. Annual vacccination out of date? Have your gods & cats vaccinated up to date at half price till Xmas.


I had a day off today. I ended up doing as much work as I would on a work day. I hope Friday’s quieter as I have a sermon to write. Plus we’re visiting on Sunday Pucklechurch afternoon and I’m preaching that evening.

Charitable Thoughts

While watching the TV tonight I was again assaulted by an appeal that was planned to tug at my heartstrings. Unfortuantely I have become insulated against such appeals and become somewhat cynical. It’s not that I lack compassion but I just don’t respond adverts showing abused children, abandoned pets, starving merchant bankers or requests for snorkels for gillless fish.

I got to thinking though…..

What happens if they solve their problem? What do the people do then?

What do they have to gain by finding a cure for cancer; feeding everyone in the world; saving the planet from global warming, or attacks by Godzilla? Don’t they just put themselves out of work? So are they really working to put an end to whatever it is they advertise?

At this time of year we should remember the true meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus:

Merchandising; transient pleasure; more food than you can ever eat in one sitting; escalating debt; crap adverts; video games and consoles; family arguments over what to watch; presents that you neither need or want; queues of ignorant shoppers; religious nutters who keep going on and on about some kid born 2000 years ago – what’s that all about???

So, this year forget everyone else and remember the true meaning of Xmas – YOU!!!!!