Friday, June 3, 2011

I found a lovely place ...

... to kip last night. A bit of old abandoned road near the Poplar Cafe near Lymm. Another one of those places that is totally deserted at night but when you wake up in the morning it's swamped out with car-sharers.

And so after an early start (thanks for the text, Percy Penguin) I ended up on Trafford Park getting a Screwfix and a Toolstation catalogue, and then going to Maccess for some car bits (I still have my trade card for there from when I had my taxis). Maccess has gone right downhill but I managed to spend £220 there all the same, including the new brake pads that I need for Caliburn (the guy at the MoT station said that they were down).

From there it was along the M62 to St Helens for the mailbox, and I've emptied that out and closed it down. A quick nip across the yard to Elite Workwear to order some more shirts with logos as the ones I have are getting a little shabby. Next stop was IKEA at Burtonwood but there was nothing really of interest there and so I went to the B&Q Superstore at Ashton-in-Makerfield for Caliburn's suspended floor.

Here I struck it lucky. It seems that there was a salesman there from the B&Q Trade Counter working on a commission basis and short of his targets for trade customers. And the advantage of having corporate clothing and the like is that I actually look like a tradesman (which is, after all, the aim of it). He asked for two proofs of identity which of course I don't have, but one of the advantages of having a fully-signwritten van like Caliburn is that it looks kosher, no matter what the reality might or might not be, and that was the aim of that as well. For the second piece of identity, which needed to be proof of a business address, did I not have in Caliburn the lease of my 1 cubic metre of mailbox in Stoke on Trent that I signed yesterday?

And so with a salesman desperately seeking a target figure and willing to turn something of a blind eye to the finer points of the paperwork, I now have a B&Q Trade Card, and you can't knock that, especially as one of the reasons that I am here is to buy 5 glazed interior doors like the one into my little attic (that came from B&Q a few years ago).

And while we are on the subject, I forgot to mention that Caliburn, being fully-signwritten as you know, attracted a considerable amount of attention from a French Customs official at Calais. He came out, all looking official and the like, and flagged me down - I thought for a search. But not at all - he wanted to talk wind turbines. So we had a lengthy chat and the result is that he took a card and he'll be in touch.

I really can't emphasise this enough - a van isn't simply a means of transporting goods and possessions around - it's 15 square metres of mobile advertising space and if you are in any kind of business you should make the most if it. I reckon that over half of whatever it is that I have done has come due to the £250 I spent in getting Caliburn signwritten.

And so to Crewe - and it seems that my house in Gainsborough Road needs a total rewire as the cabling is falling to bits. No surprise there - I bought the house in 1981 and the only attention that the wiring has had since then has been the couple of extra sockets that I added (and it's probably them that need replacement - I didn't have a clue what I was doing in those days "and today?" - ed). The estate agents also tell me that they had to replace the carpets on the ground floor as they were all threadbare. "Not to worry" I replied. "They were there when I bought the place in 1981" - which brought the house down. "Well, you've had your money's worth there then" said the agent.

After shopping at the new Morrison's at Crewe, next stop was to rescue Percy Penguin, who couldn't get home after work.

And that was that. Here I am on Sandbach Services with a new mega-fast high-speed interent connection, and free too, thanks to Roadchef Services and BT Openlink. I'm off to bed in a minute, if I can think of somewhere handy to sleep.

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