Hay, how are you? It’s been a while…

There is no timescale or order to my postings (Or my life thinking about it).
But needless to say I’ve been busy!

The new job at LU is going well, can you believe I’ve already done three months, it feel much longer! but I’m enjoying it, everyday is something different! Commuting into inner London has given me a new appreciation of the city, I feel a desire to revisit places. I’m still slightly in awe of what a great city it is.

Sadly I’ve not had nearly as much time to volunteer at Bedrock. Despite my work shifts being shorter than the buses, the commute does take a little slice out of my day. Yet the occasional Sundays I’m off, I do best to get in the studio and do Brunch live, if not, I make sure it’s recorded and ready to go!

I’m considering taking a back seat at Bedrock and debating if I should step down as a Trustee come the Annual General Meeting in 2018. The Charity is fairly stable, the issues we’re currently facing are beyond our control, but we’re communicating with the relevant bodies. My concern is that I don’t necessarily feel supported in our future plans and developing ideas, over this year I’ve been encouraging the rest of the Trustees to embrace their posts and take ownership in how they do their role. We’ve had a history of long serving members carrying more than their own post.  – Nevertheless, I do try and keep things going.

So, how’s your love life? Mine?! … non-existent.
For a laugh, I downloaded tinder, and let a few friends loose on my profile for a laugh, It really doesn’t work as a ‘dating’ tool. (Maybe I’m too picky).
Apart from that, I was talking to an ex for a little while, nothing come of it and I feel like I’m wasting my time, so stopped trying… Back to Tinder then.

Online shopping is the BEST thing on this planet… That’s a #MatFact.
So remember last year I did an EU Road Trip with Lee. When we where in Munich I tried a local German Beer, Hacker-Pshorr and I’ve been craving some, good news Amazon stock it! Now only if I could remember the name of the wine I had in Italy!

This Bus Terminates Here….

I have been driving a London Red Bus for almost two years come September. However, I’m not making it to my two year anniversary… because I am chaining jobs (again), but staying within transport!

I’m actually off to work for London Underground, not as a a driver (yet!) but as station staff, I stumbled across the vacancy on the TfL Linkedin page and thought “why not!”.

Like most jobs i’ve applied for, I had some scepticism as TfL jobs, like many high profile companies, notoriously have thousands of applicants, so it’s a long and competitive process. I applied a few months ago with a small bit of resentment when I got news I was being put on rota for the 174, in the same week I was doing spread-over (split hours) shifts. I remained optimistic, because I have the possibility of progressing and trying for operations roles fulfilling another boyhood dream of playing with a real size train set!

So I applied, a few months back and made it through the various assessments, interviews and finally the medical… and i’m off to play with the railway!

To be honest, I’m not sure if the time was right, there where a few things that interested me with the bus operations such as iBus & Service Control, plus learning a few more routes such plus the rail replacements runs…

When I was rostered for the 174, I  started highlighting problems to our management so they can take our concerns up the chain of command and get the route running right.
Now I have an opportuntiy not be missed to work for the ‘the Tube’ / TfL – Who knows if I would have got another chance?
I admit I have some sadness leaving the Buses, the team at RM made the job worthwhile, It’s left me with a feeling of ambivalance over the whole thing, which is a shame as part of me really wants to celebrate that i’m changing jobs.

I start training in a week, so I can let the excitement develop!

No more ‘This Bus Terminates Here‘. Instead; ‘Mind The Gap‘!

 

Switzerland: EU Road Trip

The journey from Luxembourg to Zurich was “Only 3 to 4 hours…”, according to our host as we checked out handing the keys back… In the grand scheme of things that’s not too bad, we did a lot of driving to get to Luxembourg, and we know there was way more ahead of us….

Switzerland, home of Swiss Cheese, Swiss Army Knives, that annoying film sound of music and posh watches…. We eventually rolled up to the border, whereby you’re stopped not for a passport check, but to pay road tax. A Vignette is basically a tax for using the motorways, sort of like a toll for the whole country – Not an issue, for the ammount of milage we’d be covering this would be classed as cheap compared to the french & Italian tolls.

We had another AirBnB booked just outside of Zurich in the suburb of Zollikon, Our host gave us loads of useful information and highly recommended using the public transport. We had drawn similarities to London driving when passing through Zurich, notably the lack of car-parks, most comical (Well to us) was the traffic light sequencing allowing a grand total of 4 cars through (pretty much like sitting at the lights at the A127 Ardligh Green junction).

After sorting the room out, we ventured out to the new city we found ourselves in heading the advice given about the Public Transport system we found a Bus Stop and bought a ticket, the ticket allowed us to travel across the Zurich using any local Bus or Tram for a full 24 Hours.
Buses here are more like low floor coaches, where you can board from any of the 3 doors and the drivers pretty much get on the with driving no assault screens (and they take cash) Plus the on-board information is more detailed.

A key feature of the Zurich is it’s Lake, featuring many small boats (sort of like Westcliff & Chalkwall seafront) and quite a few activities based on the lake, sadly we wasn’t spending enough time to take advantage of everything on offer. But we went of a nice walk enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of this city.

The next morning, we left early to make the journey to Milan, Most of this leg of the journey took us through the picturesque sights of the Swiss Mountains, and it was outstanding to see such natural beauty, but also the marvels of engineering in building roads, houses and railways on the side of a mounting.

We made a short stop for breakfast in a Swiss town of Beckenried, which lay beside a still water lake, despite being in the

Truely breathtaking.

Alight here for a new career.

I’m changing career….

Well sort of, I’m a man of many hats, and soon to doth another cap to my collection!

So, I’ve been in professional radio for a few years now, built up a nice afternoon show, with some fantastic loyal listeners. but the only problem with working in professional radio is the pay. Essentially your only paid for the work you do, and when your doing a few hours a day, that doesn’t add up to much, with both Time & Decades. it’s below a ‘liveable’ wage.

So I’m taking a rather bold move, I’ve applied to Stagecoach London, to become a Bus Driver.

The future Image sourced from: TFL forum

Seriously… I admit it’s quite a change, well it’s a totally different industry, but one that’s calling out for people to join it, the pay seems good for a person of my age. I’ve undergone a series of assessments, interviews and medicals. Now I just have to apply myself to passing a theory, practical and CPC tests to become qualified. The motivation is the pay and a different environment are appealing.

So next time you get on a bus… it could be me saying hello!

The radio dream isn’t over! I’m still keeping my finger in the proverbial pie, with cover shifts and production work. Plus the charity stuff! It’s just a decision, based on a realisation that I want and need to be able to move on and progress along the highway of life.

So here’s to driving a double decker bus…

 

 

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Hello

Welcome to MatWatson.co.uk | MusicMat.Me

I’m a Radio Broadcaster, Tea Drinker, Tad on the Cheeky side.
Living and working around the London & Essex Area.
Read & hear more about my work – Mat