About Me

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I never wanted to be a fitter and I didn’t even know what a fitter was or did, until it was too late. The story of how I came to be one can be seen on my website: www.calvertonfitter.com After 45 years in industry working on such diverse things as aeroplanes and textile machinery I thought it would be a good idea to start a blog and to share some of the things that I've seen and done. Some of the posts are funny and some are sad. Some are political and some are about racism. Hopefully you will find them all interesting, and even entertaining!

My Favourite Posts

Some of MY favourite posts include: The Congo, Deltic (3 posts), On the Buses, The Bus Drivers Story, Classical Music and Sherry, Working in Karachi 1988, Going to Karachi 1988 (hilarious), Broken Mug, Tilbury (4 posts).

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Jamaica Holiday

Its nearly a year since I last posted and just as the world was breathing a big sigh of relief, here I am again.

Last May I Went with my wife (she's Jamaican) to Jamaica for a 2 week holiday and were fortunate to travel through the cockpit country to visit relatives. it was an absolutely glorious journey through jungle clad volcanic landscape, up,down,up,down etc. The roads were horrific but then the shear volume of water that falls and flows off the mountains rips up the tarmac and makes it a land fit only for landrovers. But we didn't see one!

The last time we travelled through JA was in '78 and the differences were subtle. This time it wasn't possible to run over chickens and goats in the road (there wasn't any). Every shack that sold anything had a plaque saying Digicell Top Up and everywhere were carwashes, a bucket of water in the backyard. It was noticeable that the people who comlained most about the increasing lack of self reliance (re. grow your own food) and dependance on cash were the most right wing and pro big business. The irony was lost on them.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Oh Bugger

I'm having a real tough time at work, trying to develop a new type of coupling, but the damn seals keep bursting. At least I'm not on my own, that's the benefit of team work..........

Was reading a book called Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell about a couple of 19th century magicians but have finally abandoned it as a load of crap. I just don't care what happens next. I've tried to start A Thousand Splendid Suns but in spite of it seeming to be 'right up my street' I've put it to one side as can't just get interested at the moment. Also tried to give Sebastian Faulks, Birdsong, a second read but can't get going with that either. I've read the first couple of chapters of E.H.Gombrich's A Little History of the World. Its written for children but the subject matter is good and I'm learning stuff that's interesting.

My car is on its last legs so have to find another. I keep looking at the on-line and paper versions of Autotrader and am more confused now than when I started. Some of the best websites are from the one man and his dog outfits operating from home and with no showrooms. oh well.
Think I'll just go and slash my wrists......
Only joking........

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Oiy! Thats Mine!

It was opening day at my new companies new production and office unit (it's not a factory!) on Friday, and George Osbourne was the guest of honour.

My MD made a speech which stunned me speechless with the expression 'I don't know what gods plan is for this business...'. I've found out he's a very religious person as well as being very Conservative but his views don't allow for 'what Labours doing is probably gods plan'.

When it came to the toast George and my MD found they had no champagne glasses in hand and the person stood behind me picked one up and offered it over. I realised just in time what was happening and uttered those immortal words 'Oiy that's mine'. I don't care who it is but they're not nicking my champers. They were both given fresh glasses and I like to believe I wasn't overheard. If I'm fired on Monday I'll know I didn't get away with it.

Osbourne was in the car park at 12noon to link live with BBC's 24 news service on the question of the outrageous pension being given to the tory chief of yet another failed bank and commented about Prescott's suggestion that it be withheld with the comment that he wouldn't want to do anything illegal. He wouldn't, would he?

We watched the interview from the entrance hall (sorry foyer) where a large TV was attached to the wall and someone noticed the window above George was open and dashed upstairs to wave from it but just at that moment someone else spoilt the fun and closed it. It was strange watching it on TV and in real life.

The photo looks as if George is bumping fists, but he wasn't.

I finished my other birthday book this weekend, John Grishams, The Associate. It good, but not that good, don't buy any book until you've read Stieg Larssons, The Girl Who Played With Fire.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Meanwhile, Back at Work.

My, I did have a little go at Tenerife in my last post didn't I? There was an upside though, other than not being at work, and that was sitting by the pool reading an absolutely fabulous thriller. It was my birthday present from dear daughter called The Girl Who Played With Fire, by Stieg Larsson. Its the second in a trilogy and I just can't wait for the final one next year. A film is currently being made of it.

Meanwhile back at work, with my colleague, we managed to complete the assembly of a new prototype coupling to be used on undersea oil wells. We also moved factories, mostly while I was in Tenerife, sometimes I get my timing spot on.

Tomorrow is official opening day and non other than George Osbourne is coming to pump flesh and kiss any babies who might just happen to be lying around. So its clean clothes, a smile, finger food and champers for us all.

Monday, 23 February 2009


I've just had a week in Tenerife and can honestly say that I'm glad to be back at work. I've discovered that there are Gods, lots of them and they are called salesmen. Timeshare salesmen, holiday club salesmen, bow down and worship for they have changed the landscape of the island.

We were in Sunningdale Village at a place called Golf Del Sur which is close to Los Abrigos, at last a genuine name. It was a circle of apartments surrounding a swimming pool and was in turn half surrounded by similar property, while the rest of the view was abandoned building sites and tower cranes stretching down to the coast- with- no- beach. Even the pool was cold, I only went in once, then abandoned it to the kids.

Current cost to stay in delightful places like this is about £14,000, then there are upgrades to 'gold', another £5000, and to 'diamond' another five grand, and lets not forget the annual maintenance fee of £1500. What you get is the right to holiday there for you and your children's lifetime. Poor sods, what have they ever done to deserve such a fate?

Gazing inland up the slopes of the volcano I could see what I believed to be actual Spanish villages clinging to the slopes of rocky outcrops, but I was wrong. They were more Holiday Club 'villages'. OK, so mountain goats need holidays too.

At the top of one 'village' was a wedding-cake/candyfloss type villa which the rep/salesbastard was proud to tell us was owned by Mr Beniton himself with his 'little red Ferrari'. And everybody smiled!!!

I've just blown 1 week of my precious holidays on this shit so I feel very low at the moment and need a course of hypnotism to make me forget. I don't think I'll ever forget though that the food was so bad I once parted with £7.50 for a double mac at Burger King as a pleasant change.
crazy, crazy, crazy.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Birthday, Books and Bankers.

What I didn't mention about my birthday in the previous post is that among my presents were two great books from my daughter; a John Grisham, The Associate, and the real winner; Stieg Larsons, The Girl Who Played With Fire. I can hardly wait to get by the pool and start reading.

One of the days news stories is that its OK to eat as many eggs as you want unlike previous advice that 2 or 3 a week should be the limit. I must have gone through my life in a daydream because I've never heard of this limit before. Mind you, I've never been a twenty a day man!

Another top story is about the Banker who was sacked for warning that the banks were overextending themselves and taking too much risk. The Tories manage to make so much political capital out of the financial crisis that its sometimes hard to remember that they are all a bunch of Tories that got us into this pickle and many pay £50000 a year to be members of the Leader Group which gives them access to David Cameron. What word does Banker rhyme with?

Bugger it, I'm off on Holiday on Friday.

Monday, 9 February 2009


My brain feels fried and I can't concentrate much on the old blog with so much happening at work and so much to learn.

I did have a birthday at weekend though and it was decided to take me to theTrafford Centre to finish off our holiday shopping and have a meal at our favouriteItalian Restuarant. I needed it as well because it just aint no joke trailing round that place, I was well knackered.

Next stop was a family getogether, there are 3 of us with our birthdays within a couple of days of each other so we swop prezzies and have a drink every year and this time a Wii was in use and much fun was had by most. I say most because in all this running around I was the driver and never got a drink. Oh, I am in a grim mood.

It doesn't help too much that on Friday we fly to Tenerife for a week. The problem is that we have been persuded to go with relatives who are supplying the accomodation and all we need is the airfare. Trouble is that its half-term and the airfare cost is the same as other weeks with a 4* hotel thrown in. I just love being ripped off.