Ted Barrett                                                   - Training, Consultancy and Technical Services
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Blog for May

Ok Chums, time to buckle up, put the kettle on and sit back for a relaxing read of my blog.

My adventures this month have taken me to Witney (Oxfordshire), Welwyn Garden City, Hereford, Grantham, Brackley and Birmingham.

Been further developing my 18th Edition course material and really pleased with the content now. I know some trainers like to give their students tons of past papers to work through but I’m not that keen on this method as I think this is just training to answer those particular questions and not gaining a proper understanding of how to use the book. My method is to take the students through the book undertaking one question at least from every Part and all the Appendices. I also like to update my students on latest developments and address any queries they might have. I’m not going to say much more as I am giving away all my techniques to those trainers too lazy to construct their own lesson plans. It’s rare for anybody to fail after my training, but sometimes somebody will slip under the net. This is usually because they have been booked on the wrong course or have not picked up their books since they were wearing flares or riding a Lambretta to Brighton. I think we should run a 1-Day, pre-18 Edition course to help the born-again sparky with this but who would sign up for that? (If you’re interested, drop me a line).

Talking of new courses, my contacts at Pinewood Studios are in a bit of a dilemma. A Master sparky in their world is a “Gaffer” and its not difficult to see why. I have the greatest respect for electrical engineers who have to find solutions in conditions where you can’t just nip down to the wholesalers. In this category I also put Marine Engineers (where’s the nearest wholesaler in the Indian ocean?) and Gaffers as they may also be a thousand miles or more from civilisation and of course, you have a lot of pressure on you if a day’s shooting is lost through your inability to get the power back on.

The problem is for these guys and gals is if they haven’t got an existing electrical qualification before joining the industry its not easy to find a qualification path. This means that these good folk are having to undertake training for 18th Edition/Inspect and Test when they perhaps haven’t got the background to take this in. An alternative qualification they are sometimes directed to is the C&G 7909 (Temporary Supplies & Generators etc) but this doesn’t offer much of a transfer value into other areas of electrical work while you are “resting”. So, I am thinking if you have been out of mainstream industry for a while and need a refresher or update before undertaking the 18th or Inspect & Test, don’t be afraid to get in touch and I can lay on a course more tailored to your needs. I regularly run courses at a centre in Witney, Oxfordshire and this isn’t very far at all from Pinewood so if any of my readers would be interested in this please get in touch. If there was enough interest, I could even come to you.

So now we come to the bouquets and brickbats section.

This month, in the Star category, I nominate Dean Axtell. Dean has worked in the industry for a long time. I first met Dean a few centuries ago when he attended my evening classes at Blackbird Leys to gain the qualifications he never had the opportunity to otherwise get. He could do the work very well; he just didn’t have the qualifications to get that JIB card. He undertook three years of evening classes, gained NVQs and jumped through all the necessary hoops to get that card. Furthermore, he still ensures his qualifications are up to date. He now has his own electrical contracting business and is a shining example of what you can achieve if you set your mind to it. Dean, you worked bloody hard to get where you are today, I salute you sir.

On the brickbat side, I can’t decide whether to curse the twat who tooted me cos I wasn’t going fast enough round the Hammersmith roundabout or the self-centred politicians who are delaying our withdrawal from the EU. Like many others, I am really thinking we need to abolish this existing political system altogether. In many respects, I have great admiration for the French who decapitated their bourgeois elite in the 1700’s. I think we could gain a lot from that. And don’t talk to me about a “Peoples Vote” for the ninny’s that didn’t like the referendum outcome. The people have already voted. We want a government with the balls to deliver it.

You know, its funny how we meet people on our journey through life. As briefly mentioned last month, I do believe in “Inshallah” (If Allah is willing, it will be) and as Nelson was famously misquoted, as he lay dying not “Kiss me Hardy” but “Kismet Hardy, Kismet”. As I understand it, Kismet is Turkish for Fate.

I miss my old South African friend Gerry Ackerstaff (call me “Acky” you’ll never pronounce my name in Afrikaans), Gerry was a fellow tutor at Oxford College that wisely moved on to NZ but taught me that we are often ships that pass wisdom in the night.

I do think we have a big part to play in our lives and that we do “make our luck” but sometimes Destiny has different ideas. I agree with Gerry in his belief that we meet certain people and undergo certain events due to some bigger plan.

Some people believe that if time travel was possible, you might go back in time, shoot your grandfather and disappear in a puff of logic.

I prefer the theory that history has weight, and that what was meant to be, shall be. This theory, says that if you did go back in time and change something, events would warp and change around that event so that the original history would continue. For instance, if you went back to Germany 1936 and shot Adolf Hitler would that mean WWII wouldn’t happen? I don’t believe that for one second. I think plenty of other candidates would step into his place and the National Socialist party would continue just as we currently recall. In fact, who’s to say that hasn’t already happened and in this history Adolf Hitler replaced some other psycho before him?

Well, I’ve said it before but that was good shit wasn’t it? Dark, but good.

Inshallah, my friends.


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