Life at the end of the road

September 27, 2012

Watching the ships go by :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:03 pm

Seven PM and a clock has just stuck somewhere to the west or north, that will be the one I heard last night at 4:00am so I’m not going nuts after all Smile You can tell that the weekend is approaching as the ‘Village’ is getting busier, though still no sign of any penny farthings or Mini Mokes yet Smile

1965 Austin Mini Moke 

However, on the subject of unusual modes of transport I’ve just seen one heading to Gdansk, probably full of Nissan’s


The ‘City of St Petersburg’ is (and I hate this word) an ‘eco friendly’ car transporter with a rather unusual, for a ship at least ‘round nose’ which is claimed to reduce wind resistance by up to 50% and save 800 tons of fuel a year.

It’s also to save the environment some 2500 tons of CO2, though the logic of that escapes me somewhat, how do you get 2500 tons of CO2 in 800 tons of fuel?? Strikes that Nissan would save a whole lot more CO2 if they left the cars in the UK and we shipped 2000 less ‘Kia’s to Newcastle’ so to speak Smile Still, it’s good to see them making an effort, even if it is only a PR one and it’s good to see something being exported and not imported from China Smile

The 21,000 ton car carrier was not the only unusual ship I saw



you could hardly describe Frederlink’s container ship Clonlee as attractive

MV Clonlee

or indeed the DFDS Princess Seaways

004 She plies between Newcastle and Ijmuiden in Holland and has the distinction of being the same age as my Land Rover and the Loch Striven, 1986!!!!! Though she was originally launched with the ridiculous name of Peter Pan so perhaps she’s just not grown up yet Smile

Anyway, that’s just about it from down here in ‘The Republic’, it’s not quite 20:00 and I’m gonna sit down in front of a DVD, the last of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s masterful trilogy ‘Three colours red’

It’s still wrapped in the cellophane and wifey bought it me as a birthday present many years ago Sad smile If it’s anything like ‘Blue’ and ‘White’ it will be awesome Smile

Whoops, there’s a catalogue inside from 2003!!!! so I’ve probably had it since long before I hit fifty Smile

But just before I go and that infernal clock strikes eight I’ll show you my days labours at the college



I have to say that I’m really proud of it but can’t help thinking that my time would not have been better spent learning about computers, if this new ferry breaks down it will be a satellite link to Holland or Sweden that is required and not a hacksaw and file, as you can see I can already use one of those Smile

Boy racers :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 3:19 am

It’s like being on a different planet here in the ‘Republic’, that’ll be the ‘People’s republic of Northumbria’. Of course it would be the same in any seaside town I’m sure but I might as well be on mars, even the sea and wind sounds different here. No kidding, our storms are characterized by the frequent changes of pitch and direction as the wind twists, snakes and hammers down off the Cuilins , the roar of the sea barely gets a look in as our coastline plummets to ridiculous depths just a spit from the shore. Here the shallow North Sea  and wide open expanse of shoreline mean that the roar of the sea masks all, the constant, predictable and steady winds being quite boring by comparison.

The good thing being that it seems to hold no surprises, the old caravan seems quite happy and I feel quite safe here, had I been on Raasay or Sconser the last few nights I’d have been sleeping in the Land Rover Smile Now the wind has dropped however I can here the ‘boy racers’ cruising up and down Sad smile something we don’t get much of at Arnish, well not in the dark anyway Smile

Anyway I’m not going to write reams tonight, it’s after 21:00 and my eyes are sore, not tired just sore from reading all about


the hybrid propulsion system on our new ferry. It’s all stuff I’ve read before, many months ago and now, after doing more research things have become a little clearer. We’ve been in the electrical workshops today so the course has at last become a little more interesting. I am sure that my thirteen year old son would love to know the difference between a two stroke and four stroke engine, actually now I come to think about it, he does Smile but I’m 56 and have been fixing internal combustion engines since I was 14 Sad smile So you can imagine that the days have been quite long, especially when you’re not used to sitting still for hours on end during the day. Especially when you’re almost 400 miles away from wife, child, dog, pigs, hens and are having a new house built, especially when the Raasay Primary schools coffee day is on this weekend Smile

“Three AM, and I can’t get no sleep”



I’ve no refrigerator so can’t have a potato in it Smile but I certainly ‘can’t get no sleep’, or at least I couldn’t once I’d woken up around an hour ago Sad smile

Well at least the ‘boy racers’ are in bed now Smile not that they were keeping me awake, missing home’s what’s keeping me awake and I’ve only been away since Saturday.



I’ve settled into some kind of routine, shower in the morning, walking to and from college if the weather is in it and then wandering ‘doon the toon’ after college to pick up any bargains at Morrison’s.


Looks like they’ve had much rain in South Shields this summer Sad smile


The supermarket is at the end of Ocean road, which from one end to the other is an assault on the senses of worldly cuisine,


mainly Indian and Italian but with a few traditional chippy’s , the obligatory American franchise and the odd Chinese or Thai. It’s all I can do to walk past without entering some of them but my ‘subsistence allowance’ won’t stretch to it Smile



Last night it was some baked salmon in mascarpone cheese from the reduced counter at Morrison’s, which to be honest was a bit to heavy on dill and light on salt. Tonight however I enjoyed a huge plate full of ‘stir fry’ veg for 49p but eaten raw and covered in olives for 29p with a Fray Bentos chicken pie to finish off for 59p Smile I can’t say that a tinned pie would be my normal choice but it did bring back some happy memories Smile I don’t think I’ve eaten one for 15 years but used to demolish them regularly when I was fishing. Also, judging by the amount of empty tins that I found lying around the croft of ‘3 South Arnish’, the previous owner used to live off them Smile 

Four AM now and I’ve just heard some clock chiming, either that or I’m loosing the plot Sad smile


Anyway, I really must try and get a couple of hours kip before going to college so just before I go here’s Fred Olsen’s cruise ship Boudicca departing the Tyne with the pilot boat at her side.

Pilot cutter, South Shields

Much better picture from here of the pilot cutter Collingwood.

The Boudicca is now well on her way to warmer climes in Spain



that’ll be her just about to disappear off the screen in the bottom right hand corner.

I know, I know, it’s rubbish, but hey it’s 4:20am, what do you expect Smile

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