Life at the end of the road

October 2, 2012

How far sowf must one go :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:21 pm

I am indeed well and truly stuffed tonight peeps, all that walking I’ve done today in the aid of getting fit has been to no avail for I am now bursting out of my combats and into my wacky ‘Skye Batiks’

020511 007

OK, not those exact ones but a pair equally daft and loose fitting, and boy, do I need them tonight.

The day here in sunny South Shields has been pretty good, in fact by Raasay standards it’s been boodly marvellous and I never fail to be amazed at what the ‘locals’ do or should I say ‘do not’ wear. Either they breed them very hardy down here in ‘The Republic’ or the weather is much kinder Smile Taking advantage of the early finish, that’ll be early by both my and CalMac’s standard and not ‘student standard’ I went for a wander around this historic town. My intention being to meet up with my ‘back to back’ for a traditional English supper in a fine establishment on Ocean Road that had caught our eye, . He was hoping for a fine haddock and me I had a hankering for a steak pudding, the first thing that I noticed about my adopted home some 25 or so years ago was that you could not get a steak pudding there, in fact you would struggle to find a Scottish chippy that supplied gravy let alone mushy peas. In deep and darkest Lancashire steak pudding was as much a part of life as Fred Dibnah, cloth caps, black pudding and cotton mills. So the first thing I always did on arrival in Accrington on my rare returns was to order ‘Steak pud, chips peas and gravy’ usually from the chippy on Burnley Road,

Front view The Chippy 

blow me, it’s still there !!! Now I must hasten to add that the image of the grub comes from here and not Burnley Rd ‘Chippy’ the ‘men eat pies’ blog seems to be an amusing tour of the ‘deep sowf’ by some dudes that thrive on pies and beer, that particular offering coming from Southampton!!!! I was just perusing over the fact that the combined ages of the three dudes that headed home this weekend from South Shields to Skye was 159 years, i wonder how many inches the combined waistlines of ‘men who eat pies’ is Smile Smile

Here’s the 6000t container ship Pirita departing but I’m not sure if that was before I left for college (again) or on my return


This ‘wee dug’ however I met on the way Smile


even though she was fourteen years old and blind she reminded me of Molly, tragically her owner could not remember her name as he’d recently had a stroke Sad smile I do hope I meet them again, would be nice to get to know them.

So after unburdening my baggage I set off on an adventure



past the deserted ‘Ocean Beach Pleasure Park’ and out towards the ‘Groyne’ and its beacon



a groyne is more usually a series of wooden structures to prevent ‘long shore drift’ but this was a far more substantial affair erected in the 1830’s to prevent the mouth of the Tyne silting up. It’s just amazing the carp that sticks in your head, I can’t remember whether to go to college am or pm yet I remember ‘long shore drift’ from secondary school!!

The 7000t bulk carrier Raraka was anchored a couple of miles north of the harbour entrance


along with the 7400t Alexandra


From here I followed the coast around


past the ‘Spirit of Northumberland’ and then back inland towards the the old Roman supply base, Fort Arbeia



passing a couple of Russian Crimean ‘44 pounders’ on the way, or at least the replicas thereof Smile


Unfortunately the Roman fort closed yesterday and won’t be open until April, no wonder they had bother with folk ‘north of the border’ if they shut up shop in the winter Smile From what I’ve seen of South Shields it strikes me as not a great deal has changed in the 1500 years since the Romans left Smile I don’t mean anything derogatory by that but in 200AD the place would have been full of Turks, Arabs and Europeans from throughout the empire. For it was Roman policy to garrison their forts with troops from ‘out of town’ so to speak. When I first heard of this some forty years ago I always had a vision of some legionnaire from Iraq freezing his nuts off in a skirt on Hadrian’s wall Smile


This wonderful painting at my next ‘port of call’ with its ethnic diversity saying it all Smile for my next stop was ‘Colman’s chippy’ on Ocean Road



where they even tell you which boat has caught your fish Smile

Bjorguin EA311


OK, they don’t do steak pudding Sad smile but three hours later I’m still stuffed from their monster haddock, chips and peas served by Magda and cooked to perfection by I know not who Smile I only wish I’d taken a picture of the feast.

So despite checking every chippy on Ocean Road I failed to find a steak pudding, are there any in the Republic at all ?????


Judging by this video I just found these folk are far too near Scotland to produce a steak pudding Smile Well done Chloe Smile

A nice walk :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:29 am

I’ve never been much good at following instructions so it will come as no surprise that I arrived at college this morning to discover that I don’t actually start until 13:00 Sad smile Not that that was a problem for I managed to wander down into the ‘toon’ and get my passport application sent off. I’m most dischuffed at this as it now means I’ve no longer an excuse to not go on holiday, not only that I’m £81 lighter in the pocket Smile

Though to be honest I’ll probably need one after this epic, give me hard labour on the croft anytime, I just feel like a fish out of water here. Must look like one too in my ‘redneck hillbilly’ jacket and broad smile, people won’t even look you in the eye here let alone smile, though I have managed to coax the odd ‘morning’ out of one or two regular ‘acquaintances’ on my walk to college Smile They probably think I’m ‘off my head’ with camouflage jacket, laptop bag and glasses perched on my nut Smile

Where was I


Well I was wishing I was back home,


with the hens, wife, child, dug and of course ‘Coffee Day’, just check out that cake Smile


My weeks absence had reduced the houses electricity consumption so much that wifey was struggling to use all the power on her own. As any excess is converted into heat the house has been inordinately warm so after the coffee day I went and turned off one of the hydro turbine nozzles to reduce the output.



A decent spell of weather had us all walking, yes walking not riding over to for what will hopefully be the ‘final cut’. It’s the boys job to keep this jungle under control but he needs a little help from dad Smile


029 030

Me, I checked the Rolls batteries for electrolyte and ‘SG’ before draining off the fuel from the strimmer and walking back home.



Fuel does ‘go off’ and two stroke mix even more so as it’s unlikely to be used again I emptied the tank then ‘ran off’ the remainder in the carburettor before stowing it away.

Sunday I spent splitting the remainder of the firewood in the winter store prior to heading south on the 16:00 ferry, something I’ll not be doing again in a hurry, I’ve only just got rid of the headache after a twelve hour sleep, four mile walk and chicken sandwich Smile



So I’ll just leave you with one of the many ships that have been plying past my ‘front door’ the suction dredger ‘UKD Marlin’

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