Life at the end of the road

October 17, 2012

Swinging at anchor

Filed under: boats, daily doings, South Shields — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:02 am

Five thirty and all’s well Smile Can’t get back to sleep so I thought I’d get up and plonk away on here for a while before college. When I say ‘can’t sleep’ that’s hardly surprising really as I’ve been in bed since 19:50 so I’ve certainly pushed out plenty of zeds. Finishing college around 16:00 leaves me a little bit at a lost end these days.

I’ve done all the near at hand walks possible, all the places worth visiting close at four or five and I don’t won’t to go down the road of a pint or two before dinner. Knowing me it would lead to another, then another, then a headache Sad smile Consequently I tucked up early last night with ‘Intolerable Cruelty’  which can only be described as ‘intolerably dull’. The quote below is from the Wikipedia entry,

Intolerable Cruelty is the Coens’ first project based on someone else’s idea

stick to what you do best chaps, that was carp.

The shipping news


Anchored outside the harbour last night, and still there this morning were three large ships, this being the Maltese registered Pietro Bendetti a 9000t cargo ship with a heavy lift capability, the kind of ship you often see delivering wind turbines


This one the Hong Kong registered Darya Tara a 38000 ton bulk carrier that has just come from New Orleans with something.



Even larger at 40,000t is the Mosel another bulker that has just arrived from the US, this one from Houston.

swinging at anchor

They’re all still there awaiting the tide or pilot or a berth, swinging at anchor and lit up like Christmas trees, wish I could take a picture but they’re a couple of miles off shore and its dark Sad smile

Not shown on here is the fishing vessel Bountiful BF79 which just steamed out around an hour ago, presumably to the fishing grounds.

That’s about it really, I had a wee wander into the toon after college



picked up a couple of salmon fillets reduced to £1.55!!!!!, baked them in the oven then ate them with boiled spuds and a salad,


  watched the car carrier ‘City of Amsterdam’ steam past ‘The Village clock’ as the sun went down


Skye sky

but the sky wasn’t a patch on Raasay’s around the same time 370 miles away Sad smile, cheers George for sharing Smile



  1. Glad to see you have beaten the stomach bug. nothing worse than the dredded D word, hope the hinge on the little room’s door is ok after all the action. :-)..

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — October 17, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

  2. Bet this temporary exile is awful, mate. Are things ok on the croft?

    Comment by Lloyd — October 17, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

    • Dunno Lloyd but I’ll find out soon 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 18, 2012 @ 6:05 am

  3. howdy, goto say I’m sounding like quite the naval expert, most of the ships you mention seem to end up on the river wear the next day (outside my office window), explained to every one what an “inverted bow” is. cheers !

    Trivia time/something to look up, whats Muhammad Ali’s link with South Shields ?

    Comment by mike — October 17, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

    • Hi Mike,

      whats Muhammad Ali’s link with South Shields ?

      Love the shot of Colman’s chippy in the background at :50

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 17, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

      • hope thats not the one that made you ill, thinking the internets making this to easy for you…..

        Comment by mike — October 17, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

  4. Hi Paul, you dont sound as if you,r enjoying life very much just noo but just think every day is a day closer to getting hame, i kinda know how you feel as ive worked away from hame for years, say hi to the family from us lot when you get a chance.

    Comment by jimmy mcmillan — October 17, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

    • Aye Jimmy, I wuz furgettin that you’d have spent many years in caravans whilst away from home 😦 The novelty soon wears off but it’s better than being in a guest house.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 18, 2012 @ 6:08 am

  5. Hi Paul, Great to see the appetite is back, mine returned midday yesterday and I had a beefburger with sliced onion on bread and butter, first in a week and I loved it!
    Great to see the shipping forecasts and the wonderful pictures, a far better outlook than I have from my home, most ‘action’ we see are the aircraft winding there way to and from Edinburgh Airport, which while interesting is just out of my seeing range without a telescope or binoculars and I think the neighbours may find me peering out the window with these a tad discocerting!
    Put in a fair bit of work on the laptop today, finished off scanning in the Thomson Brochures ready to make into PDF files and put up web pages with, finally finished the first box of Reel to Reel tapes dad sent which are now all recorded onto the laptop ready to be edited and converted to MP3 for him. A labour of love which I have found bringing back many memories from my young to teenage years, damn my mum was brilliant on the Cornet! A few with me playing too which made me sad at not keeping up with it.
    Anyway, hope all is well at the croft and at your parents, we do worry about you all. Look forward to hearing news from ‘The End of the road’ and please pass on our good wishes to them.
    All the best mate

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — October 17, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

    • Morning Graham, glad you’re on the mend too, take care and don’t over do it (says he who never does 🙂 )

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 18, 2012 @ 6:44 am

      • Thanks Paul, much better and knuckling down to getting the reel to reel tapes sorted and put on CD for dad, a laborious job really, each tape is about 3 hrs playing time so 3 hrs to download to the PC then umpteen more hours trying to decipher his hand writing to add the details to the index book I am making for the so far 20 reels which once split into different segments for the specific things on them has so far used up 35 cd’s! Still keeps me out of trouble! Still got to get ink for the printer and start doing the labels and jewel cases but hope it will all be done for his Christmas pressie!
        While researching some of the reels I came across a picture of Dad marcing down Leith walk with the Leith Citadel Band when he was the officer there in 67-70, an added bonus is that mum must have recorded some of the old Brass Band records onto reel and each one has her reading the contents of the rear of the record beforehand, what a joy to hear her voice again, she passed on in 2008 and I have to admit there is never a day goes by when I don’t think of her. These recordings have been a great help lately and also the ones with my brother Ian on them who passed away in 2009. Certainly makes the chore go quicker hearing them again.
        I know how hard it is when you are away from the family and your folks for so long but getting home must be a great feeling, we only get to see Dad and my siblings once or twice a year and I know what a wrench it is to leave again. keep yer chin up, the back of the training is now broken and the time before you get home is getting shorter. As always joan and i send our love and regards to you and all your clan.

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — October 23, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

      • Wow Graham, sounds epic, don’t think I could sit down still for that long (yet) 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 24, 2012 @ 6:26 am

      • At one time neither could I Paul, but the old artritis problems I was born with are keeping the legs pretty much out of action these days. I was saying to Joan it looks like I will be using the wheelchair I spent almost 7 years in again soon, something I am not keen on, not because it is not of great use but because it seems that the minute we go anywhere with me in it I become invisible and have the usual questions directed to Joan about how am I doing and if I am feeling better today, which meets with the same answer, his legs don’t work so good but his IQ is probably still twice as high as yours! She is a star!
        Managed to get another three tapes done today which I am fair chuffed at, especially on researching them I managed to get exact dates for them and also found some long lost friends from my SA Banding days too! All information which I am adding to the booklet I am making to accompany the tapes, a bonus Dad does not know about yet. Today I also came across a recording of Mum and I playing a Cornet duet from when I was about 12, what a joy to hear it again, but still remembered the nerves that went with that first ‘Live’ performance of a particularly difficult piece!
        Great stuff in todays Blog and I am particularly proud of your efforts with the team on the firefighting, a course similair to one I did in the 80’s, it really is hard hot work and to get through it must have been both an amazing feeling and a moment for reflection on how well all the training is going. I do hope you never have to put this into practice though.
        Keep your chin up and keep up the great work.

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — October 25, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

      • Keep your chin up too Graham, seems like you’ve way more problems than me.

        All the best, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 26, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

      • Too my way of thinking it is a blessing that I have these problems as it does afford me time to spend with the kids and grandkids while at the same time I do know of others less fortunate than I am so in some ways I do consider myself lucky. When i think about it had it not been for my problems I would probably never have put together Thomson Caravans History which has brought me in contact with so many new froends around the world, not forgetting that it also introduced me to you and your family and your excellent blog. Every Cloud has its silver lining.
        Spoke with my brother on Orkney yesterday where they too have had snow, he is one of the Harbour Masters and spends a lot of time going to and from ships, until recently he was with Custom and Excise so probably had much of the training in the ‘tank’ that you had today.
        Whilst a customs offiver he spent many an hour in Scapa Flow monitering the German wrecks there in one of the biggest drug caches in the history of the job. Basically he loved it as he says he spent most days on a small craft fishing as part of the undercover work, being payed to catch his dinner does seem like a great job lol!
        Glad you managed up to barrhead again this weekend. Incidently my eledr brother Ian was the Salvation Army Officer at Barrhead in the early 80’s, Small world or what!
        Take care and have a great weekend!

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — October 28, 2012 @ 2:37 am

      • Morning Graham, well I’m impressed with this train lark,

        Whilst a customs offiver he spent many an hour in Scapa Flow monitering the German wrecks

        If he was there in 1981 I probably met him when I got caught lifting the Steering pedestal off the SS Prudentia a tanker sunk there in WW1 🙂

        Funny enough I walked past the SA in Barrhead yesterday and thought of you 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 28, 2012 @ 9:42 am

      • In 81, Geoff was in the Argyles out in Malta after an 18month stint in N. Ireland, his second tour there, his first was when the pub at Balakelly was blown out, which he just missed as he had been in there in the morning having a soft drink with some of his mates before going on Guard duty at the barracks, he just got logged in and as he did so the bomb went off and they scrambled to help their comrades. Something that still haunts him to this day.
        Sma;l world isn’t it I was thinking of our Ian yesterday it now being another year since he went up the great Golden stair to be with mum and as I thought about him I was recalling the day I helped him move his kit into the Quarters at Barrhead. Thankfully SA Quarters come with furniture so it was just the 40 odd boxes and 4 Cabin Trunks to carry up the 3 flights to the flat the Army had there! All that after me doing an 16 hr nightshift! Ah the good times! I do sometimes wonder how mum and dad coped with 6 kids and moving on every two years as Officers once did, happily the modern SA has taken into account the scholling of Officers Kids and now has a 5 or 6 year stay and sometimes longer. Indeed Geoff was a SA officer when his wife and he went to Orkney and after 7years they got farewell orders to Glasgow, after 6 months they requested to resign as they could no longer function on the mainland and headed back to Orkney. There two boys are now at Aberdeen Uni, both doing music! Mum would be so proud of them as she had such a great influence on all us kids and our kids when it came to learning to play a brass instrument!
        Anyway its way passed midnight so time I kicked the dog out of bed and got in there myself.
        Keep positive, not long till you get back to sanity!
        All the best

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — October 30, 2012 @ 1:45 am

  6. Hi Paul, What about song writing–you have the inspiration!

    Comment by drgeo — October 17, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

  7. Any truth to the rumor that the Landy now sports a Rolls Royce Merlin V12 engine? They should know better than to let you roam that museum unsupervised!

    Comment by drgeo — October 17, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

  8. Stunning picture provided by George.Sub-contracting the home-sickness to us,showing us that.File that outline of the mountains in the next bit of plate they give you 🙂

    Comment by Andy — October 18, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

    • Morning Andy, just had to go home after seeing Georges pictures 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 22, 2012 @ 6:53 am

  9. Loving your excursion Paul; you can find jewels where most of us just see dross. It’s that awesome low autumn light up here in the Hebs this week and the redwing and fieldfare have returned. It is my favourite time of year.

    Comment by Across the Minch — October 18, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

    • Morning Across the Minch there, across the Minch 🙂 That was some spell of weather and light this weekend oop north, truly amazing, couldn’t see the sea here when I arrived due to harr 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 22, 2012 @ 6:52 am

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