Life at the end of the road

October 29, 2012

Only 17:00 :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry, South Shields — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:43 pm

Well that’s it then, BST is over and I’m sat here in the old Thompson with a candle and vodka bottle Sad smile it’s pitch black outside, or as near as you get to it in a town and I’m depressed Sad smile Or at least I will be by the time I finish this bottle Smile

I seriously hate this ‘messing about with clocks’ and have a rant about it every year, what is the point??? all it does is confuse, am I the only person with an internal clock that goes ‘pear shaped’ every six months???? I know all my animals get confused and if it wasn’t for the fact that much of my life is governed by ferry sailings and shop openings I wouldn’t alter the friggin clocks.

In fact when I lived on the small island of Scalpay just south of Raasay we never altered them until January and that was because we’d had to leave the island for a few weeks to return to ‘the real world’. Most of the inhabitants would go and visit family at Christmas so had to get to grips with timetables and the like.

Anyway, I’m stuck with it and I’m back, not home but in my ‘cell’ in ‘the village’ just about halfway through my course Sad smile



I left Barrhead this morning around 8:45 and got a lift into Glasgow Queen street with the ‘in laws’



probably not a ‘big deal’ to most readers but this whole city thing and public transport has me a little confused to say the least.


Well so much for that effort, it never even made ‘the press’, probably on account of that vodka bottle and a lack of enthusiasm on my part. It’s hard getting enthused when your almost 400 miles away from home ‘sucking eggs’ but I’ll try and pick up the thread, the bottle is almost empty now Smile

I gotta say that I really enjoyed the train journey, well as far as Newcastle at least, the final leg being ruined by a bunch of rather loud, drunk and intimidating neds, but that’s the city for you I suppose Sad smile

Glasgow Queen street was a cinch, nice clean train already in twenty minutes prior to departure, with no seat reserved  I picked a nice window one with a table for my laptop Smile Sat down comfortably and on the phone to wifey, I terminated the call to help an old lady aboard with ‘wee dug’ and multiple baggage.


To be honest by the time I’d put my phone away the spritely pensioner had managed just fine and was asking me ‘are you OK with dogs’ as she and Tristram Shandy made them selves comfortable. After brief pleasantries during which I learned that she didn’t actually want a dog and had had the wee chap forced upon her, then how stuck for a name she’d named him after,_Gentleman because it was on the radio Smile or was it TV. Now where have you heard that ‘I’m not really a dog person’ before Smile Anyway as we neared Edinburgh I learned we were catching the same train, though she would be going all the way to Kings Cross and beyond. So upon arrival we stuck together, me with Tristram and my bags and her with her experience and her bags Smile With half an hour to wait we exchanged life stories before I helped her onto the packed train some three or four carriages away from my own. As our seats had been reserved I reluctantly left my new friends after a big hug and set next to a crabbit chap reading the Independent Sad smile

Still, if I’m ever in Suffolk I’m going to pop in and see them at  Smile

The journey south was quick and comfortable, and after Berwick upon Tweed it became obvious that other seats in the carriage were going to remain vacant so I moved to gaze at the east coast whizzing by. Had Newcastle been journeys end then all would have been rosy but a 45 minute wait for a Metro full of arseholes kind of spoiled the experience somewhat. I know, I know, I said I’m stopping swearing but the term describes the ‘no neck’ halfwit and his younger glue sniffing pals perfectly, luckily they got off at Jarrow, though not before frightening half of the train with their antics.

After picking up essentials in Morrison’s like vodka, food and washing liquid I finally entered a rather smelly Thompson Glenelg caravan around 15:30. Your truly having forgot to empty the bin and having left the heating on Sad smile At £25 a night I wasn’t going to turn it off on principle, this shower at the ‘Sandhaven caravan park’ had tried to screw me for £1625 the moment I arrived, no reduction for single occupancy or a long term deal Sad smile OK the place is clean, tidy, secure, central, and very pleasant if your into that kind of thing but for heavens sake it’s almost November.

After some vegetable pakoras and egg fried rice I had a go at ‘blogging’ but gave up in favour of the vodka bottle and an awesome movie not the Hollywood remake but the original Swedish version of the first

of Stieg Larsson’s ‘millennium trilogy’. The other two ‘ the girl who played with fire’ and ‘the girl who kicked the hornets nest’ being every bit as good



but I never brought them with me Sad smile

Minesweepers on the Tyne

‘Bright eyed and bushy tailed’ I headed in to the college today to start my last course down here, that extra hour in bed certainly helped today Smile

003  004

I can’t remember what these two buildings at North Shields are called but I’m sure they’re something to do with the two obelisks that I pass every day on my way to college in South Shields.



The next four weeks should hopefully be a little more enlightening


now that we have a ship in the class room



Not to mention a sea view,







this will be part of NATO’s Standing Mine Countermeasures Force Group 1 (SNMCMG1) that have been in Newcastle for the weekend. However I strongly recommend that you check out Steve Ellwood’s pictures on here for far better images and more info. One boat I didn’t catch was the Estonian navies Sakla,

which is in fact the ex RN HMS Inverness, a frequent visitor to the Inner Sound of Raasay in days gone by.

She is the fomer Royal Navy vessel HMS Inverness – M102 which was sold to the Estonians in 2008.
Class & type: Sandown class minehunter
Displacement: 450 tons full
Length: 52.6 m
Beam: 10.5 m
Draught: 2.4 m
Propulsion: 2 shafts Voith-Schneider propulsors
diesel-electric drives
Paxman Valenta 6RPA200M diesels,
2 Rolls Royce (Perkins) CV8-250G drives
Speed: 13 knots diesel, 6.5 knots electric
Complement: 7 officers, 27 sailors
Crew: 34
Sensors and processing systems: Type 1007 navigation radar Thales 2093 variable-depth mine hunting sonar
Armament: 3 × Browning 12.7 mm MG gun
Armour: fibreglass
Mine counter measures equipment: Atlas Elektronik Seafox MIDS

Image and info from

Progress on the Hallaig

Well the launch is on schedule and the tugs booked for the 17th December Smile

725 726 from window

Number 725 AKA known as the MV or is it HV Hallaig is beginning to look more like a ship and her two Siemens 375Kw electric motors have arrived at the yard


motors for new ship

Nice to see ‘Fenner’ couplings on the end of the motors and water cooling Smile

Anyway, that’s it, well after 21:00 now so almost 23:00 by my biological clock so I’m off to my heated blanket and bed Smile

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