Life at the end of the road

November 5, 2012

Back to the grind :-(

Filed under: daily doings, South Shields — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:56 pm

I feel like a journalist in Beirut must have done in the 1980’s, plonking away with the sound of gunfire in the background. I kid you not, it’s like a war zone here with just one explosion after another and it seems to have been going on for days. Perhaps this is normal in a town at this time of year, I wouldn’t know, but where I come from it’s all over in a few hours, here it’s like a civil war Sad smile

It’s already after 21:00 and the ‘war’ has been raging since the sun went down some four hours ago,


at the Marine Safety Training Centre.

After my late awaking and rather rushed exit to walk the mile or so there, it was refreshing to spend the day doing things of interest and relevance with staff that were knowledgeable and keen. Much of the day was spent splicing, tying knots and whipping, but to be honest I rather enjoy that when it’s taught well. Many of the knots, splices and bends I can do with my eyes shut, but one or two like the ‘bowline on the bight’


wall knot

Single Wall Knot tying illustration

and multiplat splice

I’ve been struggling with. They’re all things I’ve done in the past but just forgotten through lack of use, however today it all just seemed to click into place thanks to the staff and a few old ‘sea dogs’ in the class Smile



I’m still not convinced that in our ‘elfin safety’ culture that we need to know how to rig a ‘bosun’s chair’ or a ‘stage’ for hanging over the ships side but the these two dudes had it down to 19 seconds by the end of the day Smile

Me, I was just content with being able to do it Smile but now it’s past my bed time and I’m going to turn in, the weather has got much colder of late and the heater is now ‘cranked up’ from 750w to 1250w. Though that does have an ‘up side’ for I’ve now been able to buy more fresh stuff without fear of it going off Smile



So I’ll just leave you with ‘Sunrise over the village’ from Friday morning

and a pylon from near the Barrhead dams.


Something that, since seeing the film with Pete Postlethwaite  some years ago I’ve begun to regard in a whole new light Smile



  1. Not long now mate and you’ll soon be waking once again to stags roaring. Glad you’ve got the bondage bit squared away. 🙂

    Comment by Lloyd — November 5, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

    • Aye Lloyd, only seventeen more nights 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 6, 2012 @ 6:33 am

  2. I am no expert, but I do teach a couple of dozen knots to kids annually. I do like tying the bowline on a bight. The wall gives me fits (I can’t tie it without a reference), and I’ve never seen that multiplat splice before.

    Comment by jomegat — November 6, 2012 @ 12:07 am

    • Yup Jomegat, the wall ties me in knots too, we’ll see if I can remember how to do it today, should have brought some rope down with me to practice 🙂 Aye, there’s about 9 different methods to splice multiplat, unfortunately the way that I used to do it is not the way that the MCA like, which is a little odd insomuch as it’s the way that most ropes come from the manufacturers if pre spliced ie with both pairs of left and right hand strands tucked under each other four times. The way we have to do it is to tuck the first pair as a pair then the next three tucks are made by doing each strand separately, one under and one over. Then it’s finished off by pairing a left hand right hand strand together and seizing them, very neat and strong though.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 6, 2012 @ 6:32 am

  3. Is the village perchance Port Merion, ie. The Prisoner?

    Comment by Richard — November 6, 2012 @ 10:28 am

  4. I agree that fireworks have got excessive. Maybe they should hike the tax on them a lot. Better for worried pets, better for light sleepers and better I’m sure for the environment. Yep, I’m a grinch, but I don’t care 😀

    Comment by knotrune — November 6, 2012 @ 11:16 am

    • Fireworks are a lot less excessive than they were a few years back. Then it was like WW III for a whole month. Now it is mostly the 5th and the nearest weekend. I get a good view of a huge display that is about five miles away. Before I got double glazing it used to rattle the windows!

      Comment by Phil Cook — November 6, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

      • Ahh Phil, when I was a yoof in Accrington we’d start collecting ‘bommy wood’ weeks before, store it in our back yards, quite often raiding each others supplies and there would be about three down every back ally. In the event of any emergency many of the allies would be inaccessible cos they had a fire burning at each end and the day after the place would be full of melted tar, nails and scorched doors 😦

        As soon as the bangers went on sale we’d be busy trying to make bombs out of them to blow up cow pats, it’s a miracle that I’m here really. There’s one thing about our present elfin safety culture, it’s put an end to all that foolhardiness, I’m many, many folk suffered as a result.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 6, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

    • Aye knotrune, they certainly are excessive, for they’re still going off now 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 6, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

  5. Still can’t see the connection between where you are staying and The Village! They couldn’t be more different!!

    Comment by Sue from Sallachy — November 6, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

    • Hi Sue,

      Still can’t see the connection between where you are staying and The Village! They couldn’t be more different!!

      You obviously never watched it, a man trapped in a bizarre location without knowing why he was there 🙂

      To me the twee and ordered pretend houses of my prison are just as out of place as an Italian village in North Wales 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 6, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

  6. I was out and about today, nearly called into the village as i have a wee pressie as a reminder of your visit to the republic

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — November 6, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

    • Would have been good to catch up Steve, as you may have gathered things are not so good on the ‘home front’ so my weekend meanderings around the area have been curtailed. Hope to catch up with both yourself and Mike at some point though. If not now then at least in January.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 6, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

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