Life at the end of the road

December 10, 2012

Half past three in the morning :-(

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 3:58 am

Well, I suppose it’s only two thirty am at Arnish but I’m now on CET or something eight floors up in the centre of a city.


It has been a very long day and I’m sat here plonking away on here, full of a cold when I should be sleeping Sad smile

No fault of the delightful hotel we’re ensconced in no sir the Inntel hotel is first class and the view breath taking.


I say breath taking because I’m having panic attacks at being in the middle of it, and I thought South Shields was a ‘different planet’ Smile

To be honest I don’t think I’d have got here had I been on my own, it was bad enough navigating myself from the ‘drop off point’ at Glasgow airport to terminal M, let alone traversing the 50 or 60k to Rotterdam from Schiphol. Luckily I’m the dimmest of the ‘seven dwarfs’ allocated to this course  and just followed the more intelligent and ‘switched on’ members of the team.

An epic trip

I must look shifty, I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve been asked for drugs at festivals or gigs and you can guarantee that I’ll set off a metal detector even in stocking feet. The last time I was at Glasgow was 1996 and it took me two hours to clear customs, probably on account of my steel toe cap boots, Swiss army penknife, Zippo, tobacco tin and Leatherman tool in my pockets and 50 round ‘banana clip’ in my hand luggage Smile

Ruger 10/22 Magazine 50 Round Banana Clip from Ramline

Try doing that now and you’d be in jail, anyway after a few phone calls to the police station in Portree they let me back into Scotland without the ‘latex glove’ treatment Smile  Of course even I realize the world has changed since then so left my knife at home and removed all the nuts, washers and bits of carp from my many pockets in Arnish. Even so it was through the metal detector three times and a good search with the wand before they let me through on account of the metal press  studs in my shirt Sad smile The rest of the team looking on in amusement and making ‘latex glove’ gestures Smile



Anyway, some two hours later we were off and I spent the next hour glued to the window,


as we flew over the Borders, across country to just north of the Humber and then over the Wash before crossing the North Sea. Sadly I was on the sunny side of the plane but even so it was pretty exciting stuff, you probably realize I do not fly very often Smile



That will be the N302 road across the Markermeer as we approached Schiphol.


After that it all went a little ‘tits up’ as they say, for there was no taxi to meet us, fortunately we had a phone number for the driver, who promptly informed us ‘I no work Sunday’ Smile Now, had I been on my own, at this point I would have gone to pieces so fast, that folk nearby would have been hit by the shrapnel Smile (quote from Arthur Dent, or was it Ford Prefect, anyway it out of ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’) After phoning just about everyone we could think of, most of whom were ‘unavailable’ we, ( I say we generically as I just  panicked quietly to myself and did nothing ) caught a very fast and smooth train to Rotterdam. That was of course after we very nearly got on one heading to Gdansk or somewhere Smile Once out of the station in Rotterdam we very luckily came straight upon what looked to me like the only seven seater taxi in rank of about one hundred Mercs and Toyota estates.


I have to say that I’m very impressed with the Inntel Rotterdam Smile



Well I was impressed when I finally managed to get in my room with the electronic card thing, I was even more impressed when I saw the miniature bottle bottle of red wine on the writing desk. Not so chuffed after I’d drunk it and seen the price right enough Smile So that’s it, we arrived at 18:30 and after dinner I went to my bed only to awake at 3:00am whereupon I spent the next hour plonking away on here drinking Earl Grey tea with Lockettes dissolved in the cup for my cold Smile Actually it’s not bad, but I really need to find a supermarket to get some whisky and honey Smile



  1. That bridge looks a lot like the one in Boston.

    I fly probably a little more than you do, but I always find myself glued to the window. It’s nothing short of fascinating, and I never get tired of it.

    Comment by jomegat — December 10, 2012 @ 4:38 am

    • Can’t wait to see that bridge in the daylight JG 🙂 There’s a great long, low ship going under it right now and I’m thinking that the tide is falling. I can see an illuminated sign nearby that said 11.3 at 3:30am and now reads 12.1 methinks that must be the height of it over the sea.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 10, 2012 @ 5:35 am

  2. Hi Paul, glad to hear you arrived safely at the hotel, which looks amazing!
    My experience of flying is minimal, one flight to Shetland and return. For those not familiar with Shetlands airport it has sea, rocks, runway, main road, more rocks and back into the sea! Needless to say although I enjoyed the flight the landing had me gripping the seat! What amazing pictures Paul, It really is a great world we live in and seeing it from ‘on high’ is a sight to behold. looking forward to more pictures of the daylight hours where you are!
    Hope you can get rid of the cold asap, and enjoy the rest of the trip.
    All the best

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — December 10, 2012 @ 5:51 am

  3. Morning Paul
    Glad you made it safely to the hotel and didn’t land in Russia. You must be in my room,thats the view i had !
    Enjoy the coures,

    Good luck. Angus

    Comment by angus — December 10, 2012 @ 6:17 am

    • Hi Angus,

      aye, all is going well down here, it’s certainly a little different to Raasay or even Rothesay 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 11, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

  4. Good morning,
    Enforced abscences from home are not the nicest of things, as I have also experienced, all in the cause of work. Living on the edge of The Wash in Norfolk, I find watching the numerous vapour trails in the sky absolutely fascinating, wondering where they are all bound for, etc… I then discovered which lets you identify individual flights, and this in itself is facinating. Perhaps I saw the vapour trail from your goodself(and team), one never knows. Enjoy the experience while you can.

    Comment by Richard — December 10, 2012 @ 9:11 am

    • Hi Richard,

      I’ll wave on the way back, with any luck it should be around 16:00 on Friday 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 11, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

  5. Hi Paul (its that lad from Gateshead) part two of your travels… well you got their ok. did’nt want to bother you to much when you were having hassle with internet, but thoughts with you.
    Orbital was awesome, did’nt raise a glass of cider in your name , it s a glass of Gin but the sentiment was their…… , Just make sure the other “dwarfs” look after you.

    Comment by mike — December 10, 2012 @ 9:41 am

    • Glad you enjoyed Orbital Mike, hope to see you when I’m next down, which is now the 21st of Jan.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 11, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

  6. Hi Paul

    You would have enjoyed the sea crossing from Hull to Rotterdam, but it’s longer than a flight and the old girl would have had a long trip down to England again. The last time I flew anywhere was from Copenhagen in 1969 in a DC6 – I sat by a window and looked out onto big propellors rather than a view. Enjoy the course – at least you are at a port with interesting goings on, if you have time to watch them.


    Comment by Sue — December 10, 2012 @ 9:41 am

  7. Hi Paul
    thanks as ever for your blog, always entertaining and keeps giving me ideas of how to make my own ramblings more interesting. I know how you feel about the flying and foreign parts bit. I’m a farm boy by nature and anything more than a market town makes me sense that it isn’t really ‘real’. Never mind, it’ll make home even more appreciated when you get back, even with the iffy internet links.

    Comment by Jim Hewlett — December 10, 2012 @ 10:08 am

  8. I’m not so sure about the N302 in the picture, but will try to check this Paul…
    Cheers, Leonard

    Comment by Leonard Fintelman — December 10, 2012 @ 10:58 am

    • Paul,
      Not the N302 in the picture. You are looking at the N518 with the town of “Uitdam” in the back. Holland is small, but not that small…… (at the hook in the road we used to launch our Seakayaks for a trip round Marken and to Volendam (in the past).
      Best regards from your Dutch uncle for today,

      Comment by Leonard Fintelman — December 10, 2012 @ 11:20 am

  9. If you can’t sleep again tonight, try this:

    Comment by drgeo — December 10, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

    • Morning DrG, no problem at all sleeping these last two nights, it’s been pretty intense, work,dinner,bed 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 12, 2012 @ 5:29 am

  10. Did you realise you could have flown to Amsterdam direct from Inverness?? I did it last year and it was a much easier journey. However, it seems that the worst part of your journey was between the airport and Rotterdam. The hotel looks good though – make the most of it! Sue

    Comment by Sue from Sallachy — December 10, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

    • That would have been far too sensible Sue 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 12, 2012 @ 5:28 am

  11. Always like to get a window a seat on a flight .It is amazing what you see,weather permitting.Flew right over this crater- – at @10,000ft on a flight from Birmingham to Inverness.Seen any hills today ? 🙂

    Comment by Andy — December 10, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    • Morning Andy, that sure is some huge hole, funny I’ve never heard of it before.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 12, 2012 @ 5:20 am

      • Thank you for this link

        Comment by SOTW — December 12, 2012 @ 10:07 am

      • My Dad says he heard the bang clearly from 30 miles away in Wolverhampton (Dad was 9yrs old 1944). I had to visit the site adjacent to the crater some years ago.The WW2 narrow gauge railway was still in place leading from the above ground works to the mine entrance.Another WW2 bomb dump in Llanberis,N Wales, had trouble also when its main roof collapsed under the weight of backfill.

        Comment by Andy — December 12, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

  12. check out those awesome wind turbines and bring me one back in your hand luggage…

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — December 12, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

  13. Last night in Rotterdam! I hope your radio silence was caused by having too much fun, rather than shaking off the flu bug.

    Comment by drgeo — December 13, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

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