Life at the end of the road

March 14, 2013

Simulated yet stimulated :-)

Filed under: daily doings, South Shields — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:31 am

Half past five in the morning ‘and I can’t get no sleep’, well, not strictly true, I’ve actually slept quite well, just not for long enough Sad smile My body knows spring is just six days away and wants to be out doing things on the croft or up at the house. That’s not all it wants to do but I’ll have to wait until I get home for that Smile Just like the ‘birds and the bees’ methinks it’s time to be out there lining my nest and doing stuff.

What on earth do folk in towns do at this time of the year if they’ve not got a garden ??? Or more correctly what do you do that doesn’t involve parting with money or putting on weight ?? Me, I suppose if my knee wasn’t hurting would go for a walk but I’m sure I’d soon get fed up of that.

I left my berth on the MV Clifton Smile yesterday for the daily hobble to college and by the time I’d got to the end of Ocean road I looked like a snowman, or at least the front half of me did. However it didn’t last long and was even quite sunny at times, though a phone call to darling wife told a different tale. She’d been telephoned by the snow plough driver to say that he couldn’t get the lorry up Glame Brae and not to attempt the drive south. Again, just like here it didn’t really lie for long and by late afternoon the road was clear, one thing about potholes is that they provide more traction than smooth tarmac Smile Smile

The day at South Tyneside College had been spent mainly in one of the many simulators ‘cold starting’ a huge cruise ship and was very enjoyable indeed.


Yup, that’s how it’s done nowadays, even on our own relatively small MV Hallaig, no wandering around the ship starting generators, engines, pumps and separators,  just several (hundred in this case) clicks of a mouse Smile



Of course you still have to physically check some oil levels but bunker, water and oil tanks or all done ‘on screen’ as are the operation of just about every fuel, water, oil and steam valve.



Scoused Smile

The first time we were in the bridge simulator last year I was well and truly ‘Scoused’ Smile Steering my large ferry through Scapa Flow in a gale of west wind and snow showers whilst dodging submarines, fishing boats and cargo ships I lost control and nearly ran aground on South Ronaldsay Sad smile

The ‘near miss’ being caused by two Scousers ‘full of nonsense’ who’d surreptitiously taken over control of the ship and were using the azimuth pods to put me off course Smile

Anyway, this morning I’m trawling the net for some picture when I found them,

 Left to right: Simon Ashton, Christopher Sumbler, Luke Manning, Dai Coombes, Gary Hindmarch

the two ‘Scousers’ that is, Luke and Chris from Svitzer tugs Smile . Wonder if they’ve crashed any tugs yet Smile

Well, that’s about it really, 6:30 now, an hour to breakfast and I’m starving, all this ‘rabbit food’ I’m eating in an effort to loose some weight means I’m permanently hungry.


Time for another shower, that’s another thing about being in the ‘toon’, I feel permanently grubby, this town muck just aint the same as mud and pig pooh Smile Having said that,



it’s a long while since my hands have been this clean Smile



And I’ve just realized, I can see the town hall clock from my room, not only that but it works Smile



  1. You’ll get blisters on your palms doing croft work with these !

    Comment by SOTW — March 14, 2013 @ 3:34 pm

  2. What do townies do at 05:30? (well not really a townie since I live in a rural hamlet) I walk my dogs. Currently out of work this is the first winter in a long time that I haven’t ended up frazzled from dog walks in the pitch black just so I can commute to work, because at the moment we go out in the middle of the day. I know what you mean though I can feel my bodyclock hinting hat it is nearly spring and I should be out of bed and getting on instead of hibernating!

    Comment by nonehpets — March 14, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

  3. In addition to the town hall clock, looks like you can also see which way the weathervane is pointing. And if it’s raining! But your knee can likely forecast the rain beforehand.

    Comment by Drgeo — March 15, 2013 @ 6:37 am

  4. When you’ve finished all this brainwork, will you be all posh and have letters after your name ! !
    Good article in the Daily Mail about The Shiants – might make you smile ! Sue

    Comment by Sue Mason — March 16, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    • Thanks for the delightful visit to a wild place! I’d be bringing my guard cat along.

      Comment by Flora — March 16, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

      • Amazing place ! Would sea eagles like to dine on the rats…. .?

        Comment by SOTW — March 16, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

      • The owner is a regular visitor to your old school She 😉

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 16, 2013 @ 11:18 pm

  5. Paul, don’t worry about your hands. My paws get washed every five minutes in a 13 hour shift. Not a crack or blister with garden or other stuff. Use plenty Aqueous cream

    Comment by mi — March 17, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

    • Hi Mi,

      thanks for the tip, I’ve kind of got used to the ‘office boy hands’ 🙂 and would hate to loose them 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 18, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

  6. Crook knees try a product called L-Glutamine, like you I struggled for years until I was introduced to this, takes about 3 weeks for the full effect, it is a freely available (well here in OZ anyway so should be for you) natural product. Allan

    Comment by Allan White — March 19, 2013 @ 11:52 pm

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