Life at the end of the road

March 17, 2013

All quiet on the eastern front :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, South Shields — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:17 pm

It’s been a while I know but I’ve not felt like burdening anyone with my gloom, for I am indeed truly miserable, still that’s me been here exactly a week and I’ll soon be heading home. It’s not the course at the college , that’s extremely interesting and relevant. It’s not the digs at ‘The Clifton’ on Ocean road, far from it, Dave and Susan have looked after me splendidly, the place is immaculate, clean, warm, quiet and the food great. It’s just that I hate it here and feel like a ‘fish out of water’, my right knee is killing me and preventing me from doing the only thing that kept me sane on previous visits, which is walking Sad smile

Sunday 17th March

Well this is me making a half hearted attempt at catching up whilst watching though all I keep seeing is


‘John Boy’ from the Walton’s  Smile I can’t say that I’m giving it my undivided attention for it would be difficult to improve on Lewis Milestone’s seminal anti war film of 1930,  and I’ve yet to come across a remake that improved on an original. Casino Royale excluded that is not that I’ve seen the 2006 effort but it would be hard to make one worse than the original Smile Not that  it did much good, for nine years later we were at it again Sad smile

Sorry, got distracted there by a salad from the ‘Sahara Flame’  over the road, and of course my comfort for the weekend, a flagon of Weston’s cider Smile Much as I detest ‘fast food’ the effort from the Turks, Cypriots, Algerians or whatever they are on Ocean road is excellent, a huge bowl of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, gherkin, chilli and olives for £2.99. Of course I have absolutely no idea what they are saying to me on account of my poor hearing and their combination of Geordie and whatever it is but we seem to get along just fine and I now have some new pals Smile

Anyway, where was I, well back at college I suppose, where most of it was spent on various simulators


starting up, and at times ‘blacking out’



various oil tankers and cruise ships.


Now this may not seem at first glance to have much relevance to a 40m long RoRo ferry but I can assure you that it does. Gone now are the days of wandering around every pump, generator, engine and fan to start it then giving it a thwack with a hammer if it don’t go. Nowadays it’s all done with a mouse and it takes a little getting used to Smile

News from home

It’s just my recent addiction to ‘the box’ and an unhealthy amount of Weston’s and red wine that’s kept me sane, it’s also the regular news from home in the form of phone calls and emails Smile

14-3-12 001


Raasay House has been formally handed over to the community,


14-3-12 002

Dave Thompson has written to us all regarding a ‘community buyout’ and today we got 32 eggs from 32 hens Smile


16-3-13 002 

The croft is in capable hands


16-3-13 008

and the ‘wee dug’ just as miserable as me Smile

It tastes better from a glass

This last couple of days have been a bit of a struggle, I’m not used to being confined and it would have been even harder work had it not been for my hosts, Dave and Susan. Friday night and, after a week of abstinence I set off out to venture across the road to the ‘offy’, a small corner shop on Ocean road with a good selection of red wine. On the way out of the front door I engages in conversation with my affable landlord Dave, informing him I’m off to buy a bottle of wine. On my return I’m greeted by Susan, his wife, and a glass, “Dave says it always tastes better out of a glass” says she  Smile



They do my washing for me, keep me fed and are the perfect hosts,


I really don’t like it here on ‘the eastern front’ but I’m glad that I’m ‘billeted’ in ‘The Clifton guest house’ on Ocean road Smile

This sore knee has been a real pain in the butt but today, after much ointment, several pain killers and the application of a very expensive knee support I risked a wander.



This will be the Havila Pheonix, a serious off shore supply vessel that was berthed just opposite the South Shields ferry landing.


The DFDS ‘King Seaways’


was also in port and at 27 years of age can’t be far from abdication Smile or at least a change of venue to the Philippines or Indonesia Smile 



Unusual these day in not having a ‘bulbous bow’ was the Cypriot registered ‘Pedhoulas Leader either bringing coal or taking away scarp, perhaps both Smile



  1. Missed reading your posts over the last couple of days, good to have you back. Had a visit from my parents today so was able to introduce them to your blog and will email them the link.

    Comment by Linsay MacLean — March 17, 2013 @ 11:26 pm

    • Hi Linsay,

      sorry for the lack of effort on my behalf but I’ll be home soon 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 18, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

  2. Thought you might have popped up to Seahouses to give us your opinion on how the $%&# she ended up there between the islands.

    Comment by Nick Bennett — March 17, 2013 @ 11:32 pm

  3. “The croft is in capable hands…”
    Who is that six-foot man and what has he done with the Dude?

    Comment by Drgeo — March 18, 2013 @ 4:44 am

    • “The croft is in capable hands…”
      Who is that six-foot man and what has he done with the Dude?

      Cheers DrG that really cheered me up 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 18, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

  4. Off to collect eggs by the wheelbarrow load… great stuff. Hope your knee is less painful ,have you explored the Bowen technique, although it may not be specific enough for your particular problem, might be worth a punt.
    Grace Darlings little boat would not have been much use for the evacuation of the cargo boat. Seems the crew are well and on board,but what happens next, maybe a booster lesson on the simulators you train on would not be out of order !

    Comment by SOTW — March 18, 2013 @ 6:40 am

    • Off to collect eggs by the wheelbarrow load… great stuff.
      Grace Darlings little boat would not have been much use for the evacuation of the cargo boat. Seems the crew are well and on board,but what happens next, maybe a booster lesson on the simulators you train on would not be out of order !

      🙂 🙂 Thanks She, like DrG in Texas that made me smile

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 18, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

  5. Paul,
    Sorry to hear you are a bit down, am sure the alcohol will revive you.
    Great to hear your hosts are as good as you say, certainly makes being away more bearable. Food looks splendid & having your washing done for you. Brilliant. Chicken shish kebabs, give them a go, healthy and very tasty, if your feeling adventurous have some chilli sauce too.
    Likewise I thought you would have your own snaps of the ‘Diano’ and a full report for us nonn nautical types of ‘What Went Wrong’.

    Great to hear your MSP is getting involved. Better late than never.

    All the best


    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — March 18, 2013 @ 8:15 am

    • Cheers ATB,

      I can see ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ now so my mood has drastically improved 🙂 Not only did I miss the Danio but I missed the Amethyst too 😦


      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 18, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

      • Glad you are feeling a tad more cheery. Every time I read your blog it tops me up until my next visit to Skye, especially with the carp weather down south at the moment.
        Good to hear a positive outcome to a fishing boat accident.

        Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — March 20, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

      • Hi ATB,

        home to the good weather at last 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 25, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

  6. Hi Paul

    Not long now and – all things being equal – the ‘being away’ period of your life will have secured your employment in a location that you love doing what you love, so… it has a of of benefits as well as downsides, doesn’t it?

    Is the knee simply a touch of arthritis or have you sprained it in some way – damage to the anterior cruciate ligament can be hellish painful (as I know). [see for example

    I would see community ownership of Raasay as a great way forward, provided there are enough people committed to organise, administer and continue it (train their successors). And, of course, given the funding power to achieve and embed it. At least the MSP has become engaged with the issues which has to be positive?

    Chin up!

    Comment by Carrie — March 18, 2013 @ 10:16 am

  7. Just spotted this and thought that you might have missed it due to your being so far south !

    Comment by Sue Mason — March 18, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

  8. slightly off topic (!!!) but i wanted to update you on the ICF block construction i mentioned here a while back. i know you’ve gone for trad masonry on your house, but this was so interesting — by committed homesteaders like yourself, and in alaska, for god’s sake — i just had to come back and mention it again. ana and her husband are building a duplex for their two mothers near fairbanks, on a hill where winds can reach hurricane levels. and, did i mention, PERMAFROST. anyways, here’s a presentation she is making on building with the ICF forms, thought it would amuse you.

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — March 23, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

  9. Missed your posts all week. Had to get my fix from your neighbours on Rona and over the way in Applecross. Hope normal service resumes next week when you are back.


    See you like the Old Rosie got a great recipe for homebrew Old rosie.


    Comment by alistair — March 23, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

  10. hope normal service resumes up at life at the end of the road, missing those posts Paul

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — March 25, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

  11. Paul, when are you home? I need to talk to you about broadband, masts etc. We are planning to get going on our system in the next few weeks and would like to work with you.

    Comment by Alison — March 25, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

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