Monthly Archives: May 2010

And the crowd are on the pitch

They think it’s all over,
It is now!
And another chapter closes.  Finally today after almost 3 months of ‘working my notice’ i left the good ship Antares.  I wondered how i would feel about finally stepping off but in all honesty, i gave it no thought at all as i stepped off the scaffold for the last time. Almost 20 months has passed, intense, long hours, dirty, smelly, frustrating, cramped, testing, learning, contorting, swearing but generally enjoying the challenges that it threw at me.
I guess after such a long notice period, it was only ever going to be an anti climax.
So for now, its not so much onward and upward but more of a horizontal laze for the next 4 months.  Yes, i appreciate how lucky i am to be able to take 4 months off but i wonder just how long i will get before an offer too good to refuse lands on my doorstep again.  I have already knocked back 2 before today.
I am in serious need of some time to myself, time to unwind, catch up with friends, have a beer or two and ride those big planks !
Portugal is on the cards – road trip starts on 3rd July, Colin and Dean will be joining me. I am even toying with the idea of buying a ticket for the SudOeste festival.
Of course, this is not before an action packed month in blighty, including a yacht skills test at warsash maritime academy.  Can you believe that i have to sit a skills assessment even before i am allowed to apply for my next exams !!  It sounds completely crazy but a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do.
So, first flight out to gatwick in the morning then slowly wind my way north stopping off to meet with friends old and new – all long overdue.
Of course, i still need to buy a car.  Havent owned one in over a year now, thats going to feel a little bit wierd.  Have got my close ebay bidding eye on a Mondeo estate diesel which also has the steering wheel on the left, if i loose that, second choice is a Rover 75 MG ZT estate and if i fall foul on that, I am going to treat myself to an S type Jag.  Not the ideal surf bus but should be sweet for the road trip.  I even had a little bid on the V8 supercharged version – i admit, that was sheer indulgence, every man should own a V8 supercharged during his life but they were getting a bit too rich even for my wealthy tight ass.
So, my next update will be from sunny england and no doubt accompanied by a few photos from one or two boozy sessions.  be sure to come back soon

Technical excellence

Some things have eluded me all of my life.  Things like a massive lottery win, a seat in a competitive F1 car or even marriage (although that one doesn’t bother me so much!).  This week, i finally did something that has eluded me for the last 24 years.
Those mechanically minded amongst you will be familiar with a specialist tool called ‘easy outs’.  If you have ever used one, you will know that they never work.  Over the last 24 years i have seen them used and used them myself without results.  This week, saw the dawn of a new beginning.  A sheared bleed plug on a centrifugal pump with a brass head!!!  drilled it with a right angled drill, then easy outed with relative ease, i was so amazed – and so was the new engineer (he even photographed it as evidence).  Certainly, i am sure the sucess was due to the material in question, the metalurgists amongst you will confirm this (Mr. D.M. Hewson in particular) maybe this is due to the molecular make up of such a soft metal.  Either way, it leads me to believe i should buy a lottery ticket, write again to Mercedes McLaren and steer clear of drunken marriage proposals (that includes you too Lexa – although you are far enough away for that to be nice and safe!).
Now with the geeky bit out of the way, lets have some fun.  I am hoping to be away from the boat finally by next weekend.  I did make a very good offer to the captain about finishing my work during the coming week so that i can finally be discharged.  Part of my offer was to return when the boat is ready to go back in the water and assist for as many days as the captain reguires.  Curiously, he has still to communicate with me about this offer – it has been 6 days now !!  Either way, my contract ends on the 14th of June – certainly after that date there will be no more!
Which leads me nicely into my little discussion about mainland europe.  This morning, sitting in a slowly awakening La Ciotat, i remembered how lucky i am to be able to travel freely.  Mainland europe has a certain something about it that england will never have again.  I sat on the terrace at the cafè drinking my super strong blackie and watched the world go by.  No sign of tension or unhappiness.  Everyone that walked into the cafè offered me a ‘bonjour’ and none of them knew me.  I cant imagine this happening in blighty.  Young children, families, old folk all mingling together and talking freely with strangers across generations.  I can’t imagine that there is an equivalent here to the UK’s ASBO’s, it just wouldn’t happen.
I have no doubt that england has small enclaves that echo this nice warm feeling but i bet you ten bucks that these are such expensive places to go to that they are reserved for the extremely wealthy – and even then, you don’t always have the weather for ‘al fresco’.
The best part of this mornings experience was that it reminded me of what is still to come.  the summer that i have been waiting for, home in portugal.  Being in a place where everyone knows everyone, and also speaks to strangers in the streets – it has a huge attraction about it.  On top of that, there is the sunshine and the long sandy beaches to factor in too.
So, i may be hopping like a spring lamb for the rest of the weekend, until that is , i have to go back to work on monday.  Hopefully on my final five day count down.
Better things are ahead of me though.  I am currently trying to buy a car as i have been without one for over a year now.  Those Jaguar S types are damn cheap!!!  I am currently bidding on a 2003 model, fully loaded with less than 30,000 miles on the clock, and my current bid?  2800 GBP.  And there are cheaper ones than that too but i have to have an automatic with cruise, and an added bonus of built in touch screen sat nav would be very useful too.  Wouldnt that look funny with a set of Halford roof bars and a long board ??
I think i have enlightened you all enough for now.  stand by for further updates this week


Reliable as ever – i just know she will say hello
Anyway.  Its bloody freezing over here today.  A small storm blew in from the Med and was causing a few problems this afternoon.  We managed to break 3 of the 5 lines that were holding us so there was some frantic rigging and engines on for most of the pm.
On a lighter note, i saw a potential new engineer on the boat today so things might move along quite well for me shortly.  I have booked a dentist appointment for July 2nd and can also head to southampton to do some more training before the end of June – its all beginning to take shape nicely. I may well be shortly confirming my next Warsash visit.
I keep wanting to create a new facebook group or two.  my first choice would be to ban the posting of horse photographs from profiles, my other choice would be to ban kid photos too – it all just gets a bit boring.  I would also like to remind people that it does take a little more than joining a facebook group to show your support for something – get off your arses and do something more suitable.
I catch a little bit of the news now and then and see the melle that is the general election.  I am certain Mr. Brown is doomed, especially after his cheesy little smile on one of the leader debates.  Of course, they are all as bad as each other – bickering like little kids but you know, i would be interested to see what those softie lib dems can do – its about time they had a chance.  Surely they can’t be any worse than the other two?
I took delivery of my diana vickers download on sunday – that hot little vixen has the most amazing voice i have heard in a long time – and you know, i dont really care if she dances or not.  Which leads me nicely into the past.  I stumbled upon an old stevie nicks video on youtube earlier.  that chick was seriously hot, and probably still is now.  I was mesmerised by her as a teenager and it is fair to say she still manages to stir my loins to date, albeit (i like that word) with a 20 year old video but who cares – hot hot hot!  And Mick Fleetwood always looks like a complete mentalist.
SO the remainder of the week should hold some nice surprises for me.  We should be lifting out of the water tomorrow, will have to wait and see if that still comes off, maybe a confirmation that a new engineer is on the scene, and maybe still even better is my discharge date ( and that is not a referral to some strange venerial disease).
Hmmm – that cherry yoghurt was good !
On saturday, i cycled all the way to the top of town with my rucksack on to the big super market – the damn place was closed, i couldn’t believe it, who closes a supermarket on a saturday morning.
Lets go back to facebook for a minute – people who send friend requests without photos – come on, i am 40 now, my memory is not what it used to be.  Dolphins, kids, horses, trucks and any other photo that doesnt show your face will not help me remember you – do it properly and stop messing around.
I would also like to know – when i was at school we never had a prom, i dont even remember anything happening that may have been called something other than ‘prom’.  So whats that all about – and what is ‘prom’ short for?  it certainly sounds like an abbreviation (why is that such a long word?)
Other recent activities that made me smile – an unexpected call out of the blue from steve brown.  I know he reads this page and even sometimes leaves a comment (which always makes me hard!).  The Jones from Mallorca, now we are in the same time zone, i regularly get calls of abuse – i love it.  Mr French, not a reader i am sure but he has expressed an interest in a road trip to portugal later this year with the sex pest and me – so , bring it on, i have plenty of boards to play with.
I havent heard from the faggot in a while so i guess he is seriously loved up – i guess it comes to us all at some point.  It still makes me chuckle when i remember driving to cornwall with a stolen statue in the back of my car and plonking it on his parents doorstep in the druth.  I laughed even harder when he told me that while he was at work, his dad had taken it to his house, put it on his doorstep, taken a photo of it and immediately emailled it to him at work.  That must have been one of the most well travelled statues in Drugby.
So i am almost done – will soon be departing the delights of La Ciotat and heading to blighty.  While i am there, i hope to blow the tops off a few with some old friends, Horley, Junior and Melv included and generally let my hair down before heading home for the summer and surfing my new found blubber away
Belly is gonna get ya !

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