It has been too long since I posted here, so let me put that right!

The Upper Room?

The Upper Room?

Returning to work after tackling the garden just over a week ago I found that there were many things to do before I headed of to The Bield later in the week for a retreat with my Scottish colleges in seafaring ministry – an annual event that we all value greatly.

There was plenty of emails and paperwork to catch up with before I headed out to Aboyne on Monday evening to the local Rotary. A good bunch of about 18 guys listened to me recall my story and my ministry as Port Chaplain in Aberdeen.

IMG_3932AboyneRotary2We enjoyed a meal together first before my “host” introduced me. The contact was made through his wife, Dorothy and George did make a few unintended double entendres with much hilarity ensuing… And that was before I said anything!

You can see him wearing the five woolly hats that his wife had knitted which he took off one at a time to a resounding cheer each time one was removed! Thankfully it was only the hats that he took off.

It was a good evening and thank you for your most generous donation to the Seafarers Centre.

Old cooker - minus door!

Old cooker – minus door!

About a month ago, I went to visit my good friend and retired seafarer, Koos. I discovered that his cooker’s oven door had physically fallen off. “It came off in my hand Chief” sprung to mind as an excuse I had used many times whilst serving in the RN!

New Cooker

New Cooker

I visited Koos again to see his new cooker had arrived  – which he was over the moon with! The top oven cooks things so much quicker than my old oven.

Mind you, he did say his old cooker was 20 years old! Thanks to SAAFFA for the financial grant to provide this seafarer with his new cooker.

Tuesday was another busy day – the regular things during the day and then the monthly meeting of the Nautical Institute when John Reevely, Marine Supervisor Balmoral FPV gave an excellent presentation on the Latest developments on ERRV design and recovery systems. OMy understanding of things in the Merchant Navy have grown over the many years I have attended these meetings. Being from a Royal Navy Background, things are somewhat different there!

I also had a good hour in the Seafarers Centre with a seafarer who has ‘left the sea’ as he wants to work ashore. He has a new partner and she isn’t keen on him being away! Young love? His laptop had died and I was able to give him a second hand PC which I had been given to pass on… He was speechless!

LtoR: Howard, Peter, Drew, Sandra & Tim

L to R: Howard, Peter, Drew, Sandra & Tim

On Wednesday it was off to the Bield for my annual retreat. It was a relaxing time, but also full of stimulating conversations with my colleagues and also a good time to reflect and hear from God.

In the picture opposite, we were all enjoying a coffee and a chat outside. I was the only one without a jacket? Hardy Aberdonian?

Back home late on Friday afternoon and preparing for the renewal of vows service on Saturday for Doreen and Gordon – their Ruby wedding anniversary. It was a great service and all seemed to enjoy themselves.

Thankfully the 4 hours in the garden on Saturday morning didn’t hinder me… probably because I was given lots of help with my two sons and John Murdoch… not forgetting Jessie and Byron’s input! We are getting there!

Time to send the newspapers to my Filipino friends…

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