My holiday is well and truly over!


Yes, I did manage some time off during the school holidays… it was well anticipated and the planned DIY projects continue! I had borrowed a pneumatic hammer to do the hard work of demolishing the old coal bunker. I also had my son David lined up to help.

Before we started!

Before we started!

My son on top of the world?

My son on top of the world?









Let the hard work commence...

Let the hard work commence…

Making good progress with the roof!

Making good progress with the roof!









img_7144cs5And all was going to plan until…

David fell backwards from the roof onto the rubble… A 999 call and the paramedics were soon on hand to help – then off to hospital.

Thankfully, at around 0200 and after extensive tests, scans etc., he was discharged with no serious damage – apart from his pride! Mind you, he has been given 3 weeks off work to recover.

img_7152cs7So my other son stepped in to break up the large blocks to make the substrate for the foundation for my ‘Man-Shed!”

Not yet finished!

Not yet finished!

Neil was doing well, but it was the rain that stopped ‘play’ and so we are awaiting some good weather – perhaps it will be next year before the weather is good enough for me to continue the demolition! It is a work in progress…

Hospital Visit - on the mend!

Hospital Visit – on the mend!

I was at the Seafarers Centre three times during my ‘holiday,’ but that was a bit of light relief from the hard graft of the demolition work.

Hospital visits continue and this Chief Engineer was well on the road to recovery and was thankful for my hour-long visit – to break the monotony of being in hospital and the goodies I gave him were well received, especially the Top Gear magazine – something to read after I left?

Sad news came with the second detention of the PSV, Malaviya Seven. This is most unfortunate and a devastating blow to the crew.

It has been featured on the TV News so I will not say much more about it other than to say that all at the Seafarers Centre are seeking to support them wherever possible. This included use of the facilities at the Seafarers Centre, but also excursions and the provision of free phone cards to give them 500 minutes to call home and keep in touch with their families. The saga continues…

Free CD's gladly taken!

Free CD’s gladly taken!

I was given a donation of CD’s containing music and audio books… these didn’t get a chance to be put on the shelves when a seafarer was browsing and taking half a dozen of them for use onboard!

Of course, the ongoing wrapping of our Christmas parcels continue… so tomorrow we will have another session when many volunteers (I hope!) will join us to get as many as possible done so that we can get them onboard the vessels visiting Aberdeen.

Hard work??

Hard at work??

Do join us on the 20th of October at 1800-2200 at the Seafarers Centre to stuff, wrap or count the parcels!  There will be plenty of banter and some snacks too so come on and join us.

You may be thinking that it is too early to be wrapping presents… however, I have already given out my first parcels! It was on the NOR Solan – a vessel that I had the privilege of Christening.

She is working on the Huntington Oilfield and crew changing in the Shetlands so will not be back in Aberdeen until next year. The Bosun was well chuffed – he told me that his wife was using the Woolly Hat he received last Christmas!! So they are appreciated!

Paul and other Keyholders

The centre only opens because of the many volunteers who do so much including opening up the centre. Paul, second left, has faithfully opened the Seafarers Centre every Monday and Tuesday for almost 5 years. Sadly for us other commitments have meant that we are losing his services. He received a gift as a token of thanks for all his services over the years. His Apple iPod Nano will enable him to enjoy his music on the go. Paul, you’ll be sorely missed. Thanks for all you’ve done to bless seafarers over the years.

This will leave us with a big hole to fill! If you live in the Aberdeen area then you would be welcome to join the team – please do get in touch and we can meet up for an informal chat and see where your skill set can be put to good use. It isn’t a big commitment – just one evening or afternoon a month is all we ask, but you can always do more if you wish!!

Finally, advance warning… I will be on radio on Wednesday, 16th of November. The programme is broadcast live every Wednesday 2-3.00pm and then gets repeat broadcast at 2.00am Thursday and at 9.00am Monday mornings, and is available online at:

You can listen live on the radio at 99.8fm.

I best close for now…. tomorrow will be a busy day – ship visiting in the morning, Trustees meeting in the afternoon and Christmas Parcel Wrapping in the evening!

Life is never dull, but is full of many joys.


Howard ><>



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