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Sunday 30 September 2012

Exterminate *Hic*

The Doctor's Other Other Arch-Nemesis!


Just you try minimum pricing now.

It’s probably Leg-Iron coming back from Smokey Drinkey in disguise.

Saturday 29 September 2012

Full frontal picture of Duchess of Cambridge!

Scroll down ..........Duchess of Cambridge ..............Not for the under 18s............












Fun with text



Friday 28 September 2012

A sad little movie

Here is a ship that I first served on in 1976, going to an ignominious end. I joined her when she was relatively new and working out of Portland Naval Base for The Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST). We were tasked to train the succession of ships undertaking Basic Operational Sea Training (BOST), in Replenishment At Sea (RAS).

These evolutions  are carried out at very close quarters with both the supplying ship and the receiving ship steaming at 12 Knots (Approximately 15 MPH).The evolutions consisted of liquid replenishment, diesel fuel. aviation fuel, and potable water. Then there is solid replenishment by heavy jackstay, and personnel transfer by light jackstay.

It’s a pity to see the old girl go like this. She served the country well.

RIP RFA Grey Rover.

Mind you I’ll probably be shaving with part of her before long

Thursday 27 September 2012


I’m sure this dialogue box is somewhere in my computer.

computer message

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Quiz night.

Find an anagram for “Kate Middleton








"naked tit model"

That’s me for the Tower then.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Monday 24 September 2012

Not a truer word spoken in jest

This simple cartoon speaks for itself, in this countries, “minorities must be protected at all costs”.


Now I’ve been around for a while now and remember when we had an influx of workers from the Caribbean in the fifties and sixties. Most people were slightly suspicious of these immigrants as they were not the same as the indigenous population. However much to our surprise those people of a different colour were soon to be seen as valued members of our society. Coming from poverty stricken islands they took up the slack of those jobs that the feckless in our society would disdain to do. (Yes we had feckless in those days).

Now It would seem that us white Anglo Saxons are no longer able to even mention a word of denigration against anyone of “Colour”. Though it seems to me that the latest generation, of the descendants of the first immigrants, with their jeans tops around their lower buttocks, and their base ball caps on sideways, will probably stab you if you “Diss” them. (Respect being earned seems to have escaped them). 

Even a joke is frowned upon and is subject to a deep inrush of breath.

I found out amusingly how entrenched  the attitude to avoiding any mention of race has become.


The ship’s in port and a couple of Officers are being relieved.

The reliefs are expected on board at 1700. (That means 5 PM).

At 1800 your host is sitting in the Officers bar on his favourite bar stool accompanied by his admiring fans. (If you can believe that, then more fool you. The admiring fans that is).

At 1805 the bar door opens and in walks the new System Engineer. And guess what? He’s of the black persuasion.

My immediate greeting was :

Oi you black bastard, this is a white man’s bar, get out.

You could have heard a molecule drop. White terrified faces all round.

However a reply from the oppressed slave was forthcoming.

Suck my dick, you honky bastard, it’s your round.

Of course the Slave black man had been a friend of many years and we were brought up in an era where political correctness was not out of control as it is now.

The state as I see it has stifled banter, encouraged professional hate crime, and doing it’s best to stifle free speech.

I also strongly believe that those minorities that are forever shouting out at how they are being abused, are slowly but surely alienating the general, decent, law abiding public. 

We seem to have a society where individuals can’t stand up for themselves  and run crying to the courts, about every perceived slur on their character or life style.

But then again the Compensation culture has to be kept going.


Sunday 23 September 2012


Some quotes that have passed the test of time.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
~Aesop, Greek slave & fable author

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.
~Plato, ancient Greek Philosopher

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.

Nikita Khrushchev, Russian Soviet politician

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.
~Quoted in 'Clarence Darrow for the Defense' by Irving Stone.

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.
~John Quinton, American actor/writer

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.
~Oscar Ameringer, "the Mark Twain of American Socialism."

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn.
AND... The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.

~P.J. O'Rourke, American comedian

I offered my opponents a deal: "if they stop telling lies about me, I will stop telling the truth about them".
~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952..

A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.
~Texas Guinan. 19th century American businessman

I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
~Charles de Gaulle, French general & politician

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.
~Doug Larson (English middle-distance runner who won gold medals at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, 1902-1981)

The problem with political jokes is they get elected.
~ Variously attributed to Will Rogers and George Bernard Shaw

If a politician states that he is “working for you”. Hang him.

~The Filthy Engineer. 21st century blogger. Circa 2012.

The poll is closing

These are the final results before I take this poll down. As you can see, it turns the whole Tobacco control industry results on their head.


Yes I know this blog might have induced some bias with a huge great banner stating smoker. But I still think that the majority of smokers don;t want to quit.

I’ll maybe put up another poll in the future. How about Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) or maybe wind turbines? Or if you fancy something different, drop me a comment.

Friday 21 September 2012

Damned Ice. Ban it quick!

A public service blog broadcast.


I’m dead then.

Thursday 20 September 2012

In extremis

Now I don’t normally post on this subject, but sometimes things have to change.

The subject is Islam.

Over and over again we’re regaled with depressing regularity, that this so called “Religion” is the Religion of peace.

Firstly I’d like to point out that isn’t only a religion. It’s governance by Dictator. Following a set of of rules that were devised in the seventh century, and have scarcely changed

This so called “Religion” espouses that those who do not follow that religion are inferior, and if they do not change their current religious affiliation then they are fair game to be slaughtered.or at the very least, cast into slavery.

This so called “Religion” treats women as second class beings. The word of a woman counts as half that of a man.

This so called “Religion” declares that Jihad is the duty of all Muslims to wage war on Non-believers. What do we endure? Aircraft smashing into buildings, trains being blown up, videos of beheadings, children being used as suicide bombers.

Well I would just like our western leaders to do is give these savages, which is what they are, an ultimatum. Stop now or face the consequences. Any more attacks on us, the freedom loving.people, will be justification to launch retaliatory strikes on your holy sites, one by one. Of course these leaders of the “Religion of peace” will just ignore it at the outset, but once the first one has been obliterated, maybe sense will prevail.

Of course in the aftermath a wailing and gnashing of teeth and more flag burning and Embassy burning will most likely ensue.

The answer is: “That was only the first”.

This would do it.

Do we have to fight by their rules?

DISCLAIMER: I don’t hate all Muslims. I just hate those who are stuck in a feudal seventh century that wish, to justify their inadequacy by attacking those that have struggled through adversity, to make the rest of the world a better a better place to live.

Perpetual Motion.

Toast powered.

perpetual motion

Obvious really.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

How the Jews got 10 Commandments.


God went to the Arabs and said, "I have Commandments for you that will make your lives better."

The Arabs asked, " What are Commandments? Can you give us an example?"

God said, " For example ................ Thou shall not kill."

The Arabs were shocked, "What? Not kill? No way! Killing and massacring innocent people is our birth-right and the only reason for our existence.. No, we are not interested. "

So God went to the Africans and said, " I have Commandments. "

The Africans wanted an example.

God said, "For example ........... Honor thy Father and Mother."

The Africans were dismayed. They said, " Father? Yo maan! Can't tell for sure who our fathers are, maan!"

So God went to the Mexicans and said, "I have Commandments. "

The Mexicans wanted an example.

God said, " For example ........... Thou shall not steal."

The Mexicans were flabbergasted. They said, " No steal? No steal?? Hey Senor, we no steal then how we live, huh? Gracias, but no! "

So God went to the French and said, "I have Commandments. "

The French wanted an example.

God said, "For example ............. Thou shall not commit adultery."

The French were stunned. They said, "What? Not commit ze adultery ....... ? Non, non, non. Non Monsieur. Pardonnez nous. We, ze French, must have ze romance. "

So God went to the Jews and said, "I have Commandments. ... "

The Jews asked, "Commandments? How much do they cost?"

God replied, "Nothing. They are free."

The Jews answered, "Good. We shall take Ten! "

Monday 17 September 2012

That poll.

Just under a week ago I reported on a poll I had up in my side bar.

It asked a simple question.

Do you want to quit smoking?

Since then the overwhelming consensus (Now I’m starting to sound like a Global warming alarmist), has been the almost exact reverse of the so called findings by the Tobacco Control Industry.

The poll maybe somewhat biased, due to the fact that in my left hand side bar I’ve a large smiley with the word “Smoker” emblazoned across it. Maybe  my loyal reader (Hi whoever you are) doesn’t want to upset me.

However as far as I’m concerned the poll speaks for itself. The majority of smokers who read this blog, don’t want to give up. The no’s vote has actually risen to 86.89%.

So I’m off for a cigarette on the strength of it.

I’ll be taking down the poll in the next few days. So if you want to participate then please do.

Sunday 16 September 2012


I’ve just got back from the eldest daughter’s house (Again) and on arriving there I was tasked with fitting a couple of dimmer switches. A simple task not really requiring much brainpower. Isolate the circuit, unwire the existing switch, replace with the dimmer switch, and reinstate the circuit. Job done.

Of course some would have it that I should, at vast expense have called in a qualified electrician. They would be wrong in their thinking. I actually hold a high voltage certificate that allows me to work with voltages over 1,000 volts. I had to obtain this in order to enter spaces and work upon machinery operating at 6.6 kV. (6,600V for the non technically minded).

The other qualification I had was that I’d worked on a class of ship that was not complemented for an Electrical Officer. I became that man. Alongside my other duties of looking after the main diesel generators, and the refrigeration plant. Being somewhat suspicious of a killing energy that can’t be seen I took extreme care to make sure that I followed the rules of “Isolate, test, test again, and work on it”. (Once I disobeyed my rules and touched a live circuit with 440V. Never again. It threw me six feet and I was probably unconscious for a minute or two).

Now to the crux of this post. Familiarity, adverse conditions, and sheer bad luck come into play. My outfit started to man the ships with electrical officers. Of course, us amateur electricians were told by these electrical officers that we had done a piss poor job. This pissed off most of us that had done the job, whilst holding down at least two other jobs (See above).

There was a problem with the control panel for the refrigeration rooms. The only way of sorting this out was for the electrical officer to switch of the power, open the door, and fiddle the door interlock controlling the main power switch to reinstate the power to enable fault finding to begin.

The sad part was that the ship  was rolling, the deck was oily, and oh dear, the lecky pitched headfast into the cubicle, striking his head on the 440V bus bars. And sadly that was the end of him..

Now you may say that I’m being disrespectful of the dead with the next part of the post.

After the body was removed from the vicinity it was realised that the body would have to be preserved until a post mortem could be carried out. That was the excuse for all the engineers to collectively define the initial problem and rectify it. The body needs to be preserved in a cool room. (Bye the way, never store the body in the deep freeze. Coroners will crucify you for that).

However I heard through the grapevine that the real cause for concern was that one of the refrigeration chambers was exceeding it’s set temperature. This was the “Beer Room”. Engineers can’t abide warm beer.

OK I’ll rot in hell if you wish. But I’ve heard this from multiple sources that I trust.

Moral of the story: You might be the expert, but circumstances can kick you up the backside without warning.

Saturday 15 September 2012

It’s taken how long?

I’ve just returned (Yesterday) from assembling my daughter’s flat pack furniture and found an official looking letter on the mat.

As I opened it, I noticed the document inside was coloured red. I was tempted to shred it, fearing it may well be a final demand for some service I might have forgotten to pay for, when my inner honesty kicked in and I withdrew the document.

To my surprise it was a red coloured V5C, That’s the document you have to prove to all and sundry that the car you purport to own is actually yours.

And of course there was a little leaflet explaining why they have sent the shiny red certificate, reproduced below.

Q. Why have you sent me a new V5C?
A. We are replacing all existing blue V5Cs. The new certificate is being introduced following the theft of a number of blank blue V5Cs. The aim is to reduce the risks to motorists of buying a stolen or cloned vehicle.
For tips and advice go to

Being an enquiring sort of fellow I wondered when the theft of the blue ones had happened.

On digging I was amazed that they were stolen in, wait for it, February 2007. I was gobsmacked  at the sheer speed that this government department had moved.

It’s taken them 5 1/2 years to change a blue document into a red document.

Now I know why this country is in a mess

Thursday 13 September 2012

I may not be back tomorrow.

I’m off to my daughter’s new house to do some work there.

I have few innocent sounding jobs which in theory shouldn’t take long.

I have to plumb in their newly acquired dish washer. This plumbing should not be as difficult as this though. Just a matter of nipping down to the nearest DIY store, buying some assorted bits of plastic pipe and Bob’s your Uncle.

Fitting a couple of dimmer switches. This won’t cause my early demise as TFE has successfully completed the High Voltage course and understands that electrickery has the ability to hurt. In past years I was actually the engineer that looked after all things electric on a particular class of ship. (I admit to being thrown across the engine room by inadvertently messing with live 440 volts. Ouch, shit, fuck, etc).

A new cable to fit to the daughters hedge trimmers. (I heard you snigger at the back. Stop it).

No. The one thing that may hold me in more of a slough of despair, is that I’ve got to assemble that spawn of the devil, FLAT PACK furniture (Weeps).

Still, I shall hold my head up bravely and accept the challenge.

I shall return.

Ban it, ban it, I say.

We’re all regaled with stories about the danger of imminent death by smoking or consuming alcohol. Now comes the insidious killer that has been lurking in our kitchens for decades.

Now we’ve all been frightened by the scare stories about the demons that live beneath our humble sinks. Those nasty chemicals that can kill a new-born child with just a teaspoon of one of these substances.

However the real killer resides in your fridge. No it is not an esoteric, unknown fridge living, ebola virus. It is:


Just two rashers of bacon can contain over half your daily salt allowance. Has that put you off your morning bacon sandwich?

The meat has ‘huge and unnecessarily high’ levels of salt and some brands contain three times as much as others. Customers affected by the recession are turning to cheaper cuts of meat that have high levels, according to the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash).

The article at the link bangs on about a recommended daily limit which is absolutely bollocks. The body needs salt to live, Too little will cause nausea, headaches and eventually certain death.

As a marine Engineer working in tropical climes I’ve seen the effect of salt deficiency and have suffered the effects myself. You should adjust your salt intake to correspond with your condition at the time.

Soon they’re will be an edict that states that “They’re is no safe limit to salt consumption”, it has to be banned.

And who are CASH? As I expected, another fake charity

I’m off to get the frying pan out in protest. It’s the least I can do.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

The Science of Government


The CSIR has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element is Governmentium (Gv). It has one neutron, 35 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lefton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons or protons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction normally taking less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete.   Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years. It does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganisation in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganisation will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

All of the money is consumed in the exchange, and no other byproducts are produced.

Can I have my Nobel prize now?

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Polling the truth.

We’ve all heard about the official polls that tell us that 80% of all smokers want to quit.

Well a week or so ago I put a simple poll in my sidebar asking visitors the simple question, “Do you want to quit smoking”.

There were only four simple answers:

YES, NO, NOT SURE, & OTHER. (I’m not sure why I included other?)

Now I really didn’t expect anything dramatic, as I suspected that as this blog is obviously pro-smoking there would be a bias to not quitting. However I was also expecting more yes votes polled, due to anti-smokers visiting and attempting to pervert the poll to some extent.

The total number who filled in the poll was only 123, but as I monitored over the days the ratio of yes’s to No’s never changed.

The Tobacco Control industry were right in the respect of 80%, but surprise, surprise the poll shows the exact opposite in opinion.

YES:               6.5%

NO:                82.11%

NOT SURE:  1.63%

OTHER:        9.76%

Obviously the Tobacco Control polls would have  couched their poll answers slightly different to mine.

“Yes I want to give up smoking to save the planet from global warming”

“No I don’t want to give up as I want to kill all the children with my passive smoke”

I’ll leave it up a while longer to see if the ratios change. Then I may start another survey on a pet hate of mine. Wind turbines.

The question asked will be on the lines of:

“Do you think that wind turbines are the best thing since sliced Birds bread”.

Monday 10 September 2012



glass of water

Then again I try to disguise it by adding whisky. I usually win whatever happens. I own my liver. Not sure about my kidneys though.

Here’s a wager for The Tobacco Control Industry and Alcohol concern. What will I die from? 40 cigarettes a day or 1/2 a bottle of Scotland’s finest. Over to you, fascist puritans.

Oh and bye the way. Alcohol concern, you need to trump this.

28 Days

Dare you.

Sunday 9 September 2012

The Tobacco Control Industry is killing us.


They never ever think of the consequences until after the fact. And they’ve been warned what would happen.

British undercover detectives in Birmingham have found cigarettes containing human excrement, asbestos, mold and dead flies, as counterfeit cigs flood into the UK at huge risk to public health.

Private eyes working for the tobacco industry have spent weeks rummaging through litter bins and scouring pavements for cigarette butts to access the scale of the black market in England’s midlands region, according to the Birmingham newspaper the Sunday Mercury.

Operation EDPC – which stands for Empty Discarded Pack Collection – was funded by Swiss-based brand protection company MS Intelligence – found that 31% of cigarettes were either bogus or bought abroad.

But then the UK border agency are getting on top of the problem. NOT.

Investigators were shocked by the sheer volume of the trade, which has more than doubled in the last 12 months. A similar study last year found only 14% of packets were fakes or had been smuggled into the country.

The trade in counterfeit cigs is big business. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) estimate that non UK duty-paid cigarettes cost the tax payer up to £3.6 billion during the financial year 2009-2010.

That 3.6 billion is more than enough to cover the cost of so called smoking related diseases. (2.7 billion quoted today by the Chief medical Officer).

When will the Government realise that they’re  being led down a very slippery road with their blind obedience to what ever the Tobacco control industry tells them? They don’t seem to realise that the public will take them to account, when it all eventually goes wrong and people start to die from their blind obedience to the public health lobby.  


Saturday 8 September 2012


Light bulbs are no longer allowed to be imported into the EU. Instead we are expected to fill our homes with dim compact fluorescent bulbs. See table below.


Of course the green treehuggers are jumping for joy with this. They think they are saving the planet by banning these fairly innocuous items, that we have used to give us light for so many years.

However as usual they never used what little brainpower they had. Yes, the incandescent light bulb was an inefficient source of light but it was a very good source of background heat on those cold winter nights.

Every British ship I sailed on were lit by fluorescents. However a ship that we chartered that was built in Finland was lit by incandescents. The calculations being that a less expensive heating system needed to be fitted to the vessel. Win Win.

Enough of ships. I left them a while ago. Lets get back to CFL’s

What happens if you break one? Here’s what DEFRA has to say on what you should do.


It looks like the instructions, I was given, if we were attacked by a nuclear missile. I’m surprised that you are not told to call in a Hazmat squad, or at least buy your family Anti gas respirators.

Here’s an interesting snippet that you might like from Pointman’s site.

People are not aware of the danger posed by CFL breakages nor the eventual effect on the environment of throwing them out mixed in with other household rubbish. Make no mistake, these bulbs will end up in household rubbish. What will happen then is they will be broken when the rubbish is compressed in the collection truck, exposing the sanitation workers to dangerous levels of mercury every time. The contaminated rubbish will then be tipped into landfill sites, which will definitely shatter any remaining unbroken ones. At this point, the water and land has been irreparably contaminated. The water contamination, means it can now enter the start of the food chain and gradually work its way up it, causing congenital abnormalities in all species, including us. Calling it an eco-disaster doesn’t even begin to cover it.

To give you an idea of how severe mercury contamination can be, the mercury from one CFL is enough to contaminate 30,000 litres of water, way beyond the approved safety standard and millions of these bulbs are going to end up in landfill sites.

I for one will just dispose of mine in my bin. If the council want me to transport the offending article to a tip, then they can bloody well pay me for it. They should have thought about the consequences before they all placidly agreed to this EU directive.

TIP: If you shop around you will still be able to buy incandescent bulbs. These are bulbs called “rough service” bulbs. 

Twenty eight days later.

No this is not an advert for a movie.

It’s some fuckwits idea to nanny smokers into submission.

From October 1st, the UK's eight million smokers will be encouraged to give up tobacco for a full 28 days, as part of a scheme known as Stoptober.

Stoptober. What a stupid name for a start. But then again I’m used to this sort of “lets give it a name and hope that it sticks”.

Of course the usual nannying fake charities are behind it.

The scheme was unveiled this week by the Department of Health and has been backed by the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.

Look you lot. I happen to enjoy smoking immensely. So you can just FUCK OFF.

*Needed to get that off my chest* Now I’m going for a smoke.


Friday 7 September 2012

May the woof be with you.


Fen Beagle’s latest. Go look.


Time for the adverts.

All you need to know about Leg wax, bacon, insurance and how to avoid that parking ticket.

Thursday 6 September 2012

Wednesday 5 September 2012

elf and safety

When I was but a callow youth starting out on a career as a marine engineer, it was always instilled in us that Health and our safety was a personal responsibility. If you tripped over a ring bolt on the deck, it was your fault for not looking where you were going. Or if people were working aloft, just avoid the area below in case they dropped something. Believe it or not it worked. Everyone watched their personal space as a matter of course.

The huge detrimental change was when the P & O vessel, the Herald of Free Enterprise capsized outside the harbour of Zeebrugge. (Spookily enough I was in a lecture at HMS Phoenix discussing free surface effect on stability at the time when the news broke in the media).
Of course the MSM stirred it up with “Something must be done” and the government of the time rushed through ill thought-out legislation, to make health and safety a corporate responsibility. IE they wanted to hang someone out to dry.
Over the years afterwards I saw a change in the safety culture. The younger generation were slowly persuaded that they were invulnerable from harm, because the “Law said so”. People just assumed they were automatically safe.

Everyone was issued with every last item of safety equipment that could be invented. Courses that you were expected to attend proliferated at considerable cost to employers. The manufacturers of safety signs must have rubbed their hands with glee. Whereas in the past the only sign you would see was "Danger, Engineroom" this was not considered sufficient in the new artificial safety conscious age. Consequently an engine room door is covered by every sticker for every hazard imaginable. "Wear safety helmet", "inflammable  liquids", "danger of death", and many more. As well meaning as the powers that be are trying to protect their trained staff from danger, unwittingly in my view is that they have manufactured another monster. The monster of signage overload. It becomes impossible for the human brain to take in the riot of colour and wording presented.

Would not a single sign saying "Dangerous area, think about your safety", work better? Especially as I stated earlier in this post, that before the law was changed, we oldies were taught to think personal safety.

All this corporate responsibility nonsense has given us, is burgeoning industry of ambulance chasing law firms out to make a fortune from the inadequacy of the feckless idiots that don't think for themselves.

One advert for one of these scumsucking firms starts out with "I was given the wrong sort of ladder.........". If the man in question couldn't see that he would be using the wrong ladder he should have been presented with the words "You're fired. Bugger off".

Another one was "I was walking across the office when I slipped in some water....." I would have stood over and said " Next time you dozy cow, look where you're going in future" 

At the end of the day my opinion is that this change in the way we approach safety now, has had the opposite effect to what our lawmakers thought they would achieve. It has made the individual less safe.

I’m wining again.

No that’s not a typo.












Monday 3 September 2012

The Good and the bad

First comes the bad news:

I’ve been painting my daughters kitchen and will have to finish it off tomorrow.

Then comes the really, really, really,really GOOD news.

My son was diagnosed with cancer of the Thyroid eighteen months ago.

He has had two courses of radiotherapy since then. Today he went for a scan to see if the cancerous cells were still in evidence.

He has now been declared cancer free.

The law of unintended consequences  will probably kick in though. He’s celebrating in the pub at this moment. I’m dreading the phone call in the early hours telling me that he staggered off the pavement into the path of a truck.

I am alone


Sunday 2 September 2012

Saturday 1 September 2012

Those words I hated………

on joining a ship. “You’re in charge of the Fire and repair party”.

Now the fire and repair party (FRP) usually consists of twenty or more men or women of a variety of specialisations. Deck, engineering, catering, electrical, etc.

Of course I’m in charge of this motley cru (sic) and have to work out who is going to do what.

I have a junior officer as my number two and general dogsbody.

There is usually an officer from the catering department who is delegated to maintain the incident board, marking up on the wall mounted plans of the ship, the incidents as they occur. The incidents can range from fire and flood, to chemical hazards or radioactive contamination. (I don’t like the last two. They usually mean that I’m going to die a nasty death).

Fire is the most likely  scenario. Naturally a thousand miles from land and  dialling 999 does not get a response from the fire brigade. Ergo, we must fight fires ourselves.

To that end I have to form two five man firefighting teams. The problem is that all I have is a list of names. So I pencil in the names of the people against the duties that they will do. Simples.

Before I go on, I’ll just give you a run down on a five man team. All five are to be dressed in full fire protective suits and Breathing apparatus. each member will have a specific duty.

No.1 is the water wall number whose job is to be slightly in front, operating his hose in a circular spray to protect the team from the heat and flames.

No’2 is the fire-fighter who has his hose in ragged spray mode to actually fight the fire.

No.3 is the team commander who is slightly behind the front two and is surveying the situation with his thermal imaging camera (TIC).

No’4 is the hose handler.

No.5 is the ship protector who’s job is to seal the doorway to protect the ship to prevent the spread of fire into the rest of the ship.

Now comes the crunch. I’ve put names to the duties so everything is fine. NOT.

No’1 is a gay steward (Lovely chap) who suffers from claustrophobia.

No.2 is a female who is 5’ 2, who when turning on her hose is instantly bowled over backwards by the force.

No3, the team leader is afflicted with a stutter and is unable to communicate with the rest of the team over the radio.

No.4 is morbidly obese and struggles to carry his own wait let alone two fully charges hoses.

No.5 is no problem. Anyone can sit in a doorway watching the rainbows glistening off his water wall..

These are the problems when you have names and not faces. It doesn’t help that you usually have half a dozen of the FRP who make any excuse as to why they they should be exempt from a particular duty. “I’ve got gout, a rash, don’t know how to use the BA (Rubbish. You have to have done the course to even be there)”. Of course they don’t have a leg to stand on when I state that they wouldn’t be there without their yearly medical check up being passed.

This is a bit of a moan. However it is satisfying when it works. For some reason the majority of fires I’ve had to contend with have been at night. In every instance I’ve been amazed at the speed my teams have mustered, dressed and put the fires out.

Just goes to show, that with a little planning the system works.

The best fire-fighter I’ve ever had was actually a 5’ 3 inch, female cook, shaped like a beach ball, with a tenacity that was second to none. I would have made her team leader. However she couldn’t see over the two firefighters in front of her.

The only good thing about these drills is they are usually held towards the end of the working day. The upside is that TFE can rush off, have a shower, and get into the bar early.

Every story has a happy ending.


In praise of beer.

beer prayer