Category: Normal Life


Why, why like this?


On board I can cope with stress, no problem,

Split pipe? Isolate and change.

Fuel leak? Isolate and clean.

Blackout? Kick duty engineer, start stby generator, ask why emergency didn’t start, kick electrician

Sewage system down? Get angry that 4th can’t fix it, fix it myself, stress gone, kick 4th anyway.

I can deal with work stress, I have the answers, and if I don’t have the answers, the Chief will, and if he doesn’t well, I’ll wait until smoko and take the piss, and the stress dissipates, it might be because I am blissfully unaware of everything that is going on, or it might be because I have accepted that not matter how well you look after an engineroom and its equipment, if something wants to fail, throw its hand in, fall over, or generally make a mess of what is always the bit you’ve just cleaned, that’s fine, its done, dusted. The engineroom Ernie has done his deed and away you go to fix it.

But why can’t I cope with real life stress? And why do I let one bit of stress infect every part of my real life? Honestly, when I get stressed ashore, it’s like someone has dropped a bag of water, and it just goes everywhere. I am suddenly not the cold calculated git I am onboard. I no longer have the “ah cock it, that’ll do” attitude that I generally have.

I feel abandoned, insecure, dull, uninteresting, disconnected and generally like a weight round everyones neck.

I get stressed and worried about one thing and like trying to hold back leaks in a dam wall, you can only block so many,, and the one you can’t reach has all the leak through it. Well the last couple of weeks its been getting worse, dam gave way, stress coating everything.

And I don’t get it. Why. Why I do this? Why I focus on one part of my real life, and go into what seems like self destruct mode with it when I’m stressed. It’s not fair on me, and it’s not fair on others.

Is this my way of gaining control? Is this what happens? If by forcing something, feeling something other than the all consuming stress, my brain and body prefers that?

Because if that’s the case, it can fuck right off, I want to go back to being in control of myself again, and being a decent person, not this malingering needy cycle I have slipped into.

You’d think, my brain would help me out here, but no, he put me here, and he’s damned if he’s gonna help me back out.

The utter and total shit.


Now then chaps and chappesses.

For too long now I think I’ve taken to long term planning….everything.

I’ve always needed to know where things are going, how things should be, needed to know if it was worth it, whether there was any point to my current actions to warrant me doing something and carrying on for something. Living in the “now” was something other people did, other people who could obviously manage themselves better and were abel to have a good time, so I wanted and tried to plan like that.

To the point where enjoying myself went out the window quite frankly. I couldn’t relax in anything, without knowing, a full plan, a full sequence of events, whether the decision I was making now, would be worth it in the long run. (we aren’t talking red wire/blue wire stuff here by the way, I mean social, relationship, nights out, entertainment, non work type stuff)

Which is strange frankly, as when I’m at work, the unknown is what I deal with, and going ashore in the badlands of bizarre shithole ports is a speciality subject of mine, the aftermath of which is usually reserved for sharing with select company, over select drink, in hushed tones of revered reverence.

But I suspect – in fact know, that things have come to a head. I’ve let this overwhelming concern for my longterm future in minuscule aspects of my life, ruin, sometimes, parts that really should have been fun and stuff.

So now……now stuff has happened – which through spending near enough all my life on twitter for the last 4.5 years, I have learnt is none of your concern, I need secrets, I need a private life, regardless of what it is about – something has happened that’s made me realise, living for now, taking something at face value, and just enjoying the moment, is good, damn it it’s even healthy.

I get caught up in the details, caught up in wondering if a badly pronounced word is enough to ruin an entire night. If cough in the middle of someones conversation will give off the impression I am not interested.

I need to, want to, and finally am I think, becoming someone who can enjoy himself in a moment in time. Without looking for cause for concern. Without being so worried about the future, that the future is killed off.

Because that’s just suicide of the soul, just one tiny slice at a time.

AJ

A Pact With ME


I made a small deal with myself (which I imagine most people do) at New Years that I would actually start doing something with my life (time off the ship). I lead a pretty dull life when off the ship.

This deal was part of the reason why I quit my last job & started this new one. I wanted more time off to do stuff, more time off to meet people. In my last job, I was constantly watching the days go past, watching the time get closer & closer to going back to work. I never had a chance to relax properly.

Stuff I want to get done this year to improve my life is…

Stop moping about – I have excellent form in moping about past events. Not the major ones, but the little inter-relationship hiccups and faux pas. These are the ones that I generally Mope about and keep me up at night.

Meet more people/spend more time out of Cornwall – Look Cornwall is all well & good, but honestly – it’s an abandoned ignored corner of the country, nothing happens past Plymouth, & the further down the county you get the quieter & more isolated from the rest of the country you feel. Great for some, crap for me.

Go on a date – This is a little complex for me, I’ve never exactly been what you could call a dater. In fact dates wise officially – I’ve had 2 in my entire life. Possibly 3 (there’s a clerical error that might change the total) Now look I’m not complaining here I’m just stating facts. But it’s something I have a slight issue with, a) actually asking b) actually asking. But this year is all about grabbing the bull by the horns & trying to steer it to the end. So this is what I plan to do – after a fashion.

Save money – I’ve been qualified for 7 years now, & if I’m honest & a bit crass I don’t do that badly. Especially since courtesy of the nature of the job I am exempt from paying tax/can claim it back as long as I can prove some criteria. To be frank I’ve, literally, pissed majority of it up the wall. So this year I’ve made a concerted effort to save money & have been quite successful at it, as well as buying some luxury products, instead of just frittering it away. I have also been able to make some regular trips to London as well, where I hope to move to next year some time. (possibly just 2 more trips!)

Luxury products – Sort of follow on from the previous point, I have a tendency to buy lots of little things, then curse myself for not having money to buy something big I feel I need in my life, so I have been turning this around. Have stopped buying everything I have ever seen on eBay ever mainly. I have also given myself things to aim for to buy, yet still been saving. Oh the wonders of planning finances! It appears I can do it!

So this leave (I should be getting approx 2 months off) I am doing stuff. Fun stuff. Buying stuff, having a life stuff & most importantly to me, meeting people.

Weird how one small decision is enough to trigger all this.

I’ve a job I actually enjoy again now, & feel I am making progress, I’m happy again, & 2012 appears to be turning out all peachy & creamy.

But enough about me – how are you?

Cheers & Ta

AJ/SW


Whenever I hear The Waterboys – This Is The Sea, after the 1st minute of just basking in its glory my mind goes into a mental sideshow of the fun times of my seagoing career.

I wish I’d taken more photos of it all,had more physical reminders but I didn’t so I don’t have them, but I still have the memories of it.

They are memories of pratting about ashore in far flung corners of the world
They are memories of pratting about in far flung corners of a ships bar
They are memories of laughing & joking with others & strangers
They are memories of fixing & mending for others
They are memories of smiling & laughing about the pratting about
They are memories of nearly falling off a tender after a particularly fun fact finding mission in Pussers Rum Factory
They are memories of making people laugh
They are memories of things that can never be taken off me
They are memories of working at sea
They are memories of things that have changed me
They are memories of things that have made me
They are memories of all that is me, & things yet to come.


So then.

I have started my new job with my new company.

I’ll be honest it was a bit of a leap of faith for me, It’s been 7 nearly 8 years since I last worked on anything similar to these sort of ships, & even then it was as a cadet. These ships run differently from what I’ve really ever been used to in the past.

I don’t get nervous anymore joining a new ship like I used to, I used to though, I wasn’t good with meeting a bunch of strangers who had already been in their own little clique for quite sometime.

Now though, after cruiseships & being a transient within my last company I have got over this.

So joining this new ship wasn’t a “social nightmare” that it used to be.

The first impression of the ship was….well the actual physical size of ships doesn’t amaze me much these days, but it’s the individual things on the ship, the size of those things that amaze me.

Within 6 hours of being on the ship I had crawled round the Main Engine crankcase, which I was able to stand upright in the sump my head not even level with the centre of the main shaft & changed a fuel injector that was the size of my lower leg, but weighed twice as much.

Everything about the main engine on here is BIG. & I mean BIG. 8 Cylinder 96 cm Bore Monstrosity of an internal combustion 2 stroke engine.

The engineroom it self is massive as well, there are 4 generators spread over three rooms, these are my main responsibility & we have quite a bit of work coming up on these, some 1500, 3000 & 24000 hr overhauls on them, luckily the 24k one is such big enough that a team from shoreside is coming inboard to assist.

The heat is intense – its been a while since I experienced the working blast furnace of an engineroom in the the tropics, & also I’m now very aware of how unfit I am. Running round a large multi deck engineroom, in humid hot conditions sure makes me appreciate just how unhealthy I’ve been for the last 7/8 years.

So you never know besides being a good thing career wise, this should be good for me physically as well.

I have really enjoyed the 1st couple of days, & feel that I am being a proper engineer again. I am a “little” nervous about the upcoming overhauls but I do have an experienced Engineer Cadet with me who seems to be quite good to assist who has done some of the work before, so that should help me along the way!

The 2nd engineer is keen to help me learn the system well & the computer program’s that will help me in becoming a 2nd Engineer with the New Company. So that’s jolly useful. No one yet has also said “Why the hell did you join this company?” which is usually one of the first things people say when I join a new company. So this already has made life a bit easier.

Now the next challenge is to not break anything. But unless you’ve broken it how can you fix it?

But overall I am enjoying the new job & all the challenges it’s present to date, I am really excited about being the Chief Crankcase diver when we pull a piston out of the main engine in a week or so time. This will be the 1st time that I will have been responsible for doing this.

The weathers been great, the anti-piracy measures are in place, & we are heading to India! We shall be there tomorrow. I hope to find a half an hour at some point for a bronze every now & then. However my cabin is a nice cooling break from the pit so we shall see!

Anyway

Cheers & Ta

AJ/SW


After watching 3 films this afternoon/evening, I have to wonder occasionally if I have “socially” wasted my life to date. I mean it’s only now really, where I would say I am making proper friends.

The 3 films I watched were Human Traffic, The Inbetweeners & Kevin And Perry Go Large.

I’ve never been on a “Lads on Tour” holiday, I’ve never really had a group of friends that close where I would consider going on holiday with them. (I do have a few now but not loads), I’m aware that Human Traffic isn’t exactly a holiday film, but it’s the message it carries.

I mean yes working on cruise ships was basically a lads on tour for 5-6 years, but it’s different when you are working, I mean yes I drank and fornicated by way round the world on the ship, and you had a group of lads all the same rough age who main interest and social past time when off watch was drinking and fornicating. But it was all done to schedule and between set times. No matter what I did the night before, I always had to be up for work the next day, or more often or not the same day, in a few hours. It wasn’t like a holiday. Even now when I’m on leave I generally wake up for the 1st time at 0715-0730 for the first 2-3 weeks. Even after a night out.

I’ve now also reached the age (at least my body feels like it) where a few pints of real ale having a laugh in the pub because you can hear everyone more or less is more appealing than going and spending over a fiver for a piss poor measure of rum and coke, listening to someone drunkenly yell and spittle into my ear, then feel socially uncomfortable as everyone else boxes off and I scramble for a taxi trying to avoid the drunken tosser looking for a fight with the large quiet person getting into a taxi relatively sober compared to the rest. I’m beyond that.

Its been a good while since I went “clubbing” (a good 24 months I would think). I’m beyond it. Totally. I think. I dunno, it’s a hard one to call at times. Penzance doesn’t exactly blossom with excellent nights out.

But I wondered whilst I was watching these films, why, why have I ended up like this? I mean yes quite obviously I put work 1st, anyone whose met me would say I unequivocally put work first, but this is because I’ve nothing else to put before it. But why didn’t I when I was younger make an effort to go on holidays and stuff?

I first went to sea when I was 17, I had my 18th, (Off South America) 19th, (In Pacific Somewhere) 20th, (Mediterranean) 21st, (Mediterranean) 22nd, (Caribbean) 23rd, (Transatlantic) 24th, (Caribbean) 25th , (Caribbean) and 27th (Aberdeen Docks) Birthdays all on board a ship at work. My 28th will probably be on-board as well.

So I’ve never really had an excuse to organise a big blow out holiday as I’ve always been at work. My 26th was at home, I presume, it wasn’t on a ship.

So occasionally when I watch films like this I feel this void, I feel this emptiness that I don’t have these stories of Ibiza or Malaga or one of those places ending in “a” which seem to be the places to be and say you’ve been.

Don’t get me wrong I have had more nights out and parties and heavy sessions than most people have in a life time, but they were all to a set schedule and routine. On cruise ships, if you not getting drunk in the Wardroom, then you get dunk in the crew bar (considered a night out) or a crew party (BIG night out) but it was always the same people, drinks, routines, nothing special, nothing that films are made of, well unless you count “Behind closed doors” Documentary a film. Hell if C4 decided to do a documentary on my times on cruise ships it would only be do able late at night, with a warning before hand. But I digress.

Yes I suppose I have sacrificed a social life for my job, my career. I replaced my social life, for a way of life. Yes I do regret it slightly, but then I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I’ve always, maybe selfishly, put the job first, I’ve had to, haven’t I? If you haven’t anything outside of work really, why not launch yourself fully and passionately into work? It doesn’t hurt anyone.

I wish I’d had the chance to do lads on tour. I wish I’d had the close knit bunch of lads.

But these days I’m getting those friendships, OK so they aren’t “lads on tours” relationships, (mainly because I am friends with girls as well), but they are friendship I hope that make me see the benefits of coming home. Friends I get to spend good times with, not necessarily just hard drinking nights with, because, if I’m honest, that’s what my old friends are really. But I’m making new friendships, making friendships with people who I actually don’t feel like I need to prove myself to them. People I feel genuinely close to, and always pleased to see, and I have a sneaky feeling may miss me occasionally.

So, lads on tour, maybe it’s not be all it’s cracked up to after all, but friends for the journey mean so much more.

Ta

Antijanner/SW


So, 3 weeks into a 7 week stint, 4 to go.

I have had an epiphany over the last few weeks about contact and correspondence I have with the real world. Now bare with me as this blog is a bit higgledy piggledy

It was a strange old couple of weeks before I came away this time, I’m not going into detail over them, but I had prepped some stuff to take away with me to do some correspondence when I went away with someone. With one thing and other that didn’t happen but I still had the writing materials with me.

I had also been reading a few blogs and that (mainly this excellent blog http://themodstolemyboyfriend.wordpress.com )

Now I’m not going to put myself into quite the same bracket as the Guys and girls of HM Armed forces, but I do spend a considerable time away from home still (just over 50% of the year in my current company) at sea for at least a month at a time. I used to spend 8-10 months a year away up to 5 months at a time. And even though I spend this amount of time away from home, I’ve never in all honesty been a big one for keeping major contact at home, I’ve sent 4 postcards in the last 10 years, 3 of which were on holiday this March. B

When I first went to sea, I was 17 (18th Birthday during my first trip away from home, 3 months on a banana boat working the Pacific Circle then to Europe across the Atlantic), and I had to pay 50 US cents an email sent from the Captains email account – he was the only one with outside email access. The ships sat phone varied in price depending on what Time/day/month/religious celebration was going on, and it varied form £1.50 a minute up to £5 a minute, so as a cadet I certainly didn’t use that. I would phone in port if I could get hold of a phone card from the Seaman’s mission came on-board. And would use maybe a 1/4 of it on a phone call home. I never really got home sick on board the ship, I did when I was at college a bit but never really on the ship. I have a great time when I’m on ships and do genuinely enjoy it.

But I never really wrote home, not postcards and certainly not letters. I’d send the occasional email home but that was it.

I should point out that I come from a happy, unbroken home. My parents are together, we all love each other, there’s no real problems at home that I’m running away from. It’s just one of those things, when I go to sea I am able to disassociate my mind from family, I mean I still love and care about them, but I turn the “missing them” part of my brain off. I have no idea how I do it, and it probably sounds cold and callous to an outsider, but if it was an easy thing to do I wouldn’t need to try to explain myself.

When I qualified and became a full blown Qualified “Competent” officer and got a job on cruise ships I would go weeks and weeks without emailing home, maybe a quick phone call in which ever port I felt like it or suddenly realised I hadn’t spoken to home in a while in but that was it.

I’ve worked worldwide and it would have been a great record for me to have kept with sending letters home in every port and country. I wish I had now. I wish I had that tangible connection with my worldwide workings. But this can’t be helped, what’s gone is gone, there is not a lot I can change about this.

I tell everyone I become involved with on one level or another that contact is great at sea, we have free internet access on our ships and the Sat C-band phone is cheap (which it is now, its cheaper than a pay as you go phone). I can in an emergency phone home on the old style satellite phone, which is expensive but is pretty much 100% coverage. Yet still even with all this, I find it hard to keep an ongoing stream of conversation and contact going. I don’t use the Sat phone, In 10 years I’ve spent about 1/2 hour on the sat phone in total I think. I email regularly enough sure, but it’s just not the same, and with the amount of emails that go bouncing around back and forth, I have one line conversations with my father via email, he types in red, I in purple, its like a really low tech chat room.

So this trip to my surprise I actually sat down and did something I’ve never really done before, I sat down and hand wrote on 4 separate pieces of paper, 4 different things to 4 different people. 2 were cards, 2 were letters (the mystical blueys as they are called in the MOD)

I wish I had done it earlier. I actually did enjoy it, if that makes sense. It wasn’t the drag on my mind I thought it would be. It wasn’t the pain in the arse I usually get with having to handwrite technical reports.

It is definitely something I could do more often, and I believe I’m correct in saying this, they mean a bit more than an email.

I wish I’d had the motivation to write home, or to write to various important people in my life I’ve had come and go over the last few years. I didn’t back then. I do now.

Maybe my minds not as fuzzed up as it used to be, or this is one of those things that they call maturing, but one way or another its something I’m going to try to embrace.

So if one of you could send me a good quality address book it would be appreciated

Ta

S
Antijanner

Online relationships


Online relationships

Now most of us have at one time or another had an online relationship on one level or another, whether it be someone who from time to time you have an in-depth conversation with once a month, someone who fancy an insane amount but you know things would never happen,yet you still flirt with, someone you just get copied on in a tweet and end up chatting to every day, or someone you look forward to those 10 minutes a day of intensive messaging back on forth then the rest of the day nothing. They are all relationships of one form or another, and they all are part of the tapestry of social interaction that we make that makes us up.

I myself have many online relationships, all types including the above and many many different sorts. Some I have divulged things to I wouldn’t tell others, some I barely chat with, but it would feel strange with out seeing their updates every now and then.

And to be honest most of them are a lot closer than most of my “real life” relationships, I’ve no idea why this has happened or how it has happened. I guess that 50 years ago I’d have been one of those people with loads of pen pals.

I enjoy the anonymity of the internet and it allows me to be a lot more open and expressive than I am on the outside. I have written and tweeted and shared things online that I haven’t to people I actually know. I’ve shared things about my personal life,relationships, and feelings on an intimate level with you lot. A couple of hundred random people of which I’ve only actually met 3 or 4 of in person.

Sometimes you’ve given me answers and solutions, other times you’ve been there for me to vent on occasionally you’ve even made me question my own self.. I know not every time everything I say is read, appreciated or even seen. But I know that it helps me baring my soul to all to see.

Its a lot easier to do it online than real life.

So thanks for being there in one way or another. Majority of you have put up with my bleating and my moments of elation. My ups and downs and my boring work chatter. Every time I put really personal issues up it does help me, regardless of the feedback I get back. So for those that have been and listened over the last 2 years of my twitter life thanks.

Ill be around for a while yet, thanks a lot, and I hope to meet more of you in the future

Cheers and ta

Thanks

S
Antijanner

Extravagent tweet up


OK then as some of you may or may not be aware, I recently went on a 10 day holiday to Sri lanka with someone of twitter. I was originally meant to go with my (ex) girlfriend.

So let me now tell you the whole story.

It started in December, boxing day. I was at work on the ship, I was half way through my month trip and I got a text from my then girlfriend. It was perfectly pleasent to start then after a back and forth text discussion she started saying how we never get to do anything and that she felt she was missing out on life because I work away and so on, we’d never been on holiday properly and so on. It resulted in a masive arguement, but i said I’d book a holiday somewhere and that 2010 was a year I was dedicated to getting my promotion, and as i had now got it 2011 would be a good year and we would do lots of stuff.

Anyway I got back home start of January. She was away at work for 18 days, so about the iddle of january i went to travel agents, booked the holiday – 10 days all inclusive de-luxe holiday in Sri lanka. The hotel was good (92% rating on tripadvisor and an xtremly pretty beach and grounds etc). Sent her the details, she seemed excited and happy about it.

Anyway all was fine and dandy then i went up to hers for 5 or 6 days (this is about 2 weeks after I booked the holiday). All was “ok” but she seemed a bit cold, anyway she was geting all excited about booking her own holiday for her 21st, to Ibiza or malaga or soemthing. She said she didnt bother to book a place for me as I’d be away as work. (I later worked out I wouldnt be at work, infact it was slap bang in the middle of my leave). Anyway she was so excited abotu that, but as soon as I brought up the Sri Lanka holiday she barely seemed interested.

Anyway the 6 days came and went, she dropped me off at the train station to go home and she didtn so much as give me a hug or kiss, infact I hadnt had anything as approaching intamacy all week, infact nothing since November. i then got a text when I got on the Train in London To paddington checking I was on the Train home, she said “check your email”. Basically she dumped me by email, but kindly pointed out we could still go on holiday if I wanted to. Nice. I said fine, sure, partly because of shock and partly because Im not one to throw over £1000 down the pan.

So i went to sea 3 days after this, and, well the whole thing didnt put me in a good mood for my 1st trip as second engineer – which is a major promotion in an engineers life, and also it was pretty much all i thought about for the 5 weeks on a ship. It wasnt like I could go out and get over it witht he lads or anything, I was stuck on a ship with my thoughts. It wasnt the funnest trip i’d ever had I have to be honest!

Anyway so I get off th ship after 5 weeks i get the plane to heathrow train to hers, then she picks me up and we go round to her palce (her parents) and after about 2 hours she decides that she cant face going on holiday with me. Infact so much she decides she has to go back to work asap so as to get away from me all together – I felt so special – so I was left in a bit of a pickle. Should I go alone? Should I even go? After conversations with my parents I decided to go alone. then lightening struck my brain, why no advertise the spare ticket on twitter? You hear about it every now and then these things happening so I bit the bullet and did it. Nobody replied, no surprise. Then in the morning one person replied -james – @the_hatt3r – I’d spoken with him in twitter for a couple of months, him and his wife and a couple of friends and so on. Anyway so with 24 hours notice i organised the flight changes and so on!

“She” drove me round to my grandparents who lived about half an hour away, and before I could finsih closing the door on the car she had sped off – still confused by her reaction to the whole situation as after all she dumped me? I hadn’t been the one to try and muck everything up.

Anyway so i spent the night at my grandparents and got a taxi to heathrow and finally met up with james (@the_hatt3r).

Now hows that for an extravagent tweet up??

Anyway so we flew out to Sri lanka had a great 10 days holidays, went on a few tours, took advantage of the all inclusive deal on some nights to excess and generally had a good time.

I can honestly say i probably had a better time with james than i would have had i gone with “her”.

Thanks James for a brilliant holiday!

Cheers and Ta

S
Antijanner


Some songs you hear and are emotionally owned by other people. As soon as you hear them they remind you of the, and no matter how many years ago it happened, that song is inscrutably tied to them for posterity.

Through the nature of my work a lot of people come in and out of my life, I spend more time living with a bunch of strangers than I do with my family. Working on ships usually means you end up spending more time with your ships crew in a year than you do with your actual family. Some of these people I come into contact with do get attached to songs I’ve heard. Whether it’s because of a brilliant night out I had with them and it was because I was in a relationship with one of them or what ever.

So here are my top 5, most memorable songs that are tied in with ex crew members / people Ive met at sea

#5 – Dropkick Murphy’s – Bar-room Hero – This actually reminds me of my time working on the QM2. I was a bar-room here (well Wardroom hero as that’s what the officers bar is called). I was out drinking to the extreme every night and if truth be told drinking myself slowly out of reality. I had a great time, but I was turning into the character the song is sung about. One of the reasons why I had to leave that particular chapter of my sea career behind me.

#4 – Beyoncè – Halo – Sangeeta Nagar. I’m not going deep into what happened or why or who did what to who. I have lots of very nice,happy,emotional, proper life improving memories courtesy of that girl and this song. Sorry girls but this song will forever be hers.

#3 – Eminem Feat. Rihanna – Love The Way You Lie – Stephen Moody. In a totally none gay way this song reminds me of him. He was my best mate on one ship I worked on, and still meet up with him when I can, but over the Christmas trip this song must have been played at least 10 times a day when we were in the TV room, and every time we went up the road, this song seemed to follow us around. I just had a really good time taking the piss, having beers and time up the road being the lads. It was great.

#2 – Beastie Boys – Sabotage – Tristan – This guy is probably one of my closest friends and I can tell him anything, I first met him when I was a cadet, we both started in the the same year, and he lives near me at home. My every lasting memory of Tristan will be sitting in his room at halls after watching England play rugby on the TV in the 6 nations of 2002, drinking Strongbow through a sieve because we wanted draught cider. He wearing his officers hat as appropriate headgear, me a deerstalker. It was a hell of a night this was the song on in the background, as the warden came in as we were half way through this master plan, took one step in stared, shook his head, and said “Well lads I see England won” and walked out.

#1 –The Waterboys – This is The Sea – The number one spot almost went to The Beautiful South – The Lure Of The Sea, to be honest but this song just has more memories attached to it. This song reminds me of everyone and everything I’ve ever seen or done at sea. My entire working career has been about the call of the sea. I found it hard at 1st but once you let the sea in its bloody hard to let it out. There’s guys at sea who think of it as just a job and others of us who see it as more than that, more as calling. I’m one of those, sure I could do a job similar to this ashore, in a power station or water pumping station or in a shipyard even, but it wouldn’t be the same. I enjoy the freedom it gives me, the ability it gives me to leave everything behind me at home and escape. I’m my own man out here, and have none of the stress and strains I have at home. I can disconnect from life and cocoon myself into this world of mine. My favourite verse from the whole song is this

“ Now I can see you wavering
As you try to decide
You’ve got a war in your head
And it’s tearing you up inside
You’re trying to make sense
Of something that you just can’t see
Trying to make sense now
And you know you once held the key
But that was the river
And this is the sea!”

and its true, at sea my thoughts are different from being at home, it all makes sense, everything. The good, mad and bad, in my life runs linear and is not mixed up. Its just that nice out here.

Its the sea.