Down in the docks someone’s hammering chains


This is the working end of a ship in the dry dock of Gloucester Docks where I had an afternoon out the other day. It’s worth a trip if your in the area. I like Gloucester, used to live there and miss it’s friendly atmosphere and the rough edges. This place is a gem and is Tommy Nielson’s boat yard in the docks. They are in the middle of a complete refit of the tall ship Kaskelot which is also being renamed to some strange Scandinavian name. It’s one of the largest tall ships around these days and you can see from this image what they have to do to refit the below water levels. Rope or perhaps it’s hemp ( I’m no expert on these things, just an onlooker ) is hammered between the wooden boards. No doubt it is then tarred to make it watertight. There’s no automatic way of doing this so the men working on the ship just have to hammer away.


Whilst I was there I also saw a couple of the men working on the chains, which seemed to just be getting a couple of hammers and bashing them. Together with the blokes doing the ship’s sides they made for quite a syncopated sound. Take a look at my little movie of the scene. I’m at a loss to know what they were doing to the chains. Perhaps they were trying out “Unchained Melody”

Kaskelot inyard

To those of you who might be wondering what happened to my two border guards series, then please forgive me, they have taken a short break but will be back in the next posting hopefully.



Japanese mayonnaise, is that far fetched?

So there I was in the local M and S, for those of you not familiar with British stores it’s a department store with a food section. I was accosted by one of their customer service people and asked if I wanted to buy a bottle of ‘this’. It was now reduced to 10p.

“What is it? ”

“Japanese mayonnaise Sir”

“Why would I want to buy Japanese mayonnaise when I can get perfectly good English mayonnaise?”

“Because it’s only 10p Sir”

” Apparently it’s very popular in Japan”

“But not over here or it wouldn’t be only 10p. Which of the wise heads in your buying department ever thought that getting mayonnaise that has travelled six thousand miles might be a good idea?”

” Dunno Sir”

“OK, I’ll give it a try” said I. Thinking that at 10p it might be worth it.

As he left me he looked at one of his colleagues and gave a short imperceptible ‘whoop’ of triumph. They’d just managed to get rid of the last bottle of the stuff without actually giving it away.

So this bottle of Japanese mayonnaise resides in my fridge waiting for an opportunity to be used, and I think of the phone call to Japan: ” Hello, yes we did get the mayonnaise, but nobody else did”

“Sorry, we do not understand ”

“It didn’t sell Mr Toshiba ( I’m short on Japanese names )”

” So you won’t be ordering any more?”

” I think not”

“I don’t understand, it’s very popular in Japan”


May be the dangerous nature of the bottle is what put us off, who wants their clothes spattered and spotted when approaching salad.

For those of you looking out for my border guards series, they will be back in the next few days.siberiamastermayo

Did you write that? No.

Here’s the last of my writer’s group inspired versions, this one was written by Russell Burgess who has written a few books which have this sort of urgency to the lines, they are not children’s books! I wrote that bit… His book ‘Pavlov’s House’ is a cracking good read and is available on Amazon kindle, I’m half way through it at the moment.


Blame the writers.


The next few blogs were inspired, if that’s the right word, by my evening with the Montpellier Writers Group. The theme was to do with senses for the evening and was testing, so I opted out in a way by just hoovering up little writer’s gems from the evening.

The one above is my own view of probably what I’m like with these sort of things.

Thanks to all those who made more sense of it than I did and apologies for recycling and here and there revamping any of your ideas.