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Kulluk rig under tow (not my favourite job)!!

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Growin' old ain't no fun, is it, Phyllis?!!! I can't pray for you both (not religious) but I'll have my "fingers crossed" and be hoping all is OK! I'm sure that it will be, but you can't help but worry.

Ha, ha, re:- mince pies. It sounds as if you need a factory to supply your family. "Wow", you guys have been busy. I'm going out for an early Christmas dinner on Friday.

Lovely, sunny day today. Crisp and cold, but I'll take that

I have seen Jdbvos' puzzles and have commented on some but he has never got back to me. I think that he is "even older" than me!!!! LOL

Nos dda, Phyllis.


Len had melanoma John, he has had a couple of surgeries and now this lump. The oncologist says he needs to have a CT scan urgently, but to not worry, "I have dealt with these before". Len is thinking he might get a CT done privately, can't muck around with the C word. I hope you are well over your bout with the dreaded C. I had Squamous Cell on my head a few years back, and another removed last month from my chest.

Mince pies, well I think by the time they got to you they'd either be crumbs or gone off. Christmas will depend on surgery this year, and I know without any doubt what will come first. Six chn yes, I have six chn and one son has seven. I keep telling them to stop drinking the water:-)) - 21 now and another due in May, making 22 grandchn. A quiver full! I trust that your Christmas will be spent with people close to you, I'm sure they'll have mince tarts.

It is very humid here tonight, a big rainy thing coming down from the tropics I fear. Rain has been most welcome, the hills behind us are slovely turning brown.

John have you come across the puzzles of Jdbvos, I think I remembered the spelling correctly, some amazing pictures of pilots working in horrendous seas, and one of a 'lighthouse' almost submerged with the waves.
Ok Boyo, thats it for this installment of the Pearson Plus pages for tonight.

Take care and stay warm - Phyllis


I don't think that you have mentioned Len's "lump". I hope all goes well with that. If it does turn out to be "C", it is not the worry that it used to be. I had it 5yrs ago and I'm still here!! Let's hope it is "benign". Will you post me one of your "home-made" mince tarts! LOL

I get several invites for Christmas dinner. I used to go on holiday at Christmas - it's a nice time to get away. SIX children!! She's doing her best to overpopulate the Earth.LOL

You will go away for Christmas - no worries!

Take care, both of you!!!


Well, this is becoming a ritual I think John... not a bad one! it's lovely for me to have the contact with someone 'back home' I think the word is Cartref! Had a mixed bag today, saw my GP who, when talking about Len said the lump could be a secondary, and thats not good at all. Perhaps he will be in surgery before to much longer.

Our son back again tonight with hsi wife and two little ones. Only 10 more sleeps before they can move into their first home [of their own], and talking about sleeps reminds me that only 20 to Christmas. I think I'm up to date with shopping but have not done a single card or calendar yet. Haven't made a cake or mince tarts either.

What are you going to do for Christmas John? if Len is okay we go to Rotorua for the day with our eldest daughter and her six children, ages from 21 - 3, quite a big age gap really. We'll stay home if he isn't ok though.

Must do another of your puzzles, so bye for now


Best Friend For Ever? seems to fill that bill. You will have to find out, Phyllis.

My worst food poisoning was in Egypt and I still had it on the flight home - not funny!!

3am is nearly the time I get up, Phyllis!!! As long as it is "good sleep"'

I can just imagine you all performing "Three little maids". Ha, ha.


The clock has just struck 3am.

Picture this - three older women performing that wonderful song from the Mikado 'The little maids etc' but we have changed the words to read -

Three old maids from Elim are we
Nice and cuddly we can be
fill to the brim with girlish glee
Three old maids are we

Well tonight Liz and I changed some of the words to suit our situation here. We have our church concert on the 14th, and we plan to do this as an act. It should be hilarious. Wearing baptismal gowns, funny hats and either with a walker [which I use anyway] a walking stick and umbrellas, our props will be behind a screen and we will dress behind the screen, or pretend we are anyway. Last year we did the 'Three Little Pigs' and brought the house down.

I guess it could mean that, although if you met my Len you'd soon realise that's not him. You got in two guesses however. I have a friend in Newport, she often puts these letters before her name, I shall have to ask her what on earth they mean, BFFE!

I think many here thought the same John, tummy bugs are a pain for tourists, we had a few things similar when we lived in Western Samoa. You know I have always said and will continue to say that the only place to go when you're on the bottom is up, and same for the tops ones, they can always go down. Wales has a fighting spirit John, it's been born into us due to the constant pushing down by the sais. The team will get up again I'm sure.

With your interest and service in the navy etc, Cargoes will be of interest maybe. My father could recite it at 84, and he was taught it at school in Stalybridge, many years previous.

Well I should go, we have a few things on tomorrow [today] and atmy age every bit of sleep helps.
Blessings from here - Phyllis


Bore da, Phyllis.

A surprise result. I wonder how much the stomach bug affected the result?

I'm not surprised that Len is a "bit down"!! I'm not too happy about Wales losing to Oz in the last 30seconds. We are going through a really bad patch at the moment.

Let me see, Phyllis! ---- Might that be " Drunk In the Lounge", what Len feels like being just now!LOL

Could it be "Daughter-in -Law"? LOL

I think that I might have read "cargoes" a long time ago. I will look them up again.

I like to be asleep by 11pm. Do you get up early in the morning?


Yes, Google can be a pain sometimes. One of my family names is Templar, 'The Templars of Axbridge' I am told, so you can imagine what I get when I Google it:-))

Well, well, well... the men in white beat the men in back! I wish otherwise, as do others most likely. Len is a bit down today. Just as well he didn't have the men from church here this morning, like he did last Sunday, what a dreary morning we'd have had.

OK so what's D.I.L. John? 1am is not late for me, I'm a real owl [take after my mother] It has always been a real joy knowing that my sons all like and write [when the mood takes them] poetry. Have you ever read John Masfield's Cargoes, what a great little poem, and for fun find Robert W,. Service's - The Cremation of Sam McGee. They don't seem to teach the Bristish poets here, pity!

Well I am going to go and watch a film on telly - catch again - Phyllis


You'll laugh at this, Phyllis.I just Googled and it came up with varicose veins!! LOL. I don't think that was what you wanted me to look at!! Sleep well!


Gotcha, Phyllis! I wouldn't count on my remembering, though.

I don't think that he will, Phyllis. I'm sure he's had plenty of "flack" from his own countrymen. We can but hope!

Your ancestor's poetic genes have been passed down to you, as your comments are often "poetic"

Luckily, I've escaped the ravages of the weather, but more rain is on the way!! Oh, joy!! LOL

I'll google "The Great Vein of Wales". There is something at the back of my brain. Would need a crowbar to find it!! What are you doing up at such a time!! :-)))


S'mae John,

Life's like that some days John. It's a bit like adding vanilla instead of peppermint, throwing the lot out and starting again, only to do the same again. Some things we never seem to learn. Son in Law! now I bet you won't forget that one in a hurry:-))

Yes, it should have been 12 months! and do you really think he won't do that again? I think that sort of thing is there and comes out now and then, when pushed. Maybe Rugby players should have a psychiatric evalutation which includes how well they control themselves when pushed. And yes, it's in the blood [poets] I have one published poet in my Baker family, he was called the Laureate of Gloucester I think. FW Harvey by name and I think he is my 2nd or 3rd cousin, and in the same line is Lawrence of Arabia, but he's just a 'ring-in'.

Well the house is quiet, son and family gone to Auckland for a wedding, they will be home tomorrow. Hair driers are good for wet carpet, so I think you'll need a strong heated wind!

Hey John, have you ever heard of 'The Great Vein of Wales?'. Right gotta go, I have to do at least one puzzle tonight, time now 1:07am
Hwyl - Phyllis


Typos can be very amusing, Phyllis. You will not believe that I wrote "moaining" and noticed. I deleted and re-wrote and still wrote the same typo. I must have needed a "moain" and not a moan;-)))!! I like the bit about gramma/langwayge!

I thought that the ban should be longer. I don't think he would have been due to play many matches in the next 5wks. He let the country down really.
Time to put it behind us - I'm sure he won't be that stupid again................

I'm afraid you've lost me with SIL? You'll need to explain. Duh!!

Pretty good here for the past couple of days, weatherwise. The ground will not dry out so any rain - floods again! (He's a poet and doesn't know it!!)

Good to hear from you. Enjoy those litle ones while they are still little!!


Yes, I know...but I rather like typo's John, and, Sir... you missed the point, it's nice to hear a 'moain' now and again:-)) if you knew how many times I cut and paste these comments you's laugh. It must be my dearest mum coming out in me? She was a stickler for gramma and langwayge.

5 weeks not long enough, someone should impose a really heavy fine on one of these players, I bet the rest would think twice about unneccessary actions on the field and fall into line rather smartly. I have a friend whose SIL is involved in a 'Fight for Life' tomorrow night. Vosa and husband have all gone done to Hastings fir the 'big event' Can't remember the SIL's name, but he's fighting for the Women's Refuge.

Fine here today, and son with wife and two littlies here again tonight, another two weeks before their house becomes vacant. It's so lovely to have them and see the children come running in after school like they've done it all their lives. BFN - Phyllis


Another typo, Phyllis!! If you were a "lady" you would have ignored it. LOL!!

Sunny and frosty here. Makes a change from rain!! Hore banned for 5wks!!


Oh John, I do like it when youre 'moaining':-)) We had rain a week or so ago, and the garden is starting to dry out now, I see my man out with the watering can, if it's not the watering can it's the spray thing, I don't know how weeds dare show their faces here, I thought that by now the message had gone around the garden that he's out with 'it', the spray pump again:-))
Yes, hwyl indeed and Nos Da - Phyllis


I've had no electricity today, Phyllis! Unbelievable weather!!I think this will be the wettest year the UK has ever known. We've had the wettest summer and this must be one of the wettest winters! It has stopped raining now and we should be getting col, crisp days. Enough of my moaining!!

BD still not right. He will miss the game against Oz next week. The worst thing about his "cheap shot" is that BD was semi-relaxed jogging back to the ruck. The punch has more effect then If he was going into a heavy tackle or, even being punched from the front, you can tense up and the body is ready for it. 'nuff said!! Best left behind.

Keep well. Hwyl!


Hi John, yes he is a hard player - but there does a time when someone has to intervene and put a stop to play against a player. I know rugby is a hard game, but perhaps the 'strong man/player tactics' should be dealt with. A few hefty fines and a good period away from the game might show the teams the judiciary have had enough!

Nice and sunny here too, washing blowing on the line and am glad yourweather has picked up too. The news showed flooding in Yorkshire and a mess countrywide really. lets hope things improve for all there.
Blessings - Phyllis


Yes, it was not good was it, Phyllis? The Kiwis are so good that they do not need to do that. It is a pity that the 4th ref could not intervene and say that it should should have been a red card at the time. That could have changed the game which would be a shame as we want the proper contest with 15 men per side. I have watched Hore playing for club and country and I don't think of him as a dirty player - I think of him as a really hard man. A moment's aberration is all I can think!! I haven't seen a report on BD so cannot give you an update. I'm sure that he will be fine. Some people have been prosecuted for foul play on the field but these are extreme cases. He will be banned for several matches.

The game is actually much cleaner these days with the 3 refs on the field of play. In my day the linesman was exactly that. All he did was mark where the ball went out of play. If you knew you were on the "blind side" of the ref, all sorts of shennanigins went on!!

Lovely, sunny morning here. Trying to dry some washing (very domesticated)LOL

Lovely to hear from you as usual. Try and catch up on that beauty sleep that you lost .BFN


S'mae John,

Well the games has been and gone, and left NZ feeling that Hore let the game and the side down, and he did so and badly at that. How is Bradley Davies? I have just seen the report in the NZ Herald, not a mention of Hore, just a side article in which the AB coach thought it was unintentional... yes - pull the other one.

I get hot under the collar when these things happen in sport. If Hore did to Bradley on the street what he did on the field he'd be charged with assault! It's going to take a brave person to really sort out the violence on the field, and thats not just rugby either. Sport has changed so much in the last few years don't you think!

I didn't hear the men but grandchildren woke me up instead - them's the breaks with chn in the house:-))

Take care with the floods etc - Phyllis


Hi, Phyllis. We are only 3hrs from Armageddon as Wales meet the All Blacks. I'm not worried about being beaten by the best team in the world (ever), what worries me is that we will be "mauled"!!

Something always seemed to be going wrong when we towed rigs! We used to tow massive ones with, up to, 7 tugs.

It went calm and frosty overnight but the rain is due to head this evening and will be slow moving, which means more flooding. The wind will not be as fierce as on Thursday. Should we feel grateful.........I don't think so! LOL

I hope the men watching don't wake you too often by scoring lots of tries!! Keep your fingers crossed, Phyllis!!


Hi John, I remember years ago, the chn were all youngsters and we'd gone to Whangarei on holiday. One day we drove to some 'Heads' and when we turned the last corner there was this hug oil rig. It had been towed there and was waiting to be towed to the Taranki Coast to do some testing there. having seen one I cannot magine anyone enjoying towing one.

We have a group of men from Church coming to watch the game in the morning. No doubt their shouting will waken me. How's the weather John?


Good of you to say that, Heidi. I'll post some more shipping soon - I promise!!


Hi Katy, we are not really supposed to have long "chats" on these comment pages. Sometimes I might be reminded of an anecdote, from my time at sea, by something someone else writes. Heidi mentioned that the towing cable didn't look very strong and off I went................!!

I don't go on the water at all now unless on holidays.

The smells, the grime, the sheer power of the ships and tows. I do miss the excitement - and the fear!! The best of times, the worst of times.............!!


I agree... you haven't gone on long enough for me. Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your world.


Forgot to mention, that aside from enjoying the bit of story you shared, I just really like the ruggedness and the composition and contrasts of this pic. Thanks


Actually, John, you haven't gone on nearly enough for me but I really enjoyed this little glimpse into your water world. Can't imagine how challenging it must be to experience a hurricane and aftermath the way you did. Do you get out and work on the water much anymore? In the gray of your winters, you should hitch a ride to warmer, sunnier climes. And I think you said you haven't been to the Pacific yet. You have a lot more to experience. It's a beautiful, clear morning here - if you need some sunshine, I'll send some of mine. The rest of my day is all about R&R after a ridiculous day yesterday. See ya later. K


Hi Heidi. Thanks for commenting. It is the weight of the cable that takes the strain of the tow. This rig is on a short cable arriving or departing port. That's when things can get a bit "hairy"!! When you get further offshore you lengthen the tow wire so the rig would be about 1/2 mile astern and the bight of the cable goes many fathoms below water. The worst cable breaks I suffered were one towing a ship from New York to Sweden where we towed it through a hurricane. We got through the 'cane OK but the tow parted in the big swells left afterward. There were people on board the ship so we just stood by until the swell eased and we reconnected. The second was a large barge, with tugs and other barges as cargo, We were towing from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. to Rotterdam and we hit a severe storm in the Bay of Biscay when the tow snapped. When we tried to reconnect, in a large swell, we landed on one corner of the barge putting a hole by the waterline. We limped into port for repairs.

I've gone on a bit much but, if you don't want to read it, Katy will enjoy the story!!


But that one second is sooooooooooooooo important! lol


That cable looks so light weight for the job. There seems to be a sound towing bridle on the rig, but I'd be terrified that the line would break if bad weather hit.


One second this time!!! That is too cool:-))