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  1. #551
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    ... burp... I find it a sad reflectiom on Teakdoor society that I post a pic of an 8000 year old, never before seen by mankind deep water coral mound, yet the topic of conflabation is my weight!!!
    Tis the joy of this place

    Could be worse though. A member posts his home-made Kebab and the first reply was a comment asking if his wife cut his nails




    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    I'm off the boat... by the wat...
    Waiting by the Temple?

    Wat were you thinking?

  2. #552
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    yet the topic of conflabation is my weight!!! hic...
    it had crossed my mind that some of the furrows were mendips arse dragging on the seafloor

  3. #553
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    The work at Troll was finished at 4am... the First Mate assured us that he'd get the boat alongside by 10am at the latest, so we could catch the 11:45am flights. I went to bed to try and get a few hours sleep and try to start getting off nights.

    9:30am... gently does it.





    10:am... I walked down that gangway 56 days after I walked up it on July 26th. A very nice feeling!



    Not a bad boat as they go... breakfasts were a bit shit though.



    After all this there were about eight of us sat in a mini bus taxi, 50 minutes to the airport, and the driver couldn't get the bladdy thing to start. He kept blowing on something... which I'd never seen before... it it was some kind of alcohol meter he had to blow through before the engine would start. He claimed he hadn't been drinking but it wouldn't let the ignition start nonetheless. A good idea... if it works.

    But all was good eventually, after a damn good blow we finally got going.

  4. #554
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    ... after a damn good blow we finally got going.
    Mendip, you have such turn of phrase

  5. #555
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    But all was good eventually, after a damn good blow we finally got going.
    Being as how long it's been since you've had a drink, and the impatience that can bring, I'm just gonna presume you blew for him.

  6. #556
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    ^ What happens on the minibus stays on he minibus!

    But I can't leave it there... this thread was supposed to be about air travel commuting during times of Covid... not about my work, or my weight for that matter...

    I checked in at a deserted Bergen Airport. Bergen is in lockdown just now, and it was a Saturday, but even so... should be busy at this time of year.

    Nice to have the social distancing rules explained in imperial for us Brits.



    Deserted...



    It's always a nice feeling to see a group of offshore workers heading to a helicopter when you're on your way home!



    The flight to Amsterdam was maybe 30% full. There were banks of three seats either side of the aisle and all middle seats were unavailable, but the plane was near empty anyway.

    And finally... 8 weeks since my last beer... (a rip-off small tin of Singha at Suvarnabhumi).



    We arrived to an equally deserted Schiphol...





    I've been eating these sausage rolls in the 'D' area of Schiphol for 30 years. It's become a tradition, even if I am watching my weight. The Bristol flight (and all other UK flights) have left from Gate D6 for as long as I can remember.



    And the Bristol flight was also less than half full. All aisle seats unavailable. The airlines must be hurting.


  7. #557
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    this thread was supposed to be about air travel commuting during times of Covid... not about my work, or my weight for that matter...
    Or blowing in a mini bus. Who cares what it started out as, all that matters is it's turned into a highly interesting and amusing thread that members would need to be nuts not to read each time new posts appear

    You're going to need a bigger mantelpiece for yet another POTY trophy at this rate Mendip

  8. #558
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    Sausage rolls.

    I might need to rethink that 103.5.

  9. #559
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    These offshore windfarms have helped to keep up a demand for offshore workers throughout the last oil downturn. There are loads of them across the southern North Sea.



    And Old Blighty...



    A quick pic of Taffland across the Severn Estuary for HH...



    And as we came in to land, my mum's village... nestled at the foot of the Mendips! It's the first time I've been here this time of year for many years. It's always usually at Christmas, so nice to see the summer greenery.



    I've missed this... you don't get a pun like that on the Continent!



    I don't miss this though... the robbing bandits. Free trolleys in Norway.



    And Bristol Airport was also completely deserted. Half of it seemed to be boarded up. The stools were stacked up on the bar even at 6pm.



    The airport taxis seem to have used social distancing as a reason to park 3 miles from the booking office, but I struggled on with no trolley...



    And finally!

    While my mum got busy in the kitchen I enjoyed the summer smells of flowers and a newly mowed lawn... you miss those smells when working at sea.

    I seem destined to spend my life having a drink alone, with only dogs for company...



    Well not quite... variety is the spice of life, they say...



    And incidentally... I don't think my mum has any scales so I've decided to go with Shutree's 103.5kg.

    I think I deserve a pat on the back for that... 10.5kg in two months!

    Edit... I've just seen your post Shutree... 103.5kg is good, you can't change your mind now. Green owed!

    And my commute is nowhere bear over... Somerset ain't my home any more... I live in Korat.

    So sorry guys, but this thread has a long way to go yet!

  10. #560
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    Enjoy your trip back home, Mendip.

    Enjoy the cheese, pies and local ciders. I had a Moose cider last night as it was all my local shop had; but I must say, I am getting quite used to them.

  11. #561
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    Enjoy mate, Your mom sure is going to. Glad you made it safe and sound..

  12. #562
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    Agreeing with the both above comments ... welcome home (well, at least to your Mum's place)

    BTW, I think I have the same shoes as you!

  13. #563
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    Thanks for another amusing, instructive and well policed story of your way of life.


  14. #564
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    And incidentally... I don't think my mum has any scales so I've decided to go with Shutree's 103.5kg.
    WtF?

    I demand an independent audit!

  15. #565
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    ^Cruel

  16. #566
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    Or at least a proper weighing.

  17. #567
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    ^ I'm gonna search my mum's house for some scales tomorrow, but I don't hold out much hope.

    The trouble with coming off nights is that there are endless sleepless night time hours with not much else to do but think, especially when you're away from your family with no idea when that post Covid reunion may be possible. I miss my daughter a lot.

    I took a trip down memory lane today and became very maudlin... it's strange visiting here without my daughter. My mum still lives in the house I grew up in with my sisters, and sometimes I wish she had moved on to somewhere not so laden with memories...

    I took Bella for a walk along the river just down from mum's house. I spent my young teenage years endlessly fishing down here with a bunch of mates.



    The little bugger kept running off, and after chasing her I soon realised that I have a long way to go... my 10.5kg weight loss is just the start.



    Most of the river is now completely overgrown... back in my day it was full of kids fishing which kept the nettles and undergrowth at bay. Where have all those years gone...



    There's still a few nice spots... I even recognised some but of course the river has changed a lot in the last 40 years... I remember catching a trout in this pool...



    Or was it here maybe?



    Bella soon got bored with my melancholy and went for a dip... in a patch of wet mud mixed with cow shit.



    There's some beautiful trees along the river banks... I miss this. I still don't recognise Thai trees in the way I find British trees so familiar. Here's a willow, or at least half of one, the other half seems to have come down.



    And a couple of dead trees... maybe I'm not so good with trees as I thought... Elms maybe? I'm sure NPT would know.



    The hedge along the embankment to the left marks the old railway line that went through the village, before Beeching had his way in the 60s.



    And here's where the old railway bridged the river.



    Aah, maybe this was the pool I caught my biggest trout from... 1lb 2oz... strange, I remember its weight but not where I caught it.



    Times have certainly changed. On a beautiful September Sunday like this, 40 years ago there would have been a big bunch of us fishing all day. When I got a bit older I remember bringing a girl 'fishing' with half a gallon of scrumpy to share. Good times... I wonder what she's up to now?

    Thee days the village is probably three times bigger with all the new development, but everywhere is deserted. In fact this was the only evidence I saw of some recent activity...



    It would have been nice to share these memories, but as usual it was just me and a dog. Dan and Coco would have loved it as well.

    On the way back, a view of my mum's house. As if I wasn't maudlin enough... it looks as though 71 houses are going to be built in the upper field past the hedge.



    Boris Johnston has opened up the Green Belt for development and there is now new red brick estates going up all over the place round here. These beautiful villages are being ruined, and are gradually turning into the same suburbia that the people buying their country houses are trying to escape. The villages round here are now two or three times bigger than before, yet all the pubs and shops are closing down. They're now becoming just a dormitory for commuters working in Bristol and further afield.

    What a shame... feel sorry for my mum who is a bit upset about this. Everything past that hedge will soon be a characterless red brick estate. What a wanker Boris Johnston is. I'm sure there won't be a blanket of red brick boxes rammed into the fields on his family Somerset farm.



    But anyway, time for lunch so back home...

    An elderly neighbour of my mum is trying to make a few extra pennies by setting up this honesty stall at the bottom of the drive.



    You need these characters... who on earth would buy rotten apples, dead plants or manky old fly-blown homemade jam and chutney left out in the sun all day?



    So to lunch... and steak and kidney pie crossed off my list! My uncle dropped round some runner beans from his allotment as well... even better than peas!



    And a few more crossed off my list for tea!



    And I found out who's been buying the dried out, sun blasted chutney from the bottom of the drive. Thank God for the Branston pickle back up!

    It's lovely to see my mum, and who knows when that may be possible again with a Covid winter coming up. But it's just really weird being here without the Thai contingent and I'm 'thinking too mutt'.

    I'm very ready to move on to Sweden tomorrow to carry on with the work to take my mind off things. I'd rather relax properly when the work's all done with and I can get back home, whenever that may be. Bloody Covid.

  18. #568
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    Lovely place Mendy, we grew up in a similar location: Rivers, woods, fields, village, out all day until sundown playing or adventuring, the latest generation are definitely worse off for missing out on that.

  19. #569
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    Indeed, come home when it's dark was the saying.

    Nice pics and Ploughmans Mendip.
    Last edited by Chittychangchang; 21-09-2020 at 02:21 PM.

  20. #570
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    Mendips threads and posts are a breath of fresh air. Thanks

  21. #571
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    ^Short priced favorite for POTY, again.

    The guy could run for POTUS and easily win that too I'm telling you

  22. #572
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    Good thread and lovely snaps of Somerset in the sunshine. Looks like you have been lucky with the weather.

    Question: Is that the world's smallest pork pie?

    Observation: The two dead trees have a very similar shape to the live tree in the pic of Bella running off. No idea what it/they are though.

    Wonderful to revisit those childhood memories.

  23. #573
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    childhood memories
    Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue skyyyy.

  24. #574
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    ^Skyyy, Skyyy, skyyyyyyy...

  25. #575
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    ^^^ Shutree, my mum did fantastically well with the cider order (for a tea-totaller) but let me down badly on the pork pie front. They were indeed minute, but luckily that pork pie in the pic was a quarter of a pack of four! And as for childhood memories... I just get maudlin about it all. I must be getting old...

    To break my maudlin mood today, on the way to pick up some teabags I popped in to say hello to my dad... at the grave yard.

    This church is 600 years old, but even a non religious person like meself can appreciate it's a beautiful building.



    After visiting my dad I had a look around.

    The War Memorial. I think pretty much every village and town in the UK has one of these.



    Even in 2020 there are a lot of recognisable village surnames in the roll of honour. I think this will be the last generation to say that, the village character is fast disappearing. Youngsters can't afford the house prices to stay in the village and the new estates are swamping the village with townies, uninterested in anything other than saying that they live in the country.

    Fifteen lost in World War I and six lost in World War II... a huge proportion of men back then when the village was so small.



    And nearby is the grave of Hannah More.

    Yes, who was Hannah More...


    Bristol-born Hannah More (1745-1833) was one of the most influential women of her day. A successful poet, playwright and campaigner, she was a champion of social reform, female education and the abolition of slavery.

    Hannah More's history
    Hannah More was born in Fishponds, near Bristol, in 1745. Her father was a school teacher and set up two schools in Bristol - one for girls and one for boys. As a young adult, Hannah taught at the girls' school.

    When she was twenty two years old, Hannah became engaged to William Turner, the owner of Tyntesfield's neighbouring estate of Belmont (now privately owned). She spent a lot of time on the estate and was inspired to write poetry by the sheer beauty of her surroundings.

    Hannah's relationship with William eventually ended in heartbreak. He postponed their wedding three times over six years before eventually breaking their engagement altogether. As compensation, he offered her 200 a year which she originally refused but later accepted. This income allowed her to be independent, at a time when women rarely were, and left her free to pursue a highly successful literary career.

    As well as a poet and playwright, Hannah More was also a campaigner for social reform, female education and the abolition of slavery. She set up twelve schools in the Mendip area and donated money for the founding of Kenyon College in Ohio, United States. Today, there are still several schools in the Bristol area named after her.

    She died in 1833, aged 88.

    Who was Hannah More? | National Trust


    If you're interested you can read her poems online, but if you're like me and hate poetry than a pic of her grave should suffice.

    And here she lies...



    And the plaque...



    Good ages for the 1800s... maybe virtuous living does pay off. I'm not sure I'd want to be buried with my sisters though... I told the wife she could just chuck me in the pond when it's my time, although I do hope she waits until I'm dead.

    To improve my mood further I had a wander around the graveyard. They really are fascinating places, so much history... I'd love to do a bit of metal detecting round here with my daughter.



    A story behind every gravestone...



    1786...



    I don't know how old they go... I guess the inscriptions on the most ancient have weathered away. I'd guess the oldest gravestones date back to the 1600s, maybe before.

    The oldest I found was 1779...



    And a whole family...



    I could have spent longer, but my mum was eager to get going to the Co-op. I needed to pick up some teabags for my upcoming work in the office.

    Before getting in the car I picked up a few cooking apples... there must be a glut this year as the villagers just leave them out for people to take. Another tradition that will disappear during the next generation. Dill should move in... he could make a crumble for free every day!



    Probably the most dangerous part of my work trip so far was being driven to the local supermarket by my 84 year-old mother! As I clutched the seat I wondered how a Chinese guy eating bats the other side of the world had caused the road system to change outside my old primary school in a small rural Somerset village... but it slowed my mum down, so Covid can't be all bad.

    Last edited by Mendip; 22-09-2020 at 02:45 AM.

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