Cooking time...

I had a busy time in the kitchen today making vegetable soup, baking bread and rounding off the activities with a batch of pancakes. The last creation was to use up some milk and a couple of eggs that were getting rather close to their expiry dates. The result is that the freezer is now stocked for the next week or so.

Posted: Saturday 14th January 2017

New timepiece...

Following the demise of my trusty old watch on Tuesday, I got a replacement today, opting for one that is a bit more technologically advanced. The new one is fuelled by light, not movement, radio controlled and self setting. It can also be used as a stopwatch, can tell the time around the world and is waterproof or should that be water resistant to 200 metres depth - not that I'm going to go that deep! The new watch also glows in the dark, or rather the hands and markings on the dial glow in the dark. With a 6 year guarantee it should last me for a few years and if I get as long out of this one as the watch it replaced, I'll be happy.

Posted: Friday 13th January 2017


The forecast was for heavy snow across the country and while some areas in the north of the country got it, along with some parts of the east coast, we only got a light dusting. The media on the other hand was predicting blizzards that would bring the country to a standstill simply because a few snowflakes fell on London. Much of the country was apparently to be covered with deep snow, but in fact, whilst some areas did experience blizzards, it was not as bad as expected.

Posted: Thursday 12th January 2017

What time is it?

Like most people I have a watch, although there does seem to be a trend amongst younger people to simply use their mobile phones to keep track of time. Personally, although I have a smartphone, I still prefer my watch to tell me the time. However earlier today, When I checked it I noticed that it had decided it was not going to tell me the time any more. The second hand was not moving and it was showing the time as 1037 when in fact it was lunchtime. I did the usual check and as it is a "kinetic" watch, waggled it about as it charges itself up by movement. This had no effect so I concluded that its time was up! So it looks like I'll be getting a replacement sometime in the very near future. Mind you, the defunct watch has lasted a long time and when I dug out the old receipt I found that it was just short of 20 years old. So I've had my moneys' worth from it.

Posted: Tuesday 10th January 2017

On the river...

The Mittelplate heading up the river Clyde past Renfrew on its way to Glasgow.d

The Mittelplate heading up the river Clyde past Renfrew on its way to Glasgow.

© John G. Fender 2016

It is a while since I mentioned any of the ships that come and go on the river near to where I stay. Although another dull and overcast day, I took the opportunity to go down to the riverside to see two of todays' arrivals.

First was the cargo ship Mila with yet another cargo of wind turbines that are destined to be planted on a hillside somewhere. This is the first delivery of wind turbines to Glasgow this year, although there will no doubt be many more. I mentioned this ship in June last year when it brought in a cargo of wind turbines then.

After an hour or so I popped back down to the riverside as the Mittelplate headed past. The Mittelplate is a multi-purpose cargo ship equipped for carriage of containers and strengthened for heavy cargo and is owned and operated by Briese Schiffahrt of Leer in Germany. It was built in 2009 at the Lisemco Lilama Shipyard at Haiphong in Vietnam.

The ship is 86.0 metres in length with a beam of 12.4 metres and a gross tonnage of 2,415 tons and a deadweight tonnage of 3,300 tons. The single cargo hold, fitted with two moveable bulkheads can accommodate up to 4,971 cubic metres of cargo. A total of 138 TEU of containers can be carried with 102 in the hold and 36 on deck. Propulsion is via a controllable pitch propeller powered by a MaK 6M25 diesel engine rated at 1,980 kW at 750 rpm giving a speed of 12.8 knots.

The Mittelplate is a regular visitor to the Clyde and the last time it was here in November last year, it brought a cargo of wind turbines. This time the cargo was sugar beet from Rouen in France which makes a change from wind turbines.

Posted: Sunday 8th January 2017

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