This Ship Has Sailed… Finally

So, the Suez canal was blocked by a container ship that apparently tried to go up it sideways. There are many theories, including ‘they did it on purpose’ and in the current climate I really can’t blame anyone for thinking that.

My own theory involves a mass raid on the rum ration. In support of this theory, I reference the satellite tracking data which shows the ship’s course before entering the canal. They had ‘drawn’ an enormous penis at sea just before entering the canal. I think the crew were plastered.

The news ran with the quite accurate assessment that it would affect world trade, since without Suez, ships would have to go all the way around Africa and that’s a very long way indeed. They also ran with the panic-inducing ‘Worldwide Toilet Paper Shortage!’ which is, well it’s the stuff toilet paper generally has to deal with. China is not the sole manufacturer of toilet paper and even if they were, that stuff weighs so little it could be transported overland easily by train. You could even pack a transport plane full of it and make very little difference to its overall weight.

I don’t understand the whole ‘toilet paper’ thing. If there really was a looming disaster, toilet paper isn’t the first thing I’d be thinking about stocking up with. Canned and dried food and fuel for the generator would be top of the list. Running out of toilet paper would be inconvenient but hardly life threatening.

The news seems to think it’s the primary basis of civilisation. No toilet paper? We might as well go back to the caves, folks. It’s all over. People have very strange priorities.

Anyway, the ship is floating again and is now out of the narrow part of the canal. Rumours that it was loaded with trafficked children and nuclear devices are fading now. They were starting to get interesting. Especially the ‘Evergreen’ stuff.

Evergreen is the name of the shipping company. The ship’s actual name is ‘Ever Given’ which has to be the crappiest name for a ship ever devised. I guess the ones who named it were drunk too.

This word ‘Evergreen’ has popped up in all kinds of situations. It’s very popular. The new railway being built in America (California, I think) is the Evergreen Line. And, of course, it was HR Clinton’s code name when she was in the government. I don’t really see the point of giving them code names it they’re just going to tell everyone what they are, but… *shrug*.

To me, Evergreen refers to trees that don’t lose their leaves in winter. That’s the only definition in my head. The holly, fine, but I don’t think pine trees should count. Every year the drains and gutters are choked with pine needles and every spring the first cut of the lawns is like going through a pine cone and dead branch minefield. They drop stuff all over the place.

But I digress. There is certainly some link in this whole Evergreen story and I fully expect it’s making someone, somewhere, a hell of a lot of money. Legitimate or nefarious? I have no idea.

I expect we’ll find out eventually. Meanwhile, the Suez canal is open again and all those ships – which probably aren’t carrying any toilet paper deliveries at all – can get through now.

I still don’t think it was deliberate. If I wanted to block the Suez canal I’d have ‘accidentally’ sunk that ship sideways in it. It would have taken a lot longer to get that out.

So I’m sticking with the ‘drunken sailor’ theory.

Amazing what you find…

…when looking for something else.

First, apologies are due for my lack of response to comments. I am adjusting to having to wake at different times each day this week so I might fall asleep spontaneously.

There seems no point lambasting the politicians today. They are doing it to themselves very nicely. Today, Cameron has found his party won’t let him make a law that says future governments have to give away 0.7% of every penny the country has, since we don’t have any pennies to start with. Clegg has now shouted that he will have this in his manifesto next election. Excellent. He’s going to promise to give away more money that we don’t have. That should bury his lot forever.

Tomorrow I have to be up early but it’s not work. Friday I have to be up early but that’s a good thing. I have a day off Saturday so Smoky-Drinky was planned for Friday night. The trouble was, I was working until 9 pm originally. By the time I got home, changed and ate something, I would not be at Smoky-Drinky until after 10 pm and they’d all be absolutely plastered by then. So now I finish at 5 on Friday and will be drunk at the same pace as the rest.

No, it’s not work tomorrow. It’s fishing. Haven’t been for ages. I have spent most of the evening looking for my scattered fishing gear – the fly fishing stuff. Found it all at last but on the way I also found this –

franklynsI knew I still had one somewhere. It was in the old fishing bag and was full of flies on lines wound around cards. There is a faded health warning on the side of the tin but nothing on the front. Ah, I have a ‘new’ baccy tin! Well, after a bit of a cleanup.

Then there was a box of ships. Many, many years ago, I was involved in a global conflict with a few friends. I had control of the German and Italian navies in that tabletop war and I find I still have all the little ships. Loads of them. Here’s a tiny sample –

littleshipsClicking might make them less tiny.

In the middle is Bismarck and to the right of it is Graf Zeppelin, the aircraft carrier. Above those is the Italian battleship Littorio and those tiny lines are Type XXI U-boats. I was fond of U-boats so there are quite a few in that small box.

These ships were, I think, made by Davco and are cast whitemetal. They were supplied unpainted. Just bare metal.

Yes, I was once capable of that kind of painting.

There are a lot of cheat boats in the box too. We had a rule that if you wanted to use a vessel, you had to have the physical vessel to place on the board. If you had Bismarck in the Atlantic, you could not transport it to the Mediterranean, it had to sail there and that took time. If you also had Tirpitz then you could have that one in the Med. Likewise with the U-boats. That’s why I have so many.

The cheat boats came about because I discovered that I could make good copies of the original boats using plastic resin, and plasticine as a mould. Painted up it was hard to tell the difference – so I was not constrained by spare money for the real models.

I’m not going to get involved in sea battles again so I’ll sell these off as soon as I find time to catalogue them and list them on eBay. Some I have trouble identifying, so it’ll take a while. The cheat boats will be included as free extras because they aren’t really worth anything.

Bismarck is three inches long. I can’t remember the scale, I would have said 1/1200 but that sub I’m drilling for a smoking captain is bigger than these. Anyone know? I know U-boats weren’t very big but surely modern subs aren’t as long as battleships?

Well, best wind down for sleep. A hard morning’s fishing lies ahead, before a relaxing four-hour shift in the evening. With luck, I’ll have a trout feast in between.

Normal service will resume… eventually.