My Journey from Tyneside Shipyards, Engineering in Aberdeen to Hospitality

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22/9/20 Update

Well since the weekend when I wrote our last update we’ve received the first batch of photos from Adam and they are GREAT! We took more photos today, and a video walk though of all of the places so can wait to see and share them with you all.


The reintroduction of the quarantine rule for Spain has reinforced that STAYCAYTIONS are the way forward for UK holiday makers for the foreseeable future.

Who needs to go abroad when we are blessed to live on such an island so rich in natural beauty?

Sporting Tales and Highland Adventures

In July we had a fantastic lads trip into the highlands.

A bunch of us left Aberdeen at 4am in the morning to climb Ben Nevis.

We got to the base of Ben Nevis for 8am, were up and down by 3pm and propping up the bar not long after that!

Our standards
Family bathroom. Large bath tub and walk in shower

A Victorian Townhouse Restoration

Just after the new year of 2016 I bought this Victorian townhouse maisonette in my old hometown of South Shields.

I also wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with the place so I decided to live in it for a while first.

I didn’t want to hurry into any rash decisions which I would regret later.

Our 3rd (Mid July-ish) Update

I’m sitting on our decking writing this on my laptop.

The sun is blaring down and life feels good.

I normally feel terrible when my time with Sonny and Lola is coming to an end (tomorrow they go back to their mams after 2 weeks with me) but don’t this time for some reason.

We’ve had a lovely little staycation holiday.

Joe was a Bricklayer

My Granda’ was called Joe.

And Joe was a bricklayer.

From a hard working class area.

And he was a hard working man.

Loved by all of his family.

The rock.

A Very Different Summer Holiday

So here we are at the end of our summer holiday! The last morning before we drive back up home.

And its been a funny one to say the least.

In the week or 2 leading up to it we didn’t even know if we would be allowed to come!

Thanks to all Key Workers

When lockdown came it felt a bit like when you fell forward off your bike seat as a kid and you landed on the cross bar.

REET between your legs.


A rare event but very painful and there seemed no way to make it feel better.

But we felt lucky to be in a position to be able to potentially help those in need of accommodation.

Happy Post Lockdown!

For someone who didn’t really enjoy social media, lately I’ve tried really hard and persevered to let people know about our self catering places and seem to be finally be getting something going and some traction.

Single Dad Smiling

When we got to Legoland we discovered that it was CLOSED!

The kids were devastated.

I tried to soften their disappointment by suggesting a cheeky look in the hotel.

The hotel was SUPERB.

“Some serious dad brownie points are on the table here,” I thought.

A new Project

My personal life wasn’t exactly idyllic at this point in time.

I’d just lost my contract as a design fire and explosion safety engineer with Shell due to the oil and gas 2015 downturn and needed a project to focus on.

And you are now looking at it!

Lockdown Rejuvenation

So it’s Sunday!

And tomorrow Sonny, Lola and I travel to the Lake District for a short holiday with my Mam!

The first time we’ll have seen her since Christmas.

So today is the last day to finish off our latest self catering place in Aberdeen!

Do you want to hear about how it went?

Post Lockdown Optimism

Sorry I haven’t been as prolific at getting these blogs out in the last week or 2.

I’ve been busy.

A lady called me 2-3 weeks ago.

Someone I had no links to.

So she saw something I’d shared on Facebook about our self catering homes.

And she was impressed about how I was trying different things in these trying times.

Look after your Regulars

A lovely lady called Angela who runs a B&B in Aberdeen and helped me out when I lived out of the area and came back to spend time with my children.

She gave us a lovely homely place to stay for our precious weekends together. I will always remember her warm hospitality.

She also taught me a valuable lesson.

A 40th to Remember

My 40th was coming up.

I felt that I needed a bit of a blow out.

So organised a bar crawl around the harbour area of Aberdeen on Saturday night.

But before Saturday came I had a wee adventure to tackle…

A Trip of Noteworthy Mention

I decided that the rest of 2013 would consist of getting as much fun packed into my time off work as possible.

Kicking off with our first proper trip away in the camper.

There was no set plan, just to head west or north from Aberdeen, wild camp as much as possible and wing it!

Load of Bollocks

I’ve always fancied writing a blog.

Well for a good few years anyway.

And since then an old friend asked “Why are you writing the blog?”

Well I’ll tell you.

Finding my Feet Again

I missed the kids.


When you live a mile apart and want to see them but you can’t, it is pretty hard to bear.

I wanted to have them half of the time but this was not permitted.

The Hardest Thing in the World

This is the hardest it’s felt to get started since I started my fledgling blogging career a week ago.

Every other topic I’ve written about has just flowed, even though I normally have such a terrible memory. I’ve surprised myself.

They’ve mainly been nice happy stories, even My Letter to my Dad, despite the sadness it was happy memories.

But the end of a relationship is never going to be a good story.

Setting up Camp

The lovely dear I bought my house in Aberdeen from, Grace, had owned it since it was built.

Which was just after the war ended.

She had raised her family here with her husband Reginald Rust Bissett!

And the locals here make fun of English names!!

(Another) Englishman in Aberdeen

I came up to Aberdeen the week before Christmas in 2001.

It was a temporary contract with one weeks notice.

Almost 20 years later I still can’t escape the place!

A Letter to my Dad x

Dear Dad (Dav),

I am writing this letter to tell you how much I love and miss you.

I should have wrote this letter a long time ago.

Some people say this type of stuff at the funeral.

We were so immature and cut up that I don’t think any of us spoke. It’s all a bit of a blur to be honest.

It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re At

I’m originally from South Shields, north east England.

A special town.

It snuggles in a cosy spot right where the River Tyne meets the North Sea. It’s not Newcastle and it’s not Sunderland. And it never will be.

We’re not Geordies and we’re not Mackems. We’re Sanddancers.

And we’re proud.

Lockdown Benefits…

The human impact of the pandemic is horrendous, clearly but considering the self isolation aspect alone, pun intended, I have enjoyed the lockdown so far.

The main reason is that it has brought us much closer together as a family. The bonds between Sonny, Lola and myself have been strengthened massively.

And I am so grateful for this.

Ramblings of a First Time Blogger

Have you ever wanted to start something new but there always seems to be something else in the way like the day job or family duties?

So these great ideas or even dreams never materialise and you end up wondering what if.

Well, the idea of writing a blog has long been in my mind but the prospect of doing so would have been impossible a few years ago.

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