Splendidly chilly autumnal evening, fire in the hearth, chairs pulled up close to catch it’s warmth. Cats on the mat at its foot. Delicious smells wafting in from the kitchen where Caz is hard at work, but she’s also singing to herself, a sure sign that all is well. Bottles of Shiraz warming nearby, coming to room temperature. At times like this I feel so content with my lot that I imagine that this must be what heaven’s all about.
It’s therefore not a good time to dwell on the thought of tomorrow’s trip to Ghana, but dwell (albeit briefly) I feel I must.
The car will collect me tomorrow morning at 0930 and off to LHR 4 we’ll trot, hopefully without delay or incident. I’ve got the 1355 BA flight out to Accra which I believe gets me there at about 9pm. I only have a letter of invitation and not an entry visa and my yellow fever vaccination has expired so I’m kind of hoping that the immigration authorities are in ‘friendly and expeditious mode’ when I get there. Ghana has a good reputation amongst the West African states for being friendly, courteous and essentially un-corrupt. The complete antithesis to neighbouring Nigeria.
Overnight in a hotel then out to the Bulford Dolphin in the morning, let go and get towed out to international waters where the change of ownership (of the rig) will be completed. Then we’ll get towed back into town again. I don’t know at this point whether we’ll moor alongside the quay or anchor in the roads. This is a warranty job, eg I am acting on behalf of the under-writers, to minimise their exposure to risk by ensuring best practice and that equipment is suitable. Sometimes this is very straight forward and sometimes it can be a nightmare. I hope it won’t be the latter but am prepared to switch into ‘aggressive threatening’ mode if required. Being a really, really, really nice bloke (honest your honour) it can be hard to switch over modes and be convincing at it, but I find it’s getting easier with time and age. That’s probably down to "grumpy old man" syndrome.
Anyway, all being well, I hope to be back in dear old blighty next weekend. If I am, I promise to update blog pronto (bet you can hardly wait) with photos and prose.
Black star state, I love yo